Slavonk & Hortus Terraria

You know when you meet someone and you feel instantly connected? That’s a quick way of describing the start of my relationship with Keri Anderson of Slavonk & Hortus Terraria. It was really an instant friendship. She is a beautiful woman, inside and out, sweet and caring with a gentle soul. And I am THRILLED to be introducing you to her and her business. (Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, y’all… terrariums would make a beautiful present!)

slavonk and hortus

Tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up? Small-town girl, I grew up in Lockhart, Barbeque Capitol of the “world”. Making the most of everything, oldest sibling, Entreprenu, at heart.
Who inspires you? Everyday people doing the right thing, making people smile, laugh. People taking care of people. 

Slavonk and Hortus

When did you start Slavonk and Hortus? I started making terrariums while working at coffee shop in South Austin. I was renting a room from a friend and I worked on the side of the house where I had easy access to the hose, to keep my plants and wash glasswares. Then I moved into my own place and worked from home, built a greenhouse and then negotiated a deal with Whole Foods, which funded our own store-front, now in South Austin.
Where did the name come from? I always wanted to be a designer when I was a little girl and I came up with this name: Slavonk. The influence was derived from an infatuation from my “Mooma’s” constant company with Russian ballet dancers. She used to teach dance and was offered a big deal with a New York company, but declined because she wanted to start a family. When the travel-bug reached me, I was fascinated by eastern-European culture and style: Slavokia, what a cool name. I then had to pair up a name that was plant related. I had really enjoyed a book titled “Hortus” and thought it was fitting, since terrariums are an old gardening technique and style. Terraria is also a made-up name, plural for terrarium.

Slavonk and HortusWhat was your inspiration for your beautiful company? I love how plants have their own world and way of life. We wouldn’t live without them. Their green color inspires and their roots renewing. I worked for a florist here in Austin where we had 20 buckets of roses to prune. I noticed I had more allergies than ever before, working there, and my hands were shaky and my pigment changed when I pruned. I did some research and realized the fresh cut florals were laced with pesticides. Not only was I affected, but the farmers in Colombia and other countries were significantly affected. 
How much different would it be to change the way we view an “arrangement?” I liked that I could help change the way people look at plants.
What’s your favorite plant? I love ferns. I have favorites, but they’re the oldest living plant-life known. Something that has that much history (350 million years) and that the first terrarium was started with a Fern, that’s pretty special. Ferns also have an ability to come back to life, cryptobiosis, after long periods of dormancy. They also have a wonderful smell similar to hyacinth. They have good style too. 
Slavonk and  Hortus
Where do you start in your design process when you’re building a terrarium? I start with plant selection. I handpick every bunch of succulents, every tropical plant for the most color, the most interesting designs. 
Slavonk and Hortus
Where do you find inspiration? I find inspiration from nature, itself. 
My sense for design is improved when I go back to the greenbelt to relearn how she grows.
Were you born with a green thumb? I was let loose to play in my grandmothers wild-plant yard and remember the lacy, umbrella-like flowers of Yarrow. I watched my grandmother grow anything she could get her hands on. I learned from her. 
Slavonk  and  Hortus
What tips do you have for us non-green thumbs? Find the name of your plant and look it up on Google. Find the lighting and watering needs. The rest is planting it, crossing your fingers and wishing for the best.
When not working, what do you like to do? Spend time with my family, enjoy the silence of doing nothing and going out to eat or experiencing something new and interesting. 
Slavonk and HortusFavorite Austin hangouts? Haha, well, my shop. I’m always there. But I sometimes go to Radio to grab coffee, with friends. Kerby is also in South Austin now, and is go-to for a quick dinner out.
Why do you love Austin? I love Austin because even though we’re growing, like our most plant-diverse city, we all mesh pretty well. Even the new-comers catch the drift, for the most part. I love the culture we’ve maintained and developed throughout the ten years I’ve known it. That culture being, we welcome weird because everyone has something to share. And that weirdness is beauty.
Where can we buy your designs? Designs can be found, at the source, in South Austin at our new retail location: 11525 Manchaca Rd. Suite 102 Austin, Tx 78748 
Designs can also be found at Prima Dora on South Congress and Prize at 2nd & Colorado. All five Whole Foods, here in Austin. It’s recommended to call for availability, before-hand, at any of the later mentioned retailers.
How can we contact you?
Call, email or stop by the shop! (11525 Manchaca Rd. Suite 102, 78748)

When you talk to Keri, let her know I sent you!
With love, as always,

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