Shop Spotlight: Green Mansions

This sunlit Leesburg boutique store was a dream come true for its owner, a former systems engineer and technical project manager.

Photos by Robert Merhaut

Green Mansions was a dream 30 years in the making for Rima Gerendas.

After working as a systems engineer and technical project manager for large corporations, she found herself taking a look at her life and thinking: Who is going to come to my funeral?

“I thrive on face-to-face interaction,” she says, and it was not something she was getting in her career. She remembered, fondly, her time working at a small boutique store, Jasmine, in her hometown in California during college and wanted to get back to the joy she found while there and her other retail work at Nordstrom.

In 2012, she and her family moved to Northern Virginia and she began renting space as a merchant at Bella Villa Vintage & Antiques in Aldie, then she set out on her own with Green Mansions, a small boutique store that focuses on experiential shopping and personalized customer service.

Walk into this sunlit store and your tactile senses are delighted: vintage tables and glass display cases filled with greenery, candles, frames, linens, bath and body products and more fill your sight; music ranging from jazz to pop flow throughout; and olfactory senses take in the delicate scents wafting around.

“Our style is simple elegance with a twist,” says Gerendas, “and bring product mixes from the influences of our travels abroad and domestic.”

Gerendas describes her clientele as those who are looking for urban, vintage, Parisian style and farmhouse decor, and those who have an appreciation for beautiful, simple things. Green Mansions carries everything from bathrobes, Turkish towels and bath accessories, including Gerendas’ own line, NU LEAF, along with grooming items for men with Bumble & Co products, to home fragrances, jewelry by local artisans (The Elegant Muse and Nanette Bijoux), handcrafted fountain pens by Festina Lente and live plants by Living Mi-Wey.

Also, the store has a gourmet food and wine shop within the space and carries selections from Virginia, France, Italy, Spain, Africa, California, Oregon and Washington, plus has wine tastings on Saturdays from 1-5 p.m.

Overall, Gerendas wants her store to not only offer the best curated gifts she can find, she wants to support local artisans and build a community. To do this, her focus is on customer service—“I believe in face to face conversations,” she says—and building up a schedule of events including workshops and pop-up shops. In the past, Green Mansions has hosted succulent design workshops with Michele Weymouth of Living Mi-Wey and mantel design classes with Sallie Kjos of GreyHunt Interiors. Coming this month is the launch of a wine club.

Notes:

Green Mansions
The Shops at Crescent Place
424 Madison Trade Plaza SE, Leesburg
green-mansions.com

(June 2018)

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