With Twig and Tarnish succulent arrangements, it’s in with the old and the new. Each creation involves a vintage planter, such as an antique tin or preloved mug, that serves as a vessel for new life.
“I think what makes the arrangements so special is taking something old that maybe somebody put in their basement or sold in a flea market or garage sale – to be able to take something like that and repurpose it and make it fresh again,” says Dana Muhlke, the Kirkwood entrepreneur who founded Twig and Tarnish.
Muhlke describes a succulent as a “plant that likes to be ignored” because of its low-maintenance care regimen. She notes that this family of typically indoor plants can survive and thrive on a sunny windowsill with little water, making them ideal for such a creative venture.
“I was putting succulents in those [vintage] containers, giving those as gifts and having them everywhere, in every nook and cranny of our home,” Muhlke reflects. “[My husband] actually sparked the idea – [he said], ‘You know, you should think about selling these.’”
Muhlke is a graphic designer with marketing experience and an interest in interior design, so once this seed of inspiration had been planted, it grew with ease and blossomed into a business by January 2019.
“Succulents are all the rage, but you don’t see a whole lot of succulents in antiques,” Muhlke says of her niche. “The juxtaposition that happens when you plant these bold, bright succulents in something that has that sort of age and tarnish is, I think, the secret ingredient.”
Oftentimes, Muhlke works with vessels of sentimental value to her customers. “A lot of people have contacted me with a vintage piece – maybe it’s something from their grandma or an heirloom in their family that’s been collecting dust in their basement – and they give it to me, and I do the planting,” she explains. Such a personal keepsake makes a great Mother’s Day gift, she adds.
Her arrangements range in size to hold anywhere from two to 12 plants. The price of each vessel posted in Twig and Tarnish’s online shop includes the cost of succulents, which are planted after an order is made, and a care card with green-thumb guidance.
Shop online for porch pickup in Kirkwood or local delivery for a small fee, or shop in-person at The Hill Antique Market, Warson Woods Antique Gallery, Urban Matter, select Dierbergs Markets and pop-up shops, which are announced through Twig and Tarnish’s Facebook and Instagram pages.
Twig and Tarnish, twigandtarnish.com