Joe Ressler - Rewild

Retailer Highlight: Rewild

Could you introduce yourself?

I’m Joe Ressler and I’m one of the owners of Rewild, a plant store in the district.


Where are you from originally?

I’m from Rockville, Maryland, so not too far away.


What made you decide to be an entrepreneur?

I became an entrepreneur because I was unhireable!


How’d you come up with the idea for your business?

I noticed that there are a lot of flower shops that were either closing in the District or were for sale. We thought that the reason they were doing that is because flowers are moving to big box stores. And so we thought to flip that idea. We could do something like a secret garden in the city. And then it just turned out that plants are a better business for us than flowers.


When did you start your company?

October 2018.


What makes your products unique?

I guess the thing that makes our products unique is that we focus on unique plants and pottery. Stuff you wouldn’t find at big box stores. And then the thing that makes it really next level is we’re very hands-on with customer service and education. So, our customer touch is probably the thing that we’re known for.


What’s your company’s mission?

To bring people in the city closer to nature.


How would you describe your company’s success? Was there a pivotal moment? 

Having a company grow from one store to three stores, and we have two more on the way. I’m very grateful for our success. I think we owe a lot of it to our customers for just being vocal and supportive of us.


What makes you choose your locations?

I heard the Shake Shack guy describe it as something you just have to be able to see. Something where you look at a lot of properties, and you just decide that this is a fit. We ask, Do we think this will work?


How does your business help your neighborhood or community?

For the local community, we’re trying to work on some initiatives to bring plants into classrooms, things like that. But in the past, we’ve had lots of products where we give 100% of the proceeds to places like City Blossoms or even match 100% of the proceeds when we sell something.


 What’s a fun fact or unique thing about your business?

I didn’t like plants before we started. I didn’t know anything about plants. I had no passion or love for plants.


How would you define your business in four words?

Fun place to work.


What would you recommend people buy from your store?

A Monstera is always the plant I recommend for first-time buyers. The reason I recommend a Monstera is because it’s always doing stuff.


What’s the best thing a customer has ever said to you?

Customers compliment our team so frequently that if you read our Google reviews, people are always shouting out people who work in our shops, and that always feels good.


What’s your favorite holiday?

Thanksgiving. I really like fried turkey, and it’s a poetic holiday. You’re supposed to be grateful.


Why is giving a plant the best gift?

Buying stuff from big box stores is so impersonal. A plant is something that’s aesthetically pleasing, and there’s so much you can learn about it. Because don’t you want to know more about this living, growing thing in your home?