Since we sort of love taking the non-traditional approach to things (hello bridal show alternative!) it only seemed right to sit down with Leigh Ann of Wrenegade Floral Design who creates clay flowers as unique alternative to fresh for your big day. The best part about her creations? You can keep them forever as a keepsake from your wedding! We’re excited to hear more from her in her very own Vendor Highlight today!
Tell us a little bit about the story of Wrenegade Floral Design
My husband and I were married in 2012; I stumbled across flowers made with this clay while coming up with wedding ideas and decided to try making them myself. I have a background in painting and printmaking, but had never done much sculpting. My family has a greenhouse in PA, so I had fresh flowers as a backup in case it didn’t work out, but I ended up really taking to the process! I made all the bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, and other small items for our wedding.
I make all of my flowers by hand from a special air dry clay. The clay is pretty neat– it feel rather like marshmallow when it’s wet, but once it’s dry it is very lightweight and has a velvety texture. Everyone’s always surprised at how light the flowers are!
What is the best part of your job?
The intersection of the different things I love– my appreciation and knowledge of plants, and my desire to make things. It’s amazing to translate that into something meaningful that will be treasured by another person for a very long time.
Describe a highlight or pivotal moment in your career.
We moved to Maryland last year for my husband’s job and it gave me the opportunity to work on flowers full time. Honestly, every order feels like a pivotal moment– I learn something new and find ways to improve my process for next time. I especially love when clients ask for flowers I haven’t made often, or ever before. It makes their order more unique, and it lets me experiment.
What advice would you give to aspiring small business owners?
The struggle is real! It can be so challenging to balance everything, especially if you’re a one-person operation. Accept that your product, service, or style isn’t going to be perfect for everyone, and then focus on satisfying the audience that it is right for. Be honest with yourself and customers about your abilities, even if it means saying “no”. It’s better to under promise and over deliver. And above all, take some time for yourself. If you do nothing but work, you will burn out. Set boundaries. Ignore late-night client emails, they can wait til the morning.
What is the happiest part of your day?
Walking into my studio and thinking, ‘Wow, I really get to do this!’