I’m a mom of four teenagers. I understand chaos, car pool lines, soccer practices, and, well, flowers. Dicots, monocots, grow lights, seedling flats, blooms, mechanics to arrangements; a passion that has literally bloomed. After graduating from the University of North Carolina with a BA in American Studies and an enthusiastic flower hobbyist, I attended the North Carolina State Agriculture Institute and there learned the joys of growing flowers. In 1996, I had one high heel firmly planted in corporate America as Director of Professional Development for a large dental company and one muddy boot dug into my side hustle Bloomingfield Farms. While in London taking master flower-arranging classes with the late, great Jane Packard, my interest in sharing the joys of arranging was peaked. That love and knowledge base has been expanding for 28 years through certification, continuing education classes in London, Paris, New York and my favorite Stumptown, Virginia.
Once kids came into the picture, the farm, where I grew my own fresh cut flowers, was leased for deer corn and I began buying flowers from various wholesalers and arranging purchased blooms in a small workshop in our home. Never a neat person and an absolute housekeeping disaster when I’m in the throes of creativity, my husband, my champion, was determined, for his sanity and the children’s safety, for me to have a place of my own and in 2011 it happened, West Queen Studio. What was originally an antique hardware store in upstate New York is now a glorious retreat for creativity. With surfaces that are impervious to my haphazard ways and design details that would impress both Martha Stewart and Bob Villa, West Queen Studio is a place to design, teach, share, entertain, and refuel and a monster step up from my previous cramped and angled attic design space. This creative mecca with over 2,000 feet of space and its own kitchen just for West Queen Clients is attached by a breezeway to our historic home in Downtown Hillsborough which allows me to "manage" four teenagers while stripping, twirling and coercing...flowers.
Each year brings a new adventure from corporate clients such as India Hicks, freelance gigs and multi day floral adventures with my beloved Flower Mama and her Chapel Designers, creative challenges such as NC Museum’s Art in Bloom and Belgium’s Fleuramour to Durham Academy corsages, a best friend’s fiftieth birthday or babysitter’s wedding but my true passion and grounding remains at the studio and teaching. My ultimate joy is making all those amazing experiences accessible to anyone passionate about flowers, boiling them down into talking points and sharing them with others especially while in the crazy cool history of the studio.
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