Ladue News Feature Stories

Make My Holliday

When customers walk into Holliday in St. Louis’ Central West End neighborhood, they’re met with inviting smells wafting from candles, the warm ambiance that radiates from the store’s interior architecture and neutral-toned furniture and displays.

In their latest venture in the CWE, the McPheeters family now serves a trifecta of businesses with the opening of Holliday. Bowood Farms and Cafe Osage have been operating next to each other on Olive Street for more than a decade, and the third arm of the McPheeters’ operation just made its debut in October.

Katherine McPheeters, who operates Holliday with the help of a small staff and family members (including a loyal four-legged friend named Ruby), notes that Bowood, a garden supply shop, has sold housewares and gifts since its opening in 2006, but has now been able to expand in the new space at Holliday.

In late 2017, the McPheeters family began to work on converting a small building across the street from their other two businesses into what would become Holliday a year later. The shop is named for McPheeters’ great-grandmother Ida Holliday, who, along with her husband, bought the original Bowood Farms, located in Clarksville, Missouri, in the 1930s. (The family still owns the Clarksville farm, which grows all of the annuals and perennials, herbs and veggie starts sold in the CWE.)

McPheeters took great care in selecting the right fixtures for the space and moving everything into the little shop.

“The front didn’t have a lot of presence to it,” she says. “You could drive by and not notice it pretty easily.”

That’s not the case now. The beautifully refreshed brick building is highlighted by classic black windows, an attractive vestibule and eye-catching hexagonal tile. Its exterior complements the other two McPheeters businesses across the street.

Visitors to Holliday walk into a space that’s light and open, sprinkled with everything from stationery to apparel to kids’ gifts, with an emphasis on natural and handmade.

One of the immediate eye-catching components of Holliday is a 10-foot glass display that houses the business’ jewelry – something McPheeters had been carrying at Bowood and has been able to expand.

“We have so many lines it’s hard to choose a favorite,” she says. “I’m excited to have local maker Jacki Holland pieces.”

Holliday carries an assortment of bright, fun party supplies and kids’ items, making it the perfect spot to stop before a birthday party or baby shower. McPheeters notes her excitement over Rifle Paper’s new line of party supplies, calling co-founder Anna Bond’s prints “iconic.” While the kids are entertaining themselves in the store’s corner play area, parents can browse the store’s extensive selection of tabletop linens, candles and accessories.

Holliday also carries a wide range of clothing, much of which has a handmade quality and is multiseasonal.

“Kerri Cassill makes beautiful Indian block-print bedding, as well as clothing, which is perfect for summer and beach vacations,” McPheeters says.

Customers seeking art and furniture pieces will find an array of selections by New York’s John Derian at Holliday and will even have the opportunity to order custom pieces from his furniture line with the Cisco Brothers through the store.

“I had been a fan of Derian for a while and had several pieces in my home before we started carrying his work at Bowood,” McPheeters says. “I’m really excited to be able to hang his pieces up in the new shop.”

The space, which is “more relaxed, quieter and smaller,” lends itself to a different experience than Bowood, McPheeters says.

“We’re able to have more of an interaction with the customers about how the products are made, where they’re made and what the materials are,” she says. “We put a lot of work into the finishes and the mood and atmosphere here. You can smell the candle we’re burning [as you walk in], and you can notice the scent of the flowers. It’s a nice mood to walk into, and it’s an important part of the shopping experience right now.”

The three McPheeters businesses offer completely different experiences, but each one has unique ways it ties into the others. At Bowood, gardening enthusiasts will find a wide assortment of plants and garden gifts in a greenhouse-style atmosphere. Cafe Osage offers breakfast and lunch classics, focused on seasonal, fresh foods grown in Bowood’s CWE garden. And at Holliday, customers can top off their Olive Street shopping experience with unique gifts and accessories for the home.

Holliday perfectly rounds out the trifecta, giving visitors to this particular section of the CWE a place to fully experience what the McPheeters family has to offer: nourishment for the land, body and home.

This story was originally published at laduenews.com. Read it on LN’s website here.

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