inspiration vacation

This summer I had the divine privilege of attending a floral workshop in Skagit Valley, Washington at the Floret Flower Farm. This experience was truly a dream, an experience that I cannot adequately put into words, and I'm delighted to bring what I learned home to White Fig. Part of the flower business for me is taking time each year to attend a workshop to better my craft, gain new knowledge, and refresh my love and passion for floral design. This year's experience has accomplished and far exceeded each of those hopes. 

670B4842ed.JPG

Flower Farmers and Designers came from all over the world--places such as Australia, Canada, Colorado and New York--to attend and to instruct this workshop. The farming portion of the workshop took place on the Floret Flower Farm, run by Erin Benzakein, where we toured the farm property and learned about the ins and outs of flower farming. The design portion of the workshop took place inside of a neighboring Barn, designed and set for us in the most organically beautiful way. Erin's openness and willingness to share her life and knowledge with the twenty-five of us was both informational and inspiring. This was an intensive three-day workshop in which we learned, collaborated, and expanded our knowledge of and creativity with flowers. 

670B5832ed.JPG

When we first walked into the barn, I was absolutely overwhelmed with emotion. The contrast of the dark barn and the sunlight cascading in through its windows and cracks set the tone for us all to marvel at the beauty of nature in its purest form. The focal point of the barn was, of course, the buckets upon buckets of gorgeous flowers just saturating the room. Roses, peonies, poppies, irises, anemones, delphiniums, and honeysuckle were among the flowers creating this atmosphere of appreciation and wonder.

670B4779ed.JPG

As shown above, we were all seated in a circle where Erin welcomed us all and taught us a bit about her farm. She then asked each of us to introduce ourselves, and when it came to me, I was immediately overcome with emotion. Embarrassed by my unexpected tears but authentic in my emotion, I began explaining to them how much of a treat this experience had already been for me. I told them that before this workshop, I was talking to my twenty-eight year old daughter who had just returned from a work-sponsored "Inspiration Vacation" in India, and as she told me about her trip, I found myself feeling bitter that she got to do something like that at such a young age. It was the moment I walked into this barn that I realized what this trip was for me--pure inspiration, and a beautiful vacation. It was my dream-come-true, Inspiration Vacation.

670B4864ed.JPG
670B5543ed.jpg

For me, White Fig Designs is so much more than a flower shop. It is about relationship, it is about expressiveness, and it is about organic authenticity. That is why taking time each year to get away and learn is a priority, taking workshops from designers like Francoise Weeks and Brooklyn's Little Flower School. White Fig is dedicated to staying educated, creative and current to produce beautiful and elegant arrangements to the best of our ability. 

As Erin told her business story throughout the workshop, I felt a deep connection to her journey. She spoke of her years of searching for her "niche," knowing that she had always had a burning desire to do something "big." As she told us about her days trying to start a candle business and various other creative avenues, I reminisced on my feelings as a mother of two knowing that I had a deep need and desire to birth something new, something big. That is why I opened White Fig. 

670B5626ed.JPG

From the first night, I knew that I was surrounded by kindred spirits. We hear girls talk about their "tribe," and I knew in this short time that these women truly are just that--my tribe.

We all share the same passion for the same thing.

670B4817ed.JPG
670B4853ed.JPG

This process has given me a new found commitment to trying to buy local whenever I can, rather than buying imported flowers, and therefore leaving a smaller footprint on the world that we live in. This workshop taught me to do my best to support local farmers and help enhance their business.

IMG_3167ed.JPG

Both indoors and out, this trip was absolutely heavenly. I still feel overwhelmed with emotion as I look back on these three perfect days.

670B5887ed.JPG
670B6027ed.JPG

An exciting experience in the workshop came when we were all given a variety of flowers, and the same vessel to create an arrangement in. As exciting as it was, there was also an element of challenge as I knew that there were dozens of talented, successful floral designers there doing the same thing I was. What I quickly learned was that it was not actually challenging at all--because everyone was so incredibly supportive and encouraging with one another. The abundance of flowers that we had to choose from was incredible. Creating various projects together also taught me a lot about building a team that is compatible with one another, everyone bringing traits that complement one another rather than compete. Below are some arrangements we created!

670B5672ed.JPG
670B5715ed.JPG
670B5740ed.JPG
670B6189ed.JPG
670B6203ed.JPG

The last night concluded with a beautifully set, professionally cooked meal for all of the attendees. That day was spent creating garden arrangements for the tables and styling this beautiful archway (below) leading to our seats. I cannot say enough how incredible this experience was for me, how refreshing it was for my creativity, or how motivating it was for my business. 

670B6453ed.JPG

After experiencing this workshop, I truly believe that everyone deserves to have and should go on an Inspiration Vacation to take time to reignite your passions and refuel yourselves to come home and accomplish your dreams. 

All photos by Chris Benzakein

A different approach

Hello my lovelies! We are so excited to officially announce a NEW way of ordering flowers for your wedding--The White Fig Designs A La Carte Menu. 

After years of working in floral design in the event industry and watching how styles of weddings have evolved, we have discovered that not every bride needs a full service florist on their wedding day. Realizing that for some couples, the intimacy that accompanies having personal flowers is more than enough, we have curated a menu suitable for any bride on any budget--without compromising the way your florals can showcase your personality. 

Crafting together and implementing this menu with future brides allows us as designers to expand our creativity and give you as a couple exactly what you need on your big day. The A La Carte menu, in comparison to utilizing White Fig as a full service florist, keeps convenience and budget in mind, as we allow you to pick and choose what you need based on sizing & pricing. You can choose your style and color palette, and leave the creativity up to us! Using photos from our past weddings, we have compiled various mood boards on our Pinterest page to help you get a feel for the styles we offer, finding which ones suit you best.

