leilani and ariel
Leilani Zehnder and Ariel Stirm, Co-founders of Botanic and Luxe at their downtown Santa Cruz location.
(Botanic and Luxe)
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Meet Botanic and Luxe: From building tree forts in Kaua’i, to growing a thriving store in Santa Cruz

Presented by Santa Cruz County Bank

Botanic and Luxe opened their doors in the spring of 2016 in downtown Santa Cruz and quickly became a local staple and a favorite among many in the community.

Meet Botanic and Luxe! Created by two best friends with a passion for design, beauty, and a holistic lifestyle, Botanic and Luxe started in 2016. Co-founders Ariel Stirm and Leilani Zehnder describe it best, “Botanic and Luxe is a destination for the lovers, dreamers and seekers of all things beautiful!”

This hip, brick and mortar boutique in downtown Santa Cruz is brimming with thoughtfully curated home goods and unique gifts. With Ariel and Leilani having grown up on the lush and beautiful island of Kauai, it’s no wonder that their store is filled with a wide array of “jungle-style” live indoor plants. ⠀

two women posing
(Botanic and Luxe)

Mission-driven in its selection of offerings, Botanic and Luxe takes great care to support local makers, fair-trade organizations, and products that the founders love and believe in. In line with this intention, Botanic and Luxe displays the work of local artists on its walls, in support of First Friday Santa Cruz. In the shop and online is a magical world of design, botanicals, and soulful living. ⠀

More About Ariel and Leilani

Ariel and Leilani, grew up on Kaua’i, first meeting on the beach at age one. Their childhood was spent building tree forts, exploring the ocean, and adventuring through the lush landscape. During their summer breaks, they would sell tropical flowers and plumeria leis they foraged in their “backyard jungle.”

As young aspiring adults, Ariel and Leilani moved to California to pursue education in their personal passions. Ariel delved into a world of landscape architecture, and Leilani studied holistic nutrition. After years of building their individual skill sets, the two had an “AHA!” moment and knew it was time to start their business. Botanic and Luxe opened their doors in the spring of 2016 and quickly became a local staple and a favorite among many in their community.

ariel and leilani
(Botanic and Luxe)

Ariel and Leilani began their relationship with Santa Cruz County Bank in early 2018 with the help of their personal bankers, Michele Bassi and Relationship Manager Alicia Kretsch. “We are so pleased we were able to support Ariel and Leilani’s efforts to provide such a unique shopping experience in our community.” said Alicia, “Ariel and Leilani are inspiring and delightful clients, and we’re thrilled they choose to bank with us.”

As a small, local business, it is very important to us to bank locally! You can’t beat the experience at Santa Cruz County Bank - everyone is so friendly, the service is speedy, and they’ve always been there for us. PLUS, we get to enjoy their beautiful landscape every time we make a deposit - definitely a perk for us plant ladies!

— Ariel Stirm and Leilani Zehnder, Botanic and Luxe Co-founders

More about Santa Cruz County Bank

Santa Cruz County Bank is a leading lender in the county, region, state and nation. Most recently, the Bank ranked in the top 10 lenders in the San Francisco District of the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for both the number of loans and the dollar amount of SBA loans. The San Francisco District runs from Santa Cruz to the Oregon border along the coast and includes all Bay Area counties.

The true value of community banks has been demonstrated throughout the pandemic.

When the CARES ACT Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was first announced, Santa Cruz County Bank’s employees sprang into action to develop a secure portal for pre-applications before the program was rolled out by the government. Their early response made it possible for business owners to get in the queue for funding to keep their employees on the payroll and their businesses operating during the pandemic. In hindsight, it was a race against time.

Click here to see how the Bank’s employees worked around the clock to secure PPP funding for local businesses before funding ran out to help local businesses retain over 36,000 jobs and counting.

meet the team

Santa Cruz County Bank has the resources and lending capacity to help bring your business to the next level. We look forward to continuing to assist in the recovery and reopening of local businesses. We are here for the community with all our heart and soul.