The Art of Botantical Beauty: Meet Alexa Fornicola of Botanically Blurred

by TheSpot

Caring for plants or planting gardens can be a daunting experience for busy women. Admittedly, when we first discovered Alexa Fornicola, Founder of Botanically Blurred, it was the first time we encountered a “plant stylist.”  As a matter of fact, when we had Googled the term, there was no one we found other than Alexa.  We’re actually glad.  Alexa is a unique individual who has managed to create a unique place in the world.  I don’t believe there is one definition that encompasses a role, livelihood, and purpose.  Yet, Alexa has managed to combine all of those traits and found a way to help people.  In many ways, her company name fits in very well with our theme that life does not have to be shades of black and white.  Women in particular are blurring the lines of self identity and awareness.  It was refreshing to hear Alexa tell her story about forming her own identity in her life’s work and purpose.  She dives in on her inspiration and the art of botanical beauty.  

Alexa is coming into her second year of Botanically Blurred and has gained more confidence than the previous year.  As we discussed imposter syndrome, Alexa brings up an interesting point.  She has made it a point not to define herself by the things she is doing but how she feels on a day to day basis.  She goes on to explain that the term successful has a different meaning to everyone.  She defines success by what she accomplishes on a daily basis. Fornicola does acknowledge that there are challenges for women in creating an identity or fitting into a space. 

Alexa’s segway to plant curating and maintenance, was not a traditional route.  As a matter of fact, considering her previous career and her current career choice could be deemed a tale of clashing worlds.  At 21 years of age, she was hired for sales at a beer distributorship.  To say she had to overcome challenges in a male dominated industry is an understatement.  Alexa describes her time in sales as demanding and stressful.  Moveover, she spent a large amount of time on the road and often found herself in a challenging male dominated environment.  Although her work life was spent in her car and traveling, she often was surrounded by plants when she returned home.  Mainly acquiring  low maintenance plants or succulents, Alexa tells us that the extent of her knowledge of caring for plants consisted of being easy to take care of and not much else.  Consequently, her plants never would survive. 

During covid-19, her company had shut down and Alexa’s employers redefined her position. After a certain point, the stress began to affect her physical and mental health.  She began to feel her work was not adding meaningful value to anyone’s life.  All of this led to Alexa drawing the conclusion that reaching an hierarchy in a company or the corporate world no longer drove her.  It no longer aligned with her sense of value or purpose. All the while, Alexa was coming home and tending to her plants.  Alexa’s curiosity led her to read and learn more about plant care. It was during this period where she experienced a shift in her outlook.  

Alexa believes herself to be spiritual and sought alignment with her passion. She faced a difficult decision which took her well over a year to make but nevertheless decided to leave her job.   Shortly after, she began working at a plant nursery.  It was during this time, Alexa experienced a renewed feeling of  joy and invigoration.  She knew in her heart that she absolutely made the right decision.  Fornicola goes on to say that her goal is to make others feel the same sense of joy.   As for herself, the plants in her own apartment became plentiful. Her own best friend made an inadvertent compliment by telling her a plant in her apartment looked fake to her amusement. Alexa acknowledges that she is aesthetic centric and was looking for ways to add more plants while caring for her current ones. It became a natural step to take on more clients and eventually move her plants to a bigger space. 

Alexa choosing the right plants

We were curious and asked the question if humans do in fact have an emotional connection to plants and nature; similar to a pet or member of the family.  Alexa emphatically affirms this notion.  She explains the scientific term, called biophilia, is defined by a desire to connect with nature.   We experience this “love” for example when walking on grass barefoot, touching a plant, smelling flowers etc.  Surprisingly, there is an actual device called The Plantwave Device that attaches to the plant and provides biofeedback into sonic data.  In essence, the plants emit electronic signals that translate into sound.  A remarkable discovery that demonstrates there’s more than meets the eye.  She goes further to explain that studies show that microbial networks are complex interconnected relationships that assist each other in ecosystems and plant health.  Alexa also admits that she has a constant need for progress.  She is constantly amazed at how nature finds a way to push forward through cracks or leaves rooting itself.  Alexa’s motto is if you keep going I’ll keep going.

Botanically Blurred now works with clients in interior plant design and maintenance. Alexa’s job is to choose the right plants to fit her clients personality and lifestyle. Additionally, she developed a mental fortitude towards her business.  Her goal is to not to compromise aesthetics but rather find solutions to have it all.  Her style is wanting her clients to “miss” the plants when they’re not there. So, what exactly is the process of how Alexa works with a client?  She assesses her clients’ needs, lifestyle, and their space.  For example, If a plant requires higher level care, Alexa will ask a lot of questions to determine what works.  Does the client have pets?  She will make sure the plants she chooses are non toxic.  Alexa allows the client to determine how involved they want to be.  They will either turn over the decision entirely over to Alexa or the client is welcome to add as much input as they would like.  Understanding the client is key.  Alexa even gets down to the granular level by asking questions relating to thermostat settings (which helps her assess how much watering a plant will need).  

Plant interior design

Her advice in looking for inspiration or getting started in designing your space with plants?  One way is to walk around a home and garden outlet, choose a plant that speaks to you, find out the name and research all the details.  Her tip:  start small.  Do not overcomplicate.  Fornicola feels it’s important to self reflect about how involved you want to be in the actual care and go from there.  Of course, you can always have a professional outlet like Botanically Blurred who will guide you in the right direction to a better living environment.  Botanically Blurred  services New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  For information on her services or to book an appointment, learn more here