Austin and Tristan of KC Tiny Greenhouse discuss plants, advocacy, and building community
It’s only been open for just over a year, but KC Tiny Greenhouse has become a destination for plant lovers in the city. Austin Mosier and Tristan Carlson are life partners turned business partners and have a dream of making everyone they meet fellow crazy plant people. The tiny greenhouse sits on the property of their tiny house in the Hyde Park neighborhood and is open Saturdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
During the pandemic, the pair have had to severely limit the number of people in their greenhouse at one time, but that hasn’t stopped them from working to make everyone feel welcome. The pair works to use their platform to speak on community issues and feature local artists both online and in-store. When they’re not at their greenhouse you can probably find Austin and Tristan at a plant pop-up, delivering plants through their monthly plant subscription, or crafting. The couple shared how they’re working to use the greenhouse for good in The Pitch’s Questionnaire.
Social handles: Instagram: @kctinygreenhouse
Hometown: Kansas City!
Current Neighborhood: Midtown
What’s your go-to drink?: Anything coffee! We’ve been obsessed with Blip, Oddly Correct, and Cafe Cà Phê.
What is your soapbox?: Our soapbox would be all things equality. This last year has felt like nothing but a giant soapbox of fighting for lives that have for too long been viewed as lesser.
How did you decide to go into business together?: We definitely found the business after we met! Tristan and I had been dating for around 2 years before we took over KC Tiny Greenhouse!
How did you meet?: We actually met online!
How is it running a business with your partner?: It’s the BEST! If only you could look in on one of our days… lol! You’d find us cracking silly jokes while labeling plants, or belting songs out that are stuck in our head as we clean! I get to work with my best friend every day and it’s a dream.
Where did the idea for KC Tiny Greenhouse come from?: A woman named Christina actually started it as a passion project focused around sustainable living! She hand drew the tiny house that we now live in and the tiny greenhouse! We’ve all become like family. We loved the idea and what it stood for and now run it!
What is your greatest struggle right now?: Exposure! Seeing more of Kansas City, and the people that live in it is so rough right now! Following guidelines and trying to propel your 1 year-old business forward is tough!
What is your dream now?: Our dream is to continue to bring awesome plants to KC and help our customers succeed with their plants while exposing other local artists as well.
What is the last thing you laughed at?: The thought of cramming as many customers that wanted to be in our tiny space in at one time with no restrictions/masks… WEIRD
What is your favorite thing that you offer at the greenhouse, plant or non-plant related: All of our local art!!!! We currently carry six local badass artists/makers! As we expand we will continue to carry more and more!
What’s your favorite part of running the shop?: Making connections! Although Covid has slowed things down, we still meet SO many amazing people.
What makes Kansas City special?: That’s so hard! So many things make KC so special. The small-town feel, with big-city amenities, small business love like nowhere else, and of course the food.
What’s your guilty pleasure?: We can’t lie… We love snacking. I’d snack over a meal any day.
What impact do you want to leave on the community?: We just want to continue to help push our community forward. There is so much work to be done to help our homelessness problems, homicide rates, racism, and other awful systemically rooted issues. We’ve been brainstorming ways we can impact our community further and our drive to make a difference will only grow stronger!
What do you want to do to make Kansas City better?: In the spring/summer we hope to rally groups of friends/customers and clean litter from the roads in KC! This isn’t a fully developed idea yet but we drive around constantly to see our beautiful city collecting litter.
What is your favorite type of customer?: We genuinely appreciate every person that decides to shop with us! We will never pressure you into buying anything and will appreciate you just as much!
How can our readers support KC Tiny Greenhouse and your efforts?: Stay tuned! This year has been a wild ride and we feel like we’re just getting started! Seeing one year of growth has shocked us and made us realize we can do more! Help us make a change in KC going forward.