Erin Taylor
Paul Wellman

I first met Erin Taylor in 2001 when I was opening a small coffee shop in Summerland. She had just opened Botanik, a home and garden design center, across the street.

I was struck by her authenticity, determination, and sense of style, and she always reminds me of Holly Golightly, Audrey Hepburn’s character in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Walking into her store is one of the most amazing treats, as her sense of design remains far ahead of its time.

Below, she answers the Proust Questionnaire.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

I have always been fascinated by the art, life, courage, and style of Frida Kahlo. She was unapologetically independent and unique!

What is your most marked characteristic?

Highly intuitive. Sometimes it freaks my husband out a bit because it borderlines on “psychic.” I am a big believer in fate and synchronicity.

What is your motto?

“It takes a village.”

What do you like most about your job?

I am grateful that I have a career where my passion for home and garden design can be fully expressed, has evolved, and has been embraced by a diverse and wide clientele. Over the past 16 years in business, I have developed many enduring friendships with people who I first met as clients. Those friendships are what make my job truly rewarding.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

A warm tropical breeze, a hammock, and the sound of my family frolicking in the ocean.

What is your greatest fear?

Allowing fear to navigate or motivate my journey. And snakes — any and all types.

Who do you most admire?

The people I admire most all share three fundamental qualities: authenticity, integrity, and humor. Knowing who you are, what you stand for, and being able to laugh at yourself.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Travel. I am passionate about experiencing other countries and cultures. Nothing inspires my creativity more!

What is your current state of mind?

Grateful and open.

What is the quality you most like in people?


What is the quality you most dislike in people?


What do you most value in friends?

A sense of humor and a private jet!

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

“Seriously?” and “You’re kidding, right?”

Which talent would you most like to have?

I want to win The Voice! Yep, cat’s out of the bag! It’s my guilty pleasure. I get so inspired watching people live so courageously, sharing their talent, and chasing their dreams. Wouldn’t actually need to win, maybe just get a few chairs to turn!

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

My hair color, but I am taking care of that next week!

At 41, there is a short list and a long list, and I am finally old enough to know that neither one really matters. I am a proud “Good-enough-ist.”

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I hope I haven’t achieved it yet. You’ll be the first to know when I do!

Where would you most like to live?

Santa Barbara is pretty magical, but I am an island girl at heart. Kauai, Saint Lucia, Sri Lanka.

What is your most treasured possession?

My sense of humor! It’s gotten me out of more than a few tricky situations and tough times.

What makes you laugh the most?

What = tequila. Who = anyone drinking tequila with me!

On what occasion do you lie?

On a daily basis and often; I am a parent! “Mommy, do you have to be married to make a baby?” Answer: “Yes, sweetie you absolutely do HAVE to be married to make a baby now get to bed so the tooth fairy can find you!”


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