Debra Prinzing

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Episode 499: Katherine Raz of The Fernseed, a modern plant shop and floral studio in Tacoma, Washington

March 31st, 2021

Floral and Plant retail entrepreneur Katherine Raz of The Fernseed (left) and a peek at the shop’s Stem Bar (c) Devon Michelle Photography (right)

I’m excited about today’s guest, not only because her enterprise is located right in my backyard, in Tacoma, Washington. Please meet Katherine Raz of The Fernseed. The Fernseed is a modern plant shop and floral studio with two storefront locations in Tacoma.

Grab N Go Stem Bar at The Fernseed (c) Devon Michelle Photography

This boutique is home to lush, verdant, uncommon plants for home interiors and floral bouquets and vase arrangements for the home and gift-giving. I love how clearly Katherine states The Fernseed’s services: Beautiful Houseplants, Handmade Pots, Local Flowers and Daily Delivery.

Katherine launched The Fernseed in 2018 as an online store that sold unique handmade designs for potting and displaying houseplants, and she opened the first brick-and-mortar location in April, 2019.

Inside The Fernseed (c) Devon Michelle Photography

She’ll share how The Fernseed was forced to close for nearly three months during the COVID-19 pandemic, during which Katherine and her team launched nationwide shipping, local delivery, and several new products offerings, including plant grams and plant-along-at-home kits.

The Fernseed’s floral designer Oriana Di Fede

In September, 2020, The Fernseed opened a second storefront location on Tacoma’s historic South Tacoma Way. The shop now offers a floral stem bar and floral arrangements for grab-and-go pickup, and local delivery, 60% of which are sourced from small flower farms in Washington, Idaho, California, Oregon, and British Columbia. Between them, Katherine and her all-female team own and care for more than 400 houseplants — in their personal collections!

Engaging customers with plants (c) Devon Michelle Photography
. . . . and with flowers! (c) Devon Michelle Photography

I’m so inspired and encouraged by the entrepreneurial story Katherine has shared about diversification, changing course and taking risks! I know you’ll love learning about Katherine’s journey as she has evolved and expanded organically, sustaining her business against the challenges of a global pandemic and emerging stronger.

Here’s how to find and follow The Fernseed:
Fernseed on Facebook
Fernseed on Instagram
Fernseed on Pinterest

Dating back to the launch of the Slow Flowers Podcast, in July 2013, we have recorded a rich history of conversations with amazing people in the world of plants, flowers and design. We feel so proud of each one of our guests, many of whom can say their very first podcast appearance happened here! And when other accolades come their way, we take pride in those achievements, too. So this week, I want to give a shout-out to two of our past Slow Flowers Podcast guests who are distinguished recipients of the 2021 Great American Gardeners Award from The American Horticultural Society, announced earlier this month.

Perla Sophia Curbelo, of Puerto Rico’s AgroChic

As a past Great American Gardener Award recipient, I know how special it is to receive this achievement and recognition! Huge congratulations to Perla Sofia Curbelo-Santiago of AgroChicGarden Podcaster and Radio Show Host, San Juan, P.R. for receiving the B.Y. MORRISON COMMUNICATION AWARD – which recognizes effective and inspirational communication—through print, radio, television, and/or online media—that advances public interest and participation in horticulture. Hear our August 2018 interview with Perla in episode 364.

Lisa Waud (c) ee berger photograph

And Major Props to floral installation artist and creator of the famed Flower House Detroit, Lisa Waud, recipient of the FRANCES JONES POETKER AWARD – which recognizes significant contributions to floral design in publications, on the platform, and to the public.  Lisa is currently working with Slow Flowers on membership projects and she has appeared on the Slow Flowers Podcast on a number of occasions.
Episode 181 (February 2015)
Episode 334 (January 2018)
Episode 411 (July 2019)
You heard them here first and now they’re receiving accolades from the top horticultural association! Picture me here with a big smile on my face — so happy for you both, Perla and Lisa!

Thank you to our Sponsors!

This podcast is brought to you by, the free, online directory to more than 850 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms.  It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

Farmgirl Flowers Banner

And thank you to our lead sponsor for 2021, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting more than 20 U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $9 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually, and providing competitive salaries and benefits to 240 team members based in Watsonville, California and Miami, Florida. Discover more at

For each Podcast episode this year, we will also thank three of our Major Sponsors. Our first thanks goes to Mayesh Wholesale Florist. Family-owned since 1978, Mayesh is the premier wedding and event supplier in the U.S. and we’re thrilled to partner with Mayesh to promote local and domestic flowers, which they source from farms large and small around the U.S. Learn more at

Our next sponsor thanks goes to The Gardener’s Workshop, which offers a full curriculum of online education for flower farmers and farmer-florists. Online education is more important this year than ever, and you’ll want to check out the course offerings at

Our next sponsor thanks goes to Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Formed in 1988, ASCFG was created to educate, unite, and support commercial cut flower growers. It mission is to help growers produce high-quality floral material, and to foster and promote the local availability of that product. Learn more at

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 709,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.

I value your support and invite you to show your thanks to support Slow Flowers’ ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right at

(c) Mary Grace Long Photograph

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at

Music Credits:

Daymaze; Glass Beads; Gaenaby 
Blue Dot Sessions

by Tryad

In The Field

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