ALBANY PARK — An Albany Park native who grew up working at her father’s grocery store has opened a plant shop next to the family’s former business.
Green Spaces Plant Shop, 3003 W. Montrose Ave., opened in December, selling a variety of house plants, potting supplies and other gardening accessories.
Owner Hanan Khrawish said she started gardening about five years ago. When she found out the Montrose Avenue space was available, she jumped at the opportunity to move her business there, she said.
“It just feels like home, you know? It’s just nice,” Khrawish said.
Khrawish’s journey into gardening began while she was getting a divorce and became a single mom to her three children.
“I had just had a huge change in my life. I have three kids, and we actually ended up being homeless at one point,” she said. “When I finally got an apartment and things settled down, I started working a nanny job.”
The grandmother of one of Khrawish’s client’s children asked for help with a dying houseplant. Khrawish said she didn’t grow up with a green thumb, but she decided to research and try her hand at bringing back the plant from the brink of death.
Khrawish trimmed the dead parts little by little and watered it. After a few weeks, the plant looked vibrant and green again, and the success lifted her spirits.
“I was still really depressed at that time. And then lo and behold, a month later, it was growing new leaves. It just made me so happy to know I helped this little plant survive,” Khrawish said.
Khrawish has filled the Montrose shop with tropical plants, cacti and other plants. Later this year, she will start selling tomato and other fruit- and vegetable-producing plants.
Khrawish also wants to be a resource for people who struggle to keep houseplants alive, and she will offer advice for people who drop by her shop. She’s planning a community event for next month where children will be able to learn how to properly transfer a plant into a container and can paint their pot.
Khrawish hopes her shop will inspire others to dive into caring for plant babies.
“Gardening really does grow with you,” Khrawish said. “My kids, when they first saw me collecting so many plants, hated it. But little by little now, I swear, my kids, one of them has four plants and the other has five, and my son has one he takes care of.
“It just makes me happy. If wasn’t obsessed with plants, they wouldn’t have ever gotten into gardening.”
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