Fine Floral Design in the 405
A trio of specialists bloom where they’re planted
The Wild Mother’s Leah Palmer with a client
The makers featured here are hard-working optimists who are the hands behind some of the 405’s most beautiful nosegays, bouquets, centerpieces and arrangements, and the petal pushers who craft blooms into spectacular visions every day.
Time spent with The Wild Mother feels like tradition in the making. It’s a family affair: sisters Lauren, Leah and Callie Palmer are the founders and faces of the operation. Their aesthetic was solidified by shared experiences in the arts, gardening and finding beauty in every day, practically in every moment, spent with each other.
The Palmer sisters credit their parents, siblings (including their two brothers) and grandparents with providing them the lifestyle that blossomed into The Wild Mother. They grew up roaming their grandparents’ land, selecting rose rocks and picking wildflowers, styling designs on their kitchen table — and in hindsight, it’s clear that those moments foreshadowed what was to come.
“What grew into a passion for me was just having flowers around my apartment in college,” Lauren says. “I always had grocery store flowers around. I moved into a house with some friends, and kept that same rhythm with having flowers in my spaces. A lot of our friends knew that about me, and started to ask if we would do flowers for their weddings.”
Requests for her newly budding talents grew from a trickle to a stream, which turned, eventually, into a full-time business. They knew they’d done something right when calls started coming in from people they didn’t know. After logging many miles with the proverbial training wheels on, Leah and Lauren, who had daydreamed about one day opening a hybrid listening room/bookstore together, shifted creative gears and entered the floral-design business.
“Ordering from farms on your own, making relationships with farmers and learning from them and their craft is helpful for knowing how they can be used in our studio,” Lauren says. “We like to honor materials as they are, (we) don’t manipulate, we work with them the way they are grown.”
In 2015, The Wild Mother took off, and through 2018, the business was operated strictly from their event space, Holloway House, a second-story outpost in Film Row. Earlier this year, the team added walk-up retail in the form of a studio-store at 629 W Sheridan, Suite 102. The new storefront will make it that much easier for fans of The Wild Mother to indulge in gorgeous flowers whenever the mood strikes.
Putting their Best Fête Forward
Haleigh Kenney and Tara Towns have a unique understanding of the client-creator relationship, because that’s how they met. Kenney started her wedding-planning business, XO by Haleigh Kenney, in 2014, based from her home in downtown OKC. She’d left a corporate job and tapped into her creative alter ego, falling in love with floral design and event planning along the way. Enter Towns, an interior designer by trade and bride-to-be who hired XO to design and plan her wedding.
“She was in tune with what she wanted. I would say picky, but she just had really good taste,” Kenney says. “And we really hit it off. We had a fun time planning and working together.”
Towns purchased many of the decorative and other items used for her wedding, quickly building an impressive inventory of wares and furniture. In the meantime, Kenney’s she-shed was overrun by her own stock. The pair reunited, and started the hunt for a shared space that they could make into their own.
With the creation of their company, Fête, in 2017, the pair began offering workshops, pop-ups and specialty rentals, complementing the planning executed by Kenney and XO. Both women find inspiration in their surroundings, from the venues they transform to the space that they call their work-home. They now cater to specialty rentals and also offer their studio as an event space for birthday dinners, baby and bridal showers and other gatherings.
“Originally, we intended to be a retail location, but it really just grew faster on the wedding side than we could have hoped for,” Kenney says. “And we just decided to focus on brides, and holidays, and workshops for the community.”
Helping brides edit their visions is something the pair does well. Serving as sounding boards and editors, the professionals gently help clients pare down their ideas until their dreams come to life.
“I say to them ‘Show me your one favorite photo of this particular item, show me one floral inspiration photo that you love,’” Kenney says. “Pinterest is great, but it can also be very confusing. And that has worked very well, and I think clients are very surprised with what we’re able to pull out in their wedding and how much it feels like them.”
The Wright Stuff
What began in the late 1970s as her husband’s grocery business now thrives as Lori Wright’s beautiful business The Flower Shop, a freestanding one-stop outpost filled with beautiful arrangements or bouquets for home, office or just for the heck of it.
Wright was born in Oklahoma City and was a stay-at-home mom until the early 2000s, when she first began working with flowers, joining the family business alongside her late husband Larry. When Wright’s Family Market closed in 2014, it became a stand-alone business operating under the name Wright’s Floral Market. In 2017, the couple expanded the business — rebranded as The Flower Shop — but kept its personalized, excellent customer service in a town known for its love of local business.
The Flower Shop is a vision in well-run retail. “The Flower Shop would not be The Flower Shop without my team of girls,” Wright says. “We really try to take care of the everyday customer and their everyday needs. We say, ‘You tell us your budget, and we will make it beautiful for you.’ To get to experience that every day, to get to bless someone with flowers, makes me feel like I’m being purposeful with my life.”