Botanical Scene, Far & Wide’s sister store, opens for business downtown

Hooray for plant lovers, the new storefront promises access to popular plant varieties and accessories year-round

Local business owners Brianne Shepard and Calli Duncan of fan-favourite, Far & Wide, are remaining loyal to their roots by striving to provide a space to collaborate with local artisans and makers with the new downtown store. (Botanical Scene)

Co-Owners Brianne Shepard and Calli Duncan of Far & Wide have opened yet another stunning downtown storefront within the space used to host their Holiday Pop-Up back in 2020. While Botanical Scene stands on its own and has a different vibe than its sister store, Far & Wide, Shepard and Duncan say they hope to remain loyal to their roots by striving to provide a space to collaborate with local artisans and makers. 

“We didn’t really plan on opening another store during COVID-19,” said Duncan. “But, after the space became available and we went ahead with the pop-up… we discovered [that hosting local makers] was just a really lovely way to get involved with the community during a time where it’s super hard to do so.”

Duncan said that after the success of the Holiday Pop-Up, she and Shepard knew they wanted to make space for local artisans and makers at Botanical Scene as well. The pair, “also knew that plants and plant adjacent pots and accessories were really taking off at Far & Wide in a way that [they] did not have room for at the 4th Ave. location.” 

Duncan added that although Far & Wide is moving to a much larger space come April, she and Shepard sat down and decided, “okay, yeah. This plant thing can stand on its own, given its popularity.” 

Plant lovers can rejoice just in time for spring with loads of lush greenery to liven up your space. (Botanical Scene)

“So, we’ve taken the plants, the pots and the plant accessories, and we’ve moved them to Botanical Scene. And, really, we have simply built the store up around [botanics]. In terms of growing Far & Wide, this means we do not anticipate having plants at the new location.” 

“Now, there will be other [plant-related] things at the new location,” said Duncan. “There is a huge dried botanical trend right now, and we will still carry, as we have before, dried palm spears, bunny tails and things like that. As well as, you know, all those vases and vessels that are rapidly growing in popularity.” 

Duncan explained that she and Shepard reserved nearly a third of the retail floor at Botanical Scene for the community side of things. “Right now, we have Flux Vintage in-house, which two incredibly lovely ladies run. They’ve got gently loved vintage clothing, footwear and accessories and will be at Botanical Scene until the end of May.” 

Duncan said she and Shepard hope to use the collaborative space to further host weekend pop-ups, possibly even yoga classes and other long-term guests like Flux. 

“We like the idea of being able to use [that community component] as space for people to get an idea of what running their business in a retail setting would look like for them… it’s tough to find small spaces in town right now,” said Duncan. 

“Even if you can find a small space, there’s still a long-term lease and other aspects involved. So, yeah, there’s been some work behind the scenes as far as that goes.”

Duncan added that they are still working on a unique aspect she called the Potting Bar, in which guests can pot up their new plant babies and find green-thumb essentials such as insecticidal soap, fertilizers, grow lights, soil mixes, semi-hydroponic growing mediums and more. 

“We are not looking to become a greenhouse or nursery,” said Duncan. “But, we are a boutique plant store. What that means is if you live downtown, and you want to pot up a plant but don’t have an outdoor space in your apartment, or you’re looking for, you know, small amounts of soil or insecticidal soap or things like that, you can pop by the Potting Bar and get things done mess-free.”

The new location can be found at 250 Victoria St. (Botanical Scene)

Duncan says that Botanical Scene is sure to leave room for Far & Wide to grow in a different direction that is true to her and Shepard’s original vision. “There are so many areas that we want to continue to expand in, that have nothing to do with plants, but still focus on highly curated, sustainable, and ethically sourced goods.”

“The new storefront allows us to pursue this thing we kind of stumbled upon and has been growing organically because we wanted plants in the store to begin with.” With Botanical Scene, Shepard and Duncan have the opportunity to serve the community better while also building relationships with artisans and makers they previously could not find the space to host. 

Check out the new space Tuesday-Friday 10:00-5:30, Saturday 10:00-4:00 and Sunday 12:00-4:00 at 250 Victoria Street.