New store showcases Plantables product, practices
In the basement of a Second Street building, shoppers can find a lot of brightness.
Plantables has been operating out of Hudson for five years, with a focus on providing products that are good for nature, and a company that works for its employees.
The company, started by former Hudson High School teacher Jim Schreiber, employs people with disabilities who Schreiber said historically would not have been employed before.
A Plantables store is now open in the front of the warehouse, just behind the bright yellow door in the alley off Commercial Street between Second and First streets, giving people an opportunity to visit the business.
"We really want to welcome people to come into the warehouse," Schreiber said.
The shop is designed to be an experience, showcasing what the business does, and more importantly, what it stands for.
"Hopefully people will understand everybody has the ability to work," Schreiber said.
Plantables is a business, not a nonprofit, and Schreiber said he wants people to understand that.
"Everybody's got skill," Schreiber said, and Plantables works to find ways for its employees to use those skills, providing support as needed.
In addition to a rare look at the manufacturing process, the shop offers a place to purchase Plantables products, including hats and shirts as well as its pollinator products such as seed bombs, cards and more.
These pollinator items, made in the warehouse, contain seeds for flowers that feed pollinators, including bees, birds and butterflies.
Plantables is addressing the pollinator crisis, Schreiber said, that has seen the population of pollinators diminish by 30 percent every year since 2006.
"We can't exist on this planet without them," Schreiber said of pollinators.
One way to combat the loss, Schreiber said, is to plant more flowers. Schreiber said he enjoys knowing their pollinator items help feed a pollinator.
"I'm glad we're making a product that's helping the environment," Schreiber said.
The store also features products from other worker-focused companies in the country.
As a teacher, Schreiber worked with students with disabilities. He saw that the school provided great support, but when graduation came, unemployment was high for these students.
"The next frontier is employment," Schreiber said.
Plantables is a system-changing business, he said.
"We are trying to move the needle in terms of employment," Schreiber said, but he can't hire everybody.
Though he currently employs 13 people, Schreiber said he has had to turn away about 250 more who wanted work.
Like the seeds they sell, Schreiber hopes the values that Plantables practices spread as well.
To learn more about Plantables or make custom orders, visit its new website plantables.net.