Interview with Plant Stylist Hilton Carter

Interview with Plant Stylist Hilton Carter

Rob interviewed Hilton Carter, filmmaker, interior designer, plant stylist, and author, and they discuss his career and why we should have plants in our homes.

00;00;10;13 - 00;00;30;02
Rob Lee
Welcome to the truth in this art. I am your host, Rob Lee. And today I have the privilege of being in conversation with a plant and interior stylist, author of Wild Creations, Wild Interiors and Wild at Home, all out now. He's the co-owner of Green Neighbor Plant Shop. Please welcome Hilton Carter.

00;00;30;24 - 00;00;32;17
Hilton Carter.
After having me, Rob, I appreciate it.

00;00;33;08 - 00;00;52;22
Rob Lee
Thank you for coming on. Thank you for coming on. It's definitely a treat. It's like it's like you're always moving. It's almost shark, like, in some ways. I can't catch up to Hilton. He's always moving. So, you know, before we get, like, super deep into the conversation when we get into the weeds. It doesn't work. It doesn't.

00;00;52;22 - 00;01;10;13
Hilton Carter.
Work. It's all it's all good. Every, every every play deserves a bit of shine. Right? Like, who are we to say? What is a weed and what is it? So any plant can be called a weed if you're not a big fan of it. But yeah man down the the as many platforms as you watch. I have another one.

00;01;11;00 - 00;01;29;24
Rob Lee
I have another one. I mean if we get to the root of the issue here. Yeah. But if you will share, share the the Hilton Carter story or what have you, it's it's one of those things where it's like people know you and they're like, yo, this guy is like, really cool in this way. And, and other people, like, well, what about this background?

00;01;29;25 - 00;01;31;06
Rob Lee
I'd rather hear directly from you.

00;01;33;01 - 00;02;04;08
Hilton Carter.
Yeah, man, it's a it's a journey through, I would say, art, I guess my. And quick note to your audience, I am a little under the weather, so there might be moments where I have to gather myself just to make sure that I can get the words out. But I'm local going and raised in Baltimore, spent some some time out in California, but I guess I'll go through that.

00;02;04;08 - 00;02;25;21
Hilton Carter.
As a kid, I just knew that I wanted to be an artist. I mean, that was the first thing. First little I was a dream of mine was to be an artist. I didn't know what type of artist, maybe a cartoonist, maybe a filmmaker. I was really loving film. I loved animation or cartoons in was close to that.

00;02;25;21 - 00;02;52;14
Hilton Carter.
I love entertaining like entertainment, I guess, but I did a lot of drawing and drawing, so I ended up taking classes at Essex Community College when I was in fifth grade, like over the summer. And then I ended up making my way into a magnet school for a high school called Carver Center for Art and Technology. Chasing this want to be a filmmaker.

00;02;52;17 - 00;03;22;23
Hilton Carter.
Now I'm a pretty I started to grow vertically and high school but I was I was always a little wide horizontally so I had this the thought was like, you know what? I played football when I was a kid, when I was like a fifth grade, sixth grade, seventh grade. And I said, I'm going to be on the football team at my high school, which is an art high school.

00;03;22;23 - 00;04;01;04
Hilton Carter.
We think about it and I played but and I did really well, but our team didn't do so well. You know, all artists are artists and there were woodworkers and dancers and theater folks all trying to be on a football team. So it was a pretty fun team, but nothing worth putting. Banners up in the rafters was there was no winning happening over there, but so at a certain point, high school sports, they were a way to keep me fit, I would say, but also just like keep me around a lot of people making certain friends.

00;04;01;04 - 00;04;28;01
Hilton Carter.
But at the same time, it just was something that I knew wasn't going to be the the the thing that I would end up doing after high school. So I started to dig more into my art. Left high school. Went to Micah, got a degree at Micah and the GFA department, which is in general fine arts because I had zero idea what I wanted to do in art.

00;04;28;01 - 00;04;53;22
Hilton Carter.
I thought I was going to be a painter. Shifted gears and decided I was going to be a filmmaker. So after I got my BFA, I moved out to California to get my MFA in film. And I left. I left that school. I went to an art center, College of Design. I left there as a freelance director and working, making music videos, short films, commercials, and it was awesome.

00;04;53;22 - 00;05;39;21
Hilton Carter.
I loved it. I still love it, but I would say that the thing that connects me, the the Hilton met your interview in the Hilton as a box out based on interior styling and plant styling mainly is based on the fact that at a certain point in my learning, education and film, I fell in love with the art department side of film, the production design group, and creating a space and making the space become a character in the film or the commercial in this video really put my heart into what the space look like and how that space told a part of the story.

00;05;40;04 - 00;05;58;02
Hilton Carter.
And so when I left California, I moved to New Orleans for a quick stint for about eight months and then moved back to Baltimore in 2015 and 1215. My friend of mine, a good friend of mine, was working at the ad agency as a creative director, and he wanted to bring me in the video side of their department.

00;05;59;03 - 00;06;21;13
Hilton Carter.
And I got there. And I mean, honestly, Rob, working freelance for such a long time, you, you find yourself stressed pretty much in the stressful lifestyle every every day. You got to figure out how you going to pay the rent. Are you going to live? How are you going to what job do you have to take this time to make sure that all the bills are paid?

00;06;21;13 - 00;06;52;02
Hilton Carter.
And for me, I told you how many times I went to school. How am I going to pay this, these two loans, you know? So it was a it was a it was a hustle. And I was I was over it. So a friend offered this full time job, which started to push out letters and numbers together that I had no idea about like 4401k using Tito.

00;06;52;02 - 00;07;15;18
Hilton Carter.
I was like, What? I don't know what those are, but they sound commercial. I said, W-2. Yeah, I'll say, I'll take that, I'll take that. So I moved back to Baltimore, man with an open heart. I thought I would I would slow down a bit. I would be back with friends that I knew in the past and family.

00;07;16;06 - 00;07;35;14
Hilton Carter.
And I needed this. I just needed a change. I was in L.A., I was in L.A. for too long. That's why I moved to New Orleans. I love New Orleans. I wish I would still today, I believe would still be in New Orleans today if that friend didn't call me about this job. So when I moved back to Baltimore and I was in I was at an ad agency.

