This is the third of four installments of our holiday Shop Local Profile series. We hit up our favorite designers, retailers and artisans for their holiday shopping secrets. For our last installment, we featured Dylan Design Company’s sleek yet rugged furniture and funky home goods. This time, we feature a terrarium expert.


Local hero 4: Holley Simmons, Sill Life terrariums,

Simmons, a food writer by day, turns green thumb by night, arranging quirky terrariums in vintage vessels. She’ll customize a mini garden for you, and you can also give people tickets to one of her DIY workshops.







What inspires your gardens?

The succulents, cacti and fern I work with are all so naturally gorgeous and lush that most of my inspiration comes from them. I simply take a look, combine them, and let them do all the work!


Where do your plants and materials come from?

I use many found materials: rocks discovered while walking through Rock Creek Park, moss foraged on hikes. And most of my succulents are grown in the D.C. area, so they’re built for this weather and thrive in this environment. I promise you’ll be able to keep them alive!







What’s the best present you’ve ever gotten?

A stack of rare, vintage poetry books bound in a silk scarf and adorned with a beautifully written note. Which was hand-typed on a vintage typewriter of course! The boy is good 🙂







What are you asking Santa for this year?

I’ve been wanting a Schott leather motorcycle jacket for years. They last a lifetime and match absolutely any outfit, but I can’t pull the trigger on the $700 price tag. Maybe if everyone in my family pitched in I might be able to swing it?


Where do you shop for gifts?

I shop based on the recipient to make sure I get the most meaningful gift, so there’s no one go-to spot for me. Though I love the Mutiny workshop  at 52 O Street (especially the menswear and fine leather goods) and Salt & Sundry is just the best for food-lovers and dinner party-throwers.


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Post by DC Style Factory stylist, Jenn Barger. Jenn has 13 years’ experience working as a fashion  journalist in the nation’s capitol. She has written countless gift guides for The Washington Post and now is working with DC Style Factory clients to find the best and the brightest gifts this holiday season. Email to work with Jenn.