Home and Garden Entrepreneur Turns Vision Into An Aesthetic Her Clients Appreciate

Tara Heibel maintains steady success with brick-and-mortar home and garden centers in Chicago and NYC.

As is the case for many young entrepreneurs, Tara Heibel dreamt up the idea for Sprout Home, a home and garden center, after not being able to find an aesthetic that suited her.

“I started as a novice gardener in Chicago while working in the art industry and fell in love with it,” says Heibel. “In my search for interesting plant material and home goods, I soon realized that there wasn’t a store that offered quite what I was looking for. Sprout Home was born as an idea to offer plants and home goods that were led by design.”

Sprout Home is a brick-and-mortar store located in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village and New York City’s Williamsburg, where they offer a full range of services, like custom-made terrariums, floral design and garden design and installation. Unlike most garden centers, Sprout focuses heavily on empowering their clients to learn how to take care of their plants.

“People are more active in the garden and floral industry then they used to be,” says Heibel of how the industry has changed since opening Sprout Home in 2003. “Customers over the last 14 years have become more hands on and interested in learning more about plants and flowers and how it can benefit them and their surroundings. I also see a wider cross section of age groups fully engaged and excited to have greenery in their lives.”

Sprout aims to set itself apart with its minimalist, clean and modern pots and home goods that also have a tendency to bring warmth into any room. “At Sprout Home, we don't normally like to follow trends. Instead, we like to think outside the box (or pot),” says Heibel. “Our designers thrive on creating non-contrived, free-spirited and textural arrangements. Most clients ask us to create pieces utilizing 'designers’ choice' which says to us that our customers appreciate the direction we are going in.”

And Sprout has heard their clients loud and clear. After 13 years of mainly focusing on the garden center, Heibel opened a second Chicago location in May of 2016, focusing solely on home goods, called Sprout Home Kitchen & Table.

“As Sprout Home has grown the plant and floral aspect of the business has grown with it. A common request was that we bring back some more of our home good aspects of the business,” says Heibel on why they chose to expand. The new home goods store is located across the street from the garden center location in Chicago.

This isn’t her first experience with growing a business. Starting out in Chicago, Heibel says she found that many New Yorker’s were interested in her plants, products and general aesthetic. Online sales and inquiries from New York were steadily increasing. Tassy de Give launched NYC’s Sprout Home location in 2007, and the business has continued to thrive there, as well. 

Sprout Home is a great example of a business model that has succeeded and continued to grow. Heibel and her staff’s dedication to their unique design, quality and client care set them apart not because they’re flashy, but because they know what works for them and cater to like-minded individuals sharing similar values and aesthetics.