00;07;35;14 - 00;08;08;29
Hilton Carter.
I love the work of filmmaking. I love coming up with creative ideas and seeing those ideas come to life. And moving imagery is very important to me. I love that. I love that process. And I love, like I said, the design aspect of creating the spaces that you're filming. But what I didn't love about being in an office or working at the agency life was all the creativity you want to put into something, get stripped down because there's so many voices in the room.

00;08;10;18 - 00;08;25;05
Hilton Carter.
So I had to understand to deal with that. And I worked it out. But I told my then girlfriends, my wife now I was like, I need to find I need a side hustle. I need to put this energy, this creativity somewhere. I need to push that somewhere. And I was like, You know what I think I'm to do?

00;08;25;05 - 00;08;48;10
Hilton Carter.
Like interior styling on a side, like all my weekends. And when I have my PTO and I spend some of that doing some styling and some people thought people were really seem to be engaged with what I was doing in my own home and other little spaces that I had had a hand in. And I thought like that would be like a cool thing to just start doing.

00;08;48;10 - 00;09;11;17
Hilton Carter.
And I started to do that, man, and that was like a little bit here, a little bit there. I started to work on a new spot that my wife and I were moving into, and I started to share that. The look of the space on social media. And I was trying to get people to look at the design of the space and how it all came together.

00;09;11;17 - 00;09;28;19
Hilton Carter.
And while they did take that in, a lot of people are like, But I love the look of your space. I love what you know that rug chair? What can you tell me? What's up with all of these? You have a lot of clay. There's a a lot of plants in there. I have that one. But how did you keep your how was it?

00;09;28;19 - 00;09;48;29
Hilton Carter.
How was your tie? It looks so much better than mine. What are you doing? Well, at this point, I was already, like, in love of my own space and bringing plants into the home. So a friend of mine, we were in Japan and he saw that I was trying to push this like interior this like interior styling side also be a social.

00;09;49;09 - 00;10;19;28
Hilton Carter.
And he was like, look, man, I think you need to start talking more about the plants because it seems like every time I go to your face, you keep asking questions about plants. So why don't you just answer those questions? So more of a plant so you already have your home. So I started to do that. And you know, one like begets ten and people start to see it and repost it and things happen the way social media happened.

00;10;19;28 - 00;10;50;08
Hilton Carter.
And here I am today, three books in and on a new show on the Magnolia Network right now, Simpsons, some sort of, I would say, regularly, frequently visits on the Today Show and, you know, putting out target collections that I hope possibly will continue in the future. So, yeah, man, that's that's that's the that's the journey of how I got to where I am right now.

00;10;50;24 - 00;11;10;26
Rob Lee
Yeah. Thank you. Thank you for walking us through that. And there are going to be a few moments where we revisit certain pieces of that story. But two things I want to at least touch on. One that comes to mind is I do the here's my plan sort of thing. I like my partner. She has like the one plant that I have.

00;11;10;26 - 00;11;38;07
Rob Lee
I have a coca dollar and I got it through a podcast. Someone's like, like the podcast, here's a Coke. And I was like, Oh, well, the Nakamura name is Linsky. So they have that Japanese and and I love New Orleans as well, that it's only like two other places that I could truly see myself relocating. New Orleans is number one and probably Philadelphia is number two, and that's more so because it's proximity to the people that love me or what have you.

00;11;38;07 - 00;12;04;06
Rob Lee
But New Orleans would be purely for me. I would have an alias, you know, go back to your home or something like that. It would be yeah, I would grow my hair out just to slick it to the side. Yeah. Only see you're suckers. That's just what I'm doing. Look, if you don't know, I think I'd be remiss if I didn't talk about a few of the things that I've seen that are recent and one that you mentioned a moment ago.

00;12;04;06 - 00;12;13;27
Rob Lee
So I want to talk about Green Labor Shop and why the idea of having a shop locally like resonated with you and how did that partnership with Good Neighbor come about?

00;12;14;13 - 00;12;37;02
Hilton Carter.
Oh, for sure. Well, it all came about through the process of giving plants and selling plants. I was moving out of a space, a studio space that I called Jungle by the Falls and to move out of that, it was a lot of plants I needed to get rid of because they couldn't come into my apartment. So I was selling some of these plants and I was posting about it.

00;12;37;02 - 00;12;58;13
Hilton Carter.
And someone one of the cactus that I was selling and a person happened to be sure I had never met Sean previous to this, so I rolled up in a car that I didn't big a cactus work well, and I was like, I don't know if you should take this cactus hold in that car. It might poke a thousand holes in your upholstery.

00;12;58;13 - 00;13;22;06
Hilton Carter.
But he definitely worked it out, I guess, because that cactus is still in the front of a good neighbor. If you go into a good neighbor, it's the first cactus that you'll see in front of the little kitchen cooking area that's there on the counter. But after that, Sean and I kind of connected just once. Great, once, good neighbor.

00;13;22;06 - 00;13;49;08
Hilton Carter.
Now, excuse me, I green neighbor, a good neighbor kind of comes off my tongue at the same time just because we are part of the same family, I'll say. But once Sean opened Good Neighbor, he told me to come over, pop out and take a look at it, see it, and just things. Just come check it out. And when I walked in there, I thought, this guy and I speak the same design language, the same understanding of of I guess, creation.

00;13;49;08 - 00;14;16;24
Hilton Carter.
I, for one, what works best in a space, what looks great when it comes to materials and color. And there was a mold there was that it was that step brothers moment where it's like we just become best friends like that. That was the that was the genesis of it. And I had been putting it out into the universe.

00;14;16;24 - 00;14;43;16
Hilton Carter.
The associates, everyone kept saying, like, you can open the place up. I talked about this mobile plant shop that I would have loved. We would love to have in the future where I would roll this vehicle, maybe it's the spread of and maybe some old like a U2 mug or something. This was called these old trucks that you can convert into something awesome, maybe a mobile planet shop.

