Vendor Story: Pozie by Natalie

Bellingham-based florist, Natalie Ransom of Pozie by Natalie is giving “flower power” a whole new meaning. While her talent for floral design is apparent in each arrangement she creates, she also puts her passion for petals to good work in her community through what she calls “floralanthropy.” From supporting local charities like the Boys & Girls Clubs of Whatcom County to mentoring on the Whatcom Chamber of Commerce to serving on the board of Whatcom Women in Business, it’s no wonder why Natalie was voted ‘Best Florist’ in Bellingham Alive’s Best of the Northwest for 2016.

Get to know the story of how her business bloomed.

How did you first become interested in floral design?

I grew up as a farm girl in Houghton, Michigan in the rural Upper Peninsula. I live and work in Bellingham but I also still consider myself a die-hard ‘Yooper’ (a nickname for those from the “U.P.” or Upper Peninsula.) I’ve loved flowers for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, one of my earliest memories is that when I was sad or upset, I would crawl into the baby’s breath bushes around the farm.

My father, Chip taught me how to forage around the farm and use what was available to create beautiful things to sell at farmer’s markets and craft fairs. Flowers have always been a part of me. From my dad, I learned to love nature and the joy of sharing that beauty with others.

How does living in the Pacific Northwest inspire your floral design?

Because of my roots on the farm, I try to use what’s in season from local, sustainable growers as much as I can. I’m thankful to have high quality options among the farmers here in Whatcom County and the Pacific Northwest.

Each piece is bespoke. I augment what’s in season with my favorite addition, succulents, as well as an occasional exotic. I love to add elements of fiber, metal, glass, fruit, vegetables, and whatever sparks my creativity at the time.

Do you have a favorite flower?

I have a new favorite flower every 5 seconds and I continue to fall in love with them over and over again. It’s why I love what I do so much. I love working with both flowers and plants together. Succulents appear often in my work because they are rich and substantial. I make them into jewelry, and incorporate them into bouquets, pots, and other pieces whenever I can.

What’s one of the most memorable or meaningful floral pieces you’ve worked on?

My passion project for the past year has been a celebration of local bounty and the changing seasons. My friend Piper shared a vintage seasonal photo series on Facebook. I was instantly drawn to recreate them using all local, foraged product – a true representation of the unique beauty of each season. I asked my friend, Katheryn Moran Photography to help and recruited friends as models, including Piper. I’m thankful to have time and the support of other creative businesses in my area to accomplish projects like these.

You’ve made a name for yourself through your kind acts for the community. Tell us more about your “floralanthropy.” What inspired you to give back through your flower business?

My mother Cindy was a nurse and philanthropy was always a part of our life. She still volunteers at a hospice house in her retirement. My parents and I also did Meals on Wheels together in Michigan. My parents have always been very generous and helpful people. It delights me to use my floral work for what I call ‘floralanthropy.’ It’s been my honor to donate my work or give significant discounts in support of several Whatcom County charities, including providing floral styling for events, galas, and auctions for non-profits like Lydia Place, Boys & Girls Club of Whatcom County, and the Alzheimer’s Society of Washington.

Lydia Place is one of my favorite places to use floralanthropy. They provide housing, supportive services, advocacy, education, and raise awareness of the faces and causes of homelessness in the Whatcom County area. I can see the positive difference that they’ve made in our community. A young woman I met there is such a success story. She had been addicted to methamphetamine and became pregnant. She got involved in their programs and was able to control her addiction. She started attending school for nursing, but discovered she had an aptitude for math, so she switched to a surveying program that will allow her to have a stable profession at a living wage. She now has a three-year old son that she can provide and care for in the long-term. I love how you can see the good they are doing for so many.

I work with them where ever they are at, either through donations of my work or at wholesale cost. We work together to make events great like Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and other holidays, plus pieces for galas and fundraising events.

What’s your all-time favorite love story?

My parent’s love story is my all-time favorite.

