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!)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
How can we contact you?
With love, as always,