East Austin Succulents grows its presence by ‘keeping Austin weird’

Caroline Betik

While there are many iconic places in Austin that highlight the city’s reputation, such as Franklin’s BBQ or Graffiti Park, the quirky and fun elements of the city come to life in smaller, lesser-known local businesses. One in particular sticks out more than others, a small start-up plant nursery located in trendy East Austin, called East Austin Succulents.

East Austin Succulents is an eccentric shop located about three miles from campus on Tillery Street. The small space the store inhabits represents the epitome of Austin with many unique signs and other colorful outdoor decorations on display. Countless exotic cacti and succulent plants are packed onto tables and overflow onto the ground creating an endless sea of rare plants and products everywhere you look.

Eric Pedley, the co-founder of East Austin Succulents, created the start-up after learning of his affinity for succulents and deciding to make a career out of selling them and creating arrangements.

The business began as selling succulent arrangements from his home and quickly grew when Julie, his partner, began marketing products on social media and online. Eventually, the business became so popular that they decided to find a retail location. It worked out that it was just as Tillery Street Plant Company was looking for an area to set up shop and asked them to partner. From there, the business took off.

Since East Austin Succulents began selling at a formal location, many more people have become aware of the cute, Austin-y franchise. Succulents and cacti require little maintenance and are easy to take care of, and their small size and diversity of species makes them a great product for anyone from college students to grandparents.

Business freshman Claire Levinson said she heard about East Austin Succulents from a friend and was impressed by the service and experience she had when she visited.

“I bought two lemon quartz crystals and a succulent when I went. The staff was helpful and they had a wide variety of plants,” Levinson said. “They also have a bunch of unique pots that you can purchase and pay to have your plants potted on site.”

The employers at East Austin Succulents have many resources to ensure their customers know how to maintain their plants and are able to care for them once they arrive home. Levinson said when she made her purchase she received a free care guide to ensure the plant is getting the proper care like it would at the store. On the website they also have videos and tips on how to properly care for your plants.

Like many local Austin places, the green, lively setting at East Austin Succulents has become a hub for students, photographers and anyone who wishes to add to their social media aesthetic.

Nutrition senior Kelsey Gifford said she actually found out about the store while scrolling through Instagram and noticing posts from some of her friends who had visited it before. She decided to go check it out since it was a local business and the only plant nursery she knew of that sold a wide variety of plants besides flowers.

“It’s such a cute green space in the midst of Austin,” Gifford said. “It was relaxing to get away from downtown and be surrounded by nature.”