If you’re looking for the perfect one-of-a-kind gift for the person who’s impossible to buy for, allow me to share with you my latest obsession. Sill Life, a boutique company created by Holley Simmons based in DC, offers creative bespoke terrariums ready to beautify any space. My favorites are the gilded dinosaurs which are fun and fabulous, each one with its own quirks and carrying a cactus on its back. My pet golden boy T-Rex is ferociously guarding the tree and gifts, and he is fun as a conversation starter and centerpiece. The dinosaur itself is made of sturdy but slightly flexible material, so it won’t break into a million pieces if little paws get ahold of him. I also particularly appreciate that the cacti are living organisms but don’t need a lot of attention. The dinosaurs now ship nationwide and are ready to go! TDO had a virtual sit down with the cool and creative force behind these creations to ask some burning questions and glean some inside info, so read on.
What inspired you to start Sill Life?
I went to purchase my first terrarium one day and was blown away by the price. I grew up with a very strong DIY mentality, so instead of buying it I spent about a year making (and killing!) terrariums. After three years and over 150 terrarium classes taught, I’ve gotten a hang of it. I’ve since expanded my offerings to include a line of terrariums, interior landscaping and weddings. I’m dying to do a wedding that is decorated entirely with potted plants!
Where do you get ideas for creating?
Travel! I try to get away as often as possible. I’ve been inspired by bougainvillea in Mexico, the lush brush of Sri Lanka and just about every single thing I’ve seen in Italy.
Does each terrarium take on its own quirks and personality?
Absolutely! One of my favorite things about working with nature and living materials is that they are constantly changing. Every succulent and fern has a story and its own idiosyncrasies. I’m constantly looking for cool new containers to put plants in, and often find the best ones at thrift stores and vintage shops.
What are your current obsessions, design or otherwise?
Right now I’m absolutely loving the work of DC upholster Nicole Crowder
. She has an amazing eye for print and colors. Also the shapes and themes in Margaret Bakke’
s art work always strikes me as strong and feminine.