I've visited my fair share of local farmstands and independent grocers. Why, there are at least four produce stands within a few miles of my home that I frequent on a weekly basis. But this small, organic French grocery, Les Jardins de Vaissieres, has to be the absolute most charming one I've ever seen. When you step through the door, it feels as if you're taking a journey back in time or walking through a scene from a movie. Their gorgeous displays are overflowing with baskets of vibrant produce, cupboards filled with jars of homemade terrines and pâté, and crates of organic eggs - all under the "watchful" eye of a sleeping shop kitty....
For the past few years, I've aspired to teach workshops here in the US for those who may be unable to travel to France, but have a strong desire to learn how to style professional visuals that reflect their brand and connect with their following. My objective in creating new workshops was simple; to design one-day intensive sessions that focus solely on styling exceptional images. This first series of workshops in the San Francisco area will kick off my plans of extending them across the nation in the coming year. I hope to see you at one!
Today we're continuing with my interview series of inspiring women who do unique and creative work. It seems now more than ever there are endless opportunities as to what a business might look like and how one might go about achieving success. Female trailblazers who are building their businesses off the beaten path, are in a way, sharing their gifts with those of us who aspire to achieve something meaningful in what we do for a living. In my line of work as an editor and stylist I’ve come across dozens of just such women, many of whom I consider friends, and I thought it would be great for you to get to know some of them as well.
Lauren Palmer is the owner and farmer of Bloomsbury Farm located in Smyrna, Tennessee. The farm is set on 400 breathtaking acres where she and her team cultivate and grow beautiful organic produce to sell at Saturday farmers markets around Nashville and to fill orders for their seasonal CSA baskets. But Bloomsbury Farm isn't only a farm - it is also a gorgeous event space; hosting weddings, special events, and farm-to-table gatherings. Lauren truly loves creating a community around farming, nature, and food - let's get to know her better!
Summer. What's not to love about our most carefree season? Aside from the heat, of course. One the best things about warm weather is being able to take our meals outside. Having an early morning coffee on the patio or firing up the grill for a late night supper is right up my alley. I also love easy meals that don't require much if any, cooking, and picnics combine both - relishing the outdoors and zero obligation to be in front of a hot stove.
Always wanting to be prepared to picnic in style, I spend a lot of time (probably too much) gathering supplies. I unabashedly confess to having a complete and utter obsession with packaging. It's borderline ridiculous. I have been known to buy items I never even open based solely on the packaging. Please tell me I'm not the only one. My current stash is of epic proportions and I have no intentions of paring down my trove. Since we're friends and obviously love the same things, I thought it fit to share my tips and resources to help you up your picnic game with my favorite swoon worthy supplies!
After our successful day gathering props at the brocante, we were ready to begin utilizing those finds in our styling sessions. In addition to what everyone found for their own prop collections, I set up a table with an assortment of small dishes, linens, fresh produce, herbs and spices, and beautiful artisanal bread.
Our first few mornings at The Academy begin with lectures on the proper techniques and aspects of styling. Starting with the fundamentals, the attendees are able to understand the how & why behind creating stunning that resonate meaning and convey the vision they wish to express. They are then able to implement those concepts and skills as they continue to practice throughout the week. But more importantly, upon returning home, they will have an arsenal of techniques to apply in their own body of work and creative pursuits.
Bonjour, mes amies! Currently I'm home and settled back into daily life, after a nearly month long visit to France to prepare for, teach, and host - The Academy. At the moment, I'm finding it somewhat difficult to express how I feel about my experience without using words that make me sound like a simpleton - amazing, memorable, and truly inspiring come to mind. But then, they do accurately describe the time I spent with those who attended, as well as my friends and team that help me pull off such an enormous event. Something remarkable happens when you bring a diverse group of creative women together. Friendships are born, creativity sparked, dreams and goals revealed, and authentic encouragement envelopes the group as a whole.