"Local Tuesdays" - a biweekly series on cool resources in the Columbus, OH area
TYPE: Apparel, Accessories, and Home Decoration
ADDRESS: 787 N High St. Columbus, OH 43215
OWNERS: Niki and Josh Quinn
HOURS: 11 - 7PM Mon-Thurs, 11 - 8 PM Fri - Sat, 11- 6PM Sun
GOOD IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR: Offbeat accessories (bee rings!) and interesting ideas.
Tigertree is one of my favorite places in Columbus. It's bright, airy, and chock full of crazy items I can't find anywhere else! (Everything from Roe Deer Skulls, antique school maps which still list the USSR, and cute dresses - one stop shop!) I got to talk to owners Niki and Josh about their colorful, crazy collection.
Describe Tigertree to me
This is what our house looks like - if you were driving down a street, you could definitely tell which one was ours! Tigertree is about feeling. We buy what we like - that’s the connection behind all this quirky stuff. There are old school lockers, teapots, clothes we would wear. We're always asking each other “Is this Tigertree? Is that?”
The way you talk about Tigertree makes it sound like it’s a person!
*laughs* Well it is! It’s our baby, our own person.
How long have you been here?
Six years. In September, we’ll have been at our current location for two.
Why Columbus, Ohio?
Niki - I went to OSU, then moved to LA to be with Josh. We knew we wanted to set up shop on the East Coast, and stopped in Columbus on the way to save some money. It’s such an easy place to live that we fell in love with it and never left!
What’s your favorite outfit?
Niki: Right now, this ace & jig Maine Minidress. This company weaves its fabrics in India on ancient looms. It’s really colorful, and each dress is lines with a contrasting pattern. I like that there’s this little detail only you know about!
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Niki: I know Josh’s, he’ll say rock star!
Josh: True, I moved to LA to play in a band. But what I always wanted to own a business. I had a patent attorney when I was 10! My parents hired him because I invented a formula for washable sidewalk paint. Unfortunately, Wal-mart beat us to the punch. But that’s where it started.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone looking to create a unique outfit?
N: Make sure it’s appropriate for the occasion, and that you feel comfortable and confident in it.
J: Clothing is a valuable investment. It’s a part of how you and your actions are being perceived. I had a friend interning for ClearChannel in LA. He got promoted when he began wearing suits to work instead of grungy jeans and a t-shirt.
What do you wish someone had told you when you first started?
N: Actually, I feel like we’ve been really lucky and learned the right lesson at the right time.
J: Our first location in the Short North was in a tiny store off an alley. It was terrible for what we were trying to do - but it was the right place to learn how to run the kind of business we wanted. We gained experience, trusted our instincts, and began moving to larger locations based on feelings.
It sounds like a really organic process.
N: Yes. We’ve been ridiculously lucky. When its time, the right path has opened.
J: We’re good at it, but I wish we had more experience on nuts and bolts when we started. We didn’t know about POs, inventory control, we had to learn it all.
N: Fortunately we knew a lot of other small business owners. They were an amazing resource, along with the internet
How do you balance each other?
N: Josh is the dreamer and the project starter.
J: Niki beings reality to those dreams. She’s the practical one - I get people all excited about a new project, but it’s Niki who has to figure out how much work it’s actually going to take!
Can you share one of these current projects?
J: Our latest project is called the “Tigertree National Forest.” You know how people say “Save a Tree” when they don’t want to take a bag? We’re handing out tree seeds WITH the bag. People plant the seeds, then tag the location. The idea is that many trees make one forest, but they don’t all have to be in the same place.
If you could have ANY superpower...
N: This is for Josh!
J: Professor X’s from X-Men. I’d rather be a telepath, and have the more strategic role.
N: Even when I was little and had flying dreams, I wasn’t the one flying - it was always in a cardboard box or something
Like Calvin and Hobbes?