Rosewood Enchantikal Cottage: A Space for Art and Fairies

Rosewood Enchantikal Cottage: A Space for Art and Fairies
Photo by Jef Rouner

There has been a mini renaissance of paganism in Houston over the last decade, a movement accelerated by the trauma of COVID and political unrest. Walking into the Rosewood Enchantikal Cottage feels like stepping into another world where there are fewer missiles and more fairies.

“I want to have a home sweet cottage vibe,” says owner Selena Parsley. “Where you can come in and just escape reality for a little bit. There are things from local artists you can buy, but people are going through some really hard things. People say they feel like they’re transported to another realm here.”

Parlsey is very fairy-like herself. She stands just over five feet tall, including the witch hat festooned with flowers, and her voice sounds eerily similar to Kristin Chenoweth. It fits Rosewood well, though. To the extent it is possible to put a fae realm on Earth, she and her husband Skipper have done so.

Photo by Jef Rouner

Rosewood is located on a dead-end residential street just north of Fulton and Quitman in an area where 100-year-old houses like it are in a weird battle of wills with the gentrification and modern condos. You can feel the house’s age in the wavy floors, warped from a century of floods that adds to the dreamlike quality of the rooms.

To call it a shop seems wrong. Rosewood is only open on Friday nights, usually to celebrate a local artist. There are witch supplies, candles, oils, paintings, and knickknacks for sale, but the primary purpose is for gatherings. She serves cookies and Skipper’s homemade mead and wine. The primary piece of furniture in the main room is a long thin table surrounded by cushioned stools, something between a Shire tavern and the Hogwarts dining hall.

Outside is a small wagon meant to look like an old traveling fortune teller’s office. Sometimes, people play instruments sitting on the porch to liven up the Fridays. Nearby is Hobbit-like circular door. The message is clear: fairy tales welcome here. 

It’s a place to make friends, and that’s how most people have learned about Rosewood. Word of mouth and social media posts from the city’s witchier residents have steadily grown the weekly attendees. 

One of those is Chantal Renee, a local ghost hunter, author, musician, and visual artist. She was the focus of an art gathering recently, selling her acrylic and mix-media pieces. The cottage felt like an instant home to her.

“It takes you to an entirely different world,” she says. “It was such a magical feeling. Maybe it’s the scented candles, maybe it’s the music, but it was so de-stressing.”

Photo by Jef Rouner

Since opening in December last year, the shop’s clientele has grown. Parsley plans on adding a second-floor deck to the space to serve as a rooftop garden that can give visitors a view of downtown. In November, she will host what she says is the first fairy festival in Houston in Spring Branch.

In the meantime, Rosewood has the fairy vibe down. The floors sparkle with glitter, and the flowers crawl across the ceiling. Tasteful antiques house the shop’s wares, but all the light comes from small electric lanterns. When Parsley bought the house, it was all grey inside. Now everything, including the exterior, is a garish purple, which certainly makes it stand out among the other little houses on the street.

“I think the neighbors were skeptical when we moved in,” she says. “They’re all related to each other, they’re retired, and they’ve lived her for years. But when we put a heart on the door, they seemed to realize we weren’t going to sacrifice anyone. Now they wave”

In addition to the Friday gatherings, Rosewood hosts monthly women’s circles. These events sometimes involve spellcraft like making candles and bath bombs, bit also just serves as a place to be safe and spiritual for women.

“People are just trying to find a new, more therapeutic way to live,” she says. “I was a massage therapist, and I would have clients constantly tell me they needed something to get through another day. The circle helps women be in touch with their inner goddess. A lot of people try to be a guru, but I want women to know they can be their own sovereign. I want to facilitate that.” 

Renee has attended one of these circles, and says it truly feels magical.

“There has been this pagan resurgence,” she says. “I noticed it in 2020 when everything went to hell. It’s nice to sit around with other women, to chant and meditate and be free like that.