If you’ve spent any time down the rabbit hole of home design on Instagram, chances are this has happened to you: After a few minutes of mindless scrolling, the perfect vignette stops you in your tracks. Whether it’s a quiet nook or a full bookshelf, you’re drawn in by the seamless blend of vintage pieces and new products, of current trends and timeless choices. You immediately wish you could buy one of everything in the frame—and then hire the person who put it all together to recreate it for you.
If you happen to spot that photo on Wldwst’s IG account—where there are countless shots worthy of this level of adoration—that wish can be granted. The brainchild of Wild Green Yonder floral designer Lori Tran, 37, and interiors wiz Colleen West, 30, this lifestyle boutique in downtown Leesburg effortlessly embodies the stylish-but-not-too-styled look popularized by the social media platform—and it does so using mostly local products.
On any given day, the shop’s arched built-ins may be dressed with art prints by Annandale’s Kirsten Williams, Lucketts-made The Color & Clay Co. ceramics, and face oils from Alexandria’s Nourish & Refine. Over in the caned wardrobe, DC-designed Underbares bralettes hang next to bath soaks from Sperryville’s Wild Roots Apothecary. On the main display table, Richmond-made Na Nin candles pepper the space between pieces of vintage serveware and trays of delicate Sterling-crafted Cicie Jewelry baubles.
“It’s blending the antique with the new,” says Tran of the store’s aesthetic, “but doing it in a way that doesn’t feel like your grandmother’s attic.”
The story behind the shop evolved as almost organically as its style. Fresh off a studio art degree from JMU, West got a job doing display design at the Anthropologie store in Reston, but grew restless after a few years. Eager to see how other creatives were making it work locally, she reached out to Tran, whose floral business was based in Ashburn. “We went on a blind date and became fast friends,” says Tran. The two began working on projects together here and there, and eventually went in on a joint studio space.
Tran had always wanted to have a store, and West had a background in retail design, so they dipped their toes in with a small pop-up. What was supposed to be just one day—Mother’s Day 2019—turned into a monthlong residency, followed by a full studio takeover for the holiday season. With the pandemic delaying various projects, the duo had time to more thoughtfully consider their fledgling retail venture. When a storefront opened for rent a few doors down last summer, West and Tran jumped at the chance to give Wldwst a permanent home. It took some upgrades, but the shop began taking customers in November. And as the world opened up, so too did Tran’s and West’s ideas of how they might further expand their brand. In-store events like tastings and book signings are definitely on the horizon. “The rest,” says West, “we’re keeping close to the chest.”
What’s In Store
Cement Soy Candle by Naked Goat Soap Co., $32
Crafted in reusable vessels, the candles are among the store’s bestsellers. The Cactus scent is a customer favorite, and Tran and West are “obsessed” with the newest scent, Pink Sky.
Essential Oil Hand Wash by Na Nin, $18
This luxurious soap makes handwashing a treat.
Cocktail Syrup by Wild Roots Apothecary, $15
Wild Roots crafts all its botanical cocktail syrups by hand. Tran and West like the elderberry-and-lavender flavor for late-summer cocktails.