00;14;44;01 - 00;15;15;04
Hilton Carter.
And I was putting energy out there and I guess Sean had saw that and reached out to me earlier this year was like, Hey, the old dry florals spot that we have the top of the hill is no longer would you like to take that over and make it a plant shop? And I thought to myself, No, I don't have time for that, but I do want to have a plant shop.

00;15;15;04 - 00;15;37;23
Hilton Carter.
I don't know if it's I don't know if it's that space. I can't see I can't see a place. I've actually been in that space. It doesn't have the flight. It doesn't have it doesn't have enough space. So I thought, you know what, if I'm going to do anything, it's always good to get your feet wet a bit, start small and see what how it all works out.

00;15;37;27 - 00;16;02;07
Hilton Carter.
I had never owned the store, never worked with employees and that sort of, I guess that sort of relationship as an owner of something. So I said, you know what, let's let's try it out. Let's see how it goes. I would love to renovate it and bring skylights in and more windows and blah blah blah, but let's at least change it for the now.

00;16;02;16 - 00;16;16;04
Hilton Carter.
Yeah. And it came about I think early March is when things started to come together and we opened at the end of March. So it's been it's been awesome so far. Been so it's been great.

00;16;16;04 - 00;16;30;28
Rob Lee
Fantastic. And yeah, I mean that, that whole collective and I want to, I want to keep an eye on that for a second. The whole collective of people like, you know, I see Michael over there. I see you working with Sean now and all of that. And I'm like, Yeah, all of this kind of makes sense, you know?

00;16;30;28 - 00;16;54;13
Rob Lee
And you touch on speaking the same like the light design language. So what is baked into your design language? Like what is baked into that esthetic for you with that, those sensibilities for you and I guess I ask that because, you know, like sometimes the are our references, we are the things that we consume and it's like, Oh yeah, you're trying to do a Hilton card or what have you, but it's like.

00;16;54;21 - 00;16;55;04
Hilton Carter.
Man.

00;16;55;05 - 00;16;57;18
Rob Lee
You don't have that reference point. So tell me about that.

00;16;57;18 - 00;17;22;04
Hilton Carter.
Yeah, well, I think I think for the most part, I mean, at this point in my life, I mean, everything that is of Hilton of today. Right? Because if this was Hilton of 94, they'd be nothing but Michael Jordan posters everywhere, you know. So I guess this was Hilton of 2000 there would be large so. No, no, no, no, no.

00;17;23;03 - 00;17;52;22
Hilton Carter.
I was I was I was in there. My French knew our new way wave at that point, you know, saying like go yeah I will deep in that bag. But you know, like right now, I think I mean as I got older, your, your palette becomes more refined, right? I think that when we were kids that we didn't need and we probably were like, oh, that now we eat things that we didn't drink, we drink.

00;17;52;26 - 00;18;46;21
Hilton Carter.
So my taste is a bit more eclectic when it comes to the types of things that I think are, are, are going to, for one, make me happy, right? And make my family happy and in the space that we have today. So when it comes to my design language, I've come to this understanding with myself that I would love for everything that is in my world to be a extension of the outside elements, natural tones, textures, shapes, I guess things that really reflect back to nature, right?

00;18;46;23 - 00;19;11;27
Hilton Carter.
So, so in my space there's a lot of those sort of things in it. And that's kind of what I saw when I, when I saw Sean's, Sean's esthetic was he kind of had that same understanding. So for me, it's like wood, gray, concrete, terracotta. I mean, we're talking normal stuff that you see, I just I just broke down what a plant would be and what it might be part of it, right?

00;19;12;04 - 00;20;03;10
Hilton Carter.
Yeah. All of these different these different materials together to me are very important. And then it's it's the accents, whether it's hard metals or ceramic pottery that I'm just looking at right now, I think. Right. Yeah, I think I think I think there's a there's, there's a there's something about framing a way and my space to blur that line between the outer elements and the inside and keep I really connected that I kind of let my path when it comes to design lead me for my own personal ones.

00;20;03;24 - 00;20;26;11
Hilton Carter.
So that's just my esthetic. So I'm a stylist. What else is space say or style? Is the rest of space? It's got to be it's got to be notes taken on who those individuals are and how they like to see their space come together and how they like to move through their space. So for me, there is there's things that I might not initially gravitate towards or think would fit.

00;20;26;15 - 00;20;47;04
Hilton Carter.
But then what I see and I hold it in my hand, I'll go that doing sets has has something that will sit perfectly in a particular spot and whether or not it does for that now or if it's for the later, I just know that there's a connection and then I'll bring it into my home and then it'll find its way somewhere, you know?

00;20;47;07 - 00;21;19;20
Hilton Carter.
So there's a lot there's a lot of little treasures, I like to say, throughout the home or in my own personal collection that you can see in the shop, too, that are just like, this might not be something you, you need, but it'll, it'll, it'll, it'll help create the, the story, that back story of who the individual is who lives or wealth in that space that goes back to my production as I write this.

00;21;19;20 - 00;21;43;20
Hilton Carter.
It's like a pair of shears for cutting your plants, the type of shears the individual has in their home. You know, if you if I walking some more time and I saw a certain pair of shears, I would go, I know exactly who this person is to it. I think, yeah, that person has a certain type of coffee machine or like a certain type of, of a mug, right?

00;21;43;21 - 00;22;07;17
Hilton Carter.
Like one that's a very small one, no head or a larger with handle. So there's so much about the individual. So those are things that I think for in my esthetic that that is, that is the language that that speaks for me. Yeah. If you were to come to my space and you didn't know anything about me, you would you should get a pretty great understanding of who I am, what I'm into.

00;22;07;27 - 00;22;15;08
Hilton Carter.
And the the the, the, the passion that I have for things that are beautiful, I guess.

00;22;16;00 - 00;22;45;17
Rob Lee
Yeah, that's no, that's. That's dope. I'm sitting here like, just. Just absorbing it. Just sitting here, like, eating it. Like, it's like it's caramel. I know I've said it, but but yeah, it is one of those things where, you know, I look in a space like I go over the last over the last like over the last, like, what, two years or so that I've spent the majority of my time in my studio, like in my I have a second bedroom in my house that converted to a podcast studio and I like spending time in here is no bed in here.

