Luxe Profiles: Jenny Preston of Port + Palm Co.

I'm so excited for this month's Luxe Profile series.  I've had the pleasure of knowing Jenny Preston of Port + Palm Co. for nearly two years and when she's not giving me something beautiful to stare at (via her amazing floral designs) she has me laughing with her latest anecdote or is offering up insightful advice.

 

Jenny's floral designs are stunning - they take a seasonal approach that to me is really refreshing, and because of this each arrangement is unique. Her aesthetic is rooted in nature, the palettes and textures she chooses really showcase the personality of each flower {yes flowers have personalities}. She creates with passion and it shows with every single project.

 

She's taught me that surrounding yourself with beauty should be something you do for yourself - because you deserve it. 

Q & A:

 

1) How did your realize that you wanted to start your own business? What about this journey surprised you the most?

 

I've always loved weddings, all of the creativity and personal details that go into them. When I was in college I started interning with the event company responsible for most of the city events hosted in Delray Beach, but would obsessively scroll through Style Me Pretty and Ruffled.

 

I eventually went on to work full-time for a marketing agency, and then moved onto a women's health pharmaceutical company where I was responsible for their digital marketing. I ended up going to a wedding show to show support for a close friend who was a wedding videographer and photographer, and I got sucked in. After the show and over drinks, my friend convinced me to start my own planning blog and give it a shot.

 

Since then our company has changed names, gone through a total rebrand, and became the floral design company that we are now! This March actually marked our third year of being in business and I can't believe how much as changed since I took the leap. The most surprising thing has been the way everything has evolved.

 

I NEVER expected to become involved in floral design, but Laura (Social House's owner) actually pushed me into it and encouraged me to try it out. I fell in love pretty much immediately. I'm constantly learning new techniques, new flower names, how to care for the tricky ones, and what it really means to be a floral designer. I will never run out of things to learn in this industry and I just love that so much. It feels like being back in school and I'm over here just soaking up every little bit of information I can. 

 

 

2) You have a good eye, where do you find your inspiration - what do you consider your design aesthetic?

 

Aw shucks. That means a lot. I'm constantly inspired by Sarah Winward and Amy Osaba and watch every online tutorial they host. Not only is their aesthetic EVERYTHING but I admire their personalities - as different as they are - so much. Sarah has such a calm energy about her and is so in touch with every little stem and material she chooses to use. I'm not calm. I have a thousand check lists going through my head during an event weekend, so being able to watch her walk through a design is a wonderful reminder to breathe and let the flowers do their thing.

 

Amy is a wild ride. She kinda does what she wants and isn't ashamed of it, she also comes from a background of dance (my first love). I haven't met either one (and I sound like a total stalker creeper), but they are huge sources of inspiration not only design-wise but also from a personality and personal growth standpoint. I normally say we have a "freshly gathered garden style" aesthetic, I can't do the big balls of hydrangea. I'm here to create something I believe in and something different and unique to each client. I don't think we will ever become a company that dishes out the same centerpiece wedding after wedding. It really is a custom experience each time and I really do have to dive into our client's personality a bit to really feel comfortable when I walk into the studio and start cutting stems and constructing their centerpieces and bouquet.

 

 

 

 

3) You recently re-branded - can you tell us what came about that change, how was the process and any advice you can give to someone contemplating a re-brand?

 

I did! Our former brand was "Jenny Does Weddings" and it really was never intended to be anything more than a blog about wedding planning. When we started to bring clients on board and lead design meetings the name felt stale and silly. I also didn't want to be pigeon holed in anyway. I wanted to build a team and it felt weird to have my name involved in the company's name. We landed on Port + Palm Co. because it felt open-ended, it felt like it could become whatever it needed to become, and it pays homage to the place we exchanged our vows (Portsmouth) and the street name of our first home (Palmway). I am no expert, but do something that feels true to you in some way. Its like getting a tattoo. The ones with a personal explanation or story will usually stand the test of time and won't make you cringe whenever you go to explain it.

