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Becoming a Victorian

I am so excited to take you behind the scenes on the very first Willow & Birch Apothecary photo-shoot! You can see some of the photos on our beautiful new home page, and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more shots coming your way soon. 

For this shoot, I wanted to bring you back in time, to explore a world where loveliness and grace abound, and mundane moments are made beautiful. This is, after all, the world I create for you each time you use my products!

Victorian woman applying perfume oil at antique vanity

To start, I enlisted myself as the model to act as our Victorian lady for the day. For our first location, I chose the Bull & Garland, a historic 1800s pub and inn. In addition to their lovely antique pieces, we added antique and Victorian-style items from my own collection, along with a few beautiful pieces so generously offered by The Sheep’s Nest, an enchanting gift shop nestled in an English-style cottage in Hobart, NY...just down the road from my studio! And for a touch of color, I chose lovely little roses and lisianthus from Wade’s Towne and Country Florist.

simple victorian dress

My transformation from modern-day woman to Victorian lady began with the help of Candace Rudd of Twisted Sister Salon, who dreamed up a beautiful Gibson Girl-inspired hairstyle that I just fell in love with! Makeup artist Jit Nilsen worked her magic to highlight my natural features and help me look picture-perfect for the day. Finally, I completed the look with the April Cornell Baccalaureate Dress from Victorian Trading Company, paired with their Victorian Lace boots. And my second outfit featured an original antique blouse from my Mom’s vintage boutique, Zasu Vintage.

And for our final location, we visited Field & Stone, a beautifully preserved Victorian farmhouse tucked into the mountains in Bovina, NY. Their antique clawfoot tub and wonderful original details were the perfect backdrop for my soap, bath salts, and other bath items!

Victorian woman pouring Willow & Birch Apothecary bath salts into antique tub

Willow & Birch Apothecary bath products in front of antique tub

All of this magic was captured by Brent DeLanoy of Kickstand Photography, who also designed and shot all of our beautiful product photos which you can now enjoy throughout our online shop.

And now, here are a few pearls of wisdom gleaned from my afternoon spent as a Victorian lady…

Things I Learned from Being a Victorian for a Day

  • The hair is taller than you might think…and will certainly not fit comfortably beneath the ceiling of a compact car. It’s no wonder the Victorian carriages had such high roofs to accommodate the ladies’ hairstyles and the gentlemen’s top-hats!
  • Sitting at an antique vanity really does make you feel like royalty. You just can’t help but channel your inner Queen Victoria while primping at a beautiful marble-topped vanity surrounded by pretty little perfume bottles and cosmetic jars!
  • Long skirts and narrow, high-heeled Victorian boots are a tricky business. Imagine gliding down the grand staircase in Downton Abbey without tripping on your own dress!
Cast of Downton Abbey PBS series on staircase
  • Victorian women wore so many layers…and so many buttons! With my regular undergarments, petticoat, a slip, plus several layers and a multitude of buttons on the dress itself, I definitely needed some help getting into and out of my attire (thank you, Mom)! All I can say is, thank goodness I opted out of wearing a corset, too!

Thank you for joining me on this behind-the-scenes peek into the making of our very first photo-shoot, and I hope that the photos serve as inspiration for you to bring the beauty and grace of the Victorian period into your own everyday life!

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  • Thank you so much Laurie!! <3

  • You epitomize the beauty of the Victorian era. Your products are so natural and delightful.

    Laurie Procida

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