When we launched The Bundle of Joy, we always had the vision to create a vibrant, authentic community of brilliant moms. We put out a call to our community to see if anyone was interested in writing for our blog and low and behold, we connected with Alix and the rest is history. She is expecting her first baby this fall and we have loved reading her posts: About Alix, Maternity Fashion and Her Favorite Natural Beauty Products.
Upon discovering she is just as talented and she is beautiful and graceful, we knew we had turn the table and interview her for our blog.
- Tell us about yourself!
Hi there! My name is Alix and, as you will quickly come to learn, I have a serious love of flowers. I spend pretty much every day interacting with fresh blooms -- whether I'm creating arrangements, photographing them, or painting them -- and I wouldn't have it any other way.
In addition to all things floral, I am also passionate about art and design. I studied Studio Art at The College of William & Mary and got my MA in Art & Museum Studies at Georgetown University. I spent my post-grad years working in galleries and museums to promote contemporary art and artists, which I loved, but in the back of my mind I always missed being in the studio and creating things myself.
About four years ago I decided to take a break from the museum world and took a job at a local flower shop. It was a super scary transition and I had a LOT to learn having never formally trained in floral design. Luckily, I had a fabulous boss / mentor who taught me everything I know while also allowing me to explore my own creative pursuits. I was able to learn all the ins and outs of running a small business by day, and by night I started building a portfolio of photography and paintings based on arrangements I made at work. I'm telling you... it's been all flowers, all the time, ha!
I currently live in Washington, DC with my husband Richard, our sweet pup Emma, and we are super excited to be welcoming a baby girl to the family this October!
- How did you start your business?
In 2017 I started a blog, Living with Petals, as a way to share my obsession with all the beautiful flowers I got to work with every day. I hadn't planned to sell anything on there, but was pleasantly surprised to begin receiving inquiries about whether my photography was available for purchase. After selling a few pieces informally through the blog and my instagram, I decided why not add a little online shop, just to see what happens!
I didn't have a formal "launch" or anything like that, I just slowly started posting some of my favorite photos and small floral paintings and within a year, was selling work and even receiving requests for custom commissions. It was a pretty gradual / organic process and I'm definitely still learning all the time (for example - shipping framed photography is WAY more expensive than I realized! And you can NEVER have too much bubble wrap!), but I have loved building up the business and getting to share what I find beautiful with others.
- Is this your full-time job?
Not yet. I still spend my mornings at the flower shop, but after our baby is born this will become my full time gig! I'm looking forward to really being able to commit to my work and I think it will be good to have both the time (and pressure) to pursue my art full time. I'm also excited that it will allow me to work from home so I can spend lots of time with our baby girl!
- What advice do you have for people who want to take a passion and turn it into a business?
Don't feel like you have to have everything perfectly figured out in order to start. Experiment and put yourself out there, because the longer you wait the more time you have to second guess yourself. If you are lucky enough to have a passion, be generous and share it with the world because I guarantee that if you authentically love what you're doing, others will too :)
- What is your process?
My photography is very intuitive, I'm really drawn to color and texture and am a firm believer that more-is-more when it comes to flowers. I really like capturing a LOT of one varietal, (like these dahlias) and especially love when the image becomes almost abstracted due to the repetition of shape and form.
My floral paintings always start out with a real arrangement I made. I usually work from a photograph as the flowers just don't last long enough to paint from life, but it's always an original photo of an original arrangement by me.
For commissions I work closely with clients to ensure they are a part of the entire process. Some folks come to me with very clear ideas of what they want, like a painting of a bridal bouquet, and others just have a general color scheme they want incorporated into an abstract painting. I love working on both kinds of projects and really enjoy getting to know my clients along the way. My favorite thing is to see pictures of where my work ends up in their homes. It's the coolest!
- What are your best selling items?
I sell more commissions than anything else - which is great because I love working on them so much! It's awesome to be able to collaborate with the people who will be living with the piece to ensure it's exactly what they want.
The next most popular items are my small floral studies. I like to think that they're the most economical way to keep fresh flowers in your home because in painting form, the flowers will never die ;)
- Anything else you want to add!!!
Thank you so much for reading! Please don't hesitate to be in touch if you have any questions OR have any advice on turning your side-hustle into a full time job. I'm both excited and a little nervous to see what will happen when I transition to working full time for myself this fall, and would love to connect with anyone who has done something similar! I hope you have a wonderful day!