As unique as the name itself, Botanologica offers a mix of merchandise you won’t find in any other local boutique, or chain store for that matter. Owners Holly Manon and Julie Liu, after 17 years of knowing each other, decided to open a store that would bring their interests to the residents of Falls Church and all of Northern Virginia. This past July, the duo opened up Botanologica on West Broad Street in Falls Church.
With a background in floral design and retail, Manon and Liu focus the store on nature and how it can be brought to the home through the merchandise that falls under the genre of container gardens and outdoor living with a curated roster of local artisans to boot.
The little old house that is Botanologica stays true to the theme inside with its peaceful, nature-y, vintage vibe. Wooden and metal tables, bookshelves, baskets and glass cabinets hold the artisanal wares, and floral accompaniments draw one’s eye around the four-room store. There are displays of ceramics from Persimmon Street Ceramics (Arlington), artwork from Pat Loudis (in-house artist), beeswax candles from Bee Chic (Bluemont), prints from Horse and Hare (Winchester), handmade soaps from SallyeAnder (New York), fragrances from Priya Means Love (Baltimore) and scarves and textiles from Pidge Pidge (New York).
As a bonus, Botanologica shares the space with the jewelry and apparel store Society Hill.
But the work Manon and Liu add to the store is more than owner- and curatorship. The florals throughout the store and spotlighted in a separate room are their creations. Containers of succulents, nestles of greenery and kokedamas (Japanese moss balls) are Manon and Liu’s specialty and are available for purchase and for customization. “We do on-site consultations with clients,” says Liu, who adds that they source from local growers when possible. The containers are designed with the client in mind. “We want to meet their expectations as far as the type of energy they want to put into the care and maintenance,” Liu says. “We consider their preference for colors and textures, and we encourage people to think about using native plants.”
In the future Manon and Liu want to add in workshops, like wreath-making workshops for the holidays, and potentially bring in experts to lead other sessions. // Botanologica: 817 W. Broad St., Falls Church