Heather McCloud described her new and unique store as “a slice of the desert, a destination, a mini vacation.”
Her Brass Hand, 3327 N. High St., is scheduled to open in mid-August.
Originally from Mesa, Ariz., McCloud came to Ohio in grade school, but has lived in both the Midwest and Southwest throughout her life. Her goal is to bring a little bit of the desert and the Southwest to Central Ohio.
“Think Sedona, Ariz., with a little Palm Springs, Calif., in the heart of Columbus,” she said.
“It’s not escapism necessarily. I love Ohio, especially Columbus. But I want you to feel the warmth and the colors and all the senses of the desert right here in our amazing city.”
The Brass Hand specializes in plants, mainly cacti. Many of them were hand-picked by McCloud.
“I flew out to Arizona in May to source goods for the shop. I spent two days wandering a massive, family-owned cactus farm in north Phoenix, picking out the coolest, weirdest cacti I could find. I rented a big truck then drove all the plants back here to Ohio,” she said.
For now, McCloud keeps her plant inventory at her Frank Lloyd Wright style home in Worthington. She said all the plants are hanging out on her deck, dangling into the ravine, waiting for construction on the store to be finished.
“It is pretty wild having hundreds of cacti all over my house, but definitely fits the architectural style of the house, so much so that I hosted a big flea market here after my trip to Arizona in May,” she said.
The shop’s unique name, McCloud said, comes from her fascination with human hands.
“Our hands do so much for us,” she said.
“I work with my hands, and I do all my cactus potting and propagation bare-handed.”
McCloud also collects sculptures of hands. The name of the shop came from a brass hand sculpture she owns.
Along with cacti, The Brass Hand will sell other easy to grow plants, natural apothecary goods, vintage Southwestern pottery, mugs and textiles. The shop also will feature a rotating slate of local artists and creators.
One of her goals is to make plants accessible through affordable pricing, pay-what-you-can potting and propagation classes, and inclusive community events.
“I want The Brass Hand to be about creating an inclusive and accessible space where folks from all walks of life can make their home vibrate with the energy of the Southwest,” McCloud said.
She said Clintonville is her dream location for the shop, in large part because of Clintonville’s caring residents.
“This is an inclusive neighborhood, with folks who fight for social justice.
“I feel incredibly lucky to be here,” she said.
McCloud said she also finds comfort in knowing that stores such as Dough Mama, Euro Classics, Rock Candy, Wild Cat and Small Talk are her neighbors.
“I admire all of those businesses, and I am honored to be serving this community amongst giants,” she said.
Outside of The Brass Hand, McCloud spends her free time with her 5- and 7-year-old daughters.
She said she sees her two daughters as her little business partners.
“They have grown up around cacti and are so excited about the shop,” she said.
“They often set up their own little sidewalk sales outside our house selling art and toys,” she said.
McCloud looks forward to welcoming customers to “a little slice of the desert” when the shop opens the first weekend of August, she said.
Store hours will be Wednesdays through Saturdays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays noon until 4 p.m.
For more information, visit the web site shopthebrasshand.com/ . or follow the business on Instagram at @The.Brass.Hand.
McCloud frequently uses the page to answer questions about succulents and cacti, as well as host giveaways and sales.