It’s always great to connect with wonderful midwest vendors who create inspiring and beautiful events. In fact it’s one of the main reasons I started this blog, to share the work of these talented people. Ashley submitted her 10 year vow renewal to me to share on the blog, and I was instantly drawn to the beautiful flowers. She of course did the designs herself, and owns her own event based design business Ashley Fox Designs. Although I haven’t met her I can tell that she’s sweet, friendly, and totally supportive and enthusiastic about Middle of the Map! Her passion for what she does really shows when she talks about working on weddings, and with her clients. Without further delay here’s a little more about Ashley, and her business.
Where do you live, work, and what do you like to do for fun?
I live in a cozy home in Chaska, Minnesota, which is about a half hour from the Twin Cities. My studio is located within our home and I like to think the gardens surrounding our home could be considered my studio as well during the majority of the year. Even in winter I can always find something to harvest from the garden…evergreen, dried hydrangea, seedpods, rose hips, etc.
When I am not working on a wedding or styled photo shoot. I love to weed the gardens. It is very methodical, quiet and therapeutic for me. Then I throw the weeds to our chickens in the coop and watch them enjoy the “harvest”. I keep my hands busy in the winter with simple crochet projects, taking care of our two children and hunting for a great finds at local antique shops.
When did you first become interested in floral design, and what sparked your interest?
In 1999 I needed a job after college and there was an opening at a local flower shop. That is when I officially learned how to design flowers although some of my earliest memories are me playing in my mom and dad’s vegetable garden and finding wild grapes on nature walks. My mom and dad encouraged me to plant, play and eat veggies in the garden. They fostered this very simple joy in me that I am passing on to my kids. To this day I can find beauty in the simplest leaf or flower.
When did you decide to start your business, Ashley Fox Designs, and why?
In November 2007, 3 months after my second child was born, I decided I needed to do something creative, social and outside of the house, just for me. I decided I would make a go of it and see how it went. I believe I was born to do this. Truly, born to do this, my hands are always really cold and the flowers like that.
What is your favorite part about working with a couple to create flowers for their wedding day?
I really like getting to know each couple. I am a social person and I love hearing stories of their past and upcoming adventures in life. I get to meet so many wonderful couples. I believe I become more inspired to design just the right blooms for a couple when I know their likes and interests. I want to capture their vision and make them smile and say “Wow!” when they see the finished designs. Of course, on the day, I love handing the bride her bouquet. That might be my favorite part of the entire experience.
What inspires your floral designs, and what are some of the places you look for this inspiration?
I can be inspired by the mother of pearl on a shell, a couture dress in a fashion magazine, a tri colored leaf in the garden, the golden color of the grass on the side of the highway in autumn or the blog of my favorite floral designer Saipua. Each design I create has a story behind it. Whether it is for a bride who loves color or for a photo shoot needing a “just picked from the field” appeal each design is very different and always infused with a bit of soul from the garden.
Any words of advice for couples trying to choose a floral designer for their wedding day?
Do not let a floral designer override your ideas and tell you what you will like. The designer’s agenda or view of current trends means nothing. It is ultimately what you want to see at your wedding. On the flip side, don’t be afraid to listen to the ideas your designer might have to make your vision even more amazing. Find a designer that is excited about your vision and willing to take your ideas and make them realistic, beautiful and exactly what you want with the budget you have. Also, if you don’t quite know what you like, a good designer will always be able to help you uncover your unknown flower “loves” by asking you questions about your current style choices. I have been known to ask clients what colors they like to wear or what furniture, art and décor they have in their homes. Then, when you and a designer click, book them as soon as you can.