Out of the Cocoon

This past weekend, Verde celebrated their second anniversary in New Paltz. Along with their sister store, Cocoon, it celebrated its sixth year in business and sales were held at both locations. Thirty percent discounts were offered on clothing and 50 percent was given off air plants.

Originally opening in 2009 as a gardening store, owners Julie Safron and Paul Fernandez sought to bring a unique boutique to the area after being inspired by a gardening store outside the Philadelphia area called Terrain. Clothing was added to their selection to expand their market offering to their customers. After holding a successful test market, it was introduced as being loose, comfortable and inexpensive for customers.

Safron decided to start her own business after working for several years on Wall Street for a hedge fund company. Starting Cocoon in June 2005 allowed them to spend more time with their son and move out of the city to New Paltz. New Paltz was the ideal place to start a business for Safron and Fernandez, after having bought a house in the area.

Safron handpicks each item sold at Cocoon and Verde. She looks for unique items at boutiques. Items are sold at “reasonable prices.” According to Safron, Verde is considered “a concept store that responds to customer wants – a funky boutique.”  All the items shown throughout the store share a common style theme.

There is a great “amount of diversity in such a small space,” according to Safron. Originally when opening each store, a month and a half each year was spent traveling and researching the different products she wanted to include in the stores. Safron travels to several trade shows each year to look for items to include in both Verde and Cocoon. These shows include the Gift Show and Accessories Show.

At these shows, Safron has noticed a common trend of moving away from the idea of decorating. People are focusing more on buying personal items. These personal things are the kinds of items sold at Cocoon and Verde. At Cocoon, housewares and gifts are sold while Verde sells gardening tools and clothing.

Air plants are another exclusive item sold at Verde. According to Verde key holder, Daniel Sangiacomo, air plants need no soil and only need to be watered once a month. Once a month, the plant should be submerged in tepid or rainwater over night. The roots of air plants grab onto trees, especially in the rainforest. Nutrients and water are absorbed through the leaves. Prices for the plants depend on the size. The smallest are priced at $5, mediums go for $9 and the largest ones cost $28.

To see more of their products, stop by their storefronts. Verde is located at 3 North Front St. and Cocoon is located at 67 Main St. Or you can visit www.cocoonathome.com.