In the late 1960’s, my parents were both hippies living in Colorado. They both worked at a Mexican restaurant and lived together in a tent with their two cats. To this day, Mexican is our favorite food. They’ve had a lot of adventures together in their life. They moved to Michigan and bought a farm together with almost no experience. They’ve created a wonderful home that they share with friends, community and school groups, making things like apple cider.

I admire them because they have such an exemplary partnership. They’ve never lost that spark. They’re affectionate. I couldn’t have a better model of what it means to really love someone, what it means to be in a relationship, and the give and take needed to make it work. They are both strong independent individuals and haven’t stuck to traditional gender roles. Everything hasn’t been sunshine and lollipops, but it’s a real relationship based in mutual respect and unconditional love. They are a team. They laugh together and have always worn ridiculous, awesome coordinating Halloween costumes every year. I didn’t appreciate the costumes when I was a kid, but now I can see it is just an example of their deep partnership. They’ll have been married for 42 years this September.

 

Coastal Bridal Inspiration: Cannon Beach Styled Shoot

The coast is calling, Pacific Northwest brides-to-be. To strike the perfect balance of organic, elegant, and effortless, take style inspiration from the awe-inspiring surroundings of the Oregon Coast. From an ethereal tulle veil evoking the mist of the ocean to the deep, unexpected hues of the bridal bouquet, a haze of romance envelops all aspects of this Cannon Beach styled shoot, captured by the talented McKenna Rachelle Photography as a part of the Jeremy Chou Oregon Coast workshop. As an Oregon Coast native, McKenna’s roots certainly shine through the images below.

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The Details:

Wedding Dress: Mywony Bridal
Model: Alyda Grace of Option Models
Design & Styling: Tristan Needham Design
Hair & Makeup Artistry: Cassandra Kennedy
Ribbon & Styling Textiles: The Poetry of Silk
Instructor: Jeremy Chou, as part of the Oregon Coast Workshop

Marisa and Krzysztof’s Classic Woodinville Wedding

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and Cupid was certainly to thank for Marisa and Krzysztof’s decision to tie the knot. First meeting via OkCupid, the couple decided to meet in person at the McMenamin’s in lower Queen Anne for a drink. Both Marisa and Krzysztof speak to the comfort they found in their first impressions, as if they weren’t first impressions at all. “Spending time with Krzysztof felt familiar. I was almost immediately comfortable around him. I could tell he was kind, caring, intelligent, and personable.” Kryzsztof echoes, “We could talk for hours, and it seemed like no time had passed by. I was keen on getting to know her, and I could tell the sentiment was mutual.”

Their ease of conversation and desire to get to know one another continued to bloom. While their wasn’t a specific”aha” moment that they knew they were going to spend the rest of their lives with one another, they soon became inseparable. “Before we knew it, we knew that we wanted to be together and grow old together.”

The proposal was a sweet nod to the beginning of the life and home they’d share together. Krzysztof had put in an offer on a house, and they’d found out it was accepted a day after the two had returned from a trip to Kauai. After the sunset, they were checking out the new house and were about to leave for dinner when Krzysztof told Marisa he had one more question. He knelt down on one knee in the empty living room of their new house and before he could finish the question, Marisa excitedly said yes, crying tears of joy.

Their wedding day was a simple, elegant, and fun tribute to their love story and their love for the Pacific Northwest, coordinated by Jen Leslie Events and captured by Veesh Photography. “My favorite moment was at the end of our ceremony, walking down the aisle and seeing all of our family and friends, smiling and celebrating with us. I think I was too nervous and excited to notice anyone on the way down the aisle, but on the way out, I was amazed at all of the people who have supported us our journey to become partners for the rest of our lives.” As for the groom, his favorite moment was welcoming guests as they arrived for the cocktail hour. “It was a joy to hug and chat with each and every friend and family member as they came to start the festivities. It was the first formal way for us to acknowledge the union of all the people in both of our lives.”

To sum up the best part of being married, Krzysztof cites the quote, “Happiness is only real when shared.” He says, “It’s the fact that you’re with someone who you want to share all of your happiest moments with, and who makes you happy in seemingly effortless ways.” Marisa says, “The best part of marriage is knowing that we are sharing the rest of this unpredictable journey of life together. We will have many ups and downs, but knowing that I have someone to share life with means more than anything to me.”

