Name: Amanda Lankford // Age: 31 // Profession: Creative Director and Owner of Amanda Jewel Floral + Design // City, State: The sweet little town of Tucker located right outside of Atlanta // Years in Studio: We moved into the AJF+D studio in July of 2016, so we're approaching our 1 year anniversary this summer!
When did you first fall in love with design? Have you always wanted to work in the creative industry?
I grew up on a farm where I first fell in love with flowers. I would spend my days barefoot (usually still am) picking flowers in the field, making flower crowns out of weeds. I later interned at a flower shop, sweeping the floors for two semesters before becoming the flower delivery driver. My 16-year-old self would stand in the doorway of a hospital room or on the doorstep of someone who had just lost a loved one, and when they laid eyes on the arrangement, it was like all of the sadness disappeared. I knew then that this was what I wanted to do with my life. I worked at four floral shops until I was 21 and then landed a corporate job, where I learned the true value of customer service. After five years of corporate work, the long-growing itch to work with flowers inspired me to start working weddings on the weekend. I did this for two years and then decided to go full time (well, my son decided) when my husband, Michael, and I had our first born, William Hudson. Once I was able to put all my efforts into the company on a full-time basis, it changed forever. The best moment of my career thus far was moving into the studio! I love having my own space to take care of and decorate for clients so they have a memorable client experience.
Can you tell us a little bit about your overall design for your office? Where did you draw inspiration from?
We wanted our studio to be an extension of our business - and the way we like to do business, so we sought out to design an ambiance that was both pretty and comfortable! The house itself was so charming and had great bones for being 85-years-old, so we kept some of its original charm like the fireplace, hardwoods, antique doors and hardware and the awning outside the front door. But we also added our own touch with mid-century modern decor, fun pops of color and even floral wallpaper (Dutch Love by Ashley Woodson Bailey). We drew inspiration from the era of the house + our own personal styles and what we typically like to look at. We wanted a place designed by us and what we like. In other words, we didn't worry about other designers or what they liked - just what we liked! The result was a screened in front porch that reminds me of life on the farm, a living room with a cozy fireplace and bookcases where we showcase our favorite things (currently Floret Flower seed packets and Silk & Willow Beeswax candles), and a large space for gatherings and workshops with custom-built tables my husband crafted.
What is your favorite part of your office? What do you think every creative should include in his/her office space to stay motivated?
I would have to say my office because of my wallpaper, but then I love the front porch because I enjoy sitting outside sipping coffee or a glass of wine. But, maybe it’s our backyard because I get to watch my kiddos and pup run around freely and happy, knowing they are safe too. I also catch myself staring at our shelves filled with pretty inventory. Sigh, I can’t decide. I would say to stay motivated, you need an outdoor space. Us creatives really do have a lot of computer/desk work that we really don’t like to do and can get bogged down and honestly just discouraged because it gets overwhelming at times. The outdoor space keeps me going as I love to be outside and be in nature so I always take breaks throughout the day to get a breath of fresh air. It is very much needed as a creative.
Do you have any future plans for your studio?
One of our favorite projects in the works is outside, as our goal is to be able to carefully curate cut flowers for our arrangements from our own garden in the future. We also have plans to build raised beds in the backyard for even more opportunities and to create a cozy outdoor ambiance for those backyard dinner parties and gatherings.
What are your best tips for someone looking to create a studio space that evokes inspiration and creativity?
We have an ongoing inspiration board on the wall where we rip out favorite magazine pages and tape them to the wall. It's truly inspirational as we walk by it every day and get inspired by the things we love!
Photography by Paige Molina Photography