Log In

Shop Small Saturday: Botanical Boys

Take a tour of The Botanical Boys, a green oasis in the heart of London's Coal Drops Yard serving up terrarium masterclasses and handmade homewares.

Welcome to Shop Small Saturday, a weekly feature where we celebrate our community of independent boutiques, from Bath to Berlin.

Founded in 2016 by South African native Ben and his business partner Darren, The Botanical Boys started out as a hobby with terrarium design classes taught from their flat. In 2019 they moved their workshops to a retail space in London’s Coal Drops Yard to accommodate their ever-growing number of customers.

As well as hosting weekly terrarium masterclasses and inviting other creatives to teach jewellery workshops and candle making, The Botanical Boys boasts an eclectic collection of handmade products across homeware and lifestyle, all sourced from their travels.

Aiming to connect people to nature in everything they do, The Botanical Boys is a great visit if you are hoping to make your space an oasis, thanks to its curation of planters, palm leaf ceramics and terrariums.

Partnering with maker groups throughout the African continent, the Botanical Boys opt for products created by artisans and made with traditional processes using natural materials. “For example our Malawi chairs are made by artisans who do not use machinery, nails or glue like modern factories, and instead use special knots and weaving techniques to form their chairs. Our Iranga baskets from Tanzania which are made by a group of women working from home so they can look after their children and still get a fair income.” The boutique’s embroidered pieces are sourced from Mapula Embroideries, a community art project based in South Africa.

Read on to find out about a typical Saturday at The Botanical Boys store as we chat with Ben about how to get involved in their classes, their new-in pieces and their love of supporting independents.

“Our cat is the first to get attention in the morning. She usually demands some food, and then we set about tending to the plants on our roof terrace while we have our morning coffee. This is such an important space for us, and our favourite way to start the day. This year our planting scheme mostly involves different grass species as they look amazing moving in the wind. 

We then head to our stores to set up for our terrarium workshops. We usually get there around 9:30 to set up the space and pack any online or Trouva orders before we open at 11am. To get us amped up for a day full of hosting we love to get Master KG on the speakers - upbeat and one of our favourites - and perfect for creating an energetic, welcoming atmosphere to break the ice before a workshop.

We host terrarium classes every weekend, running corporate workshops during the week. Situated in Coal Drops Yard, we’re surrounded by loads of other great independents - Tom Dixon is a favourite - so you can easily make a day of it. They frequently hold markets with independent food stalls - Morty & Bob’s also make a mean coffee.

At The Botanical Boys we mostly stock our own products. They all have a story to tell and are made out of natural materials. Often the items would have had an original purpose as a practical daily use object like a sifting basket for example. Here we like to repurpose them and showcase them as a beautiful wall hanging to add interest to our interior designs, and provide inspiration for your own homes. Our hot products at the moment are our Namji Dolls, and our all-natural healing skincare products.

Our skincare products are made using the natural healing plants fynbos from Cape Town. Our lotion for example contains oils of Lavender, Rose Geranium, Buchu, Neroli, Ylang Ylang and Kapokbos. The lotion leaves your skin non-oily but moisturised and it contains excellent antibacterial, antiviral and skin conditioning properties.

We are very lucky to live in an amazing community of friends in Dalston, so once we shut up shop for the day, our weekend evenings are usually spent hosting dinner parties for our neighbours.”

Shop Botanical Boys now on Trouva or follow them on Instagram. Trusted Site