The Details:

Venue: The Hollywood Schoolhouse, Woodinville, WA

Wedding Coordination: Jen Leslie Events

Photographer: Veesh Photography

DJ: Levi Harshman of Remarkable Production

Flowers: Anna Brandt of Distinctive Design Florist

Hair and Makeup Artistry: Kendra Springer of KLS Makeup Artistry

Groom’s Apparel: Vera Wang

Bride’s Dress: Stella York via Blue Sky Bridal

Officiant: Rev. Patrick Callahan

Vendor Story: Picstop

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a photo booth owned by a husband and wife duo is worth a whole lot more. Inspired by a love for the spontaneous moments photo booths inspire, Kate and Alex started their Portland-based business, Picstop with an admirable dream in mind: “to create one of the best photo booths in Portland that someone could rent for hundreds less than our competition.”

Get to know the story of their business and their own love story.

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How did Picstop come about? Tell us more about how affordability and fun inspired the business.

As far as I (Kate) can remember, I’ve always loved photo booths. I have photo strips from 20 years ago that I still look back on as keepsakes. When Alex and I were married back in 2012, we couldn’t afford a photo booth at our wedding (at least one that we would love and be proud of.) We ended up buying an instant camera, building a backdrop and having a friend run the “photo booth.” We made due with what we had, yet to this day we dream of what it would have been like to have a beautiful booth at our wedding. Fast-forward to 2013, and the dream for Picstop came alive at a friends wedding. Alex and I frequented that booth more than anything else that night and had way too much fun.

Thankfully, we had the help of multiple friends to help build this dream. Yes, we actually built this booth! Our friend Tom helped with the design, and the Speiss/Francis clan (Tiny Luxury on HGTV) did the actual building along with Alex’s good friend Brett. My sister-in -law Olivia of Olivia Strohm Photography helped design our logo, and our buddy Nate helped with our website.

Had you always dreamed of starting a business?

As a couple, we never made plans to start our own business. Alex is a pastor at our church and is the type of person that needs consistency. He would much rather have a 9:00-5:00 job that has stability and doesn’t have to wonder about unknown things. I, on the other hand, have dreamt of so many things but no ideas that were worth pursuing. That’s why we have the potential to be so good together. He needs my spontaneity and I need his structure.

What’s been the most rewarding part of Picstop so far? 

For me, the most rewarding part of Picstop is when I get to witness someone having the time of their life while using our booth. It makes me so happy when I get to see loved ones making memories, being fun, being spontaneous, and breaking out of their shell. At one of our events, I got to witness an older Dad and his 6 sons (who happened to look identical) all come together in our booth and be silly and fun.

Another moment that stands out to me was when someone proposed in the booth while taking photos. He timed each step of the proposal with 1 of the 4 photos. It’s moments like this that allow me to take in the moment and be so proud of the service Picstop offers.

As a husband and wife duo, tell us a little about your own love story. 

Alex is the best man I know and my best friend. He’s someone that everyone looks up to and respects. We met when he was leading a day trip to the beach with our church’s college group back in 2011- July 30th to be exact. He was the driver of my van that day. We weren’t especially flirty that day, however, we did spend a lot of time in groups. I remember that he was near me most of the day making sure I was okay and taking care of me. (Marry a guy like this, ladies!) That day, he came adorned with a mustache and tattoos – two things I’m not crazy about. I kept feeling that he was intriguing, but I couldn’t tell if he was cute. Turns out he’s incredibly good-looking. Plus, he’s the funniest person I know.

We started dating on September 10, 2011 and were married September 29, 2012. We’re quickly approaching our four-year anniversary, and I can say they have been the best four years of my life. We also have a 9-month old baby girl and her name is Ella. People say she looks just like Alex, and I love that.

What’s it like owning a business with your spouse?

