Episode 3

Garden Seventeen

“We were brought up against all these backstepping laws that made it harder to just exist as people," explains Rodney Stoutenger. "Our response was: Hang more rainbow flags, hang more rainbow banners. Let’s let everybody know who doesn’t have that support at home, ‘We got you.’” Stoutenger gives everyone in Austin a place to belong with Garden S...
Apr 18, 2024 — 1 min read

Starring

Starring

Rodney Stoutenger is the owner of Garden Seventeen in Austin, Texas.

About this video series

Only In Austin: Here to Stay

Only In Austin: Here to Stay

Only In Austin highlights five queer-owned businesses to explore the intersection of identity, community, and entrepreneurship. Here To Stay celebrates these business owners who create safe spaces and are mainstays of Austin’s inclusive culture.

See full series

Transcript

Rodney Stoutenger: Creating a space that people are comfortable in supersedes everything else, and I think it's really important to remember. Not everybody thinks the same. Not everybody sees the same and not everybody feels the same.

I was very fortunate in my story of coming out and being who I truly am, that I was very supported by my family. The importance was noticing that there was a lack of that for others. I kind of became a bulldozer in the way of creating these safe spaces. The aspect of bringing a whole bunch of minds together to create one idea that is so powerful because there's so many people on it.

As you walk into the store, you're kind of transported into different areas, everything from house plants and tropicals to anything you need for your plants. Being surrounded by plants creates a sense of calm when we're around nature. In that way, we're able to slow ourselves down a little bit. When our customers come in, you can see their faces relaxed. They feel safe and comfortable and calm. We often see a different person that leaves the store. It's rewarding to have put in all of this energy and caring for something that is just creating more good. 

We were kind of brought up against all these backstepping laws that made it harder to just exist as people. We all as a human deserve to be able to be who we are, and so our response was more color hang, more rainbow flags, hang, more rainbow banners. The goal there was let's let everybody know who doesn't have that support at home. We got you.

Creating something larger goes back to the idea of a safe space. It's not just for an LGBT community it’s just for everybody. We want to keep Austin colorful. We want to keep Austin comfortable and we want to be that staple for Austin.

Related

Only In Austin: Here To Stay

Nov 10, 2022 — 1 min read

“Only In Austin” highlights five queer-owned businesses to explore the intersection of identity, community, and entrepreneurship.

More from this video series

Previous

Episode 2 Sugarox

Apr 18, 2024 — 1 min read
Next

Episode 4 Las Ofrendas

Apr 18, 2024 — 1 min read

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