Meet Janelle Nicole Wylie, an amazing floral and textile designer as well as the savvy business owner of Lavenders Flowers and tono & co. 

If you were to pin point a place that constantly inspires Janelle, it would be nature, it’s where she flourishes. Her organic style and unconventional mediums reflect what being a native Californian means to her, and the natural beauty the state has to offer. Her style is raw and organic, creative, and natural. And her passion and heart lies in it as well – always striving to be sustainable by using locally sourced materials in her creations and in her home studio.

Her immense attention to detail, along with her incredible eye for color evolved throughout her fine art education, which eventually culminated in a trip halfway across the world. During her time in Italy, Janelle studied color theory, design, sculpture, and painting, but she also developed a sense of adventure and a thrill for seeking out beauty in the natural world. Her experiences there inspired much of what she now applies to her floral arrangements and creation of textile designs.

As we journey into Janelle’s creative studio and go behind the scenes of what inspires her, let the images be a feast for your eyes. And allow her story be an example of what happens when you dream big, explore and dare to grow out of our comfort zone.

Tell us about your path and who you are today?

My path to becoming who I am today started with my love for art, color, and sculpture. I feel like I have been training for my current job my whole life. I have to say, I wouldn’t be a florist today without the support of another human believing in me, and giving me the opportunity of a lifetime. Lavenders Flowers is decades old, and I’ve been lucky enough to be owner for the past 4 years. The previous owner saw in me something more than I could see, he saw my passion, and invested in that. The strong sense of belief he had in me, and the support of friends and family, gave me the drive to grow into the business woman I am today.

Decide you want it more than you are afraid of it.

Early on, it’s easy to get rejected and become discouraged. What was your motivation to keep going to figure out what you were supposed to do?

Not going to lie, getting rejected never feels good, and at times is very discouraging. The secret is to surround yourself with people who lift you up, and encourage you to not dwell in that place. My mom would tell me, my motivation comes from my strong-willed personality. I’d say, that part of it comes from being raised in a big family, and feeling like I had something to prove. It boils down to drive, persistence, and encouragement. Don’t let fear get in your way, take risks, and make baby steps in the direction of your passions. Someone once shared this quote with me, “Decide you want it more than you are afraid of it.”

The secret is to surround yourself with people who lift you up, and encourage you to not dwell in that place of fear and doubt.

Do you feel finally creatively satisfied?

At the moment, I feel more satisfied creatively than I have ever felt before, yet I still fall asleep dreaming about new projects to explore. The best creative satisfaction I get is within the process it takes to create. The end result is ultimately satisfying, but there is something special about the moments of self-reflection and exploration that it took to get there, that really does it for me.

When and how did you discover your passion for what you’re doing today? When was your “a-ha moment?”

I was in a time of discovery in my life, and the things that fueled my passions started to become more clear to me. These passions were ignited while spending time living abroad in Florence, Italy. The passionate culture I was surrounded by sparked a thought process in me. For the first time in my life, I asked myself how I wanted to spend my time living, rather than what my career was going to be. I returned home from Italy demanding passion in my life, from the food I ate, the friendships I had, and, most defiantly, the things that I was doing with my time. It was the time spent away from floral design that had me realize how much I enjoyed it, and the joy it brought into my life. That was my “a-ha moment” that gave me the fuel for the drive it took to pursue my creative passion full time.

I asked myself how I wanted to spend my time living, rather than what my career was going to be.

What would you say sets your events apart from others?

I would say, the events I curate differ from most others due to the artistic value and design I bring to each one. I offer attention to design detail while considering the environment in which the event will take place. When I bring in color to the design, I take note of all elements involved, from the dresses to the carpet at the venue. I offer my clients a consistent cohesive design and become, “the keeper of the vision,” as a friend once put it. My goal in my design is to create a visual narrative for my clients that tells their story.

Has your definition of success evolved over the course of your career?

No, I would say it hasn’t changed much. My definition of success is to live a life that I’m proud to tell my kids about, to put energy into things that lift me up, and take the time to lift up others around me. My friend once told me, “If I found a job I loved, I wouldn’t work another day in my life.” Loving my job the way I do is success in my book!

Take us through an average day at work. What does a day in the life of being YOU looks like?

An average day in my world usually involves interacting with lots of people. Something about connecting with people fuels me, it’s an important part of my creative process. Living at Logan Creative offers a daily interaction with fellow creatives the moment I step out the door. Most mornings start with time spent in the studio multitasking and problem solving projects. My studio can be full of flowers one day and set up as a dye studio the next. The most consistent theme about my days is that I work with my hands creating objects for people to enjoy.

Who are some people that constantly inspire you?

My friends, the people I surround myself with consistently fuel my inspiration. Spending time with fellow creative friends is an organic place for inspiring thought.

What is your favorite part about running your own business?

My favorite part of running my own business is the flexibility it offers me. I get to choose when to hustle and when to take time for myself.

What is the most challenging part?

It’s a challenge to balance all of it. Finding a balance that works for my life has been the most difficult part of being a business owner.

Best moment of your career so far?

This is going to sound like I’m brown-nosing, but the best moment of my career was being published in Utterly Engaged Magazine and getting the BACK COVER!!

What advice can you offer to someone who is starting out?

Keep it simple until you find your voice. Search out your favorite, most inspiring artist and follow their lead. Like Picasso once said, “Good artists copy, great artists steal.”

What kind of legacy do you hope to leave when it’s all said and done?

I hope to leave a legacy that inspires others to find their passions. One that is a story worth telling over and over again.

All photos by Sposto Photography