00;22;45;17 - 00;23;07;01
Rob Lee
I sleep on the floor here sometimes because it feels like a much comfortable place. And like I have two creative altars here of just different things that people have given me over this 400 plus episodes, you know, like hand-painted things, thank you notes and things of that nature. And you look in here, you'll see, like my work, and then you'll see like funko pops because I'm a weirdo.

00;23;07;01 - 00;23;30;24
Rob Lee
And you'll see all of my DVDs and my different books. I'm going to write somewhat some comics, and I have an only mask in here. And it's just like, this dude is a character. This is where all the energy is at within the house and this is where I'm spending my time. So definitely I get it. If I ever bring Shinsegae here, I got a cat who's a dick, some little offense, but I want to keep shinsegae in a safe place.

00;23;30;24 - 00;23;46;00
Rob Lee
So, you know, my partners places is what it is. So I think that's a natural segue to this next question. Let's let's talk about why interiors need plants. Why should we have plants? You know, I know there's a lot there.

00;23;46;12 - 00;24;11;29
Hilton Carter.
Yeah. I mean, look, why do you need plants? I'm not someone to tell anyone what they should bring into their homes, but plants add life and energy, oxygen, if you want to get the real technical benefits. I would say now when you're talking about the amount of oxygen or how much they can clean the air, there is a particular number of plants and that's a lot of plants.

00;24;11;29 - 00;24;39;10
Hilton Carter.
You need to really affect how much oxygen is being added or how much so filtration is happening when it comes to the cleaning of the air. But they are a way to connect us, which I feel is a very natural and this may sound very woo woo, but it's it's a way to connect us in our minds and our hearts back to nature and settles.

00;24;39;16 - 00;25;03;25
Hilton Carter.
So I think at the end of the day, like anyone who has decided, oh, man, I've had such a rough week or I had such a rough few months, I'm on a goal vacation. Typically, most of us go on vacation to a place that has a lot of outdoor space by natural elements sun, trees, sand, maybe the taking of shoes, the taking our shirts off.

00;25;03;25 - 00;25;34;10
Hilton Carter.
Maybe they're running around jumping in water. They're, you know, they're they're letting themselves experience the outdoor elements. And when you have a plant in your home, it it brings that outdoor element. Now, when it comes to us, let's say for us living in Baltimore, the outdoors, the greenery, the outdoors, it's fall right now. By the time this comes out, maybe maybe it'll be winter.

00;25;34;10 - 00;26;07;23
Hilton Carter.
And there won't be any green house. No, not at all. You're going to you're going to want to feel that connection, that warmth of of spring or summer during that time. And when you bring plants in, they create a more warm environment. They soften hard edges that can be created in an indoor space. We make individuals who are around them feel a bit more alive themselves.

00;26;07;23 - 00;26;40;09
Hilton Carter.
The process of care when you're caring for a plant, especially through those colder months, can really be gratifying and also just supportive when it comes to the energy that you are getting out of. See that plant, produce new growth and can provide you with a lot of a lot of positive hits. Right. The serotonin that comes through is the through the process of of good care of a plant.

00;26;40;09 - 00;27;24;16
Hilton Carter.
And I think that's those are reasons why someone should have a plant for their whole. Now, if you're looking to really feel the true benefits of plant life, there's there's still more I, I guess bring your plants in like there's so many ways to style of using different types of pottery different types of plants that have different colors and textures, things that each of that can really connect to your esthetic like we were talking earlier, versus just grabbing one of the typical houseplants that you might find that your grocery store or your local hardware store or one of these big box stores.

00;27;24;28 - 00;27;49;26
Rob Lee
Here's my succulent. Yeah, I like like what you described there. I have two more real question before we get to the rapid fire ones. But I like what you describe there a moment ago because, you know, I thought about going into an environment and that shift that happens is almost like teleportation in some ways where yeah, I remember the first time going into a casino, I was like, Oh, I'm, I'm in South America now.

00;27;49;26 - 00;27;59;10
Rob Lee
And yeah, part of it is because of the plant life that's in there is very inviting and it feels like I'm on vacation even though I'm in Station North for sure.

00;27;59;23 - 00;28;00;02
Hilton Carter.
Yeah.

00;28;00;28 - 00;28;27;26
Rob Lee
So one of the words is I think it's important to but one of the words that came up several times in doing the research for this interview was plant fluency. Sir, I don't know how I feel about that word. How do you feel about being influential in terms of your design background, in terms of writing the books? Several books at this point and being a native of Baltimore and all of the cool things that have come your way and then of cool things that you've worked for, obviously.

00;28;28;01 - 00;28;56;07
Hilton Carter.
Yeah. First, Rob, I want to influence anyone listening to this podcast today to never say plant foods that is just the language. That is the worst thing of any type. So brings that up that you know, that crane or whatever it is, like, I hate it. I hate it so much. Any of the influences stuff is, oh, it gets a bad rap when it comes to being an influencer.

00;28;56;08 - 00;29;44;22
Hilton Carter.
I like you. I like everything I read, everything that I, I put out on social media is to hopefully inspire or question my books or to inspire others to help them style or bring in greenery into their homes in a more purposeful or artful way. And when it comes to being called an influencer, I think people see the title influences more as like a branded sort of thing where you're like, I'm going to this post is for, I don't know, Magnolia Network, go myself, be part of the blog and then obviously that I'm like is the paid post.

00;29;45;18 - 00;30;23;25
Hilton Carter.
And I think that's where that across like I'm sort of a plant influencer. It's just a trash title. I don't I don't you'll never hear me call myself that. I oh, I barely ever call myself influencer, but being an influencer, someone who has the ability to influence someone, has the ability to hopefully inspire individuals here in Baltimore outside of Baltimore, and hopefully the world.

00;30;23;25 - 00;31;05;22
Hilton Carter.
This is where I would like to push my influence and my back to the way I can show people the a better way of creating this space has been it's been amazing, honestly. And then being from Baltimore, living in Baltimore and showing that you can share your passion beyond your block, your your neighborhood, your city, your state, to me is is one of the most gratifying things that I can do.

