Back when I was brainstorming blog post ideas for March (thinking of all things spring, fresh and florals), Mary Johnston of Merry Floral popped up on my Instagram feed. I loved her whimsical vibe and, of course, all the FLOWERS! I immediately messaged her and told her we HAD to get together for a post.

Now, I can take flowers out of the plastic wrapper and put them in a vase and maybe get them to survive a couple days, but that’s the extent of my floral abilities. So I wanted her to teach me (and you!) her ways of creating a basic table flower arrangement. BUT in the end, her story turned into SO much more than that!

Mary Johnston of Merry Floral, based out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, makes a table flower arrangement. Read about her business and her tips on Southern Flair!
 

After driving around her neighborhood lost a few times, I finally found her home tucked away on the corner (those corner house addresses can be tricky!). It was pouring down rain, so I ran through the grass and when she opened the door she was a freaking RAY OF SUNSHINE, y’all.

She welcomed me in like we had been BFFs for years (even though we had only communicated via email a few times). We sat down on the couch and chatted — talking about everything from ex-boyfriends to our jobs and everything in between.

What stuck out to me the most about Mary’s story was that she took the chance to seize every opportunity that came her way in her flower business. In fact, the way she started her business this past fall was by convincing an already booked workshop in Washington to let her come. She randomly discovered their flower workshop online, but they had been booked for months. She emailed them on a whim and they opened a spot just for her! So she booked a flight and headed to a new city on her own — all for a flower workshop!

So Merry Floral began!

And since Mary has started posting her designs on Instagram, things have been falling into place for her. She was discovered by a few local restaurants and bars to host events around Valentine’s Day, and she’s had the chance to work with a few weddings recently.

After we visited for a long while, we decided we better get started on the actual flower tutorial. She took me to her back room off the kitchen into her “flower room.” Yea, while we all have home offices, she has A WHOLE FLOWER ROOM, you guys!!

In the end, decided to take the table and flowers outside for better lighting. We set up under the carport since it was pouring down rain still, but that didn’t stop this girl from creating something so bright and colorful.

Check out our full Q&A below!

Mary Johnston of Merry Floral, based out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, makes a table flower arrangement. Read about her business and her tips on Southern Flair!
Start from the beginning. Tell us how Merry Floral came about.

Mary: During college I studied Interior Design and then switched into Business. I knew I wanted to do something creative and own a business someday but wasn’t sure what my concentration would be. I looked into floral design and found the most beautiful flower farm in Washington state. After graduating from college last summer I visited Floret Farm for an intensive flower design workshop. I really fell hard for flowers in that setting— it would be difficult not to!

Mary Johnston of Merry Floral, based out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, makes a table flower arrangement. Read about her business and her tips on Southern Flair!
Heading to Seattle by yourself on a whim seems pretty bold and adventurous! Have you always been so spontaneous? 

Mary: I would love to say 100% YES! but that is not the case. That trip was me trying to find myself in the middle of the deepest pain I had ever felt. Going on a week long trip to a city I had never traveled all by myself to do whatever it was I wanted to do was everything I needed. I would recommend traveling alone (with caution!) to anyone. While I would not say that I am wholly “spontaneous,” I would say that I am bold and brave. I am adventurous and careful. I have found, based on experience, that these are good things to choose to be!

Mary Johnston of Merry Floral, based out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, makes a table flower arrangement. Read about her business and her tips on Southern Flair!
Is playing with flowers something that’s always interested you? How did you first get interested in this creative field?

Mary: I have always really liked receiving flowers. I remember my middle school crush writing me a Valentine’s poem accompanied by a single pink flower. I remember when I was given my first bouquet of roses in high school by my very best guy friend. Once I reached college, I became the flower delivery girl. I loved to bring flowers into my college apartment and get them into the bedrooms of my friends. I love having this opportunity to communicate “WHEN I SAW THESE I THOUGHT OF YOU!” I mean, how lovely is that? Thinking of your best friend or significant other standing in Trader Joe’s looking at dozens of types of flowers and saying “This one is SO YOU.” I think that is so nice, and that’s the very simple reason that I wanted to dive into the world of floral design.

Mary Johnston of Merry Floral, based out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, makes a table flower arrangement. Read about her business and her tips on Southern Flair!
What are a few of your favorite projects you’ve worked on so far?

Mary: I’ve got a lot of weddings coming up! They are all on my radar and all very unique. I’m so excited to be included in brides’ dreams. Valentine’s week was also a very exciting time. I was invited to host my first floral design workshop at a Bin77 “Galentine” event. I could not believe it when I saw the email! It was such a fun event; it sold out, and we ran out of flowers, but I got more. Everything is an adjustment! I was also invited to Eliza to have a Valentine’s Day pop-up flower shop. I can’t tell y’all how much fun I had getting to spend the day at Eliza— what a great atmosphere!

Mary Johnston of Merry Floral, based out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, makes a table flower arrangement. Read about her business and her tips on Southern Flair!
What other ways do you like to be creative?

Mary: I really love to cook and bake. I think it would be so fun to own a flower shop + bake shop combo. Outside of that, watercolor has always been something I’ve enjoyed.

Mary Johnston of Merry Floral, based out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, makes a table flower arrangement. Read about her business and her tips on Southern Flair!
What’s in the future for Merry Floral?

Mary: At the beginning of this year I had all of my branding designed by a very talented artist named Keith Davis Young. I’m really excited to have his work displayed on my website (currently in the works). I’d like to put up an online shop this summer too! I’m already working on a couple of collaborations with local artists to host in the shop along with some Merry merch. As far as future projects, I’m going to be working on a vow renewal in the late summer that I am so pumped about!

Mary Johnston of Merry Floral, based out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, makes a table flower arrangement. Read about her business and her tips on Southern Flair!
What are your tips for us girls if we want to make a basic table flower arrangement?

Mary: The first thing I do when I get home is trim my blooms and clip the leaves off that will fall below the water line within your vessel. I use hand clippers for this. I cut the flower stem at a diagonal. Once I finish trimming, I will start assembling the greenery in the vase. I like to establish a shape with the greenery. Then I fill in the gaps with larger blooms and smaller filler flowers!

*side note: Mary even picked flowers and stems straight from her yard and bushes for this arrangement you see in the works!

Mary Johnston of Merry Floral, based out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, makes a table flower arrangement. Read about her business and her tips on Southern Flair!
In the fashion world, we obsess over certain brands and Instagrammers. Are there any florists you really look up to or go to for inspiration? And who should we follow on Instagram in the flower world?

Mary: I could name so many! I would definitely follow Erin of Floret Farm’s Instagram account: @floretflower.

Here are just a few of the many women I look up to in my little flower world: @soilandstem, @huntandgatherfloral, @heather_page, @3porchfarm, @gatherdesigncompany

I’d like to give a little shoutout to a book I’ve been flipping through this week that I have found to be very inspiring. It is called “In the Company of Women.”

Mary Johnston of Merry Floral, based out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, makes a table flower arrangement. Read about her business and her tips on Southern Flair!
Thank you, Mary, so much for inviting us into your home and creating something pretty for us! You can follow her on Instagram at @merryfloral!

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One thought on “An Afternoon with Merry Floral

  1. I love this! A breath of fresh spring floral air. 🌹🥀🌻🌿

    Posted on March 20, 2017 at 8:01 pm