Vivien, known on Instagram as Siloliage ('sigh', 'low' + 'liage')Vivien is a Malaysian living in Brooklyn, NY. She is in the midst of creating an indoor tropical jungle to remind her of home.
Where you can find Vivien:
Web Store: https://www.amazon.com/shop/siloliage
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Steel City Plant Co: https://steelcityplantco.com
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Angie 0:10 Hey Plant Fam! Welcome to Wine Down the Week With Angie, I'm your host Angie and owner of Steel City Plant Company here in Downtown Bethlehem. This podcast is brought to you by SolTech Solutions. Today we chat with Vivian - Vivian known on Instagram as Siloliage is a Malaysian, living in Brooklyn, New York. She's in the midst of creating an indoor tropical jungle to remind her of home. Welcome, Vivian.
Vivian 0:35 Hi, everybody. Thanks for having me. I'm Vivian, and this is Lila, my little sidekick.
Angie 0:44 Hi Lila! Aaaw, so cute! How old is Lila?
Vivian 0:51 Um, she's actually one and a half years old... she's a pandemic puppy.
Angie 0:57 Pandemic plants and puppies... They go hand in hand.
Vivian 1:00 Yeaaah for sure!
Angie 1:03 Well, thank you so much for being here with us today. So excited to have you. Your backdrop is beautiful, of course. Oh, my goodness.
Vivian 1:11 It's still work in progress. I actually just moved a month ago. So everything is still like ....everywhere. Yeah. Yeah.
Angie 1:21 Are you still in Brooklyn?
Vivian 1:23 I am still in Brooklyn! Yeah, I don't think I'll ever move from Brooklyn.
Angie 1:29 Yeah. Oh, I wouldn't either. Well... we're gonna kick it off with an icebreaker called Petal and Bud. So Petal is something that happened recently that you're excited about... and Bud is something coming up that you're excited about. Okay, so I'll kick it off. Petal.... something recently that was exciting is: I just went to Jackson Hole, Wyoming for my birthday. So that was a lot of fun! Really fun little cold, Hallmark-y getaway. Love Christmas, so everything there is just so Christmas-y and beautiful! And coming up, that I'm excited for? I would say... Christmas itself. So just love the Christmas season, especially here in Bethlehem. It's so beautiful in the Christmas City. So - soaking it up! How about you?
Vivian 2:20 Nice! Um, so like something that... something that happened recently that I was excited about? I ran my first half marathon! And yeah! I just started training 14 weeks before the marathon.... And it's honestly quite an achievement for me because I do not like running at all. I'm still not sure if I like it that much...haha.
Angie 2:44 But you can do it! That's incredible! Congratulations.
Vivian 2:48 Thank you! Yeah, and then six days after the marathon, I went to Zion National Park. Not too far away from Wyoming. But, But yeah! And we hiked Angel's Landing. Yeah, so my legs were really tired that week haah!
Angie 3:05 Oh my god, I bet! That's a lot!
Vivian 3:08 Yeah! And something that I'm excited that's coming up is: I guess Christmas. Just some time to like wind down and, you know, just like chill.
Angie 3:21 There's nothing like it... do you travel? Or do you stay in New York?
Vivian 3:25 I stay. I think I'll probably be like hosting my friends who are leftovers in the city. Because, I have a group of Malaysian friends as well, and I guess international travel is kind of difficult right now....so...
Angie 3:39 Yeah. Well there's nowhere like New York at Christmas, so it's not a bad place to be.
Vivian 3:46 It really isn't... Yeah.
Angie 3:48 All right - Well, what are you drinking today?
Vivian 3:52 Okay, I am actually not drinking wine... I have tea here, in my flamingo cup from... I bought it from Cracker Barrel, so...
Angie 4:04 The best. Yeah, they have my favorite wine glasses, speaking of wine! And I'm drinking red wine today from Blue Ridge Winery. Really, really good. They're a local winery. And this is a cab sav and it is delicious. So thank you to Blue Ridge for being our sponsor today and cheers!
Vivian 4:25 Cheeers!
Angie 4:28 Okay, we're gonna play a drinking game.
Vivian 4:31 Okay...
Angie 4:32 Not as fair for you haha!
Vivian 4:35 I didn't know we were playing a drinking game! So...
