Style Greenery Like a Pro

Kelsey Harp from Hatch House shows us how to style greenery like a pro in this week’s Storyshare!  Learn how to style photoshoots, repurpose wreaths, and add flare to your garland.

What a joy it was releasing our first Storyshare last week! Celebrating Kaelyn Terry’s story helped us to capture the essence of our mission to gather people around (if you missed it, read here ).  Our hope is to equip each of y’all with the tools and inspiration you need to gather people in your community and use greenery to help you celebrate life’s meaningful moments.

This week we’re sharing the story of Kelsey Harp, an Austin-based stylist and co-founder of Hatch House . Hatch House is a production house that serves clients around central Texas, working with creatives (designers, artists, photographers, etc.) to facilitate the creation of marketing assets that their business clients may use for portfolios, website content, social media and more. “I love my job. I get to encourage people to thrive in their crafts and be a cheerleader for these creatives and the businesses they’re creating for.” Furthermore, Kelsey makes sure she’s 100% on board with a businesses’ product before on-boarding them as a client, always ensuring alignment of values between the two. We’re excited to have made the cut!

When she’s not investing her creativity in projects at Hatch House, Kelsey still nurtures her love for design, constantly scouting out new projects. You’ll find her chipping away at her ever-growing stack of cookbooks, indulging in obscure Western films, finding new places to experience the richness of culture and eating at that hole-in-the-wall restaurant that’s been looked over time and time again. Best of all, Kelsey and her husband are gatherers of people. Always looking for a reason to celebrate, our stylist loves opening her home to people and giving them a place to find true rest and camaraderie. “I love setting the table – hosting, gathering, cooking, really just giving people we love a place to exhale.” We’re right there with you, girl.

style greenery like a pro

Part of what makes her work so unique is her knack for pulling from her personal preferences when styling a space. Using resources from her personal wheelhouse, Kelsey called upon Gracious Garlands to provide greenery for a holiday photoshoot with Branch Basics, a natural, plant-based cleaning product brand. Branch Basics, being a brand focused on purity, needed content that would align with their core values of clean living. Kelsey pulled GG out of her back pocket, knowing fresh greenery would be the perfect way to set the stage for the shoot. Kelsey came up with the vision and we delivered the greens, installing wreaths and garlands in various locations at the shoot. “At the shoot, a piece of greenery was simply draped over a wooden bench — didn’t take much effort at all — but we used that shot more than any other because of how beautiful it was” says Kelsey, “there wasn’t some elaborate set-up, the beauty of the garland just spoke for itself.”

She then went on to explain her desire to use greenery beyond her role as a stylist: a backyard dinner party with a lengthy garland laid out on the dinner table, greenery pooling over the sides and onto the ground. “Add a few flowers from Central Market, along with some minimal candles, and you’re done” she says. A simple tablescape such as this is perfect for “anyone hosting a larger dinner that wants to make a visual impact without impacting their budget to a fault” according to Kelsey. Noteworthy idea from our stylist: being the mega-talented creator that she is, Kelsey took her greenery a step further by upcycling it with a bit of spray paint once it had dried for the season, and has every intention of using it time and time again (see below)!

Much of Kelsey’s role as a stylist involves her being hands-on with her projects, constantly arranging and rearranging accents to create the perfect look. These minuscule details may not seem like a big deal, but they make all the difference in the final product. In her experience using Gracious Garlands greenery, she’s found that greenery doesn’t need much to make a statement — if anything at all. “We wanted the greenery to shine, so we picked minimal accents, like simple candlestick and a natural table runner.” At our GG x Hatch House photoshoot, Kelsey ripped pieces of faux chiffon into long strands to make draped bows to tie to our Leyland Cypress garland. These simple, handmade bows cost less that a few dollars yet they were a gorgeous accent to our most whimsical piece of greenery. All in all — keep it simple.

In the realm of installation, Kelsey wanted to keep things as user-friendly as possible. “I’m all about ease, so I’ll always opt for a tablescape. But for more advanced installation, give me all the floral wire.” We’re with her; floral wire is our best friend. Our garlands sport these handy “nooks” every foot or so where you can slip a strand of floral wire in, secure the ends together, and use the rest to create a loop that will slip over nails or Command hooks to hold your greenery in place. Kelsey is a huge fan of using Command and suction hooks for surfaces that aren’t welcoming to nails. “I would also encourage anymore to order more than you need” she advises, “trim any excess greenery and have fun with the leftovers!”

shop boxwood garland
garland pictured: boxwood garland

Kelsey spoke to a struggle we all face when gathering people around: we have a desire to make a space beautiful for our guests, but run the risk of overdoing it. This is why Kelsey chooses Gracious Garlands. Using fresh greenery eliminates the need to scramble for items to fill a space, saving you both money, time and stress. Whether she’s using it for a dinner party or a photoshoot, Kelsey expresses that greenery does the work for her because “it makes the space so beautiful with such little effort”. She explained her love for creating tablescapes that anyone can create, which is a subtle yet effective way to show the people you gather that they’re included. No more over-decorated celebrations that feel absolutely unattainable. “When we started dreaming up ideas for the Branch Basics shoot, using Gracious Garlands was a no-thought gut reaction. Y’all’s mission to gather people around, y’all’s support of Magdalene House, y’all’s amazing team and the beautiful product all make it an automatic ‘yes’.”

“100% you made my job easier. You bring beauty and help the budget by minimizing the need for additional decor. This helps us make the most of our clients’ budget.”

And that’s what we’re here for, folks. We want to make life’s moments more beautiful and less stressful. We’re endlessly grateful for individuals like Kelsey who bring their clients’ ideas to life and allow the talents of hard-working creatives to shine through the process. When asked what’s currently worth celebration in her life, Kelsey replied “getting to lean into a season of rest when you didn’t ask for it. Society tells you to hustle, so it feels wrong to rest. Truly resting is tough.” In experiencing a season of restoration, it may not feel instinctual to slow down. But as this week’s guest explains, seasons of rest are deeply valuable, allowing for preparation for what’s next and time to reflect and process life. If you’re in a similar season of life, give yourself grace. Allow yourself to feel tired and to heal. Welcome your loved ones into that rest. Kelsey time and time again comments on her love for creating a space where people can exhale and be present; how might you be able to do the same?

To that we say ‘cheers’ to Kelsey, our amazing stylist and friend. Cheers to her willingness to share her creativity and zeal. Cheers to the beauty she creates, not just for her clients, but also for the community around her. Cheers to her selflessness in opening her home as a sanctuary to others. Cheers to gathering people together, through work and through play, and helping those around her understand new meanings of celebration! Lastly, cheers to all of you who can now style greenery like a pro!

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