A new-to-Richmond plant store has branched out into vinyl records as part of its relocation from North Carolina to the Fan.
Shades of Moss Plant + Design recently opened at 2128 West Cary St., having found a more favorable business climate here than that of Charlotte, where the store first opened, according to owner Barry Greene.
“It was getting more expensive for black-owned businesses in hot areas of Charlotte. I was in a walkable neighborhood with affordable rent but things shifted so fast,” said Greene, who previously lived in the Richmond area and would come back to visit. “Every time we go to Richmond, we see a new black business where someone is doing something cool.”
Shades of Moss primarily sells house plants, but with the move to Richmond also introduced a small selection of vinyl records for sale, with a focus on the jazz, house, soul and lo-fi genres. The store’s music selection is largely new releases from indie artists.
Greene said that plant sales see a dip in colder months, and the records were added as a means to make the business less seasonal. He said he planned to stock an inventory of 100 to 150 albums in the store by the end of the year.
“Richmond is a great place for this type of thing,” Greene said. “People are wanting what we have to offer.”
In addition to plants and records, Shades of Moss offers potting mix, planters, incense and candles. Also for sale is loose-leaf tea from Not That Steep Tea Co., a company owned by Greene’s wife, Victoria.
The store additionally offers services like repotting and plant styling.
Shades of Moss was originally founded in Charlotte in July 2020. It operated as a brick-and-mortar business for a couple years before it closed the storefront to focus on plant-care services. Greene and his wife, whom he met at his store while it was in Charlotte, moved to the local area in May 2022.
Greene previously worked as a grant writer for Virginia Conservation Network. After coming back to his hometown, he took notice of the for-lease Cary Street storefront and saw an opportunity to bring back Shades of Moss.
“When this space popped up, I thought, ‘Hey, I’d love to be back in Richmond,” said Greene, who recently started to run the store full time. Shades of Moss opened in August.
Greene said that the Fan in particular seemed like fertile ground for a plant store with the departures of Blossom RVA, which previously operated in Shades of Moss’s space, and PlantHouse, which relocated in June from 2100 W. Cary St. to 3356 W. Moore St. within The Otis mixed-use development in Scott’s Addition.