Angie 4:38 Okay, so we're going to take turns naming plants or plant-related items. And the last letter of your word has to be the first letter of the next person's word.
Vivian 4:52 Okay. Okay, I'll try it.
Angie 4:54 So, I'll start off with 'plant'
Vivian 4:58 Uhh...'Tetra sperma'.
Angie 5:00 Oooh, yeah, that was good. Yeah. 'Air plant'. Ooh I just gave you another 'T' word!
Vivian 5:13 um...this is not easy. 'Totem pole'. Wait, wait is it? I guess... yeah.... this is not an easy game.
Angie 5:30 This is not easy. Now I need to drink. Alright, throw another word at me. I'll try again!
Vivian 5:37 Okay, um... begonia. It's an A! haha
Angie 5:44 Aralia.
Vivian 5:45 Okay.... what, sorry, what did you say? Aralia? So a? Uuuuh... Auria? This is hard. Yeah. 'Serrana!' another a?
Angie 6:05 Yeah. uuuhhh... All right...I lose! Moving on! I always lose drinking games.
Vivian 6:19 It is not easy!
Angie 6:22 So tell us about how you got started with plants!
Vivian 6:25 Okay! Well, I'm moved from Malaysia two years ago, and then like our first apartment in Brooklyn, it's actually on the ground floor and a brownstone. So it was like, you know, like - a window and then a little bit of like a little front thing (entryway) before the street. And so I... I didn't want to have the blinds down all the time. So I bought some plants and like - from Ikea - because I was shopping for furniture there. And I actually killed my first plant, I think from overwatering! But I did not give up! And then I went plant shopping and discovered that there's so many like different plants, textures, colors. I'm very drawn to like pattern and color... so like, I think my first few plants were like, colletia, which is kind of like a rookie mistake. Yeah. And also so my mother-in-law gave us a fiddle leaf fig, which is like...
Angie 7:29 Oh my god, like the hardest things to start with! What?
Vivian 7:33 I know! So anyways, like- they did not die! I mean, like they were not thriving, but they did not die either. And then I started following like, Instagram accounts and like, especially plant shops and like......I'm very easy to be... influenced? So like, every time I see like a plant, I'm like: 'Oh, this is so pretty! I have to have it'. So anyways, yeah, the plants provided like a, you know, natural shade from the street. And that's how it started! Yeah, basically that.
Angie 8:12 I'm impressed that you are still... you powered through! Like you had difficult beginner plants and you did it.
Vivian 8:19 Yeah. I mean, I don't have them anymore. Yeah, and I don't think I will get those plants anymore!! Haha yeah...
Angie 8:30 I don't blame you. So how many plants would you say you have now?
Vivian 8:35 Um, I would say like 150 to 200 I think? Yeah, I have a lot of like, propagations and stuff like that. Yeah, yeah.
Angie 8:46 How was it moving....all of those?
Vivian 8:48 Oh my god, NOT fun.
Angie 8:52 I guess give some tips for our listeners. Like how did you literally do it?
Vivian 8:57 I would suggest........sorry, my dog... can hear his squeaky toy.
Angie 9:03 She's answering for you! Hhaha
Vivian 9:04 Yeah haha! I would suggest getting stackable containers you know - like anything that you can stack on top of each other. And even like stacking smaller plants into bigger plants and then like try and repot everything into one pot of your similar plants - because I had like a few different ones that I had propagated and I did that. It was not easy. Yeah, I didn't realize that my collection grew so much more during the pandemic. I mean, like before that it was a lot to begin with. But it just grew more. We rented a U-haul to get everything!
Angie 9:46 Mostly plants probably!
Vivian 9:48 Hahah It's just - Yeah! it's mostly plants - and like, because there's some plants that are so big that they wouldn't fit into an actual car. So we definitely needed a bed. But yeah, yeah!
Angie 9:58 Wow. Yeah. How did..... okay, I have so many questions about how this was possible.....
Vivian 10:07 Go on!
Angie 10:10 It's just you don't think about it right? Like you collect all these things in your home, you don't actually think about having to move them. Are they adjusting well to the new space? Because I know sometimes plants can go into shock and stuff like that...
