The Love of Plants with Foliage in Old town ClovisJan 30, 2020 11:00AM ● By Enjoy Magazine
Beauty and Simplicity
Story by Hannah Lanier
Photos courtesy of Foliage
YASMEEN GONZALEZ is making her mark on the Central Valley in a unique and efficient way. With her green thumb, Gonzalez combined her love for plants with her knowledge of plant sustainability and created her houseplant shop and design studio, Foliage.
Located in rustic Old Town Clovis, Gonzalez embarked on her business journey in July 2017, initially starting Foliage as a pop-up shop attending local events such as Fresno’s ArtHop.
“Foliage was born out of a desire to have a hands-on creative outlet and means of artistic accountability,” she says.
However, plants were never the main focus of Gonzalez’s career ambitions. “I was working at an interior design firm and felt like I needed an additional creative outlet, which was ironic because I was in a creative field,” Gonzalez says.
It was when she began searching for her muse that she found beauty in the simplicity of plant life. “I am a hands-on doer and so I started volunteering at various places that caught my interest,” Gonzalez says. “As I was volunteering, I saw myself continuing to go back to botanical gardens and farms. I was reminded of the beauty and simple joy that growing plants could bring to me. It was really the spark that I needed.”
While Gonzalez became immersed in the glory of plant life, she realized that the Central Valley lacked resources for people who enjoyed plants. She saw this as an opportunity to turn her interest into her mission. “I wanted to absorb all that I could about houseplants and learn from my own experiences to be able to share knowledge with others like me who wanted to learn,” Gonzalez says. “My mission was to help educate individuals on plant knowledge, grow the plant community through encouragement and promote creativity through our plant designs.”
Foliage is more than a store that sells houseplants. Gonzalez has made it a priority that each customer finds the best plant option for them, followed by information on how to best care for their plant.
“We offer two plant knowledge events: Spruce Up Sundays and Plant Rehabs,” she says. “Our Spruce Up Sundays are for clients who have plants that need a quick repotting, cleaning up or some extra love. We provide tools and supplies, give plant care guides, and hands-on help to spruce up your plant. Plant Rehabs are for plant lovers who have plants struggling to survive at home.”
Gonzalez believes everyone has a green thumb as long as they are dedicated and willing to learn. The owner shares “three simple components you can practice to have a happy life: First, know what your plant needs – light, water, any special notes. Second, have the proper potting medium – potting mix for plants in pots and mix with sand for succulents. Third, have a proper pot with a drainage hole. This is key to prevent root rot from overwatering.”
Foliage also hosts several local small businesses throughout the year. Each month includes pop-ups ranging from homemade jewelry to plant craftsmanship, such as DIY succulent planting.
Through the experience of Foliage, Gonzalez has discovered the simplistic value of plant life and plant care, once inspired through interior design only to return to the creative influence of her nostalgic childhood. “I grew up in Madera Ranchos on three acres where my parents had orchards of fruit trees,” says Gonzalez. “Growing up in the country, my brothers and I were always out in the yard with my parents helping them in the orchards or building something out of the scraps hidden throughout the property. My passion for design came from seeing the art that I could create from my hands. So finding that I could design and create art through plants was a natural fit for me.”
Foliage continues to thrive through love, nurture, inspiration, encouragement and optimism. “Our focus is helping our clients on their plant journey before, during and after,” Gonzalez says. “We want our guests to walk into the shop and feel inspired by the plants and beauty, and know that they too can achieve mastery of their plants. •
Foliage • 453 Pollasky Ave., #102, Clovis
(559) 797-1550 • www.foliageclovis.com
Hours: 10am to 5pm Wednesday-Friday,
Find them on Facebook and Instagram
Hannah Lanier is a freelance writer and news editor of The Rampage at Fresno City College. She plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in mass communication journalism from Fresno State University. Keep up with her on Instagram @newsviahannahlanier.