April 12 2016
Over here at Wilder we're sweet on two things, and that's bringing the outsides inside, and supporting small businesses.
Good thing there's no shortage of opportunities to indulge in our habits. Meet our new friend Christie Craig of The Farmer's Florist. A fellow NYC transplant who, like us, has a colorful past (from metal music to farm to vase)-- we dig how she's connecting her dots here in Nashville to merge design, vibe and nature into one groovy shop.
We asked our lovely painter-cum-jewelry maker Mary Mooney to chill and chat with Christie because they both have really purple auras. Enjoy!
Mary Mooney: What led you to this lovely life of flowers? What inspired you to open your own store front?
Christie Craig: For the past 6 years, I’ve worked at flower shops-in Nashville at Village of Flowers and in NYC at Flower Girl. When I began farming, I was apprenticing in NY and my forte was livestock. The farms various endeavors included flower & herb farming. Being a lover of the farm to table movement, my mind was blown when I found the farm to vase movement. It facilitated my need to be creative while also growing my own medium.
When I moved back to Nashville, I was introduced to a community of incredibly talented young farmers- a handful that were focusing on flowers. I wanted to support them and give them a different outlet to supply Nashville with flowers, which is how The Farmer’s Florist was created.
MM: What makes you drawn to work that is ephemeral by nature?
CC: It’s been a marriage of the natural beauty of the farm lifestyle meeting my background in interior design. Natural elements are more beautiful--there’s something about the movement of plants and letting them breathe in their own space that I’m really drawn to.
MM: Do you begin your arrangements with color, form, or something else entirely?
CC: I begin my arrangements with an idea of color, then with the form so I understand the structure I’m building. In the off season I like to buy my flowers in coordinating color palettes. It eliminates floral waste (no one likes to toss beautiful flowers) and allows me to utilize everything because all the colors already work well together.
MM: How does your botanical knowledge influence your design style? What else do you look to for inspiration?
CC: Just knowing different flowers exist and challenging yourself to grow the ones you really love is inspiration in itself.
MM: You have roots in the Nashville farming community, do you have a favorite growing season? If you could live in any type of growing region, where would it be?
CC: My favorite Nashville growing season is early to mid-summer. That’s when the flowers thrive the best, and you still have the residual spring flowers. The really exciting stuff starts to pop up in summer. You have to harvest flowers early in the morning, and it a great way to start your day.
I love upstate New York for foraging (their wild edibles are incredible too), the Pacific Northwest grows incredible Dahlias, but I’m really enjoying where we are, the Nashville climate is really warm, wet, and good for growing.
MM: Tell me something nerdy about yourself that you are really proud of.
CC: I have a small obsession with old 1980’s Garden Books, some of which are on display in the shop... I have also loved Martha Stewart since I was a small child.
MM: If VH1 made a Pop Up video of a day in the life of the Farmer’s Florist, what three interesting tidbits would Pop Up?
2. I started out as a livestock farmer and know how to shear sheep.
3. I can operate large farming machinery like second nature.
All photographs through the keen lens of Zachary Gray