Vivian 10:24 Yeah. Honestly, I lost a few of my plants already. And some of them were like... kind of expensive? But I don't know. It's just like... life, you know? Yeah. Don't get too caught up about it. I mean - they're like - fine. I am trying to figure out my new space, because it's winter, and there's like a draft. So I'm waiting for things to arrive so I can fix this room up. Yeah. I would say they are, like, surviving...?
Angie 10:57 I suppose that's all you can ask for sometimes. Yeah. Just surviving, just like us. Yeah.
Vivian 11:02 Completely. And when you move it takes time to like, settle in a space and like, unpack and things like that. Yeah. Yeah.
Angie 11:10 Yeah! What's the most common plant that you have?
Vivian 11:15 I guess like the heartleaf philodendron. Yeah, there's some up there. My goal is to put the top shelf like, full off like...trailing plants. Yeah.
Angie 11:30 So as someone who didn't have the easiest plants to start out with, what WOULD you recommend that a new plant parent start with?
Vivian 11:41 Honestly, a monstera, yeah, you know, like a normal monstera. Um... that was like one of my first plants as well, and I think it's pretty sturdy. It's like very forgiving. And I think it's like, yeah, I think it's a pretty good first plant.
Angie 11:58 They're so rewarding to watch grow too! Getting new leaves all the time.... And you just feel like you're doing a good job, which feels good.
Vivian 12:06 And you can like easily, practice propagation on it as well. Yeah.
Angie 12:11 Yeah that's a good point! Yeah. So how did you come up with your Instagram handle?
Vivian 12:16 Honestly, it's not much thought. I just took like, I just took, Sil and Foliage? I wanted something cool! So.... I don't know if it's cool or not... I just like removed some letters and like, stuck it together.
Angie 12:30 It is cool! I love it. That's creative. What is your favorite plant?
Vivian 12:39 I think it's my... I'm very good at monsteras. Yeah, I have a few! And one of them, I actually bought it from LA. On a girls trip before the pandemic happened. Yeah, I was like browsing this plant shop and and I saw this like, HUGE monstera there for a really good price, And I was like: "oh my god, I have to have it". Um, so I bought it. I left it at the, store came back three days later, made my friends like pack it up for me! And we all brought it on the plane home! Hhaha
Angie 13:10 I love it - aaaw!
Vivian 13:13 I think it's my favorite plant. It also like holds, memories, I guess.... Yeah!
Angie 13:18 Yeah! So what is your career background in, and like, what brought you to New York? What's your background story?
Vivian 13:25 Um, so my background is in fashion design. I guess specializing in textiles, but then.... so right now I am like - freelancing, social media. And I'm also I'm actually studying! I'm in a boot-camp right now. So I'm trying to transition my career to UX and UI. And I'm finishing up soon! So hopefully next year, a new career - And yeah! Yeah, what brings me to New York? My husband is actually like, in the performing arts. So we're both like in the arts, and we actually met in Malaysia, and then we... I guess, like....we were just reflecting on life and trying to make like future decisions? On like, what's best, especially both of us coming from a good arts background. So we decided to move to New York for like, I guess... a better opportunity!
Angie 14:28 Yeah that's what we're told! Between fashion and the arts. It's the best place to be.
Vivian 14:33 So yeah - he's, I mean, he's doing performance arts right now and he's also studying science. So we're both pretty busy.
Angie 14:47 Yeah, amazing! We're only about an hour away from New York, where we're at here in Bethlehem - so we'll have to plan a trip and go plant shopping together in New York! I was just there for the Giants game!
Vivian 15:03 Yes! Oh, nice. Do you enjoy the time here? Did you see anything else besides the Giant's Game?
Angie 15:13 Not when we were there, but I go to New York a lot just for like.... so, you can just do a day trip, it's that easy to get there from here, or a weekend trip. So - have you ever been to Sojo Spa Club?
Vivian 15:24 No! but I've googled it and looked at like... images. And Oh My God, it looks amazing! Have you been??
Angie 15:30 Yes, it is amazing! And it's super affordable, which is surprising...because you look at it, and you're like.... that club is probably so expensive! It's only like $75 for a general admission pass, and that's plenty! like, you don't need to do anything else. One whole day! Then you get to do all the things that you want, and there's no limit to how long you can be there. And then they have a shuttle that runs into the city. So you can go for free! Takes 15 minutes to get there. And you get dinner and then it takes you back. It's so cool. So I've been there - and for my birthday - my best friend got us passes to go. So that's probably gonna be my next visit.