Owning a business with Alex has been all the emotions: exciting, filled with pride, rewarding, and challenging. Some times we both don’t know what to do. What do we do if our software malfunctions? How do we get more business? Is this work actually worth our time? I have an exciting, every-day-is-a-good-day, happy personality. Alex is the realistic thinker who can problem solve anything. Because we have such drastic personalities, it can make owning Picstop more challenging. We definitely butt heads once in a while, but there is so much potential for us to do amazing things when we work hard and trust one another’s strengths. Regardless of how successful Picstop is, I’m so thankful that I’ve got to experience owning this business with my best friend.

What is your favorite love story? 

I’m a sucker for love stories. It drives Alex crazy that I only want to watch romantic comedies or Pixar movies. I have a little bias, but I like our own love story the most. Yet, for the sake of this question, I’d say our favorite love story (or one of them) is that of Albert Brennaman and Allegra Cole from one of our favorite rom-roms, Hitch. Albert’s the goofy, overweight, “loser” and Allegra is the wealthy, successful, beautiful bombshell. Everyone loves the Cinderella story. No matter how many times we watch Hitch we can’t help but find ourselves rooting for Albert and celebrating with him when he gets the grand prize. We think marriage, more than anything, is about friendship. Who cares how sexy your husband is if he’s not your best friend?!

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I Still Do: A Holiday Celebration

The holiday season is the time to reflect on all of the love that fills our lives. Whether it’s spending time with family or sharing mistletoe and midnight kisses, it’s hard not to notice the extra bit of magic in the air.

One couple decided to make the most of the most wonderful time of the year by celebrating their ten years of marriage.

The enchanting  “I Still Do” photo shoot and surprise gathering was Scott’s gift to his wife, Bethany for their anniversary – all captured by  the talented Rachel of Frit~Fru Photography.

Bethany shares: “He told me we were doing a wedding-themed photo shoot…when it turned out he had actually invited our closest friends and family for a dinner party to celebrate! After we were well into the photo shoot, we “happened” to walk into a little clearing in the woods that was straight out of a fairy tale! Every detail was perfect and looked like it belonged there–twinkle lights and vintage tableware in the middle of the forest. Scott designed and built the gorgeous table around the tree in the clearing and a rustic bar for drinks. Our daughters, parents, siblings, and closest friends all came to celebrate with us, Scott’s family cooked us all an incredible meal, and we lingered late into the night…until the generator powering the twinkle lights ran out of power! It was such a special and beautiful night.”

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The Details:

Photography: Frit~Fru Photography

Ribbons: Silk & Willow

Calligraphy : Painted Cloud Studios

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Love and a VW Camper: An Anniversary Session

December is here, and with it comes the time to be wonderstruck by the beauty of the  season once more. There’s something magic about that light, foggy haze of winter, and not to mention, the chillier temperatures outside mean all the more reason to cozy in with the one you love.

To celebrate their anniversary, Ariana and Caleb took to Mount Baker and the Snoqualmie National Forest for a charming photo session. When you set a classic VW camper, a couple in love, and a dog against one of the prettiest sights in the PNW, it’s hard not to strike photographic gold – and that’s exactly what Sprigs and Jade yielded.

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From Dawn to Dusk: A Bridal Editorial

From lace that’s like the soft light of the morning to beading that glimmers like the glow of sunset, this bridal editorial, shot by the talented Dillon Ivory Photo, feels like a journey through a full day of romance. The talented team took inspiration from each BHLDN dress to create a distinctly inspired bridal look, and the results are that of magic hours.9w7a10139w7a10449w7a10099w7a1113 9w7a1119 9w7a1151 BHLD bridal editorial9w7a1261 9w7a1244

Credits:

Dresses: BHLDN

Photography: Dillon Ivory Photography

Hair and Make Up Artistry: Alisha Cassandra Hair 

Flowers: Carrot Flower Company

Model: Ksenya Sovenko of Heffner Management

Charming Portland Garden Wedding

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One could say that “the Force” brought Ben and Anna together – the force of love, that is. Marrying a “little bit of a Star Wars nerd,” the bride surprised her groom with custom-made Hans Solo and Princess Leia cake toppers that resembled the two of them, while Ben spent weeks making a 7 1/2 foot tall Star Wars photo booth that was absolutely adored by guests. The celebration was aglow with lightsaber fights and camera flashes from all the subsequent poses. All Star Wars references aside,  the wedding day was a beautiful display of family and friends coming together to celebrate the beginning of a new saga all captured by Benjamin Clifford Photography.