00;31;05;22 - 00;31;50;03
Hilton Carter.
I mean, as a kid living in Baltimore, the job that I have today is for not never even thought of it. I'm like No one. I come to me and no one in my life had a job like this. No one around me put the effort into plants, I guess, or the home as I have. So it's it's nice to show my younger cousins kids or my friend's kids or hopefully my kids what is possible for them.

00;31;50;17 - 00;32;33;29
Hilton Carter.
And that is whatever they want, whenever they want to put their minds to it and be passionate about. So deeply passionate about can be come their their profession. They just got to stick to it and and know how to be, I don't know, be a part of it. I think a lot of the things that excuse me, I think what helped me at the end of the day is the fact that I was already working on the tools necessary to be a part of the social media space.

00;32;34;16 - 00;32;48;02
Hilton Carter.
Like I said, I was a filmmaker to make a video content, was already there, understood how to make video, which means I took photo classes. So if there was photos need to be taken for a platform that's about photos or video.

00;32;48;08 - 00;32;48;11
Rob Lee
You're.

00;32;48;11 - 00;33;08;07
Hilton Carter.
There right there. The idea of being able to put a lot of energy and and thoughtfulness, like when it comes to creativity into an image, a still image, understanding, composition, color, and how that makes one's eye move around. Afraid that I've been given that I got that when I was in high school and then I worked for an ad agency.

00;33;08;27 - 00;33;37;21
Hilton Carter.
So it's like, how do you write a caption for an ad? How do we write all the. So when it came to me in the platform, it was like, okay, I think I have these tools ready to go. Maybe I should just put this together. And that stuff I'll say was right for the moment. So there's a lot of people who I would say have the ability to understand plants and care and plant styling maybe.

00;33;37;21 - 00;34;01;01
Hilton Carter.
But I think it just happened that I had all these other little bits and pieces in my tool kit that allowed me, that helped me earlier to get where I am. And I'm just thankful for that. And I will say like, that is the thing that I want people to if I can influence anyone here, it's like that's the takeaway ads.

00;34;01;18 - 00;34;32;06
Hilton Carter.
Whatever you're doing, that thing somehow will be beneficial at some point in your life. You just never know. Like this wasn't writing three books about plants, being on a show about click here and plant styling. I have an opportunity to work with bigger brands, whether they're having collections that are with plants or accessories. That was never a part of my dream.

00;34;32;22 - 00;34;40;11
Hilton Carter.
That was never that. I said, Go, I can't wait for this.

00;34;40;11 - 00;34;41;10
Rob Lee
Come on, Target, make it.

00;34;41;18 - 00;35;23;06
Hilton Carter.
Come on, come on, please. So but there's there's there's something about the not saying everyone needs to be like a Swiss army knife but having the ability to go I did this thing like sometimes when and I will say this when you come out of college and it's probably more so now that is going to need this is that if people shut down or push away a thing that they feel like is in the path of the thing that they see that needs to be there versus accepting that thing and see how that they at least understanding how that could shift into something that is getting even closer to what they truly want to be

00;35;23;06 - 00;36;01;11
Hilton Carter.
fair and can they make can can make them feel fulfilled. But for me, it was just like this thing that like I love being surrounded by plants. I love that feeling. And it just so happened that that was the thing that at the end of the day, which is they made me made my life a bit happier, like made me understand what was supposed to be my next service, a way even to what would hopefully in the future.

00;36;01;11 - 00;36;19;21
Hilton Carter.
And I guess I'm so putting this out there that makes me put out a feature film somewhere down the line. Who knows? But I've never I never closed myself. There are close a door and say that is it me anymore. I can't do that. Like when people when people ask, well, so do like what is your title like?

00;36;19;21 - 00;36;49;28
Hilton Carter.
It's hard to it's hard to say. I was trying to say artist because it all I think it all fits under that bucket. It all fits in that pocket or under that umbrella of artists like I still paint, I still shoot video and try to write as many short stories to possibly put out there, because I know that those things are what keeps everything sharp, keeps my mind focused on being better.

00;36;50;04 - 00;36;57;05
Hilton Carter.
So yeah, man, I don't know what your question was, because now I've just gone off. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.

00;36;57;05 - 00;37;15;03
Rob Lee
And that it is funny because that actually answered the last question too, so that, you know, it's kind of that daily double sort of there. And but I feel that though, where you start looking back at things that I used to do, like, you know, I joke about on occasion because I am doing a no, I'm hosting a movie night tonight.

00;37;15;13 - 00;37;33;00
Rob Lee
And so there's always a fair amount of trepidation when getting on stage because I have this the screen of fear, protection of like, oh, I'm just talking to Hilton. Right, oh, through the glass right now. So it doesn't really matter as much. But what is a person is like, okay, do I have a boogie? Like what's good for, you know, when you're doing it?

00;37;33;15 - 00;37;33;28
Hilton Carter.
And.

00;37;34;11 - 00;38;03;21
Rob Lee
But, but I look at when I was a kid, you know, I was an emcee for like elementary school, like graduation. Oh, wow. And something like that. Or kind of diving into these things of presenting in front of people in and having an interest in art and have an interest in whether it's me doing are doing murals when I was younger or even doing comic books when I was younger to ultimately getting into writing terrible raps, terrible high school raps.

00;38;03;21 - 00;38;11;27
Rob Lee
None of my good and I want to be a brand name rapper. I use only way I am mecha. So my name was non mecha. It was not good. It was.

00;38;11;27 - 00;38;12;18
Hilton Carter.
Not good.

00;38;13;01 - 00;38;31;29
Rob Lee
There is a rap here somewhere that I would never play. But yeah, it then always because I had this recording equipment with me and he's, you know, these micro recorders because I want to lose the magic and I want to lose the freestyle bars. So I have. Yeah. And I would just talk to people almost like, you know, like the big recorders, like.

00;38;31;29 - 00;39;06;23
Rob Lee
Yeah, so, you know, tell me about this. And that was me pro podcasting. I can I can timestamp that back to I'm 37 now so I can timestamp that back to 23 years ago and wow, kind of going through that process that ultimately gets me to here and then doing podcasts nearly 14 years and seeing that, oh, this is what I like about doing these things and all of these different steps and a very self taught sort of way got me here, you know, having a business background with an analytics sort of side to it helps me understand some of the data behind it.

