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This Local Company Turns Concrete into Works of Art

Read how Dana Arnold's side hustle, Form + Root, came to be

By As told to Sarah Pfledderer

Form Root main

Form Root main

I always knew I would start a company. Never in a million years would I have thought it would be a business having anything to do with concrete. Form + Root started on my Hillcrest patio. I got the idea to propagate a few of my succulents to give to my coworkers as a holiday gift; I needed 70 plants and 70 pots. After researching the cost of concrete pots, I thought: “I worked with concrete in college; I’ll just make them.” I became obsessed. A few months later in the fall of 2019, Form + Root was born.

Concrete is an approachable material. Other materials, like clay or traditional ceramics, require complex tools, processes, and time. With concrete, I can make and fully set a functional piece in 24 hours. Still, concrete is a material that’s not always “perfect.” It can be rough, it can be smooth, it can have bubbles. I love this about the material. Each batch is unique. And my first early attempts at making color concrete, I must say, didn’t turn out. I tested dozens of methods. It wasn’t until I found the right pigment that my love of color in our pieces grew. Today, Form + Root specializes in colored concrete with more than 75 styles and 24 color options. That’s over 1,800 unique items!

I had dreams of being an architect, designing and adapting buildings for a sustainable future. In architecture school, I got to experiment with different materials and building methods. This planted the seed for more than I would have known. Our pieces are made with an eco-friendly cement blend with natural pigments and sealed with an eco-friendly waterproof. We use recycled packing material by shredding used cardboard boxes. We save all of our “oops” pieces for outlet sales we host. I hope our products evoke joy in our customers, since I look to curate collections that offer timeless styles for long-term use in my customers’ homes and gardens.”

Form + Root


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1230 Columbia Street, Suite 800,

San Diego, CA