An oasis in the Crossroads

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Verdant

128 W 18th St, Kansas City, MO 64108

Photo by Hannah Koehler

Tucked into a row of shops in the Kansas City Crossroads district is a small botanical gift shop that sells flowers, plants, ceramics and gifts. Verdant opened in the fall of 2020 and is quickly becoming one of my favorite small businesses. 

Verdant was first conceptualized in 2018 by Chantell Shannon, the owner and designer of Convivial – a design and manufacturing company that creates ceramics wares for the home, table and garden. Connvival’s deliberate, ethical and beautiful concept is extended seamlessly into Verdant’s mission of thoughtfulness and gifting.  

As I write this, the plants that I’ve purchased from Verdant are sitting on my windowsill making my room look like an oasis. My candle – also purchased at Verdant – is making the space smell like heaven, if heaven smelled like teakwood and clove. Every time I step into Verdant, I am inevitably compelled to buy a candle, a plant or bouquet of flowers in the hopes of bringing a piece of the calm and beautiful space home for me or for a friend.

As a college student, I don’t really have an excess of money to spend, but luckily for me, Verdant has a wonderful selection of affordable and gorgeous plants. 

Jackie Bartholome, the shop manager at Verdant, explains that Verdant is very intentional with pricing. 

“We have items ranging from $3.50 to $100. We want our plants, flowers and gifts to be accessible to everyone while also offering something special for those who want to spend a little extra on themselves or their loved ones,” said Bartholome.

Photo by Hannah Koehler

Many of these plants are also very simple to care for. In addition to the lovely staff members who are always very helpful, Verdant has an easily accessible care guide for all of their plants.

I bought a Bowstring Hemp Snake plant over two months ago and have been following the instructions on the website and – as far as I can tell – my plant is alive and well. If I am not careful, this shop is going to convince me that I have a green thumb, which may be dangerous territory. 

Photo by Hannah Koehler

The botanical gift shop is located in the space that used to be YJ’s Snack Bar – a once beloved Kansas City classic. While the space has been transformed, Verdant has kept certain features as a tribute to YJ’s. 

“We cleaned up the green wall that bore witness to all of YJ’s years here and we restored the old benches to offer a place for guests to sit down, hang out and write a letter to a friend in one of our cards,” said Bartholome. 

Shannon and her husband, Stephan, regularly frequented YJ’s and loved its warmth and homey atmosphere. When the space became available, they wanted to create something that continued the community atmosphere that YJ’s started. 

“We want to continue to be a place that everyone in the neighborhood feels welcomed,” said Bartholome. 

Verdant does just that. The deliberation and care that went into Verdant is immediately apparent when first stepping in the shop. If you are having a difficult week, there is a surefire way to fix it. Go down to the Crossroads, stop by Mildred’s Cafe to get some sustenance and then go to Verdant to purchase a new plant and/or candle. Any remnants of a difficult week will be immediately forgotten.

Hannah Koehler

Hannah Koehler is the page editor for Arts & Culture on The Hilltop Monitor. She is a senior majoring in English and psychological science.

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