Photo: Taylor Stoffers

Tired of the political climate in Washington, DC, and craving a change in her personal life, Chelsea Poling headed west to Santa Monica, California, and purchased a 1,400-square-foot condo with a sliver of ocean view and a storage room for her bounty of beauty products. Poling’s condo is not only her home, but her workspace — she’s the founder and CEO of online wellness boutique Rose Botanica.

“We offer natural skincare, body care and makeup, as well as products that support internal health, such as incense, crystals and candles,” explains Poling. “It’s like a holistic plethora of items for your well being.”

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Photo: Taylor Stoffers

Poling spent six years working for NASA in Cape Canaveral, Florida, and Greenbelt, Maryland, before transfering to the Agency for International Development, where she enjoyed a four-month stint as a procurement officer in Sri Lanka. Launching her own company combined her passion for natural wellness and beauty with a business degree from the University of Central Florida.

Photo: Taylor Stoffers

Working alongside a designer, Poling sought to create an aesthetic that could best be described as ‘natural chic.’ “Growing up in Florida, I’m so accustomed to being surrounded by water, so I really wanted to be as close to the beach as possible,” says Poling. Her wish list also included an outdoor space where she could catch a few rays in between filling orders. “As an entrepreneur who works from home, sometimes I’m not able to get outside for long periods of time, so it’s nice to have that access right in my home,” adds Poling.

Photo: Taylor Stoffers

The main living space includes an office nook — an idea her designer initially rejected. “I have a small desk and a bookshelf where I keep some work documents,” says Poling. “I like to keep it very minimal without a lot of clutter. There’s also a floor-to-ceiling window that provides a lot of natural light and gives me energy throughout the day.” Poling says she does far more working than TV-watching in this space, so the layout functions just fine.

Photo: Taylor Stoffers

It’s no wonder Poling’s combined bedroom and bathroom is a sanctuary of self-care. “The bed is great, of course, but I have a chaise lounge with a little side table that I use pretty frequently for reading or practicing deep breathing.”

Photo: Taylor Stoffers

Photo: Taylor Stoffers

There’s also a meditation altar, adorned with crystals, smudge sticks and mementos from her ancestors. “If I’m meditating or even just hanging out, I always have incense or a candle burning to set the mood and help me relax,” notes Poling.

Photo: Taylor Stoffers

The ensuite bath is the perfect spot for a long soak (which Poling indulges in “at least four times a week”) or testing out new products — most of which are neatly displayed on clear acrylic organizers from The Container Store.

Photo: Taylor Stoffers

“I have more beauty products than clothes, so I even dedicated part of the walk-in closet to them,” admits Poling. The gilded antique-looking mirror that hangs above the soaker tub was purchased from Anthropologie and reflects even more light into the space.

Photo: Taylor Stoffers

Though it looks serene and calming now, the rooftop patio did not come together without struggle. “We got all the furniture from Restoration Hardware, but failed to measure the staircase leading up to the rooftop,” says Poling. She had been toying with the idea of purchasing a saltwater hot tub, which required the use of a crane. “We piggybacked the furniture onto the crane rental for the hot tub to make it work” explains Poling.

Photo: Taylor Stoffers

The outdoor space features an L-shaped sectional with mud cloth-inspired throw pillows, as well as a fire pit whose gas tank is cleverly disguised as a side table. “I wanted a large wooden dining table and this one can seat up to six,” adds Poling.

Photo: Taylor Stoffers

Photo: Taylor Stoffers

She uses the lush rooftop space nearly every day and often hosts get-togethers for local women involved in the wellness industry. “We’ll make food downstairs and then dine up on the rooftop where you get a little view of the ocean.”

Photo: Taylor Stoffers

Another major selling point was the climate-controlled storage room off the garage where Rose Botanica goods are packaged and tied with a bow. “We’ll probably grow out of the space eventually, but for now it’s nice to have immediate access to the products. We try to include a note with each order, and I don’t think a shipping department would be able to offer such a personal touch. It’s really nice to have that ability.”

Photo: Taylor Stoffers

While the design project took about seven months to complete, Poling says it was all worth it in the end. “My friends and family who visit from out of town always say, ‘I feel like I’m at a spa right now!’” By incorporating natural elements and intriguing the olfactory senses, Poling has created a space that’s “very comfortable and livable, but beautiful at the same time.” To her, it’s the ultimate act of self-care.

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