Movers & Shakers – Emma Crabtree

Retail therapy. We’ve all heard the term.

Many of us have even had our spirits lifted by the soothing high of a fresh purchase.

But, what if shopping could actually be therapeutic?

If the time spent in a storefront fostered mindfulness, reflection, self-love, community, and joy?

This is why Glass Tangerine in Cookeville’s WestSide was created.

As a former therapist turned entrepreneur, owner Emma Crabtree dreamed of a business that offered calm, connection with natural wonder, and self-exploration.

“When I left the therapy space, I worried that a large piece of my identity would be lost during the transition. I didn’t realize that the same ideals I shared with my patients, namely, mindfulness, being present, creating a safe space to think, decompress, and commune with one’s self, would become a reality in this shop.” Emma continued, “Instead of helping one person at a time, Glass Tangerine gives me the opportunity to bring healing to a community. We don’t even have a phone here, that’s intentional. This shop is designed, in every way, to be an escape, an oasis, and place of revitalization.”

As an artist (with a B.F.A. in Fine Arts, Fiber Concentration from TTU), Emma not only seeks to bring healing but a truly beautiful retail experience to the Upper Cumberland.

“Cookeville deserves elevated experiences and I feel that these often happen in niche markets. Glass Tangerine exists in a niche market, but it is built for everyone.” Emma continued, “To create an elevated experience, each detail must be intentional. From the plants we source to the crafters we partner with, even down to the lumens of the light bulbs in our fixtures, every single detail of this shop is built to elevate Cookeville, connect its citizens with elegance, and open a portal to a world this city has yet experienced.”

Beyond an elevated experience and communal healing post, Emma wants Glass Tangerine to be a place of education, craft, and growth.

She stated, “I had the desire to create a space with a specific vibe and feel. A single shop that was at the same time a plant store, and a home for local artisans, education, and community. I wanted to create the space I seek out in other cities when traveling, but I wanted to do it with my aesthetic approach here in Cookeville’s WestSide.”

Emma did all that and more. Every plant in Glass Tangerine is real.

Every item on the packed shelves which line both walls is either crafted by a local artisan or sourced responsibly from a like-minded creator.

Her staff is open, welcoming, and willing to meet each customer wherever they may be on their journey with plants (even Elsa the shop dog will lend a wagging tail).

Every bride who is guided through a personalized bouquet-building experience the day before her wedding feels it.

Every plant that gets repotted is a testament to it. Every useful instruction given proves it.

Emma Crabtree has used Glass Tangerine to make Cookeville a better place through community, nature, knowledge, and kindness.

So, whether you build your own bouquet at the year-round fresh flower bar (sourced from local farm Three Sisters Farm April-October each year) or take home enough plants to start a personal nursery every spring, the team at Glass Tangerine will give you the tools to thrive.

As Emma puts it, “Don’t be intimidated. We will work with you so that you are set up for success. We won’t sell you things you don’t need, or plants that are difficult to care for. You will leave with instructions tailored to your plant and environment. We will help you enter and thrive in the world of plant care. You won’t regret the journey.”

Come experience some genuine retail therapy at Glass Tangerine.

– by Andrew Buckner, photo by Cris Stroud


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