“Keep Austin Weird” has long been a slogan associated with ensuring the city is filled with unique and vibrant art from artists of all backgrounds. Nestled away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Austin on an acre of land sits Pink Flamingo Plant Co., a business bringing art to its own special corner of the city.

Located at 7221 McNeil Drive, owners Emmilee Price and Chase Howell began the business as a plant nursery in October 2020. The duo wanted to bring the hidden gems of North Austin to one central location.

“There's a bunch of great stuff in North Austin, but it's just not where you go when you're thinking, ‘I want to go to one of those classic, old school Austin businesses,” Price said. “We really just wanted to have that core central old Austin environment, and there's such a great community of people who live up here and they all just have really responded well to it.”

Unique offerings

The plant nursery is comprised of multiple greenhouses, and contains almost every kind of houseplant a customer could want to purchase, including Ficus elastica, Euphorbia milii, pitcher plants, succulents, cacti, Stanhopea orchids and a large variety of bromeliads, to name a few. Along with plants for sale, the business also offers repotting services and custom arrangements.

Additionally, the space also features an indoor shop that showcases local artists' work, a coffee truck called Bittersweet Galaxy Coffee, permanent food trucks offering tacos and Thai cuisine, and an outdoor vendor area with pop-up markets each month.

“I've made it a point to curate from a lot of local artists and have stuff available in the gift shop even if you're not looking for a plant. A lot of people can just stop in real quick to get a quick birthday gift. Sometimes it's a plant, sometimes it's a card and a keychain,” Price said. “It's been nice to incorporate local art into the shop.”

When the weather starts to cool down, more outdoor events are held during the daytime instead of at night. This year, a Halloween-themed market is planned for the end of the month to celebrate the holiday as well as the company’s three-year anniversary.

Making it your own

Along with the pop-up markets, a private event space is also available to rent.

Some of the ways the venue has been used in the past include:
  • A queer prom for Pride
  • A music space for South by Southwest
  • A Pride church service
  • A performance space for a local theatre group
  • A wedding venue
  • A space for classes such as yoga, macrame and plant potting
  • A live music venue
“It's really just a perfect multifunctional space that's shaded and open air, so you're inside a structure but you still feel like you're outside in a secret garden,” Price said. Booking information can be found here.

Becoming a plant parent

For those on the hunt for new plants, Price said they welcome plant caretakers of all levels, whether it’s your first or 20th time buying a plant. Howell has spent most of his adult career in the plant industry, while Price has quickly picked up skill despite her art focused background. Both of them are able to answer questions and help customers pick out plants.

Some tips for first time plant owners, according to Price:
  • Think about what kind of lighting you have available in your space
  • Consider your lifestyle and how often you’ll be able to water the plants
  • Always start off with fresh, good soil
  • Don’t be afraid to take advantage of repotting services
  • Think of each plant as a learning experience
“Plants are like a science experiment. The more time you put into them, the more you'll learn about them. They don’t always survive, but the more you kill them, the more you figure out how not to kill them,” Price said.

It takes a village

Pink Flamingo Plant Co. is always on the lookout for new vendors and fresh ideas on what kinds of events they can host on the property. Since its start as a simple greenhouse, the business has grown in ways Price never could have imagined.

“It’s really grown into almost like a village kind of feeling. It's such a nice large property that has just really naturally filled out based on the community's needs,” Price said.

To learn more about Pink Flamingo Plant Co., follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

The above story was produced by Community Impact's Storytelling Senior Multi-Platform Journalist Sierra Rozen with information solely provided by the local business as part of their "sponsored content" purchase through our advertising team.