Vivian 16:06 Oh my god. Okay, like I definitely have to visit because the only like... spa treatment thing.... I guess not really spa.... that I do, is massages at this very, no frills Chinese place that I love a lot because they really like go into your back! That's the only thing I do! Haha
Angie 16:24 Yeah, this is just a fun experience... with that infinity pool that overlooks the skyline? It's incredible. Anyways, we're off topic, I love New York so much... living vicariously through you! What other hobbies are you interested in? But it sounds like you're super busy enough with studying, and work, and plants! So...but anything else that you love to do?
Vivian 16:51 Honestly? I think like, when I'm done with bootcamp, and like, have a little bit more time to myself, I kind of want to go back to illustrations, because I really miss doing that. I miss making things you know? I did pottery for like.... how long did I do it for?.... for like, a few months this year? Oh, it was really fun! It was like beautiful pottery. But the place that I go to is always like fully booked. And if you want like - a good time - in the evening - it's like, you have to register yourself within five minutes of opening. So yeah, I think that's one thing that I want to do again next year, like doing pottery, because I really enjoy that. Yeah, yeah! What about you?
Angie 17:39 Let me know if you get back into pottery because we're always looking for great pots here at the plant shop. So we'd be happy to buy some from you! Yeah, I mean, just work, plants. I have a full time job, and actually just got a new job! So I'll be going to work for the incoming mayor of Bethlehem when he takes office in January. So I'll be switching careers! Going to work there as his director and run the plant shop in my free time. So...but I love to travel! I love trying to get out and see the world as much as possible. So, whenever I'm not working, trying to travel. Yeah! And pets! I think pets are the best. And Lila is so cute!
Vivian 18:25 Yeah.... she's she's a bit!
Angie 18:28 I am a dog person. I would say I share custody with my parents dogs. Because, you know, when you're in college, and you get dogs, but then they live there and they get attached - so that's that situation - but my fiancee and I have two cats. And they were... we're both allergic! But it was a situation...
Vivian 18:49 To cats?
Angie 18:49 Yeah, we're allergic to cats! And we have two of them in a tiny apartment. And we're both dog people. So that was not on the plan! But, they were really in need of homes. So, we're suckers and couldn't let them live outside. So we took them in. And we say that we've raised them as dogs. So... like our one cat greets us at the door when we walk in at the end of the day, and like jumps around and runs after us into the room until we sit down! So they're basically dogs.
Vivian 19:20 That's so cute. Um, it's funny that you say that because I like, think that Lila is a cat sometimes. She does that thing where you know, like, I don't know ....what's it? Like making breads? Is that what? Yeah! Hahaha it's like that. Lila does that to a blanket and she will spin around until she's comfortable. And she purrrs. Sometimes it's really weird. I try to record that sound, but it happens like when I least expect it! And then I pull up my camera and she's like: "No, I'm not gonna do this for you".
Angie 19:54 Yeah, we both have cat-dogs! Half and half! All right, well any final plugs for what you've got going on? Where can people follow you and follow along with your journey?
Vivian 20:08 Well, I have an Instagram account! Siloliage - you can follow me there. Although like, because the last month it's like crazy busy.... moving and everything.... so I haven't really been on top of social media right now! I'm hoping to go back into it and show you like the progress of this room! Yeah, at... at some point? Yeah!
Angie 20:33 Well, thank you for being here! Each week we close out with trivia or a riddle! So last week's riddle was: 'What has no fingers but many rings?' Do you have any guesses? What has no fingers but many rings?
Vivian 20:50 ....No, I'm really bad at..... like really bad....
Angie 20:55 It's a tree! With the rings and the? I never know these until we announce them. So that one got me! Today's riddle.... and I don't have the answer in front of me, but you can try to guess this too.... 'What kind of flowers live between your nose and your chin?'
Vivian 21:16 nose and chin? Hmm.
Angie 21:20 Something with lips kind of? flowers? I have no idea. So drop your best guesses and our comments or our review section and tune in next week to find out the answer to the riddle! Anyone who guesses correctly will get entered to win a free prize! So guess your best guess below. Thank you again so much Vivian for joining us!! This podcast is brought to you by SolTech Solutions, Steel City Plant Co. and Domaci Home. See you next week Plant Fam!
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