The first in our series highlighting creatives, small businesses, local makers and artists within our communities; Here is Tennessee from Saint Maide out of Nashville, TN.
Q: Introduce yourself! // A: Hi there! My name is Tennessee Jane and I’m the founder and creative director of Saint Maide, an evocative floral company that specializes in made-to-order dried flower arrangements that we ship nationwide and retail and restaurant installations. Q: How did Saint Maide come to be? // A: As all good things that came out of 2020, Saint Maide was one of those things for me and was essentially a Covid pivot. After I was laid off in March 2020, I decided that it was high time to start the company I said I always would if I had enough time. And here we are one year later, having just launched our second campaign and collection.
Q: Did you always have an interest in florals? // A: I’ve been attracted to florals in art and design for as long as I can remember. Georgia O’Keefe was one of the first artists I remember encountering that made florals come to life outside of seeing them in arrangements. I’ve also just always loved having florals (fresh or dried) around me at all times. I’ve found keeping florals in my space to be really impactful, especially the times when I’ve lived in small apartments in cities like NYC and SF.
Q: Do you have a favorite flower you love to work within your pieces? // A: Dried Peonies are really fun to work with because they keep their fragrance for quite awhile which I love and adds such a romantic element to the piece. Scabiosas in their fresh or dried forms are both really fun to work with because they have so much texture.
Q: Any specific colors or textures you gravitate towards? // A: Dried florals really lend themselves to muted color palettes which means that they will work will in a variety of home decor and I love seeing our pieces in peoples homes. Color-wise I’ve been really into rusts, pinks and golden yellows lately. That may be the seasonality of October talking but I do always like that color palette.
Q: Walk us through the process of the dried florals --A: Drying florals can be a slow process so if I’m doing it myself, it’s basically a set it and forget it situation. Hanging them upside down or leaving them to dry out in a vase is the easiest way to to do it yourself.
Q: How has florals woven themselves into your every-day? // A: I thought I had a lot of florals around me before but having a floral business has really taken that up a notch! I’m constantly surrounded. I do find myself gravitating towards more floral prints in general though these days, specifically in fashion and art.
Q: Where can we see a Saint Maide installation within Nashville? // A:MODISTE and The Continental by Sean Brock
Q: What is the most rewarding thing about owning a small business?// A: There’s something special about not having to ask for permission to do something risky. Whether that’s a new product or design, it’s a rewarding experience when you get to be the one to give yourself permission to try something new in the business.
Q: Where do you find inspiration? // A: The changing of the seasons always offers new sources of floral inspiration since it means I’m encountering different florals month to month. Outside of the florals themselves, I look to fashion and art, both contemporary and from specific time periods to source inspiration. The 1920’s + 30’s are two decades I always look to when ideating campaigns as well as artists like Leonora Carrington and Alice Neel.
Q: Any new projects or collaborations in the works that you can tell us to look out for? // A: Yes! For holiday this year we are collaborating with a number of other artists and makers to create floral-inspired gifts. For instance, we’re working with Lockeland Leather and artist Caitlin Shirock of Cash Color to create a floral embossed leather pouch, which, from the sample I just saw is looking absolutely stunning. We also created a custom Saint Maide tea blend with Tea Huntress and it will be available in our holiday gift collection!