When I was first introduced to Holley Simmons and her Washington, D.C. home in 2017, I described her as a Jane of all trades. It’s a title she’d rightfully earned after succeeding as a freelance journalist, kickstarting a plant styling company and co-founding popular local workshop The Lemon Collective. Given her track record, you can imagine my lack of surprise when Holley recently told me she had something totally new brewing: a floral shop called She Loves Me.
Situated just below The Lemon Collective on D.C.’s Upshur Street, She Loves Me caters to those looking not only for beautiful blooms, but for interesting trinkets and baubles as well. In fact, it was the thrill of finding these unexpected goodies that partially inspired the store’s “moody and romantic” look. “I wanted [the] place to look like your eccentric aunt’s house, the one who insists on kissing you on the lips,” Holley explains. “I wanted to hide little surprises at every turn.”
Some of the most memorable surprises nod to the storefront’s previous 51 years as a shoe repair shop. On one shelf rests a shoe form the team found while renovating the space, and not too far away a leftover sign reads: “Not responsible for shoes left over 30 days.” “People get a kick out of that,” Holley tells us.
These “people” Holley mentions aren’t only customers, but Upshur Street’s other small business owners as well. Rarely a day goes by that the tight-knit community isn’t helping one another out or simply popping in for a laugh. “We’ve got residential neighbors stopping in for their weekly flowers, we’re buying our meals and coffee from the restaurants down the street… It’s a very neighborly community where it feels like you could stop in the business next door to borrow a cup of sugar, and they’d say ‘No problem; take the whole bag!’” What a great place to start a new chapter. Scroll down to see the shop, and enjoy! —Garrett
Photography by Megan Graham Photography
Image above: Holley left her career as a freelance journalist and floral designer to run She Loves Me full-time. “When the shop was finally opened, it took me a minute to realize I’d have to show up to the same place for work every day!” she says.