IN EARLY MARCH of last year, Blair Truesdell, 26, was just settling into her exciting new life in Austin. She had just moved there from Houston to serve as the assistant manager for Manready Mercantile's ATX outpost when the universe, known for its increasing level of fickleness, decided it had other plans for her.
"Ten days later, right after I had moved to Austin, the whole city shut down," she recalls of the whiplash-inducing early days of the pandemic. "They told me to come back to Houston to run the Houston store instead."
After packing up all of her things again and moving back to Houston, Truesdell kept herself busy keeping Manready's Houston store running amid the backdrop of the increasingly worsening pandemic. When not at the store, she passed her time making dried-flower arrangements while being safely cocooned in her Height's apartment.
"People eventually started asking me if they could buy them from me," says Truesdell, who initially donated all of the proceeds of her arrangements to charities, soon turning her carefully dried and arranged blooms into a budding new business called Posey. "People were really enjoying it, and it grew exponentially overnight."
Posey's delicate, eco-minded arrangements can now be found in Montrose at Refinement House, a cozy, zero-waste home and shop focused on the eco-conscious lifestyle, and at her booth at Plant Market Sunday, a new plant-based market founded in November by local all-natural hairdresser Erin Ramirez that happens once a month — the next one is this Sunday, April 25 — at 535 W. 20th in the Heights.
With Posey, Truesdell is part of a growing scene of sustainability-minded plant lovers in Houston. It's a scene that has been around for a while, but it was really kicked into high gear when the pandemic started and homebound Houstonians all over the city became obsessed with having more vegetation — both fresh and dried — in their home-turn-cloisters.
"We're witnessing this sustainable, plant-based society starting to grow in Houston," says Truesdell. "And I think it's really beautiful to watch grow. We're an oil and gas city. People like house plants, sure, but no one was really doing the sustainable thing — and now it's everywhere."
Truesdell naturally dries all of the flowers in her arrangements, which include foraged items and flowers like globe amaranth, statice, roses, carnations and eucalyptus sourced at Heights wholesale flower shop Southern Floral, by stringing them up all over her apartment so they can air dry.
"I've turned my apartment into a flower studio," she says, noting that she very much enjoys being in the space since it provides her with near-constant aromatherapy.
In addition to selling her beautiful arrangements, which she is known to deliver to Heights-area customers by bicycle, Truesdell also sells "shower bundles" composed of dried eucalyptus, baby's breath and lavender.
"They're all some of my favorite flowers and they last forever," she says of the aromatherapy trifecta, which is her most popular seller.
Truesdell says she is inspired by other dried-flower businesses, like botanical apothecary The Quiet Botanist in Hudson, New York, and she wants to grow Posey in that direction.
"I want to bring something like that into Houston," she says of her brick-and-mortar dreams. "There isn't a huge dried-flower scene in Houston yet, but I think it's obviously something that Houston really wants."
IN THE MOOD to hit up a film fest, or just go for a joy ride? There's plenty to do in H-Town this weekend — including a massive craft-beer event in Kemah. Cheers to that!
BE A 'WORDLY' FILM BUFF Houston's annual international film festival, WorldFest Houston, is back! Usually a 10-day event, this year's fest is condensed into four days (April 22-25) and held at the Cinemark Memorial City theater. The oldest indie film festival in the world, WorldFest showcases flicks of varying lengths, from less than 10 minutes to over an hour, and depicting different subjects. Check out the program and register online to attend!
PLANT A SEEDLING As part of an ongoing Earth Day celebration, there will be a free seedling giveaway atEvelyn's Park on Thursday, hosted by Trees for Houston. From 11am-2pm, each guest is allowed to select one — choose among pecan, white oak, mulberry, dogwood, magnolia and more! Return for the park's weekly Thursday Grill Night, featuring live music from Dan DeHart, from 5-8pm.
Try a Tesla downtown
TAKE A TESLA FOR A SPIN Downtown's One Park Place hosts a contactless, self-guided, test-driving experience all weekend long. On Friday (10am-6pm), Saturday (10am-6pm) and Sunday (1-4pm), get behind the wheel of a Model 3 or Model Y, and ask a remote Tesla advisor your burning questions about the vehicles. Sign up online, and be on the lookout for a confirmation of registration before showing up.
PARK IT AT FOOD TRUCK FRIDAYS Sugar Land hosts Food Truck Friday Concert Series on April 23. From 6-8pm, enjoy the Latin-tinged sounds of Shekere Band and bites from trucks like Williams Way BBQ, street food and burger joint Sizzles, and Kona Ice.
RAISE A STEIN AT THE CRAFT BEER MARKET Soak up the sun at Kemah Boardwalk on Saturday. From 1-10pm, the Craft Beer Festserves up 72 samplings from 24 different breweries, including Lagunitas, Saint Arnold, Karbach, Eureka Heights, Bishop Cidery and more. Tickets are $45 (with discounts for Landry's Select Club members and military personnel) or $50 at the door.
PERUSE THE PARKWAY MARKET — AND PICK YOUR NEW PET! Head over to The Parkway at Regent Square this Sunday from noon to 4pm for a market honoring Pet Awareness Month. Here, guests can find artwork, accessories, candles and much more! There will also be music, food and a complimentary watercolor activity kit for the first 50 attendees. Plus: Best Friends in Houston [https://bestfriends.org/locations/best-friends-houston] will be onsite showcasing adorable — and adoptable! — furry friends.
A NEW CONCEPT promises to glam up Downtown, which has been eerily quiet for the past year. The '80s-and-'90s-inspired "micro club" Cherry will open May 7 underneath Captain Foxheart's Bad News Bar on historic Main. Think Alice in Wonderland meets nostalgic rock 'n' roll: Creator Carson Hager, President of Hospitable Viking, says that the club is an "ode to a wild time of garish excess," perhaps in a nod to the other roaring '20s after the Spanish flu pandemic. "It's certainly time to dance again," he says, "and we're hoping to bring the party back to its rightful place in downtown." He says patrons will love the "all-night dance party" vibe, featuring a playlist of songs everyone will know.
Inside, tables that look like oversize LP records and round banquettes welcome guests, who will probably immediately gravitate to the bar, backed by a wall of vintage TVs playing old MTV hits and other '80s shows. An explosion of glitter, neon and animal prints — and a disco ball the shape of a life-size unicorn — beckons guests to the dance floor. And VIPs can post up on the mezzanine, next to the DJ booth, for a view of the action, or try their hand at strumming their own tunes on the "grab-and-play" electric guitars.
When it comes to the beverages, Cherry delivers there as well: Expect playful cocktails — like the Dream in a Bottle, served in a classic soda bottle — and innovative ones, like a Raspberry Beret, with whipped vodka and muddled berries. Raise a glass (or bottle) to Downtown's return!