00;39;06;23 - 00;39;36;26
Rob Lee
So if I bring on someone that is a creator in this area or D.P. to do film and things of that nature, I have the numbers to say. So what's this? Roy Tell me about that. So that's how those things connect. And I'll lastly say, I think when one of the things you touched on of maybe I'm not like this anymore, so let me get rid of that and really focus in this area I think is embracing all of it because you start cutting off pieces of who you were or who you are.

00;39;37;13 - 00;39;55;20
Rob Lee
That's formative stuff. And you have this like I read that you have this phantom limb syndrome, like, oh, well, I don't do this anymore. So, yeah, but you never stop liking it. You just start doing it because you know, whatever tastes or someone got in your ear and said, this isn't worth your time, but eventually you always return to your square.

00;39;56;09 - 00;39;56;26
Hilton Carter.
There it is.

00;39;57;24 - 00;40;10;21
Rob Lee
So and so with that, I want to hit you with these rapid fire questions. They're ridiculous. I've added some since we've been talking. But remember, remember, brevity is key here. Don't overthink them because we.

00;40;10;21 - 00;40;13;15
Hilton Carter.
All just go, okay, I got you.

00;40;13;20 - 00;40;15;07
Rob Lee
Nicknames was a nickname that you have.

00;40;16;27 - 00;40;17;16
Hilton Carter.
Pancake.

00;40;19;18 - 00;40;25;27
Rob Lee
That's great. Whatever it is, a food nickname. My brother's nickname is Meatball. So what is and always is just funny.

00;40;26;06 - 00;40;26;14
Hilton Carter.
If you.

00;40;26;14 - 00;40;27;24
Rob Lee
Already like. How'd you get it?

00;40;27;24 - 00;40;29;09
Hilton Carter.
Who said it? And you're like, What?

00;40;29;20 - 00;40;31;06
Rob Lee
You know, you're never going to tell me. You never get to do it.

00;40;31;23 - 00;40;32;04
Hilton Carter.
Yeah.

00;40;32;29 - 00;40;49;24
Rob Lee
Okay. So your next book, let's talk about that a little bit because I have this question. I think it ties in together very well. And this is kind of a little bit of a break from the Rapid Fire, but I at least want to throw this in there. If the title of your next book includes The World What the word wild, what would that title be?

00;40;50;05 - 00;40;51;02
Hilton Carter.
Living Wild.

00;40;51;28 - 00;40;53;03
Rob Lee
So tell us about that real quick.

00;40;53;14 - 00;41;20;15
Hilton Carter.
That's the title of the book Living Wild How to Style a Space and Cultivate Happiness coming out next spring, I guess. Yeah. So that's it. It's a it's a bigger it's a bigger format book. It's a very design heavy. Some of the folks that you mentioned earlier in the podcast, the folks of Alma, Coursera, some of the spaces that I've styled here in Baltimore are featured in there as well.

00;41;20;15 - 00;41;22;21
Hilton Carter.
So yeah, a shout out.

00;41;23;18 - 00;41;34;02
Rob Lee
That's the first time I've ever broken up a rapid fire section. I do a shameless plug, but I like it because it worked out. It worked out so because I need to know this one. What's your favorite? New Orleans food?

00;41;34;28 - 00;41;35;18
Hilton Carter.
Barbecue. Shrimp.

00;41;36;08 - 00;41;39;23
Rob Lee
Okay, I'm a shrimp and grits guy, but you know who? Your past, you know.

00;41;39;26 - 00;41;41;20
Hilton Carter.
Okay. Okay.

00;41;41;20 - 00;41;50;17
Rob Lee
Now, I'm looking for more of a funny answer here. Like, if someone asked me this question, I would say I talked to people who are smarter than me.

00;41;50;17 - 00;41;50;27
Hilton Carter.
Okay.

00;41;51;09 - 00;41;57;19
Rob Lee
Describe what you do, but do it poorly. Describe it like is it's like I look at plants and stuff.

00;41;57;19 - 00;41;58;13
Hilton Carter.
It's just like.

00;41;59;13 - 00;42;00;24
Rob Lee
Describe what you do report me.

00;42;01;13 - 00;42;07;17
Hilton Carter.
What I do. I do poorly. Oh, oh, oh, oh.

00;42;07;24 - 00;42;09;10
Rob Lee
I know, right? I'm a plant fluids.

00;42;09;18 - 00;42;31;15
Hilton Carter.
So you're not. Yeah. Yes. No. Oh, my, my baby's I talking to my daughter and a baby's voice is like, I'm terrible. I don't know. Like, I was terrible. Is is the worst day ever. So I don't know I don't know if that's you're looking for it, but that's something I can say. I do it. I just laugh about it.

00;42;31;18 - 00;42;32;05
Hilton Carter.
But I could tell you.

00;42;33;12 - 00;42;44;28
Rob Lee
So I read a story that I read that your plant story starts off with. You have any fiddle leaf pig named Frank? There's a lot of ifs there it. What is the oddest name you've given to a plant?

00;42;45;25 - 00;42;48;09
Hilton Carter.
Not the oddest, but the coolest, I would say trees.

00;42;48;09 - 00;43;07;01
Rob Lee
That's good. That's. That's actually very strong. As in the punchline, too. So I'm here for it. I'm here for it. There was talk. I never made it happen. But I'm going to say it on this podcast just so someone can take my time stamp on it. I wanted to do a dance party here with nineties music called New Jack O Lantern Swing.

00;43;07;16 - 00;43;13;00
Hilton Carter.
Nice. Nice. Yeah, there it is. It is so nicely. Is that how he.

00;43;13;19 - 00;43;14;28
Rob Lee
That it is a Halloween theme.

00;43;15;11 - 00;43;17;03
Hilton Carter.
We need to do it or you need to.

00;43;17;03 - 00;43;37;25
Rob Lee
I know people people don't listen to me, man. People they you know, they kind of half listen. They're like, I know that's a good idea. Then six months later, yeah. Is it like this? The last question I got for you. So, you know, like, like many of us, we're doing multiple things and multi-hyphenate and so many different things that we're doing a lot of times people just see the end product, right?

