Opening My Plant Shop In A Shipping Container


Hey fam! I thought I would share some behind the scenes of opening my plant shop at the Boxville shipping container market. 

In case you are unfamiliar, Boxville is a container market in the historic Bronzeville neighborhood in Chicago. I will share more about it i  an upcoming post.

There is a bi-weekly square market that opened for the summer on Wednesday 6/22. It’s a market where in addition to the businesses that rent space at Boxville (like moi) other small Black owned businesses are selected to pop up. 

6/22 was technically my first day open and it was a challenge getting there mainly because my container doesn’t have air conditioning.

I signed my lease June 2nd and wanted to open that week but it definitely took a while getting one very important thing figured out. 

The entire front of my shop is made of glass but there isn’t a window that opens. It is also west facing, so it gets ALL THE SUN at a certain point of the day.

So imagine being closed up in a metal box with no air circulation that sits directly in the sun. 😩 It was definitely discouraging to walk into it some days.

It literally felt like it was taking your breath away. 

So, I had to come up with a solution that worked but that didn’t totally take away from the vibe I wanted to create.

I of course started researching everything about cooling off a space. I mean EVERYTHING. All the Google and YouTube.

And because I didn’t have a cutout in the container to release the heat generated by traditional window air conditioners, they were not an option.

So I got excited when I came across evaporative air units because they don’t need a window and run off of water & ice. But because Chicago gets pretty humid in the summertime, my research showed that they would not work well here.

I ended up purchasing a portable air conditioner which is a little bulky and takes up some of the window space where I wanted to put a plant stand but it has been 🙌🏾.

I then “drafted” (aka made a stick drawing) a plan to release the heat from the A/C out of the door and sent it to my favorite handyman, my nephew. 

He originally didn’t get my drawing 😆 but eventually saw the vision. 

To be continued…



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