Image Credit: Kenny McCracken

Bring the warmth of desert sunshine into your home with Hi Cacti botanic store

The store that celebrates independent creatives and plants for mental health

Hi Cacti are all about championing plant care as a form of self care. Has someone told you “you need to touch some grass” lately? Perhaps you have felt it yourself. Getting outdoors and seeing the colour green is good for our bodies and our mind. This is especially when we spend so much of our time behind screens. Consumed by technology in our day to day life, sometimes you just need to go outside. Breathe in the fresh air and feel leaves beneath the balls of your feet!

Customers are able to bring the outdoors inside homes by buying the botanical plants, plant pots, and nature themed homeware too. Owner Sabina Palermo says “houseplants are a healthy reminder for us to slow down and smell the roses. I want us to also look after ourselves and the planet all at the same time”.

Tex-Mex inspired botanic store

Hi Cacti is a vibrant cactus concept shop, exploding with the colours. These are inspired by Sabina’s ‘Tex-mex’ hometown roots in Austin, Texas. The shop also pays homage to her travels around Mexico and Southwest America. 25% of Hi Cacti products are now imported from this corner of the globe. The store is its own mini fiesta of nature, local artists and bringing desert sunshine to Brighton.

Hi Cacti on Dyke Road

This desert sunshine is represented by the sunny painted facade above the shop by local artist Hello Marine. Designed four years ago when the store opened in Seven Dials, it was intended to brighten even the greyest days in the neighbourhood as Sabina warmed to her new home. Hi Cacti actually started on Etsy in 2015. The store opening was just the beginning of a real community of creators and plant-lovers blossoming. 

Celebrating local creatives

Some plant pots you see in the store are handmade by Hi Cacti. Around 50% of products they showcase are made by other small, creative businesses all over the UK. It is important to Sabina to provide a platform for other independent businesses. That is why all of the shop’s products are carefully selected. 

Maya Doyle is an example of a local creator that works collaboratively with Hi Cacti. Some of her ceramics and pottery are sold in the store, and she also creates visuals for the business. Three local artists paint the plant pots. Naturally, with it being a female founded business, most of the artistry is being created by women. 

For me personally, shopping locally from independent creators makes me feel like the product I have acquired attains so much more character. Sabina says it is all about balance and where people can shop independently, they should.

Image Cred: Kenny McCracken

Let’s support independent businesses!

Brighton is so saturated with creative businesses that the plethora of shopping choices can be overwhelming. While it is a privilege to have so many buying options, it is important we continue building shopping communities by constantly supporting the businesses we love. Unfortunately, since the magic of shopping independently during COVID has started to fade, these businesses are facing a mini recession. With more freedom, shoppers seem to be returning to the high street. Let’s go back to commemorating the locality and maintain good buying habits moving forward. 

Hi Cacti book

Last year was the next exciting big step for Hi Cacti as Sabina published a book of the same title as her store. Approached three years ago by publishers Leaping Hare, the book was released last year. Sabina found that most plant books in bookshops were more scientific. She wanted to create something more approachable for the new-comers of the houseplant keeping world. She produced a book which is readable and interactive, reflecting the Hi Cacti vibe in its own unique and funky way. The book is even available to buy in Kew Gardens, an incredible platform for Hi Cacti’s ethos. 

Inside the book you can read why it is beneficial to keep plants, including tips and hacks, and also ‘how to care for’ twenty of Sabina’s easy to love houseplants. If you have never taken care of a plant before, this is the all in one guide and place to go. Composed of Sabina’s knowledge and research, it is modest and entertaining as well as informative. Learn how to style your houseplants, or take on one of the botanical projects in the book. 

And so much more to discover

My favourite idea though – botanic recipes! Did you know some cacti are safe to eat and cook with? Well, Sabina will tell you how with five healthy, plant-based tex-mex recipes and three botanical drinks to wash dinner down with. The book’s aim is to replicate the ‘plant care as self care’ ethos she opened the store with, and to reattach ourselves to ways we can connect with nature. 

Hi Cacti have also hosted workshops including succulent wreath making for all year function – not just the holiday period – something you can also find in the book. Keep your ears and eyes peeled for future workshopping and creative opportunities over at Hi Cacti. Or just pop into the store to say hello! Hi Cacti are more than just retail, willing to chat to people about plants, give tips and just interact with the space. “We really want you and your plants to grow happily and healthy together”.

Image Cred: Kenny McCracken

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