The Sill brings new life to Newbury Street


Renée Abbott

The Sill on Newbury Street brings new life to the bustling hub for boutiques and restaurants.

Renée Abbott, news correspondent

From Emily Mariko and her addictive recipes to videos of morning routines to become “that girl,” young people on social media have become accustomed to watching lifestyle influencers show them the ropes of how to decorate, eat healthy, dress, workout and live their lifestyle. But one facet of lifestyle blogging has really gained traction: houseplant care. Becoming a “plant parent” is the goal of many members of Generation Z, and The Sill on Newbury Street is a great place for young Bostonians to start. 

The Sill, founded in 2012 by Eliza Blank, now has four locations in New York, two in California, one in Chicago and one in Boston, which opened its doors Nov. 19. Located at 220 Newbury Street, The Sill brings new variety to Boston’s center for chic boutiques and restaurants. 

“I would say our store’s goal is to make our customers feel like they are part of a community. We want our customers to be excited about asking questions or wanting recommendations,” said Mia Eastwood, an employee at the Newbury location. “The store has a very collaborative atmosphere. The vibe of the store is very peaceful and sweet. It gives you little butterflies in your stomach when you walk in.”

The business shares its expertise in ornamental horticulture through its popular social media accounts. Dozens of social media accounts such as @houseplantjournal and @plantkween on Instagram share tips about caring for beloved houseplants. The hashtag “planttok” on TikTok has racked up 1.9 billion views. The Sill has 852,000 followers on their main Instagram account and over 10,000 followers on TikTok where they share videos teaching viewers how to care for plants, showcase their take on popular trends or highlight aesthetically pleasing videos of the store’s robust plant collection. 

“I run the Instagram account for the Boston shop so it’s been really fun,” Eastwood said. “We definitely like to include our community in [our social media], so it is very interactive.”

The store is a peaceful escape from the stressors of everyday life and features numerous types of plants on the shelves, the floor and some even hanging from the ceiling. Small note cards identify the name of the plant, the type of light they need and the price. The Sill also sells planters, various plant fertilizers, plant supplements, apparel and ceramic message pops to be placed in a planter.

Despite The Sill’s tranquil aura, the store had a lively and populated opening ceremony.  

“We had the founder Eliza [Blank] here, and a lot of the team from New York was here as well. People were really excited. There was a scissor cutting of the ribbon which was fun,” said Brooklin Pigg, another employee at The Sill’s Boston location. 

Newbury Street has seen some change during the pandemic as over 50 stores were forced to close. One store, Crush Boutique, closed after being on Newbury Street for almost a decade. New stores like The Sill help revitalize the iconic Boston street. 

I think The Sill is bringing new life to Newbury by adding more of a wholesome culture. [The Sill] is adding a lot of positivity to the area which is really necessary after the pandemic

— Mia Eastwood

Boston has a very vibrant community of college students and Newbury Street serves as a location known for high-end shopping, unique boutiques and quality restaurants. The Sill, while having a different agenda, seeks to fit in with the Newbury Street and Boston community through interactive workshops. 

“We plan to get in touch with the Boston community by working with fellow businesses and doing workshops; we love the idea of supporting our neighbors,” Eastwood said. “We plan on doing pop up shops in a few different spots and hope to do some yoga and art classes in the store which will definitely appeal to the younger demographic.”

College students, often limited by small spaces and a tight budget, don’t have to be deterred from buying plants. For new “plant parents,” Pigg suggests hanging, trailing and small plants, as well as low-maintenance options like succulents. 

Since the benefits of Northeastern’s arboretum may not be as enjoyable during the bitter winter months, houseplants are an easy way of bringing greenery into your life, even in the cold. 

“Hanging plants are great because they even out the space, and you can make use of curtain rods and stuff like that. Also, trailing plants like philodendron and pothos are really sweet, you can put them on your desk. They are easy plants too that thrive in low light,” Pigg said. 

Plants not only improve air quality, they also increase creativity, productivity and make a space  more homey and beautiful. For many, the act of caring for plants can be therapeutic and rewarding. Reflecting this, The Sill’s slogan is “Plants Make People Happy.” 

“Plants create time and space to nurture yourself,” Blank said on The Sill’s website. “If you’re not making time for them, you’re probably not making time for yourself either.”