Situated in the heart of downtown Hudson, Flowerkraut is charming in every sense of the word. Run by husband and wife duo, Mairead and Seth Travins, the curated shop is not your ordinary flower store. For starters, it houses just about every covetable decorative accent one could think of: everything from hand-painted ceramics and air plants to crystals and paper goods. The variety doesn't stop there. Sauerkraut-maker and enthusiast Seth even offers a line of his finest concoctions, in store. We caught up with Mairead to learn a little bit more about her business and working with her husband, and even managed to get a lesson in floral styling!
Psst! The two met at a Folk Festival in the northernmost tip of Scotland - where Mairead is originally from - while Seth was touring with his band. A whirlwind transatlantic romance led the two to Hudson, where the husband and wife combined their passions into one blossoming business.
What prompted you to open up Flowerkraut?
I had always wanted to open my own business but wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to do. I started getting in to flowers and eventually took a month-long floristry career course. During this time, I met 'Sauerkraut Seth' and the concept of Flowerkraut began as a joke. After I moved from Scotland to New York, I needed a new career venture and we had a friend with a business in Hudson. She said I should lease the space that now houses the store, and I took the plunge. I knew there were so many great flower growers in the area and I felt we could create something great.
We stock the following flavors of Sauerkraut Seth's facto-fermented vegetables: Original Raw, Raw Caraway Juniper, Raw Jalapeño Firekraut, Red Apple Raw, Raw Sour Pickle, Raw Kim Chee. We also stock raw sour pickles seasonally, as well as Poor Devil Pepper Co. hot sauce, which is made locally by good friends of ours.
"Flowerkraut is passionate about using seasonal, locally grown flowers, working alongside many of the Hudson Valley's best growers to compose sprawling, abundant-looking designs. Expect to find subtle color palettes, intoxicating scent, and attention to detail, from the tiniest pretty stems to the biggest blousy blooms."
What is it like to work with your husband?
If I'm honest, working with your partner can be really hard! We have a 1-year-old daughter and a dog, and between us, two businesses in different locations (Flowerkraut & Sauerkraut Seth's) as well as Seth's not insubstantial music career. This involves a lot of driving, which Seth valiantly undertakes - collecting wholesale flower and plant orders, delivering local flower orders and contracts, delivering wholesale sauerkraut orders, I could go on. The shop is mostly my baby, I do all the ordering, accounts, retail, event communication, social media, pricing etc. whilst Seth concentrates on making, packing, and wholesaling sauerkraut, as well as all the 'messy' stuff - composting plant waste, taking out recycling, carrying heavy stuff and all such less glamorous activities. We have two part-time employees who help immensely but at the end of the day as small business owners it's all on us. It can be very rewarding (oh look! Those are the Flowerkraut people!) but also more hard work than I could have imagined when we started, with all the weight on us to make Flowerkraut successful. That said, when we have a really lucrative sales day, or pull off a gorgeous wedding, or meet people who love what we do, it's the best thing.
What do you love most about being in Hudson?
There are a lot of talented, interesting, warm people in Hudson who do, or make, beautiful things, and they do it really well - food, music, art, ceramics, hats, clothes, coffee, perfume, cocktails, accommodation, and on it goes. We're surrounded by great small farms and produce growers, a beautiful countryside and the list goes on. I feel like there's something for everyone here, without the frantic pace of the city - and so much eye candy for the aesthete.
Soundtrack for getting things done: JD McPherson, Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings.
My shop in three words: Unlikely, uplifting, alive.
My shop splurge: Expensive ceramics, always.
Best part of my job: Being surrounded by flowers and plants, supporting independent (mostly female) growers, ceramicists, and other makers.
My shop is inspired by: Functional art, good light, botanicals and healthy gut flora.
Color scheme I'm currently coveting: Is anyone not coveting a good muddy garden rose pink right now? But classically for me, soft duck egg blue always and forever. It's my Mother's favorite, and one of the reasons Flowerkraut is mostly painted pale blue.
If I weren't a purveyor of flowers and sauerkraut, I'd be a wallpaper consultant.
I'm 10 times more productive when I drink lots of water and concentrate on one task at a time.
My lunch routine consists of, realizing it's 3pm and I have no food. Then drink more coffee. Must try harder.