CALISTOGA — A new store in Calistoga full of green growing things, antiques and modern design has sprouted in this north Napa County town.
It’s called Field Trip, but there’s no permission slip required for this outing.
Field Trip, at 1348 Lincoln Ave. (Suite C) in Calistoga, sells live plants, mainly the indoor kind. It also offers a stem bar where shoppers can build their own arrangements from a selection of dried flowers and stems.
The shop, which opened in June, is owned and operated by Dyana Lovold.
She and her husband Andrew Lovold grew up in Washington state, which has no shortage of beautiful trees, flowers and green landscapes.
“Bringing natural elements and plants into our home just felt right and gave us a sense of daily peace and comfort,” said Lovold. “Especially when we found ourselves both working at home during the pandemic.”
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“But finding stores that carry that style, or even just great house plants, has always been a challenge,” she said. “And we knew we weren’t alone in that feeling, so we knew we had an opportunity” to launch their own version of a plant shop.
Lovold spent the past 14 years creating branding and marketing for restaurants and bars. After moving to California, the couple previously commuted from a home in Richmond to jobs in San Francisco and South San Francisco.
During the COVID-19 pandemic she and her husband transitioned to working from home. Lovold launched a consultancy business, Ten Nine Zero (the name is based on her hometown of Tenino, Washington), helping a few smaller clients around the Bay Area.
“I quickly experienced the highs and lows of working for yourself but knew it would someday allow me to open something of my own,” she said. “Restaurants and retail each have their challenges, but I really enjoy the simplicity of a small space and products to sell.”
Not coincidentally, the couple had long been coming up to Calistoga for weekend getaways.
“We love Calistoga,” she said. “We always thought it was meant to be” to move to the Upvalley city.
While considering where to open a shop, a house near Calistoga “kind of fell in our lap,” she said. That sealed the deal.
The Lincoln Avenue space was formerly home to a photo studio and needed updating, said Lovold. But she had a vision, and over about two months, Field Trip came to life.
In designing the store, “we wanted to be different,” she said. “Even some of the plant stores we love tend to lean bright, cheerful and even a bit feminine. We wanted to challenge that stereotype a bit by going dark and moody.”
In San Francisco, “I loved visiting Paxton Gate with the taxidermy, skulls and countless oddities and wanted to capture at least a hint of that feeling. Blending that with curated antiques, plants and modern design felt like the right balance. We called it a modern gothic greenhouse, and it seemed to fit.”
So far, shoppers seem to be responding, said Lovold.
“This place is so darn cute,” said one visitor who stopped by for a quick visit. “It’s amazing.”
“Thank you,” replied Lovold.
The live plants are popular, as well as the dried stem bar, she explained.
Creators can choose from more than 30 different flower and plant stems. Some come from her own yard or from other Calistoga locals, while others come from wholesale florists. A visitor can simply pick their favorites and put them in a vase or other container, or ask Lovold for some advice.
Working with plants “is limitless,” she said. From cacti to ficus, “each species and family can be used to build a mood or style instantly. Some grow quickly and others slowly. Some want to command a space and others to blend in. So you can really decide and cater exactly the look and experience you want in any room or setting.”
Among the many plants she sells, some of the most popular at Field Trip include succulents — especially one called a peperomia.
“Those fly out the door,” she said. Prices for the plants range from $5 to about $40.
And then there’s the monstera albo variegata.
This monstera plant is notable for its marbled mixed colors, its large size and the fact that it’s harder to grow commercially.
“This is our pride and joy,” Lovold said of the unusual plant that “stops people in their tracks.”
So does the price: $1,100.
Candace Wickstrom of Denver was visiting Calistoga on Aug. 10 when she spotted the monstera from the sidewalk. Wickstrom had good reason to be interested — she owns a plant nursery in Denver.
“We saw this in your window the other night” and had to get a closer look, said Wickstrom.
It’s a beautiful plant and a beautiful store, she said: “What a great selection.”
Wickstrom and Lovold both agreed that house plants continue to be popular, especially with the millennial generation. Some buyers “will have 50, 60 plants in their apartment,” Wickstrom said.
“Many people come in week after week and buy plants,” again and again, Lovold said.
She has two current favorites of her own. First is the peperomia plant.
“There are many varieties, but my favorite is the Red Ripple,” said Lovold. “It has wrinkled, heart-shaped leaves that have a metallic sheen and are just stunning.”
The second is the calathea lancifolia, or rattlesnake plant.
“This plant is a showstopper,” she said. “It has rippled green leaves with beautiful markings and reddish-purple undersides. Both plants are unlike any others.”
In addition to plants, Field Trip also sells gifts and other plant-related items including terrarium kits, gardening scissors, pots, planting supplies, watering cans, macramé, flower display holders, cards, and even framed bugs and butterflies.
“I have a lot more bugs and curiosities coming,” she noted.
Lovold’s plans for Field Trip include adding workshops for making things like dried flower arrangements and dried flower crowns.
“We’ll be mixing it up,” she said. “I just want to be part of the community and get people together.”
Information: Field Trip, 1348 Lincoln Ave., suite C, Calistoga, 707 341-2979, fieldtripcalistoga.com
Photos: Go inside Field Trip — Calistoga’s ‘gothic greenhouse’
You can reach reporter Jennifer Huffman at 707-256-2218 or firstname.lastname@example.org