GET TO KNOW: HI CACTI
Hi Cacti is a cool Brighton based independent shop thats all about cacti, We popped in to say hi to Sabina the owner and founder, checked out all her amazing stock and her new book.
Let’s see what’s so great about these cool plants.
” I’m very passionate about sharing how beneficial plants are for us…”
For the readers .. you got a cool accent .. where’s that from?
Surprisingly with my Yankee twang I’m actually from rural Suffolk originally! Just to throw ya off! But we moved to Austin Texas when I was 7 and that’s where I spent most of my youth till 22 hence losing my English accent for my American accent. I have dual nationality with my mum being English from london and my dad being an Italian American New Yorker- which massively shaped who I am as I feel very ‘transatlantic’ with my vocab & upbringing, etc.
So … what’s so great about Cacti’s?
They are just awesome all around! Structural so therefore sort of architectural! They’re Survivors! They have preferences to thrive but they are still able to ‘bloom where they are planted’ so to speak which I really admire and appreciate. Also cacti are long living and can outlive us – such as the immense & impressively tall saguaro cacti in the Sonoran desert in areas like Arizona, Southern California, and northern Mexico which can live a couple hundred years and grow 40ft+. Because of there slow growth and ages this means they can usually be passed down and exchange households and generations which I think is really beautiful. I inherited my 1st cacti collection from my grandmother ‘Nanny Joy’ which really inspired the start of my whole business after she passed away. There are so many varieties too so they are I think one of the more interesting, varied, and easy plants to keep! Just a sunny spot, minimal watering and Bob’s your uncle!
Tell us about your fab new book?
Thanks and yes I’m super excited that the book is out now as it was a long time in the making! A publisher approached me about writing it about 2.5 years ago, so it’s so unreal and amazing to finally be a fabricated product in the shop and being sold in other peoples shops around the world!
It’s mind blowing and I feel over the moon! The basis of the book is to talk about the benefits of plant care as a form of self care and to hopefully talk about simple and accessible ways to add nature and botanicals into your daily life. There’s lots of info about the benefits mentally & physically, plant projects and crafts, plant based recipes and botanical drinks, and lots of plant hacks, tips, and styling ideas! I truly believe in the power of plants over just them looking pretty in a pot on your desk and I’m very passionate about sharing how beneficial it is for us to connect to nature and add some greenery to our daily and usually digital lives!
How would you describe the colours of your shop .. in a sound?
A tropical beat for sure! Picture that random cool colourful chick around that beach bomb fire tapping a simple bongo beat… that prob out Cabana colour pallet vibe.
How would you describe the experience of walking into your shop?
Between the colours, beachy texmex products and tropical greenery I strive to make the shop feel like a holiday or a little oasis from the city. Our mantra is very ‘mi Casa Es su casa’ and I really love creating a space that transports people and stops them in their tracks for a moment’s escape.
“Ironically people always see the big guys in my window like cowboy cacti with big spikes and are fearful of them …”
What’s been the coolest place you have been on your travels?
Super tough call. But I would say New Orleans is one of my favorite cities I’ve ever been to, as it has it’s own completely unique vibe and mix of influences and cultures. It feels so Unique to the city itself, very Cajun, voodoo, French, southern, jazzy, arty, etc and I adore the pride that people from Nola have. But also Arizona state as a whole is epically beautiful, so varied from snow capped mountains & pine tree forests to red rocked canyons with waterfalls and cacti filled desserts. Tucson in particular makes my soul sing and changed my life going there and now we try to visit their deserts every winter if we can!
How did you end up in Brighton?
I came for a summer when I was at university in Austin and never left! And that was 15 years ago. Haha 😂 my mum being English I had the passport and wanted to make sure I took advantage of it at some point in my life, and came halfway thru uni for a summer break to work at a pub and fell in love with Brighton and didn’t want to leave.
Which is your spikiest cactus?
Ironically people always see the big guys in my window like cowboy cacti with big spikes and are fearful of them but it’s actually more like the little guys with small thin hairlike spikes like prickly pear cacti that really get cha as they are super fine and hard to get out and hard to see.
Where do you want to be in 10 years?
I would love to be splitting my time between running my business here in England and also out of the southwest of America, perhaps with another ‘Hi Cacti’ location or 2. Out of either Southern California like Joshua tree and/or Austin or Tucson, driving around in my 80’s Orange Ford bronco delivering cacti between desert hikes. 😉
Otherwise pop by the shop and say ‘Hi’ on the Brighton seven dials.
Big thanks to Sabina for chatting to us .. if you fancy a lovely book or Cacti for a little present check out the shop and website.