Photographer, interior design stylist and plant expert Danae Horst didn't plan on opening a store in the place where she did. In the end, however, Folia Collective's retail location could not have been more serendipitous.
"The shop already kind of feels like a greenhouse," Horst says of the small storefront tucked within the Burlington Arcade on Lake Avenue, Pasadena's version of the famed indoor urban shopping corridors associated with Paris and in this case, specifically London.
"We have that nice filtered light coming in from above and we have a huge window."
Despite the overall setting's Euro vibe, Folia Collective is very much rooted in a Southern California sensibility. The region might seem like a plant lover's paradise, but Horst saw a specific gap. While nurseries are plentiful, she found resources to meet the growing interest in houseplants lacking.
"I wanted to create a space where people could find a plant they've never seen before, learn something about plants and leave feeling empowered to know how to take care of it," she says.
What started as a pop-up retail project has now become a specialty indoor plant studio and boutique. (Before Horst opened her doors, she had already amassed a healthy social media following.)
Since April, Horst, who lives nearby, has been showcasing artists and makers she knows and likes to help support. Greens bought at Folia Collective can get nestled into affordably priced terra cotta cylinders, or handmade ceramics by Fun Size, Joan Laidig and Gopi Shah. Other plant accessories in various materials are by Right Tribe, WKNDLA and the Wilde Bloem. Products range from mostly local to "super local," Horst says, since some of the ceramicists work out of a nearby clay studio.
Shelves are carefully arranged to maximize visual impact and make the most out of limited space. These are skills Horst still exercises as a photo shoot producer with the Jungalow, queen of nouveau boho cool Justina Blakeney's website.
Running Folia Collective allows Horst to educate customers about plants and keep her various creative irons in the fire. Other services include in-store potting and on-site consultations for people who want more greenery close at hand. She also organizes workshops, such as an upcoming event with Poketo at the Line Hotel on July 8, “Houseplants 101.”
In the end, her mission is simple.
"I want people to walk away feeling like, 'Oh, I can keep this alive.'"
Where: 380 S. Lake Ave., Suite 105, Pasadena
Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays
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