1973 VW Vessel for Adventure & Growth
This classic van was purchased on a whim, with the dream of living a minimalist van life. We sold most of our belongings, ready to seek adventure and refuge in nature and the unknown. Little did we know this decision would create a domino effect that would result in growth beyond our imagination.
PLANT VESSEL PROFILE
Name: Pearl Luna
Make: 1973 Volkswagon Bay Window
Color: Pastel White
Max speed: 65 mph
Total mileage: Unknown
Origin: New Orleans — Texas — British Columbia — Germany
While camping in the mountains on a preliminary trip to our permanent #vanlife adventure, we received the news that our dog Bella had been injured. We decided to set our travel plans aside and rehabilitate her back home in New Orleans.
The Luna plant-filled studio was the healing epicenter for a year of acupuncture, daily walks and Bayou St. John swims that have proven to be healing for Bella; and a growth center for Luna Botanicals.
During this recovery time, Pearl Luna morphed into the Luna plant van, popping up as a plant event around New Orleans, as Bella became the Luna plant pup. Today, Pearl runs great, as does Bella, and the whole Luna Botanicals team works together to seek inspiration through travel, botanical events and immersion in nature.
As our story shifted, plans evolved and business grew, the VW become both a vessel for our adventures into nature, and a way for us to express Biophilia in the place we call home, New Orleans.
We often pop up at the spaces we design, bringing back our freshest nature inspired artwork, plant curations and botanical visions. Our travels empower our botanical vision to evolve each season, and implement that inspiration into our client’s spaces. Our public events allow us to provide a deeper connection with the people who experience these spaces, and the culmination of the environment.
Elements of Experience
Traveling in a nearly 50 year old vehicle has its challenges and its undeniable rewards. We mindfully balance the pitfalls, triumphs, safety, risks, hilarity and adventure that combines when traveling, creating and connecting in an old VW.
Lack of AC
New Orleans is incredibly hot, and the places we travel are usually within the same temperature realm. However, with time you come to appreciate the feeling, smells, views and experiences that come with riding with the windows open. It’s not something we often consider day to day, as we are so used to temperature control. Once the discomfort is accepted and the wonders of the experience are noticed more, we feel more connected to the places we are experiencing.
Feels temperature drops between state lines driving into Florida as the ocean breeze picks up.
Being stung by a bee while driving near the Chisos Mountains (that one really hurt but it was also a wild / funny experience).
Smelling the rain rolling in while driving through rolling hills outside Austin TX.
The rockiest roads lead to the highest peaks
This 1973 Volkswagon Bus was one of the first vessels we found, and we immediately knew she was the one. A quick trip to Texas and this beauty was ours! ...one hour into the trip home, Pearl broke down. Luckily, a kind tow truck driver invited us home for dinner while waiting to be towed back to New Orleans. The young family cooked and entertained us for hours with the kindest and warmest hospitality. This was the beginning of a wild adventure.
Everything on this vehicle requires hands on interaction. It’s old, but reliable. It’s worn but easily repairable, it’s many iterations are an evolution of the vehicle itself. It pushes our capacity to problem solve and think outside the box.
We’ve replaced the engine, kept the interior original and have a handful of tricks to keep Pearl running and us traveling.
This becomes our camper van when we travel. We are able to sleep, cook, work and hang out in the van when on the road. Pearl becomes our plant van when we are in work mode.
“We must free ourselves…by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty“
Community through Nostalgia
We experience the beauty of far-out places and interpret them into stellar design through art, gardens and experiences. Styling and sharing the joy of our vessel for adventure brings our design values full circle in an interactive and genuine way. We seek to inspire Biophilia by sharing our experiences in nature.
Driving down Royal Street in New Orleans on a Saturday night, smiling in the beams of sunlight streaking through the rainbow colored French Quarter. We feel the warm breeze as we wave, laugh and say hello to the people that respond to Pearl driving by.
Pop-up in our most beloved city, New Orleans, on Canal street, Julia, and beyond to connect with people through our vision of Biophilia and traveling for connection, inspiration and and stories of nature.
Share stories and experiences with people who love plants, nature and relish in the visions of the past and future of traveling in a simpler, more connected way.