Sour Cat Records

Sour Cat Records: Case Study

When Russ Walsh, the owner of Sour Cat Records in Owen Sound, approached me about adding greenery into his shop, I knew just what his space called for.

Russ’ small storefront features north-facing windows—meaning natural light is limited. He knew he wanted to add plants to his store, specifically in the bay window, as he had plans for a spouse area there. Russ’ hope for this space was to provide a seating area for those waiting on record shoppers, somewhere they could sit and be out of the way of collectors diving through bins. But he didn’t want those guests to just be tucked away in the corner. Instead, he wanted a plant nook to be a welcoming space and intentional focal point.
Russ admitted to having very limited knowledge of plants and needed some help shopping for plants for his store, and learning how to maintain them. It was my goal to source low maintenance plants that called for minimal water and could tolerate low-light.

“I really wanted greenery in my store. I knew it would make it so much more inviting. Usually record stores are cramped and dingy, but I wanted everyone to feel comfortable in my space. Robyn completely blew my mind with her knowledge. When we started talking about staging the store, we went to a few garden centres together and she totally had a method of madness going on. We were at one garden centre in 2019, and she had laid out all these beautiful plants that would work in my space in the aisle... like other shoppers were going around us and were staring and probably thinking, ‘What is she doing?’. But she simply explained that she was planning a whole windowscape. She picked tall plants, small plants, and plants I’ve never even heard of—but she would easily know their names. Plants that she could put onto the same watering schedule for me. Her goal was to choose a variety that would thrive in my shop but also look fantastic. She even made sure to get me some plant food and showed me how much to mix in when watering. She also taught me how to feel if a plant needed to be watered. It was a great experience. After having these same plants since September of 2019 I am proud to say that they are all still alive! Some have grown and needed to be repotted—which she helped me with. Having that customized watering schedule is ultimately what has preserved them. With Robyn’s knowledge, I feel confident in my green thumb now and even started a garden at home over the 2020 summer.”

I visit Sour Cat Records every time I’m in town—for the shopping, of course, but also to check in on the plants. I've fielded a few questions from Russ along his green thumb journey, but overall, I think the plants are perfect for the environment of the shop and for Russ’ maintenance levels. He always tells me that he gets a lot of compliments from customers about them. Can’t beat that kind of feedback!

You can visit Sour Cat Records in downtown Owen Sound on 9th Street East. Check their website below and don’t forget to let Russ know what you think of his plants.