Lauren Anderson and Rachel Bridgwood of Sweet Root Village give us a look inside their workspace and talk about the importance of community.
If you have scrolled through Instagram, perused Pinterest, or caught up on your favorite blogs, chances are you have seen the work of Sweet Root Village in some form. Lauren Anderson and Rachel Bridgwood created the floral design and photography company five years ago, and it has slowly become one of the most well-known resources for small gatherings and weddings in the area.
Sweet Root Village regularly collaborates with other local businesses for the popular Kinfolk dinners (small gatherings to bring the community together), workshops and retreats. This month, they will work with Stafford-based florist Amanda Veroni for a flower design workshop and a retreat in the fall with Rebecca Gallop of the website A Daily Something. “In this area there are so many photographers and so many florists, we don’t see it as competition. We see it as giving the client the opportunity to really figure out the perfect fit for them,” says Anderson.
One thing that does set the company apart is the sustainable business plan they have adopted. This green approach can also be found throughout their Alexandria studio, which is decorated with furniture that both women built from reclaimed wood found at Amicus Green Building Center. Daily, they practice simple tasks like preserving paper by going mostly digital, solely using eco-friendly packaging during business meetings and composting.
With such a hectic lifestyle, both Anderson and Bridgwood credit the neutral palette and natural light in their office space with providing a calm environment. But on those days when things fail to go according to plan in a business that aims to provide brides with mirror images of their dream wedding, both women remember this advice: Don’t ever accept failure—simply adapt. –Angela Bobo
1. “[The Opinel knife] is a great floral knife. A knife is actually faster than shears when you’re doing floral designs because you don’t even have to put it down.” -LA
2. “[Glass beakers] are an eclectic option for a funky centerpiece. They are great for delicate greens and vines or simple blooms. We have one bride this September, and she and her husband are both chemists and rocket scientists, and some of her centerpieces are literally using beakers.” -LA
3. “Hydrangeas are a year-round staple, and they are a good way to brighten up any space. You can even find them at most farmers markets.” -LA
“The stems are very large, so you can get the most bang for your buck. These [pictured] here are only three stems.” -RB
4. “We like pretty things that you have to use every day rather than just your standard white mug to inspire us to keep pushing on.” -RB
“We also kind of like that they don’t have handles. It just feels more natural a lot of times, and we love the neutral tones.” -LA
5. “Kinfolk magazine is great just for additional inspiration. Transitioning from summer to fall is our second biggest influx of weddings, so it’s easy to get burnt out the first half of the year.” -RB
“Kinfolk really doesn’t have anything to do with weddings, so it’s nice for us to get inspiration from general life [events] and just beautiful things to look at rather than reading wedding blogs all the time. It helps us to get out of our industry a little bit and get a fresh perspective.” -LA
6. “We love to use beautiful tools rather than just utilitarian [ones]. They work really well, but they are also just inspiring to have around.” -LA
“They are really great for [cutting] ribbons, too, because sometimes our normal scissors can get clumped up from various floral elements.” -RB