On a quiet strip of Commerce Street, you can take a beat, look up to the sky through the branches of crepe myrtles and feel at ease.
And there’s an even chiller space right along there, too. Just beyond a simple door is Energy Gardens, a studio from the mind of Anthony Robinson that’s all about plants.
“I’ve been dealing with plants and animals since I was a kid, it was something that was natural to me,” Robinson says. “I’ve had several different businesses that made money, even worked in the corporate world.”
And it was there a few years ago that his current business came to his mind. He had taken a small terrarium he made into the office as a gift, and all of a sudden, everyone wanted one.
“I initially made them for my spiders and snakes… not everybody wants spiders and snakes, so I had the idea to make desktop containers for terrariums,” he says. “So many people started ordering them, I thought, ‘Hey, let me get some business cards printed.'”
Robinson would pop up at the Dallas Farmers Market on weekends, developing a good customer base. And then, COVID came, which slowed things down for him, until he thought to deliver plants, dropping off free candles along the way.
And the concept was thriving.
“They got so crazy so big, I needed a larger work area: I was working out of the house, the garage, both floors of the house, I had plants everywhere, it was crazy but it worked,” he says.
But he started looking for a warehouse, not caring too much how it looked, he just wanted it to have workspace, and he wanted it to be in Deep Ellum.
His commercial realtor found him his soon-to-be spot on Commerce, where the back allows plenty of workspace, and the front became a lounge.
Anthony Robinson, right, speaks with customers inside Energy Gardens.
“With this place, I didn’t want it to look like a store, I had to be here all day, I wanted it to be comfortable,” he says. “There are coffee lounges, cigar lounges, I wanted to have a plant lounge. I have free WiFi, coffee, tea, music, TV if a game is on… A place for people to come in and chill if they need to.”
You can stop in on the weekend, when the space is officially open. Robinson works there throughout the week and takes appointments, as well.
Get yourself a new plant to brighten your home or workspace, find a gift for someone (we are entering that season, after all) or hop into a class to learn how to create your own terrarium.
Whatever it is, you’ll find good conversation with Robinson and learn a thing or two you might not have expected.
“I sell plants, I sell terrariums, I do my classes,” he says. “I’m just having fun.”
Energy Gardens is located at 3116 Commerce St., Suite C, and open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday or by appointment during the week.