PHOTOGRAPHY by Lianna Tarantin

Meet the Maker: Fox Fodder Farm

I work best not having a plan because while the process is challenging, the result is more inspired.
Posted in Garden, Meet the Makers | Posted on by lianna | COMMENT

Fox Fodder Farm
Founded 2011
Founder: Taylor Patterson
Location: Brooklyn, New York
“We had chickens. The foxes ate them. The name seemed appropriate.”

Where do you find the inspiration for your work?

A bit from everywhere, I’d say. I’ve really been into textiles lately.

How did you get started in this field/ industry?

I always fantasized about owning a flower shop, but it was something I thought I’d do when I was 67, not 27. I started working for another florist (Flower Girl NYC), and after a little less than a year I started to pursue my own projects. One thing led to another, and here I am.

Tell us about your design process.

It’s rather organic. I’m not much of a planner when it comes to design, so even though I may have an idea of concept and palette, I have no idea how anything is actually going to turn out until it is complete. I work best not having a plan because while the process is challenging, the result is more inspired.

How has your design process changed since you started?

I’ve definitely become more confident and therefore more willing to go with my gut. I think when I first started in the flower business, I followed in the footsteps of those I admired, rather than trying to find my own style. Like anything artistic, Floral Design for me is a vehicle for self expression.  And you can’t really express yourself when you’re just trying to be like someone else.

What is your favorite material to work with?

Do I have a favorite flower? Sure. I can’t remember what it’s called – something like Actinotus digitalis idontknowis. And so you know, last Tuesday it was something totally different.

How does your personal style influence your brand/company/ products?

My personal style is ever-changing and a bit of a mix… I’m really attracted to contrasting elements, textures, colors. Because I work with a material that is inherently pretty, it’s fun for me to explore ideas and designs that may not be considered “pretty” but rather interesting.

Regardless of my personal style I know for certain I don’t want FFF to be a floral design company that clients come to because they want us to recreate something they’ve already seen. If you want vases full of white calla lilies with phalaenopsis orchids, we’re not the florist for you. I want clients to come to us because they want us to create something that is inspired and unique to them.

Where do you imagine you’ll take the company next?

I’d like to move away from the traditional idea of floristry… Fewer bouquets and arrangements, and more conceptual installations. That’s my fantasy. For now weddings and events are great – especially when they give me free food.

Who would be a dream collaborator?

I’ve been fortunate enough to work with Roanne Adams‘ company, Ro & Co, whom I really admire. I would really love to do something with Confetti System. I think they have developed such an amazing brand, and to collaborate with them would be really fun. Like a massive piñata made from confetti and fresh flowers that is filled with super fragrant jasmine blooms instead of candy. Just a thought.

What colors/ patterns are you drawn to right now?

I love the deep indigos and patterns produced in the weaving and dyeing techniques of folk Japanese textiles.

What’s one tip you would give to people getting into this business?

Make friends with all the dudes working at the flower market. They’ll make being up on those cold December mornings at 6 am actually fun.

Who do you see as an innovator in this field?

Sarah Ryhanen of Saipua. Not only is she stupid talented, I think she has really inspired a lot of us “newer” florists to explore our own sense of aesthetics when building a business in this industry.  I really admire the company and brand she has built with Saipua and hope that one day I can enjoy that same level of success and appreciation. She also just happens to be hilarious.

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