Yesterday we celebrated the official launch of the new line of Floret Seeds. And wow–what a response! Our little team is jumping for joy and I’m so grateful for all the positivity and encouragement we’ve received already. Thank you all for your early and enthusiastic support as we embarked on this exciting new chapter for Floret. Developing our own brand of seeds has been a labor of love for my family and for the entire Floret team and we are all beyond thrilled to finally share these amazing seeds with other flower fans across the country.
On Monday, I posted a bit of the backstory of how and why I decided to launch a seed line. Yesterday, I detailed a few of the features that make Floret Seeds so special. Today, I wanted to share more about the packaging and beautiful illustrations that grace each and every little envelope.
I had long dreamed of having my own seed company, but for many years those dreams were largely confined to my head and the occasional inspiration photo I’d add to my Pinterest boards. When I finally decided to take the leap and start our little seed company, there were a million details to attend to in a very short amount of time. Among them: packaging. Even the simple envelopes required a lot of decision-making related to the paper, adhesives, packet sizes, not to mention all the writing and editing needed for the seed descriptions.
For the packet fronts, I knew exactly what I wanted. For years, I’ve been drawn to the beautiful artwork that graces the covers of antique seed envelopes and catalogs. I love their elegant typography and the gorgeous lithographs of flowers popular a century or more ago. I knew that whatever we created had to include illustrations that offered a nod to history, but with a modern, organic aesthetic. But finding someone who could actually create these drawings seemed impossible. Especially on such a tight deadline. As luck would have it my magical friend Erika (@JunesBlooms) knew just the right person, Nina Sajeske! Shortly after hearing about Nina’s artwork, I got a text with some examples of her drawings and I knew instantly that she was the person meant to create the botanical illustrations for the packets.
As both a farmer and an artist, Nina was able to capture the magic of the flowers in a way that was perfect for the Floret Seed Line. She saw the personality of each of the blooms and brought them to life through her art. The fact that she was so patient, and personable and wonderful made our partnership that much more perfect!
I asked Nina to share a little bit more of her background and some of her insights from working on this project:
Nina: My mom says she put crayons in front of my sisters and I as soon as we could hold them. To this day, I am still more comfortable when I have drawing utensils in front of me. In 2006, I graduated from Knox College with my B.A. in creative writing and a minor in studio art and dance. Since graduating, I spent time traveling and became deeply moved by the resurgence of young farmers. In 2013, my partner Alexa and I founded Moonlight Farm, a small-scale, pasture-based livestock farm. Here on the breath-taking Olympic peninsula of Washington, I enjoy the balancing art of co-owning a farm while also pursuing my personal creative dreams.
I first began to obsess over drawing flowers when I was gifted a single peony at the end of one farmer’s market a couple years ago. It was the last one left and it was already showing signs of wear and tear. I was more than happy to take it home. Over the course of the next couple weeks, I burned many midnight candles drawing that dying peony. Each petal began to take on meaning—how it laid upon another, how it twisted up, curled over, and finally fell.
What were your favorite flowers to draw?
Nina: Similarly, for this project, I was most drawn to the flowers with intricate layers of petals. The zinnias were definitely my favorites. I worked partly from life (when I could find the flowers!) and partly from photographs. Without a doubt, I thoroughly enjoyed the freedom of—for example—deciding which direction a leaf would point. I treated the flowers as characters. While I was drawing them, they were full of emotions and opinions.
Which of Floret Seeds are you most excited to grow this season?
Nina: I am most excited to grow the Celosia Supercrest! I had never heard of, let alone seen, this strange and mesmerizing beauty. It feels “deep sea” to me. I cannot wait to see what shapes it will make.
I feel so grateful to be a part of this abundance. What an inspiration to think of everyone out there growing these soul-nourishing blooms!
Nina welcomes questions, comments, inquiries, and commissions. To connect with Nina please visit:
Her personal website: ninasajeske.com