Episode 376: Meet Maple & Mum, a mother-daughter designer duo with a commitment to locally-grown Connecticut flowers
November 21st, 2018
Last October I co-hosted a Connecticut area Slow Flowers Meet-Up at Trout Lily Farm in Guilford, outside New Haven.
And the following month, I spoke at the New England Farmer-Florist Connection’s Meet-Up in Providence, Rhode Island.
Both times, I met and enjoyed my conversations with today’s guests — and I love that they agreed to share their story with listeners of the Slow Flowers Podcast today!
Please meet Nancy Hilton and Kate Brunson, a super-creative, mother-daughter duo who have combined their love of natural beauty, design and celebrations to create a family business that serves wedding and event clients in Connecticut and beyond.
I loved reading Maple & Mum’s origin story on the studio’s web site — and have to share it here with you.
The idea was born on a cold winter afternoon as Kate was preparing to return to her 9-to-5 office job after the birth of her daughter in 2012.
Searching for a more meaningful, creative career that supported more time with her growing family, she asked her mom for advice.
Nancy recalled her years working in their small-town flower shop while her girls were in grade-school, telling Kate it was the best job she ever had because the hours flew by while she worked with her hands creating art through flowers.
That spark led to research, floral design courses and finally — right here — to my Slow Flowers Podcast, where weekly stories of farmers and florists growing and designing with local flowers convinced the women to take the leap and open their own floral design business in May 2015.
Their name stems from the roots they’ve planted in New England and the maple tree they’ve had in every place they’ve called home. One seedling from Nancy’s childhood home has moved with them as life has taken them from place to place. And the mum, an homage to their favorite season and motherhood. Inspired by the changing seasons, Maple & Mum proudly partners with local growers to create lush, organic designs.
What I found so encouraging about the Maple & Mum story is how Nancy and Kate are growing their design business to support their lifestyles. Surprisingly, but perhaps not so surprisingly because talented women are capable of accomplishing so much when they set their minds to a challenge, both Nancy and Kate work in full-time jobs. That Maple & Mum designed florals for 17 ceremonies in 2018 is mind-blowing — congratulations, ladies!
Hear how they juggle everything, rely on one another and the rest of their family for support, and what their long-term plans are for leaving the 9-to-5 routine for full-time floral design.
You’ll also be inspired by Maple & Mum’s commitment to sourcing local and seasonal flowers from Connecticut farms, and when that’s not possible, how they turn to domestic sourcing.
Follow Maple & Mum at these social places:
Maple & Mum on Facebook
Maple & Mum on Instagram
Maple & Mum on Pinterest
Thanks so much for joining me today! I love that Kate and Nancy want to be “The Slow Flowers Choice” in their marketplace.
I’m super thankful to them for representing the business philosophy that I value so deeply.
American Thanksgiving is tomorrow and I want to wish you a warm and beautiful time celebrating the abundance of nature and community, around the table or wherever you find yourself.
It’s also a time for me to acknowledge my profound sense of gratitude for each of you, members and supporters of Slow Flowers, as well as flower-lovers around the world who join us each week. Thank you for being part of the Slow Flowers Community as we build a progressive floral marketplace that supports domestic floral agriculture in our own backyards.
I want to encourage you to visit Slow Flowers Summit to learn more about the amazing program, people and flowers you’ll engage with next summer. It’s not too early to save the date and secure your seat! Slow Flowers members receive special discount pricing and everyone receives $100 off with the Early Bird rate, on sale now!
We have a vital and vibrant community of flower farmers and floral designers who together define the Slow Flowers Movement. As our cause gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of the American cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious.
I know you feel it, too. I value your support and invite you to show your thanks and with a donation to support my ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right.
The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 382,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. Thank you all!
Thank you to our sponsors who have supported Slow Flowers and all our programs.
Arctic Alaska Peonies, a cooperative of passionate family farms in the heart of Alaska providing bigger, better peony flowers during the months of July and August. Visit them today at arcticalaskapeonies.com
Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-owned cooperative committed to providing the very best the Pacific Northwest has to offer in cut flowers, foliage and plants. The Growers Market’s mission is to foster a vibrant marketplace that sustains local flower farms and provides top-quality products and service to the local floral industry. Find them at seattlewholesalegrowersmarket.com
Longfield Gardens provides home gardeners with high quality flower bulbs and perennials. Their online store offers plants for every region and every season, from tulips and daffodils to dahlias, caladiums and amaryllis. Visit them at longfield-gardens.com.
Syndicate Sales, an American manufacturer of vases and accessories for the professional florist. Look for the American Flag Icon to find Syndicate’s USA-made products and join the Syndicate Stars loyalty program at syndicatesales.com.
Johnny’s Selected Seeds, an employee-owned company that provides our industry the best flower, herb and vegetable seeds — supplied to farms large and small and even backyard cutting gardens like mine. Check them out at johnnysseeds.com.
Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Formed in 1988, ASCFG was created to educate, unite, and support commercial cut flower growers. It mission is to help growers produce high-quality floral material, and to foster and promote the local availability of that product. Learn more at ascfg.org
Mayesh Wholesale Florist. Family-owned since 1978, Mayesh is the premier wedding and event supplier in the U.S. and we’re thrilled to partner with Mayesh to promote local and domestic flowers, which they source from farms large and small around the U.S. Learn more at mayesh.com.
Certified American Grown Flowers. The Certified American-Grown program and label provide a guarantee for designers and consumers on the source of their flowers. Take pride in your flowers and buy with confidence, ask for Certified American Grown Flowers. To learn more visit americangrownflowers.org.
And the Team Flower Conference – a professional floral event where flower lovers from all over the world gather for networking, learning, and celebration. It’s a special time for the floral industry to come together and whether you’re a farmer, designer, wholesaler, or just love flowers, you’re invited to attend as Team Flowers dreams big for the industry’s future. Head to teamflower.org/slowflowers to learn more about the 2019 conference in Waco, Texas!
I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast.
Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.
The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization.
The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com.