A pop-up shop that has bounced around Homer for four years has found a seasonal home on East End Road. Faux Ever Green, run by owner Martine Cyriacks Sorensen, sells wreathes, swag, houseplants, art work and upcycled furniture.
Open from September to February at 60456 East End Road, roughly across from Kachemak Gear Shed, its name tells customers what they need to know about the heart of the business: “faux”=artificial, with material that lasts forever, and “green,” made from recycled materials so that the item doesn’t just go in the landfill. Sorensen also propagates and sells a variety of healthy houseplants. The name also reflects the wreath and swag component.
Faux Ever Green comes about from Sorensen’s long experience as a florist.
“I had training as a florist in early life and when I moved to Homer, I had to find a job,” she said. “I walked in the ‘Flowers by Betty’ floral shop in 1983, told her I had floral design experience and she threw an apron across the room at me.”
Faux Ever Green started out in a 10-foot by 10-foot space at Sustainable Wares on Ocean Drive, owned by Karen West.
“Her intention or concept is to have people have that space and courage to grow their small business,” Sorensen said. “The next year I had a 6-foot by 10-foot trailer in the Homer Truffle Company parking lot. All I had was my wreaths because I ran off of a generator so I didn’t have heat for my house plants. Last year I was in the building where the Green Can is. This building is the biggest physical space I’ve ever had, more inventory than I’ve ever had and I’m really having fun with that.”
Sorensen said she’s one of those Homer people who has to reinvent herself to be sustainable.
“I worked in the Frontier Frame Gallery for six years up until it was sold, then I managed a gallery in the Lakeside Mall for a Soldotna family that owned that spot before it moved into the Eagle Quality Center. That finally moved into the Octagon building in town, the Art Shop Gallery. I also managed Homer Jeans for several years.”
Sorensen has also worked at a lumber yard and fished commercially for crab and shrimp. Faux Ever Green allows her to circle back to her first job as a florist.
“In Faux Ever Green, I make wreaths and swags. I usually take an old wreath that I get at a thrift store or maybe salvaged at the dump,” she said. “I take all the stuff off of it, wash it and start all over. What I put on there is also repurposed material that’s been salvaged. I’ll use an old ribbon or bow, take it apart, iron it out and make a new bow.”
The decor is designed seasonally, maybe colored leaves or Halloween themes for fall, and the shop has gear for the holidays now.
“Some of this comes from my florist background but it’s a passion of mine. Doing arrangements and furniture displays is a hobby, I love figuring out how I can make things aesthetic,” she said.
Sorensen also sells propagated houseplants and furnishings that have been salvaged and transformed by a friend’s artist studio in Anchorage.
“Those pieces are a little more exquisite than what I find at garage sales or thrift stores,” Sorensen said.
She showed one piece, a desk, made from a transformed piano as part of the Anchorage Piano Project. There are other pieces in the shop that have been renovated to fit into a new life and fit our lifestyles today.
“Also, Homer doesn’t really have a place to buy furniture other than shops with high end gear, but if you’re a person who can’t afford a twelve-hundred dollar piece of furniture … Maybe if you’re looking to furnish a rental unit or a B and B or you live in a yurt, that’s where second hand furniture comes in and might be more doable for some people.”
The shop has art remaining from Sorensen’s days as a gallery owner and a collection of Persian rugs available. There are also infused vinegars and oils that were popular gifts last year. This year Sorensen has 21 flavors available and a line of soups called “Frontier Soups.”
Sorensen’s shop is located just before the Crested Crane in Kachemak City. Look for the lights and sign by the road. The shop is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.