 

We're BIG on brand updates - if you are interested in a brand re-design please contact us >>

 

 

4) Who has been your biggest mentor/cheerleader? 

 

I'm so lucky because I have so many. Glen, my husband, is my rock. I wouldn't have been up and running so quickly if it wasn't for him and I would have given up pretty quickly if I didn't have him to run to with every thought/emotion/story. He is at almost every event moving and problem solving right along with me. He will come home on a Friday after a long week of work, I'll be in the studio working on the 8th centerpiece of the day, and he will walk right in with a glass of wine and "ooh and aw" over every little flower. He's the best.

 

My mom has always been my person. She is so supportive of everything I do, even if she secretly thinks I'm going to end up a poor beggar on the streets. She just gets me and loves flowers maybe more than I do. She knows the names of most things before I do and its so cool to share this with her and nerd out a bit over the personalities of each flower and leaf.

 

My sidekick/assistant Lindsey keeps me laughing and is seriously one of the smartest, fastest-learning, and hardest workers I've ever met. She is such a light and there's nothing better than sharing a cold beer and nachos after a long day of setup. Even if we have no energy to talk and just people watch at the bar. I'm so lucky to have her along for the ride. And of course theres my Social House girls. If Laura hadn't allowed me to come on board I would probably still be working in pharma. She scooped me in and I met Desiree and Frankie. They are all so different, and come at life/creative adventures from such different perspectives and I'm so appreciative for every conversation, every project we dive into together, and every hug and glass of wine shared. 

 

 Don't Miss Jenny's Upcoming Workshop: Petals & Paint >>

 

 

5) If you can re-do one step when you started your business what would it be? 

 

Absolutely nothing. I'm a big believer in everything happens for a reason. It helps me push forward and learn from whatever mistakes/sticky situations I may get in. All I can do is remain present and work towards making this business better and sustainable. 

 

 

6) How do you manage work/life balance issues? 

 

I think we are all still trying to figure that out, and we really should just take a page from the Italians. I think its an American thing to be honest. The idea that we have to get to the next email, we have to drink that next cup of coffee, we have to take on every project that comes our way, and we have to be OK with taking it all on ourselves. I like wine, I like my husband, I like reading a book - so whenever I feel like a wedding or a client is consuming me I pump the brakes and reevaluate the boundaries I've set.

 

 

I've learned a lot about myself this past year- I'm a procrastinator and an introverted Gemini who lives for a night out with friends but needs to recharge at least once a week- and I can't beat myself up over those things. I make sure I host meetings in one place so I'm not running from place to place with vessel and ribbon samples and risking walking into the wrong coffee shop. Having Social House as a home base and limiting my meeting days and hours has been a huge life saver. I do my best to take a breather on Mondays and if that means mimosas and brunch or a day on the couch without a shower until 2pm I'm good with that. I think its important to ask yourself what you need that day and try to honor that as much as you possibly can. 

 

7) For those brides that are budgeting for their wedding what are some money-saving tips you can offer them?

 

If your budget is tight and you really are trying to make the most out of the money spent, my biggest money-saving tips is: invite less people. Your guest count affects the amount of seats needed, which affects the amount of tables, which affects the amount of centerpieces, and before you know it you're breaking the bank. Also, skip the little things like flower crowns, corsages, and aisle markers. Focus your budget in on impactful pieces.
 

Check out more of Jenny's amazing floral budget tips here >> 

 

Keep up with Port + Palm Co. |  Website | Facebook | Instagram

Upcoming Workshop: Petals & Paint | Mother's Day Weekend, get your tickets here >>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My name is Michelle, and I love telling stories with design that reflects it! I work with creative entrepreneurs on their branding, website design and digital marketing.

 

Here you'll find a behind-the-scenes look at what I do and some useful tips that will help you along  your journey!

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Luxe Lara is a full service branding and web design studio based in Newberg, Oregon and works with clients nationwide.

 

We're focused on curating brands and content for creative led businesses.

 

 

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