Our First Blog

Hi!  Welcome to our blog.   

We figured that it would be appropriate, for our first blog, to introduce ourselves and 'hammer + vine.'  Future blogs will consist of shop news, projects, our travels and adventures with a focus on plants and animals and perhaps an occasional link to something we find super amazing and think you would too.

'hammer + vine' is a brick and mortar store, an online presence and a combination of the interests, appeals and passions of Jenelle and Devin.  We started off selling air plants in little glass vessels that Devin blew in his garage at local farmer's markets and craft fairs.  We eventually started doing larger markets where we met the catalyst and former partner of our current business.  All it took to get the wheels turning was one former stranger walking into our pop-up booth at the Skidmore Saturday Market and asking "You guys want to open a store?"  Little did we know at the time, we did.

Shortly thereafter (minus the hours of meetings, deliberation and days of building our furnishings and designing our space) we had one.

Almost one year later here we are, still growing, still dreaming, still struggling to describe what our shop is to inquiring minds.  When people ask we usually respond with something like " We are part exotic plant nursery, part terrarium store and part boutique carrying all handmade, mostly local designers."  

We carry a variety of plants that would be difficult to find at other nurseries.  Things like carnivorous plants; both tropical and temperate, rare orchids and bromeliads, tons of cacti and other succulents and the largest variety of air plants in Portland.  If we don't have it and it's legal and in cultivation we can probably get it.  We also have all the supplies necessary to build a terrarium as well as local made, hand blown glass vessels. We'd love to walk you through the terrarium building process or make it for you while you watch.  We even breed and raise our own dart frogs you could put in a vivarium we help you build!

The other part of our brick and mortar store focuses on showcasing the wares of other local artists, designers and makers.  We seek out and select every  artists that we choose to showcase based on our own interests and tastes.  You will find everything from furniture and home decor to natural deodorant and jewelry all lovingly made by real people.  Our selection is constantly growing and rotating and most important, we do or would proudly own everything we carry.

 "Who the heck would open a retail store based on a strangers business proposal?"  You may be asking yourself…

 Jenelle is a graphic designer who moved to Portland from Minnesota in 2004.  She discovered air plants, or tillandsia, shortly after moving into her own apartment and wanting to breathe life into her new home.  Air plants, she found, where easy to keep in small places, cat safe, neglect tolerant and quite unusual looking.  Right up her alley.  She's always had an eye for modern design and after showing Devin pictures of cheap imported glass containers with air plants in a modern design magazine and Devin thinking he could make a higher quality, more unique product the flame was ignited, quite literally.

Devin moved to Portland from Hawaii the same year Jenelle moved to Portland.  He brought with him a joy for creating functional glass art on a torch and a love for building and maintaining living vivariums.  As a small child he would build terrariums and paludariums to keep creatures found and bought such as monarch caterpillars and butterflies, salamanders, anole lizards, tree frogs and other small animals and insects. He currently keeps over a dozen different types of poison dart frogs.  Through this he has developed an interest for acquiring and propagating rare and unusual plants, especially those that do well in a terrarium environment.  After meeting Jenelle and enjoying making her unique glass vessels to keep her plants they began doing the local farmers market.

Today, Jenelle and Devin live together with a long hair mini dachshund named Obie, three cats, an asian mountain tortoise, 3 axolotls, a Guyana boa, a bunch of Hawaiian shrimp and about 60 poison dart frogs in their home in Portland.  They expect their first human child in December.