I JUST LOVE A FUN THEME!
Every first Saturday at Wild Grace, we treat our customers to a themed appreciation party to kick off the month. Event planning has long been part of my tool box. A couple of years ago I helped pull together a fundraiser for one of my favorite nonprofits and used a welcoming island theme. It was a little ahead of its time. Tropical and Tiki can historically ebb and flow between “tacky to treasured” like the ocean’s tide…but for all luau lovers…the time has once again arrived! Aloha!
Throughout winter and spring, I’ve been carefully misting my sweet little indoor mini succulent gardens, and now with summertime here, I’m ready to expand my plant knowledge. I’m seeing a theme opportunity to add some large, colorful, vibrant drama to our inside plant collections, our patios or poolside gardens…and…to our closets! Go big, go green, go bright, or go home!
“I’ve always been drawn to fabric prints. My lifelong career in fashion has included just about every aspect of the business from start to finish.”
I began as a fabric designer (the “start” of the process) right out of college. This was a dream job utilizing my degree by working for the late Prophecy Corporation. It was during the mid to late 80’s, and it involved designing by method of old school hand sketching and then painting the repeat for fabric patterns. These typically square pieces of art were in turn sent out to mills to become the latest fabrics for each season’s collection.
I affectionately called it “pushing pigment” around on paper to ultimately arrive at something that pulls a retail customer in enough to want to purchase and wrap themselves up in it. My eye is naturally and passionately drawn to trending colors, shapes, and details…and right now I’m visually collecting large leaves and bold flowers…real and in art form…as a buyer for my boutique and as a decorator.
“Rubber figs, fan palms, banana plants, split leaf philodendrons, fancy leaf caladiums, hibiscus bushes, and stalks of bird of paradise have not only hit the southern garden centers and florists, but are showing up once again in all types of interior design elements and on the runway. I got inspired.”
My store and both of my pop up shops now have a bit of a tropical twist. My home surroundings will have a subtle hint of island flair with some new plants as long as I can keep them alive. I just purchased a prayer plant with gorgeous glossy pink and green leaves and it’s so colorfully delightful that I pulled out my watercolors to paint it. I’ve been snapping pics of foliage in current pantone perfect settings to frame. I also picked up a Canna Cannova Mango plant with one centered magnificent, exotic salmon colored bloom. I had never heard of it until two days ago.
Since I’m pretty new at this, it’s exciting to become sort of a plant person because a lot of these names are just plain fun to say out loud. By any chance, am I speaking your language?
Island Fever seems to have currently taken over as we long for escape and travel. Ready to add some flair? Look for happy tropical prints in maxis, palazzo pants, halters, and yes…the proverbial Hawaiian shirt. This time around…don’t take that last one too seriously. Maybe find one at a thrift store that has already seen its fair share of tiki parties and give it a waist with a retro gold chain belt and layer it over white capris.
You want to at least pretend to look like a natural, not a Dad tourist. While you are perusing through racks of retro, check out the colorful caftan section for poolside evenings. Also, for me personally, I just can’t seem to pass up a vintage scarf that looks fit for a convertible.
Get going. Get outside. Grill rings of fresh pineapple. Bask in flavors. Enjoy the great outdoors and be fashionably sun protective. Headwear must haves include the sultry Bardot- esque floppy chapeau, breathable straw sun hats with oversized frayed edge brims, creamy toquilla palm panamas, legendary straw fedoras, or perhaps try a tomboy beach look with a cloth tie-dyed bucket hat.
Customize your look. I will artistically embellish from my stockpile of vintage millinery flowers, feathers, assorted fabrics, & velvet ribbons. No hat? Grab a colorful bloom and in islander tradition…decisively show your availability by the ear you choose to adorn. Make music part of your summer journey. Gilberto & Getz’s original version of “The Girl from Ipanema” bouncing through your earbuds is flirtatiously tropical, lifts your spirits and makes your morning walk a bit sunnier. Wear your island garb while the tide is high. Meanw ile I’m looking for a pink hibiscus for my right ear.
Peace, love, & blessings,
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