For our traditional brides, we are still joyfully booking full-service weddings for the remainder of 2017 and now 2018! With a full-service package, the White Fig team will hold your hand through the intimate design process, accompanying you on your venue walk-through and working closely with you to tell your story through flowers. With this option, every element is entirely customizable and creativity is abounding.

Below you will find florals from the weddings of the brides who inspired us to create this menu, as well as various examples of the individual items we can create for you.

Our most recent A La Carte style bride was Alexa, who came to us seeking a romantic yet wild style of bouquet & hair piece for when she said "I do" to her fiance, Luke. 

To make the planning & picking process a little easier on our couples, we have separated out for you four styles that you may categorize your wedding into (but of course, there is the option to write in an original description of what you are wanting!). You can also choose to meld two styles together to create a look such as a "boho wild-child," or maybe a "wild woodland wedding!" The options are endless. We value individuality, and our goal is to make this portion of your wedding planning as seamless as possible! As a reminder, the following photos are samples of styles, not direct representations of price values. Here's a look at some styles...

S I M P L Y  R O M A N T I C

ChanWedding-141.jpg

B O H E M I A N  B R I D E

W I L D F L O W E R S  F O R  T H E  F R E E  S P I R I T

LosAngelesWeddingPhotographer-KingWedding-89.jpg

A  W O O D L A N D  W E D D I N G

With various sizes, styles, vessels and elements, you can craft together the perfect assortment of flowers to fit your desires for your day. We are excited to offer arrangements of varying sizes, to accentuate everywhere from the guest book table to the bar top! Whether it's a boutonniere for your officiant or a crown for your flower girl, we are thrilled to add the White Fig touch to one of life's most exciting events. 

natalie.matt_MFVII-257.jpg

A Bohemian style bridal bouquet for bride Natalie

ChanWedding-275.jpg
PerkinsScott_WED_0131.jpg

An exciting option that accompanies the A La Carte menu is the versatility of working within your budget, and allowing others who want to help make your wedding dreams come true actually play a significant part! Many brides have family members who want to help in a special way, but often times they have trouble coming up with a sweet gesture that is more personal than just giving the couple a monetary gift for a certain purchase. This style of menu can be sent out to anyone you want, and they can sign up to buy you just one or two floral pieces for your day. For example, they could choose to pay for your head table arrangement, a floral head piece for you, or perhaps a few feet of garland to accompany your welcome sign. The A La Carte menu is truly an opportunity to involve your loved ones in the planning process and include them in those significant and beautiful touches. 

ChanWedding-255.jpg

Where it Began

Recently I had the opportunity to work with an exciting new magazine, Souvenir. The magazine is a lifestyle publication that features independent artisans, and unique styles. So when they asked if they could do a feature about me I was not only thrilled but honored.

As part of the article the editors asked me a few questions that have got me thinking about my background and why I got started. I realized it is difficult to pinpoint the exact moment when I started as a flower designer—it was a process. Since I was a little girl working in my parent’s garden, I have been surrounded by plants. I remember some of the weeds had the prettiest flowers and sometimes I would get confused and pull up the flowers while leaving the weeds to grow uninhabited.  Reflecting on that moment, I realize how much it influenced the wild garden style I like to create today.  

Garden Roses 

Growing up there were always flower arrangements in our home and at our table, so as I began to create my own home naturally I did the same. My children will tell you our home has always been abundant with flowers inside and out. Over time, people began to notice the way I styled my garden or entryway and would ask me to give them guidance—I guess that is where it started.

I'm glad I did that feature and it forced me to think about how I got started and where I draw my inspiration.  It has really given my time to reflect and realize how lucky I am that each day I get to wake up and do what I love.

It may sound cheesy, but my inspiration comes from the entire world around me—colors, trees, everything I see.

Everyday Tools

The location of my studio is a great example. Every day I smile, looking at this scraggly nest hanging out of an old tree in front of the church across the street. I love that nest and the angel in the window of that church. The old power lines and the wildflowers sprouting out of the dirt lot outside my studio gives me inspiration each and every day— to me this place is picturesque.

That little barefoot girl in her parent’s yard, mud squishing between her toes, pulling up flowers instead of weeds tends to peek her head out when I’m working. I am passionate about what I create, and although it sounds corny, 

I draw my inspiration from each unexpected piece of the world around me.   

Harvest BBQ

As summer is coming to an end it's time to savor those final few warm weekends and enjoy BBQ's with friends and family. It’s also the time of year when you can enjoy some to the best produce your local farmer's market has to offer. Harvest time is in full swing.

Our good friends at Pulchella Winery know all about that. Right now they are up in Paso Robles harvesting grapes for their next delicious batch of wine. Before they started all the hard work they had a great party, to celebrate  their cult members and the end of the summer. I was lucky enough to help stage and do flowers for. 

It was a fun rustic backyard event - wine and a pizza oven, what more could you want? Oh yes, good company, and that was abounding.  

Pulchella Grapes

Grilled artichokes grilled figs and lemons and of course a glass of Pulchella wine.

Cheers to a Fall Harvest!

Inaugural Post

Tulips, Ranunculus and Eucalyptus

For years people have been asking me to start my own blog, so finally I broke down this is the first post of the White Fig Designs blog.

I am excited to start on this new endeavor. It is something completely new to me, so I'm sure there will be a few bumps in the road as a start off. White Fig Designs has grown so much since it started, and I am so grateful for the success. This blog just feels like a natural next step. It will be a lifestyle, design, home and garden, and anything else it naturally evolves into blog. It will simply be another creative outlet.  

I'm so excited to get started on this project and can't wait to share it with you! Please enjoy...