Jin Ahn & Gi­a­como Plaz­zotta

Your Home and Garden - - Your Garden -

Jin and her part­ner Gi­a­como are co-founders of Con­ser­va­tory Archives in London

Jin, tell us a bit about your­self: your back­ground, what you do, the space we’re shoot­ing you in. I was born and raised in Seoul, the most crowded city in the world. I moved to the UK in 2010 to im­prove my English skills and make a change from my ca­reer as a fash­ion de­signer. Spend­ing time in the English coun­try­side was in­spir­ing. I come from a huge city with a lot of con­crete. I thought, if I can work with na­ture, I‘ll live hap­pily ever af­ter, so I de­cided to study hor­ti­cul­ture. While I imag­ined I’d be work­ing in a botan­i­cal gar­den or a nurs­ery, the re­al­ity of work­ing out­side in the English weather wasn’t ideal for this city girl. Af­ter com­plet­ing my de­gree and mov­ing to London, I re­alised I could use my pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence and back­ground in de­sign and busi­ness to open a store ded­i­cated to in­door gar­den­ing in the con­text of a big city, and so Con­ser­va­tory Archives was born.

How did you come to open Con­ser­va­tory Archives, and what is it all about? Once I had fin­ished my de­gree it seemed weird to me that peo­ple gave lit­tle at­ten­tion to in­door gar­den­ing, and not many stores and busi­nesses in London spe­cialised in in­door plants. Seoul has a very dif­fer­ent lifestyle than here, as the ma­jor­ity of peo­ple live in high-rise build­ings, which means no out­door gar­dens. So I grew up see­ing loads of house­plants. The cre­ative lo­cals in East London are very sup­port­ive of what we are do­ing so it seems we made the right choice.

How has your de­sign back­ground in­flu­enced your work with plants? My back­ground in de­sign, as well as grow­ing up in the city, means I feel very com­fort­able with in­te­rior spa­ces. I like to see plants in build­ings, sur­rounded by fur­ni­ture and other things. My in­ter­est in de­sign and vin­tage fur­ni­ture def­i­nitely in­flu­enced the idea of what Con­ser­va­tory Archives would be as well as the look and feel of the store it­self. I be­lieve choos­ing a plant is not dis­sim­i­lar to choos­ing a piece of fur­ni­ture, so why not do both in the same place?

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