Liz Solms’ style reads more like cool island hippie than Philadelphia real estate developer. On top of her laid-back Caribbean vibe, the mother to two-and-a-half-year-old Soleil stays knowledgeable about all good things in music, beauty and design. Here she shares where she feels the happiest, her favorite beauty products and other little things in life that bring her joy.
Two Hats. Three Locales.
My first hat is that I work in sustainable agriculture with hotels and villas in Jamaica. I help them establish organic gardens, train their garden staff on how to grow organically, and I help connect the local food system to these places.
My other hat is creative director and co-owner of Spruce Street Commons in Philadelphia. It’s my father’s business that my husband and I took over when he passed away. We changed things to reflect our beliefs and personal interests in historic preservation. We have two old buildings that we’ve obsessively and meticulously restored, the Touraine and the Annex in the Rittenhouse section of the city, and I’m in charge of all the design and creative elements. And we’ve just launched two hotel suites on the first floor of the Touraine, which is something I’ve always wanted to do. Suite 108 is designed like my own home with lots of plants and bohemian vibes, and Suite105 is very minimalist with a focus on Japanese-inspired bathing culture.
I’m also really excited about a hotel project we’re developing in the Bywater neighborhood of New Orleans. We purchased four historic Creole cottages and a midcentury building and behind them is a massive, jungle-y wild lot. The idea is to create a small hotel and gathering space in this magical and eclectic area and build a small farm, lots of hammocks, a lush jungle and pool. We thought this was a good way to preserve the history and also create an alternative to Airbnb, since Airbnb has been really problematic in the neighborhood. One of our biggest goals was to create a business model that worked both for us and the local community so that people can just come and hang out, swim or host a workshop.
I love creams and lotions and balms and salves and I like to try anything. But if I have a full roster of products, I don’t add to it…I’ve got to get through everything first. I’m big on hot water and like to really burn in long hot showers.
I shower every night after our daughter goes to sleep. I’ll exfoliate with a sea salt lavender scrub by Oxalis Apothecary that’s made in New Orleans, and then I’ll put coconut oil all over my entire body as soon as I get out of the shower.
In Jamaica, I use Heart of Gold. It’s a photovoltaic serum that’s supposed to be good for people who are getting a little too much sun. And I sometimes use Captain Blankeship pomegranate face oil after that. But my recent love is 8 faces, which I got here in Philly at Vestige. It’s a mix of different organic oils and it’s really thick. Sometimes it can make you look very glistening, but it’s really good— especially in the winter. I put it on at night after I shower. I don’t brush my hair. I’m Jewish. If I brush my hair, it will be a huge, frizzed out ‘fro.
Where you’ll find me
Often times when Soleil is at school, I’ll work out of my little home office. I like to have photos everywhere. I have a wall where all you see are pictures and a collage of moments of my life and journal entries and labels and other things that bring me joy. Everything has its place and it just feels very calming.
Chronixx is my absolute favorite artist right now. He’s so good. He’s part of this whole back to roots and conscious reggae movement from Jamaica. He’s really freaking cool and well-dressed. He’s just so good and so cute. He’s the truth. I love him. Soleil’s favorite song is “Skankin’ Sweet” .
Pick a place, any place
I’m the happiest in Jamaica. As soon as I walk out of the airport and into the hot humidity and all the screaming and the yelling, I’m so happy. But in an ideal world, I’d like to live in New Orleans full-time and visit Jamaica and Philly while Soleil is in school. There’s something about New Orleans that’s sort of this blend of Jamaica and Philly that works for my being—probably the dusk, spice, heat and jasmine. But I’m kinda open to anything, as long as Soleil is happy.
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