It’s that time of year… The time magnolia leaves find their way indoors and sprinkled throughout our holiday decor. Perhaps you procure yours from a nearby tree in your community in the dead of night (not that we’d know anything about this or condone this illicit behavior!) or from a magnificent magnolia right in your own backyard. But, one thing’s for sure – they aren’t as beautifully curated as Weston Farms‘ magnolia creations.
Today, we’re sharing a little Q&A with Weston Farms’ Creative Director, Erin Weston. Her work has graced the pages of many-a-shelter publication, and is truly stunning. We’ve had the good fortune to work with Erin and have her in the showroom hosting magnolia arranging classes. She’s an absolute delight to be around and her work is truly inspirational! We hope you’ll enjoy getting to know her and her amazing arrangements as much as we have…
Named “The New Face of Gardening,” by Carolina Gardener in 2010, Erin Weston is the creative director at Weston Farms. Art, Nature, and Horticulture inform her work at Weston Farms.
In 2002, Erin Weston moved from New York City to North Carolina to help with her family farm. She wanted to create a luxury farm product grown and cultivated at Weston Farms that utilized her art background and incorporated her father’s horticultural knowledge. The Southern Magnolia wreaths, garlands and natural accessories from Weston Farms best express this desire and put a new spin on a familiar southern tradition.
Weston’s art direction of the “Horticultural Holidays at Weston Farms,” utilizes the best cultivated varieties of trees and plants chosen for color, texture, and rarity. Weston Farms grows highest quality Southern Magnolia exclusively for their wreaths, garlands and cut arrangements. Weston studied Art History at UNC-Chapel Hill and garnered her horticultural education by surrounding herself with the best and the brightest in the field.
sm’s: Can you please share a bit about your background/where Weston Farms began and how you gained the courage to break out on your own?
I studied art history at UNC, moved to Philadelphia, then NYC to work in publishing. Believe it or not, I was actually interviewed by MSO (Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia) on the day she was accused of inside trading! While working there, I was able to work closely with my dad (former horticulturist for the city of Raleigh) to create a production schedule with garden themes. I became really excited about all the content there and saw possibilities to be inspired by garden. Around the time Martha Stewart went to jail, my uncle left me 30 acres and my grandparent’s house in the middle of North Carolina suburbia. I worked to get it re-zoned as a farm and started the business with only one magnolia tree (my grandmother’s). From it, I created foliage arrangements to make money for that November/December. People kept coming back. Now, we’ve planted over 10,000 trees to supply foliage for year-round magnolia wreaths, Garland and natural accessories.
sm’s: What inspires you/your work?
The fine arts, museums, travel, nature, history
sm’s: What is your vision, not only for Weston Farms, but also your individual creations?
To create a luxury product defined by quality of craftsmanship, materials and rare ingredients/difficult to produce.
sm’s: Do you have any “mainstays” in your work – is there something you’re always drawn to in terms of arrangements?
Symmetry and asymmetry
Creating arrangements that would look good in a barn or in a castle setting.
sm’s: What do people need to consider when looking to purchase a Weston Farms creation?
To be prepared for an abundance of exquisitely designed and cultivated ingredients, and to appreciate the time of craftsmanship it took to create.
sm’s: What’s on the horizon for you/Weston Farms?
Marry me Magnolia! (TM)
A foliage, bouquet, wreath and Garland line available year round based on our signature magnolia.
sm’s: As an artist/business person how do you recharge?
Travel, nature, art museums
sm’s: Anything else you our readers would enjoy learning from you?
If something seems too hard for too long, step back and modify your course.
After reading our Q&A session with Erin and looking at those supremely gorgeous designs, are you ready to introduce magnolia into your home – perhaps year round?! We are! It’s amazing what even a small Weston Farms arrangement can do to elevate a space. It’s magnificent!!