The couple took to Canemah Park in Oregon City for their first look. “I was so excited to see my future husband Ben and for him to see me in my dress for the first time, I could hardly contain myself. It was a very special moment for the both of us – so much emotion pours out in that moment. He was perfect and I could not wait to marry that man.” In true Pacific Northwest fashion, it began  to rain off and on. “I was trying to do my best and not panic with it being an outdoor venue. The umbrellas, however, made for some really fun pictures.”

Another unique element of their Portland garden wedding was their intimate vow exchange, only attended by their photographers and the honor of having Ben’s step brother pronounce them as husband and wife. Celebrating the start of their journey, guests cheered and tossed pink rose petals our way.

“We had so much fun I forgot all about the rain, the torn dress and all the other minor things that go wrong at weddings. We just danced the night away and enjoyed our magical day! Our wedding was unforgettable, by far the best day of my life. After all, at the end of the day the only thing that matters is your love and commitment to one another. Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

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The Details:

 

Venue: Abernethy Center
Photography: Benjamin Clifford
Dress: Bridal Exclusives
Groom’s Attire: Nordstom
DJ: Jerry Erven
Cake: Florika
Hair and Makeup Artist: Luba Gannotskiy
Bridal Party Bouquets: Brenda Fields

The First Dance: A Ballet Bridal Editorial

Music and movement are languages of love, and as  the first dance is one of the most emotionally potent points of a wedding, there couldn’t have been a source of better inspiration for this carefully choreographed editorial. Ink & Grain Photography captured the beauty of ballet with blooms by Ponderosa and Thyme and an ethereal Leanne Marshall gown via Portland’s The English Depart. Rich with feeling, this styled shoot juxtaposes soft tulle and pastel petals with striking shadows and bold movement- resulting in the ultimate representation of romance.

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Taylor and Justin’s Backyard Wedding

CASPhoto_TaylorJustinWedding151“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” These words by Maya Angelou perfectly speak to the story of Taylor and Justin. Though the thought of a long distance relationship was initially unsettling to Taylor, the persistence of the Californian boy in his pursuit of the Washingtonian girl paid off. One day, she finally agreed to a first date and found herself on a plane down to meet him. “It sounds like an exaggeration, but we could have done anything and he would have still had me at hello. Something was different – this time my heart was open to anything. I had a complete gentleman pursuing me like no one’s business for a year! I’m constantly thankful I finally got my act together and reciprocated that pursuit.” Taylor shares.

It wasn’t long before she knew her grand gesture was worth it, because Justin had decided to make one in return. He shared that he wanted to come up from Washington to watch Taylor graduate from college, and it was this desire that really sparked their journey to marriage. “When it came time for him to come up, he ended up buying a one-way ticket to Washington. He surprised me by staying the summer in order to spend time with me, my family, and to help me transition into the real world.” Later, Taylor decided to call Southern California home.

“He was all-in and made me feel like the most important thing in his life. I knew I loved him then, and I knew I would do anything to pursue his love right back,” says Taylor. As a nod to their love story, the house where Justin had stayed with his best friend in Washington was the place where the two of them said “I do.” With many fond memories of time spent at the house, Taylor is confident that they “could not have chosen a more perfect or more meaningful spot to get married” with their backyard wedding.

The best part of being married? “Having someone to laugh with during the fun times and lean on during the tough times is the greatest gift.”

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The Details:

Photographer: Carina (Skrobecki) Swain
Wedding Planner: Ellie Haisch of Maris Events
Dress: BHLDN
Makeup: Chelsey Matley
Groom’s Apparel: Tommy Hilfiger
Catering: Act3 Catering
Cake: WannaCupcake
Videographer: Janssen Powers of Native Wedding Films

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