How Eliza Blank, the Founder of The Sill, Turned Over a New Leaf
Growing up in Northampton, Massachusetts, Eliza Blank romped through a pastoral paradise. The hills were alive, yes, but so too was her childhood home, which bloomed with flora nurtured by her mom. When she moved out and into her city dorm at New York University, "I found myself craving nature," recalls Blank. "I'd walk to Central Park on weekends just to lie in the grass." She began filling her room with the few plants she could find at delis or carry from a big-box store. But the selection was sparse, and no one was offering care-and-feeding advice.
Eliza's Top Picks
"I realized there wasn't a solution in the city, especially for young professionals living in tiny apartments without cars," she says. A few years postgrad, in 2012, Blank launched the online plant shop The Sill. The site welcomes greenhorns and green thumbs alike, and offers crowd-pleasers like foolproof snake plants, best-selling monsteras, and fussier, still-going-strong fiddle-leaf figs (along with tips, "bios" of many varieties, and chic pots). It's practical and cheerful, just like her uniform of jeans and T-shirts with a bright lip. "Plants make people happy," she says, invoking The Sill's motto, and they're great teachers, too. "Nature is resilient and restorative. There's so much to learn from it." Below, several of Blank of favorite things, including a pillow mist that upgrades her nightly routine and her houseplant of choice.