Handmade custom invitations & stationery
by Kristy Rice

This week I am so excited to introduce you to Brooke from Pollen Floral Art in Austin, Texas.  As you know, flowers are my passion.  When I have the chance to meet a florist who refers to their work as art, I know I’m in for a treat.  From the moment  you land on Brooke’s site, you are completely aware of her gifts.

Thanks to Style Circle at Style Me Pretty for my travel friendly inspiration board creation!

Brooke tells her story the best and mentions some amazing plants along the way:

1.  What inspires your designs?
Growing up, both my parents were artists and designers (my Dad went to Cranbrook and my Mom is a painter and an architectural designer), so I was encouraged at an early age to make things and take an interest in the arts. For college I chose graphic design, and the program I went through at The University of Texas at Austin was incredibly rich and intense. We had some of the best architects and designers in the world come and speak to our department. I took quite a few studio classes too, and really enjoyed just playing around with materials. I was barely aware of floral design as a career until several years after graduating, and I feel like I’m able to bring all my interests in color theory, architecture, product and interior design into the business. I’m incredibly inspired on a daily basis – just looking around at antique stores, art galleries and new architectural spaces both in magazines and in person. I find new color combinations in fashion design (Anthropologie always has unexpected combinations), the colors of insects and in travels to foreign countries. Right now I would love to go to Spain and to Argentina after seeing the show Man Shops Globe about the buyer for Anthropology. My clients also bring some unusually interesting ideas to the table – I have an event coming up that blends Victorian Naturalist elements with Vintage Mexican where we’ll use some lab glass and concrete planters with succulents, kangaroo paw and moss, with a few terrariums thrown in for good measure. I read blogs and websites constantly, as I’m sure most visual people do these days. Some of my favorite floral designers are Ariella Chezar, Sarah Ryhanen at Saipua, and Denise Fasanello at Little Pheasant Blog.

2.  What is the most unexpected flower or green you tend to use and why do you love it so much?

I’m always on the lookout for unusual flowers and greenery – I use lots of items like pincushion protea and koala fern from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Lately I’ve been obsessed with this locally grown fuzzy kalanchoe plant and using natural found items like wasp nests and bird nests. The texture on the kalanchoe is phenomenal, you almost have to touch it’s chartreuse and gray-green leaves. I get the bird nests from a lady that travels the country in search of beautiful natural products. The nests incorporate horsehair because they were gathered outside an Amish farm! I’m trying to make a big effort to source more of my items from local growers, which has led to meeting some amazing folks around the Austin area.

3.  Is their a favorite time of year at your shop.  If so, why?

I am so in love with spring. Nothing beats the effortless optimism of blooming branches, riotous tulips and fresh bright colors. Not that I don’t like the other seasons – each one has it’s charm, just that spring seems to deliver so much beautiful product to work with. Also the summer can be brutal in Texas, so I relish these days of having the doors wide open and not worrying about the heat wilting the flowers.

Thanks Brooke for taking the time to share your inspirations!

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