Skip to main content
Southwest Orange Thursday, Mar. 19, 2020 1 year ago

Pistil Home & Garden sprouts in Windermere

The new home decor and garden store opened earlier this month along Main Street.
by: Tim Freed Managing Editor

Windermere’s newest business encourages shoppers to “make, learn and grow.”

Pistil Home & Garden recently opened its doors along Main Street, offering residents a wide range of plants, home decor and gifts.

The store is owned by co-owners and partners Rania Ata, Reem Topel and Don Robinson, who launched their business with a desire to give Windermere residents a place to purchase candles, ferns, decorative centerpieces, books, dog bowls and other items to make any house feel like home.

“We wanted to create a store that, when you walk in, you just lose yourself and feel good and then there’s always something for everyone,” Ata said.

Items from renowned brands like Corkcicle, Waxxy & Co., Voluspa, Hester & Cook, L’Objet, Tea Forté and Lampe Berger come from Orlando, across the nation and beyond, while ferns, air plants and succulents are a chosen from local nurseries.

It’s all hand-picked by sister duo Ata and Topel, who choose every item with a personal level of care.

“What sets us aside from everyone is that we take pride and there’s a lot of love that goes into this,” Ata said. “Everything we hand-select, whether it’s something that we love to carry in our home or we also think that, ‘Oh, this is so neat and so unique that I would love to receive this as a gift or gift it to someone.’”

Pistil Home & Garden sells a variety of items for the home.

There’s also a creative, hands-on side to Pistil Home & Garden. Visitors who walk further into the store past seasonal displays and shelves lined with decorative pieces will see an arrangement bar area, where customers can either create their own custom floral arrangements or take a class based on a holiday theme or type of plant.

The arrangement bar will be open every day with a sign-up sheet for 45-minute time slots. Shoppers can also book birthdays, bachelorette parties or other events with friends.

“You can come in, have a glass of wine, buy a pot, sit here — we match you with plants, you can show us a photo of the interior of your house and if you want to get certain color arrangements,” Robinson said. “It’s not just coming in and being a passive shopper. It’s to drag you into the experience and help you invent something.”

Windermere was the perfect location for the new venture, Robinson said. Ata had several smaller stores that got her into the business, and Robinson had spent more than 30 years working with The Walt Disney World Company nearby. As the two became partners, the space along Main Street in Windermere became available.

“Windermere has that small-town vibe and this historic area here,” Robinson said. “Given what you see around you and given the product, this seemed like it fit both aesthetically into the town, but also we’ve been so welcomed by the population of Windermere. Having a retail option downtown as they stroll around … the reaction from the people in Windermere has been fabulous.”

The new store is a dream come true for the three owners — Ata and Topel grew up together hoping someday to open up a business. The sisters remember running a lemonade stand and other small ventures while growing up as children in the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

Pistil Home & Garden is the first store they’ve opened up together.

“We’ve always loved retail — Reem and I,” Ata said. “It’s always been a passion of mine. … I’ve always had the dream of having our own store and having the powerhouse team which we have now.”

Tim Freed was the managing editor for the West Orange Times & Observer and the Southwest Orange Observer. He previously spent six years covering the Winter Park/Maitland area and is a graduate of the University of Central Florida.


See All Articles by Tim

Related Stories