1.Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Ridgefield?
I was born in Boston. My family is from the North Shore originally. The Boston area has a strong imprint on my heart. Driving by the Charles River, I feel most at home. The architecture of the Back Bay, North End, Harvard Square and other historic areas hold many significant memories of my childhood and young adulthood. Our family moved to Ridgefield from Dallas in 2012. I fell in love with downtown Ridgefield immediately. The Norman Rockwell feel of Main Street, beautiful trees and historic feel of the area resonated with me. In just a few minutes you can find a wonderful hiking trail and explore a beautiful area. The town itself has such a warmth to it.
2. How many children do you have? What are their names and ages? May also include husband and other family members.
Dave and I have two children. Eleanor is five and Henry will soon be 3. Ridgefield is a wonderful place to bring up children. We feel fortunate to have the community support, educational choices, and different extracurricular activities. We were lucky to have my mother relocate to the area to be closer to her two grandchildren. I can see how the kids have energized her during her retirement. We are especially grateful to have her close this past year.
3. What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I think people might be surprised to know that I had an unconventional experience growing up. I moved around a lot as a child. Reflecting back on my childhood, I see it was a gift and something I use now to shape how I parent. I love that my children have a strong sense of home, regular routines and predictability. One summer when I was visiting family in Westport, I remember saying to myself, “One day, I will live here.” It turns out, we got pretty close.
4. Tell us about your work? It is clear that you are a giver in every sense of the word. How do you weave your big heart into your designs?
This year I had a powerful pull to put my passion for flowers to work and start my own floral design company called Design Flower Fairy. I have always loved art and been a creative person at heart. Working with flowers is a lot like making art. You have a blank canvas, your vase, and then you get to select the colors and textures to make your vision come to life. It is also an exciting, rewarding process to work with individuals on their special event and collaborate together. You set the tone of an event through color and flower choices. Flowers are a language unto themselves. People are looking for ways to communicate their love and mark the important milestones in their life. My interest is bringing the floral designs that will complete their event.
5. Have you always had a passion for florals and a green thumb?
Yes, I was just remembering a time when I was younger and working on a flower arrangement for the dinner table at a retreat center and someone commented positively on the flowers I was arranging. It was such an intense moment of pride. It felt great to be recognized and acknowledged for my efforts in making something beautiful. I think everyone is born with a green thumb, we are all connected to nature and have the ability to create and grow whatever we want. It just takes love, time, and attention. Ariella Chezar, floral designer and author, has been a real inspiration to me. I aspire to her level of understanding of floral design and the sustainability piece she adheres to.
6.What’s been the best piece of advice you’ve received from another mother?
The best advice I have received from another mother is to remember that when our children appear at their most difficult moments, this is when we need to dig in and give them the most love.
7. What was the “push” that you needed to begin your own business?
My daughter was the push I needed to start my business. I wanted her to view me involved in creative work I loved, sharing my passion and having independence in my work. It is important for me to model hard work and the idea that if you work hard you can do well, be independent and feel satisfied. I love riding along together on flower deliveries with her, we talk about the future, our dreams and what color we will paint the local shop and greenhouse we want to fix up. I refer to her as my business partner and she has great ideas I love to hear. Seeing her working with my flowers, ribbons or materials (sometimes the breakable things we have to compromise on) gives me so much joy.
8. Tell us about how you named, “Design Flower Fairy.”
I started Design Flower Fairy after sitting in Eleanor’s room one afternoon. We were talking and drawing and I started drawing a fairy. I was telling her about this floral business I was going to start and we came up with the name that afternoon. The word “design” was important because a friend saw photos of my flower arrangements and said, “I love your design.” It all comes down to pairing the right design with the flower color and texture-she’s right!
9. How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
Ridgefield is an incredible community. We have beautiful historic sites, history and art venues. I found many doors have opened through a simple meeting request. What strikes me is how helpful and willing people are to share their professional insights in event planning, communication, outreach and business entrepreneurship. I just finished an event staging floral designs at The Keeler Tavern Museum and History Center. It was an incredible way for me to build my portfolio photos and showcase myself for weddings and special events. This was made possible through a door being opened. When you are just starting out like me, it’s important you run through it! I look forward to continuing to partner with local venues and provide flowers that generate joy and recognize the many beautiful things we hold dear. You can see my portfolio on Instagram @designflowerfairy