00;43;38;09 - 00;43;49;23
Rob Lee
What do you do for regenerative purposes? Because you have like the outside of your work, your husband, your dad, your your, your own individual. So what do you do this for generative? What do you do to refill your cup?

00;43;50;16 - 00;44;17;22
Hilton Carter.
That's a great question. I don't know how much of a wrap it for our question is that just seems like a just a good question to ask. Oh, man, I there's I'd be lying to you if I told you I spent the time to do so. I think the the moments right now where I get that opportunity are when it's just my daughter, my wife and I or when we go on vacation.

00;44;17;22 - 00;44;42;14
Hilton Carter.
So I try to break away as often as possible to go on certain vacations. We haven't had one in a while just because I've been working on this book and other projects. But I think that's that's it. I go away. I get to that space that I was talking about earlier under palm trees and toes and sand or walking the streets of the city I've never seen before.

00;44;42;15 - 00;44;51;28
Hilton Carter.
Taking note to the architecture and patterns, colors of things that could possibly.

00;44;53;22 - 00;44;54;01
Speaker 1
You know, you know.

00;44;54;15 - 00;45;25;18
Hilton Carter.
It's up. I expect that it will go into like a museum and looking at art, going to every every news or every city I go to, I think check out their conservatories or their botanical garden just because that those spaces are just settling. For me, that's like that's a way to get me back to zero and then find myself, just push it, everything else aside and be been just me at that moment.

00;45;27;04 - 00;45;57;18
Hilton Carter.
But yeah, there's, there's, there's not, there's not a lot of time spent doing these. Like, these are art about the work or about my family. I think, I think that's I you know what, honestly, like I think the stuff that people find and work and I feel fortunate to say this, but I still haven't done any work in this space that I'm in.

00;45;57;29 - 00;46;16;16
Hilton Carter.
I never work the day. Like soon as I get off this, I got to go write some captions for my bed. And never in the process of doing that, I never go, Oh God, I hate this. This is boring. Or This is I'm like, I can't believe I still I still can't believe I get I can't believe someone someone's paying me to do this.

00;46;17;10 - 00;46;42;04
Hilton Carter.
Captions of some photos I took at someone's house that I start work with this is this is crazy to me. This is crazy to me. I can't believe I get to take my daughter through a house we live in. Never live in the house. The kids never hold out as a kid. And to have my daughter have that opportunity to me, just like everything's everything's also we talk about like, how do I submarine my son?

00;46;42;05 - 00;47;07;13
Hilton Carter.
I try not to because I put myself in a position to to be in a space that very I feel very comfortable, very happy in. So every moment that I have an opportunity to do something like I'm I spend so much time watering plants, a lot of them actually, I put out like this writing today. I was like, I'm fixing my site, let the elements do what they do, and I'm going through that process.

00;47;07;13 - 00;47;30;28
Hilton Carter.
There's a lot of place in I just like to me like that's just so fulfilling. And that is like, let me let me take a break from Briny. Let me go water some plants. Yeah, but but that also is Rob a part of my job, which is a weird thing to say, but it's like is that my job was taking care of my daughter.

00;47;30;28 - 00;47;53;11
Hilton Carter.
I oh, it's, I was told so it was a podcast I did back in 2018. I still says I is still later today if my job was to love my wife and that's it. Yeah, I would I will do a very good job. I would do a great job at my at my job. And I will love every part of it.

00;47;53;11 - 00;48;30;10
Hilton Carter.
Like, it'd be awesome to just have that, be it to have my job be to take care of plants, which I was doing before it was my job is just a blessing, man. And it's, it's, it's an awesome space to be in and so, yeah, so even when I'm taking those moments and getting my, getting back to the present and finding my way, those, those, those moments are always me in the same sort of like space, still me like tending to a plant because that's where all of that, like, I need to shut this stuff down.

00;48;30;12 - 00;48;51;10
Hilton Carter.
Let me go tend to some place because there's like a while what's going on here? And I'm just going to play and figure it all out and it, it settles me and it keeps me calm, and it's making me a better husband, me, a better father, I think, too, because I used to be, well, very tight, bro. Like, insanely tight.

00;48;51;10 - 00;49;18;22
Hilton Carter.
I told you that freelance lifestyle was not good. Yeah, and I used to worry about so much, and when I started Care for Plants, it was. It was. It was like that ball was starting to get loose and those, the strings were finding their ways, like to spread themselves out. And I just found myself just like, you know, like that that Bruce Lee say, right, be water.

00;49;18;22 - 00;49;45;02
Hilton Carter.
Yeah, it's like I'm water, baby. I'm just, like, letting it happen. So, yeah, I think, I think, I think at this moment, like, I thought I if I everything to be work but it's also on clay it's also a way to get me back to my true self. So fortunate to have that all be the same.

00;49;45;22 - 00;49;56;18
Rob Lee
That's, that's wonderful. And thank you for that because yeah, I definitely relate to that and many ways, especially the travel component. Like what's the first thing I'm going to do? Where's the street art and coffee.

00;49;57;04 - 00;49;58;00
Hilton Carter.
Know where the.

00;49;58;00 - 00;50;16;07
Rob Lee
Things that I'm into? That's just kind of what it is. And, you know, being able to have that kind of loop of work, being play like, you know, I'm, you know, this is a big chunk of my time, you know, and doing between anywhere between 10 to 20 podcasts in a week while having the day job and all the responsibilities.

00;50;16;13 - 00;50;31;10
Rob Lee
But it's my thing. It's the thing that really balance it out and keeps keeps me energized and keeps me having interesting people. It's for for a person that is shy or what have you been able to talk with a glass of.

00;50;31;28 - 00;50;32;01
Hilton Carter.
Beer.

00;50;32;15 - 00;50;37;04
Rob Lee
With a glass of beer phone isn't in front of me. Makes it easier to network in that regard.

00;50;37;04 - 00;50;41;03
Hilton Carter.
And real quick what you so you can see yourself so.

00;50;41;24 - 00;50;43;29
Rob Lee
I am I consider myself. Yeah. Yes.

