It doesn't take much convincing for us to be utterly inspired by any company, large or small, that has friendship laid for the foundation. We unabashedly wave the proud friend flag over at linyage, and when we first discovered the gals over at Flower & Bee, their seemingly paralleled feelings sparked our ever-growing girl crush on the floral force.
In an industry where it can be a challenge to differentiate your aesthetic and brand, these two do it and do so with grace and fluidity. It's safe to say that those with Midwestern roots, notably Wisconsin, have a somewhat ethereal jargon when speaking about their hometown's affect on their soul. When we chatted with Jamie and Courtney about its influence on them, as demonstrated in their eloquent answers below, our adoration only grew for this duo.
Flower and Bee has been tasting success ever since the two joined forces a few years back, in large part because aside from their inherent talent they continue to define the word success in a way that serves both their clients and their lives the best. The similarities to how the two came back to one another is uncanny to our very own 'boomerang' story, but how they have cultivated their company while remaining entrenched in their passion first and foremost is what we often reference as some of our greatest inspiration.
As if their very own plot from which they pick their blooming Dahlias and the like isn't enough, check out the Q&A below where Courtney and Jamie delve deeper into how they stay inspired and rooted. Take notes, folks. These two are everything we all try to emulate. Genuity, flower field and all.
Q. First things first: Tell us who you are as an artist/creative, in 5 words or less.
Jamie: equal parts hand, heart, + mind.
Courtney: flower farmer. floral designer. maker.
Q. As business partners, you are likely a true yin and yang; basking in both your similarities and differences that make up who you are as individuals. Explain to us briefly about perhaps any person or facet of your lineage that resonate with you most when reflecting upon it.
J: I have always paralleled the practice of making with my hands to the repetitive actions practiced by my ancestors. (knitting, fixing, cleaning, gardening, garment making, being self-sufficient) The act of making, or making do, and constantly keeping my hands moving not only mirrors the sort of environment I grew up in, and have continuously been surrounded by— but also mimics the inherent characteristics that have been passed to me through generations. Something I’m eternally grateful for!
C: I'm not sure there's anyone or any relationship in my life that comes to mind, but I hope that our partnership can be a source of inspiration for our future lineage to come!
Q. How have you noticed your 'linyage' influence you as an artist? Where does that show up in your work?
J: We all have biological and historical roots. Physically and poetically, roots reference a beginning, an origin. Our seedlings and the florals we use when designing our compositions have roots. Our business, flower &bee , is rooted in friendship. Our friendship is rooted in a myriad of awesome stories and experiences. We’re wholistically grounded in this concept! I think that’s something that makes flower & bee really unique!
C: All the women in my family are artistic, although none ever pursued art on a professional level. Mostly it comes through in home craft. We always had the most beautiful handmade Christmas decorations, garland and lights everywhere, hand sewn tree skirts, beautifully wrapped presents. That outpouring of love, though making beautiful things for your home, that feeling of giving comfort and joy is something I've been able to embrace and now give, as an artist, through flowers.
Q. Though you are travel often for work with clients all over, you chose to lay down roots Milwaukee,Wisconsin. Tell us how your geographical location influences your business and/or creative process.
J: Our flower field is found in a little hollow on a ridge just north of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Especially in full bloom, our flower field looks & feels like a sanctuary! Not to mention, the surrounding woodline provides the perfect wild and weedy mixes we love! It becomes really special when we’re able to have our couples out to the field, to peruse their fave blooming flowers over a glass of wine! The Midwest is best and our couples are especially lovely. Our field location is perfectly rural, but it’s close proximity to the urban landscape is central to our practice!
C: Wisconsin. My family has a long history in the Milwaukee area. When my great grandparents came from Sicily, Croatia, and Ireland, they came to Milwaukee, and I'm still here! Unlike other cities, I feel most of the people who live in Milwaukee or are getting married in Milwaukee are from here, and often they or their parents still call Wisconsin home. And because of that, they are very endeared to this city, as am I, and so having a wedding here or starting a business here, actually means quite a bit more then just being a cool place to live and work.
photo ℅ Mann Frau.
Q. New or old, where or whom do you draw your inspiration?
J: Tactility + the haptic experience, poetry, raw materials, Sheila Hicks!
C: I spent time as a child in Tomahawk with my grandparents, being on rivers and lakes and in the woods in the summer, and again in the winter, totally transformed. Even the air quality and the way sound travels is different in winter. Being able to feel and sense all of these things, these are what make me look for the subtle and know that these small things make all the difference. Living on the farm is a constant source of inspiration as well. I love every aspect of it so much, and if I can put that into what I'm making, I feel I can make something totally unique and of place.
Q. Favorite time of day to create?
J: Start brewing the coffee early, let the sun rise, and plan to ease into the creative process by 9am.
C: I get up early everyday, just as the first light makes object visible in my bedroom. I let out and feed the chickens, and head back to the farmhouse just as the sun is coming over the horizon. I love drinking coffee with the morning light streaming through the kitchen. I don't necessarily start creating at this time, but seeing that magical part of the day sets me up for the rest of the day, and then I'm usually ready to make tip that light stretches the other way!
Cy Twombly has a quote that I love which says, "When I work, I work very fast, but preparing to work can take any length of time". For me, this is so true, and an early and slow morning is definitely part of that preparing to work.
Q. Best nugget of advice you've been given that stands true for you today.
J: “The early bird catches the worm.” — my Pops!
C: "Do the best that you can in the place that you are, and be kind." -Scott Nearing
Thank you so much, J + C. If you ever decide to hit the sewing machine, or if we trade in the lace for a Lily, we would be upset if you wanted to join forces. Basically, can we just hang out all the time?