When I received an invitation to a VIP hour for the grand opening of Boketto Wellness Boutique, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. Of course I’m all about some VIP shopping, but would this just be a locally owned vitamin store? Would I have any clue what in the heck anything in the store was? Would my non-size-2, usually Western medicine-focused self feel totally out of place and uncomfortable in a boutique that sounded like it could cater mostly to size 0 raw-food-only vegans who do yoga eight times a day? Despite my uncertainties, I decided to see what it was all about.
Boketto is a Japanese word that loosely means “just being.” And, as stated on the store’s home page, “From pure products made with love, to simple and traditional nourishment, Boketto inspires us all to take a second to pause and appreciate the moment of just being true to our healthy selves.”
I know you’re thinking, “Okay Megan, but what exactly is in the store?” The inventory is a combination of supplements, elixirs, teas, body care, skin care, books and more that are geared to wellness. The store itself is absolutely beautiful with lots of sunlight and natural tones that complement the inventory perfectly.
However if you, like me, are new to “wellness shopping,” you might not know where to start on your first visit. Luckily, owner Jelena Nikolajevic, is willing to assist, whatever your size or eating preference. A licensed acupuncturist with a master’s of science in Oriental medicine, she combines her passion for health, wellness, and Chinese medicine at Boketto. She’s also extremely friendly and knowledgeable about every product she carries.
When I stopped in, of course, I instinctively wandered over to the skincare section. As I silently picked up some of the different products, Jelena came right over and began telling me about them, pointing out her personal favorites and going over their benefits. Okay, this boosted my confidence to browse outside my comfort zone.
As I browsed the rest of the store, I mentioned that I’ve been particularly stressed out lately and have been waking up in the middle of the night. Jelena immediately asked what time I was waking up, explained some possible reasons based on the specific hour, and pointed out some elixirs that might help me.
I ended up taking home Shapeshifter Chi Stabilizer. The combination of herbs is believed to aid in transforming unwanted accumulations of edema dampness around the hips and midriff, a.k.a remove bloating and help you slim down. In addition, the whole chi stabilizing thing is supposed to help provide a sense of calmness and balance, which she thought might help with the whole stress situation.
I also picked up Pollen Illuminating Mist. Remember when you got your first skincare regime in high school? It probably came with a face wash, toner and moisturizer. Along the way a lot of us seemed to lose the “toner” step. I recently added this back into my routine and it’s made a big difference in balancing my combination skin. So, when Jelena told me she loves this toning product for keeping oil at bay during summer months I had to try it. You spray it on after washing or to set makeup and, supposedly, it keeps makeup from melting off your face on a Richmond-humid day (Am I the only person who experiences this issue?). So far I do feel like it’s keeping my skin balanced—I’ll report back on makeup endurance when summer arrives. Ingredients include rose hydrosol to even skin tone, fractionally distilled aloe vera, essential oils, skin-softening vegetable glycerin, and a little witch-hazel to prevent inflammation and provide astringent benefits. At $42 this product is definitely luxury, but hey, you’ve only got one face. If you are interested in toners and aren’t quite ready for the big investment, Boketto also carries a less expensive selection of toners geared to specific skin concerns.
Since I’ve been on a tea kick recently, I also grabbed The Primary Essentials Soft Pink Tea, which features notes of hibiscus and a soft chocolate finish. The tea has actual cocoa in it, so if you are a fan of dark chocolate, you will find this blend rich, satisfying and distinctive—yum!
And lastly—because you know if there is something shimmery hidden in a wellness boutique I will find it—I picked up Wildcare Glowing Hour Golden Body Oil. An appetizing scent of vanilla, cloves and a little bit of jasmine features apricot kernel oil and sweet almond oil to moisturize and nourish skin alongside micro-reflective mica particles that add shimmer.
In addition to shopping, Boketto also offers acupuncture, massage, cupping and jade rolling (a facial technique that enhances skin elasticity, increases oxygen flow, improves circulation and relieves puffiness). Also coming once licensing and such is figured out is an elixir bar with changing weekly libations featuring natural supplements.