00;50;44;15 - 00;51;09;05
Hilton Carter.
Okay. Yeah, that's I mean, I don't consider myself a shy person. People might say I'm extra. I see myself as an introvert, but who might be extroverted at certain situations. I grew up a you were talking earlier about the the want to be like a rapper in college and college. I picked up rapping somehow. Me and my friend put out an album in college.

00;51;09;05 - 00;51;31;15
Hilton Carter.
I would do all these raps in like freestyle sessions and parties, blah, blah, blah. But before all that, like before all that, when I was a kid, the shyness was was very present. I was very I was very to myself because I had a terrible stutter. So I had this stutter that I could not figure out how to get over it.

00;51;31;16 - 00;51;56;21
Hilton Carter.
Somehow I worked my way in college somehow work my way through that process. And seeing you hear is like you seem like a shy individual who has this sort of job right? Yeah. A passion to talk to people. But like you said, this isn't a you and me at a party and you walking up to me like, hey, let's chop it up.

00;51;56;21 - 00;52;02;26
Hilton Carter.
That's how I like it. How's it going? And you like play. Tell me a little bit more about it.

00;52;03;09 - 00;52;27;05
Rob Lee
But you know, but, but, but that's a true thing. And it's, it's funny. Like I'm better one on one with people, but it's just one of those things where it's a number is like that timer goes off is like, all right, that's about 20 people. Okay, cool, cool, cool. And sometimes when you're in these sort of scenes, I think the last time I saw you was at the union joined the 10th anniversary and I was like.

00;52;27;12 - 00;52;28;04
Hilton Carter.
Did I see you?

00;52;28;18 - 00;52;36;17
Rob Lee
I don't think you saw me, but I definitely saw you because I was talking to girls like Doris H.S. right there. She was like, I she's like, You don't know him, though. I was like.

00;52;38;14 - 00;52;58;18
Hilton Carter.
But hey, that's what's up. Well, yeah, I was there. I still that's the last thing I could say that if there's not like a good neighbor, agree on everything, I'm not there. I'm not out in the world. Like, I don't even know what that is. Alex And and so, so when I was there, I was just like, this is a moment for me to experience and to maybe talk to the people that I know.

00;52;58;29 - 00;53;10;16
Hilton Carter.
Yeah, but you're, you're in that situation that you're in. You're just like, I'm not going to talk to many people because that's a different place. Yeah. That's that's not where I would I would, I would say shy people end up.

00;53;10;23 - 00;53;34;22
Rob Lee
I have an override. I have an override of following ambition. Like, you know, I ran into this like recently where it burned me, where I did this sort of big networking thing. And it just it just wasn't for me. It was just not that vibe. And and I was like, you know, kind of go back as you come out of that show and you kind of go after ambition, you're saying, Oh, this is the thing that I should do because it's going to get me out there.

00;53;34;22 - 00;53;59;12
Rob Lee
And being the community, it overrides whatever shyness is there. But when it's something that kind of blows back, you're like, Yeah, I should should not have left my little my little island, my island of my pod island. I guess I hear you. What I want to do here is I want to get to the wrap up portion and give you an opportunity to please, please telephone folks where to check you out, online, social media, all of that stuff.

00;53;59;22 - 00;54;00;26
Rob Lee
The before.

00;54;00;26 - 00;54;35;20
Hilton Carter.
Yours. Yeah. Well, first of all, thank you so much for having me. I think the the moments of being able to have conversations about myself are very strange. But it's it's fun to have conversations with people. Right. And as you and as you mentioned earlier, earlier, you're going to be tagged tagged with influencer or having those moments where you can share how things happen in your life to get you where you are.

00;54;36;18 - 00;55;08;20
Hilton Carter.
I think it can hopefully maybe inspire someone who listens to this. So I appreciate that. Where, where can people find me? Hopefully you can find me. I agree. Neighbor on Falls Road, right up the hill from our partners. Good neighbor, coffee shop, side view coffee shop. And it's just a lifestyle shop. Yeah. Moderate coffee. Anything else that you consider that can make your interior space a bit brighter?

00;55;08;20 - 00;55;26;12
Hilton Carter.
I think, Soledad. Good neighbor and also green. So maybe you'll find me there hosting a workshop. Maybe you'll find me there just having a sip of coffee by 8.4. So the people who work at Green Day for probably like, why is this guy just buy? He's like buying his own.

00;55;27;02 - 00;55;29;11
Rob Lee
Like, this is inside baseball. Hilton, what are you doing?

00;55;29;28 - 00;56;11;25
Hilton Carter.
Hey, man, I love it. Like, I bought. Like, there's, like. Like all our all our dinnerware that's in this I bought from good neighbors. It's like. It's like I told you, man, our settings are connected, so it's perfect. But you can find me there. You can find me on social, whether it's TikTok or Instagram or YouTube, I guess Hilton, Carter is mainly where you can find me, I believe, on those accounts, and then you can find me on bookshelves wherever books are sold, having plants, plant books and hair styling conversations.

00;56;11;25 - 00;56;35;12
Hilton Carter.
You can find me on the Magnolia Network in their workshop section or maybe in their regular content section. I think we're on HBO Max now, but don't take my word for that. I believe that's where Magnolia Network is there. But also there's an app you could buy me. I don't know, wherever you find me like you found me.

00;56;35;19 - 00;56;59;10
Hilton Carter.
The union of its anniversary events. Hopefully I could put myself in positions to be at more Baltimore events. That's my goal. But after having a kid in Culvert, there's been a lot of just like Hilton at home. So I hope to I hope to get out get out there and see more people and be a part of the community.

00;56;59;10 - 00;57;14;05
Hilton Carter.
And I don't know, I'm probably missing some things that are going to be coming up, but I'll post about it. I'll talk about it by the time this comes up. Maybe you'll share a little bit more about it.

00;57;14;05 - 00;57;36;22
Rob Lee
So, yeah, there you have it, folks. I want to again date Hilton Carter for coming onto the podcast and chopping it up with me and sharing his story. And for Hilton, Carter, I'm Rob Lee saying that there is art business plants in and around Baltimore. You just got to look for.

Creators and Guests

Rob Lee
Host
Rob Lee
naturally curious and a storyteller

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