Greenery is not just for the holidays! Laura Hotze shows us how using fresh greenery year-round can make a huge statement for your home or event in any season. On this week’s Storyshare, we’re featuring local Austinite and loyal GG customer, Laura Hotze! Laura maintains an active position in the Austin community, volunteering with the Elizabath Ann Seton Board and the Helping Hand Home, all while opening the doors of her home to provide a place for her community to gather together. She’s a vibrant lover of life – commenting on her love for anything and everything involving her husband and three daughters. Whether its throwing a party, indulging in a shopping spree, or heading to the beach, this gal loves celebrating life with her favorites. A firm believer that greenery has a place in all seasons, Laura has used Gracious Garlands for both Christmas decorating and Springtime entertaining. For inspiration’s sake, we’ll showcase ‘em both!
THE OCCASION AT HAND
All the Christmastime festivities. Like many of GG’s customers, Hotze started out as a holiday customer, adorning every corner of her home with various types of fresh greenery. Laura and her husband have been hosting Christmas Eve dinner on and off for the past twelve years, claiming this last one with Gracious Garlands was the best. “It was perfect for creating a festive, beautiful environment,” she says – the ideal environment for warm cheer, Christmas jammies, and Mrs. Claus playing holiday favorites on the piano for a sing-along (Yes, this happened. Can we come?!). ‘Moms Group’ springtime party. Each year, Hotze picks a grade of one of her daughters and hosts a ‘moms’ night out’. This year, Laura had kindergarten moms over for a night away from their babies, allowing them to enjoy refreshing connection and fellowship with other moms. This intentional time for friendship allows these women to connect with others they often see but don’t have time to talk with. “GG was the perfect backdrop for an elegant, yet casual spring gathering of moms yearning for new friendships and meaningful conversation,” says Laura.
WHERE GREENERY PLAYED ITS PART
During the holidays, Laura’s halls were decked. There was no messing around on her part when it came to creating the perfect festive environment. Her greenery selection + placement included:
- Leyland Cedar garland on the banister + framing an elegant mirror in her entryway
- Ultimate Holiday Mix garland on the front living room mantle + around the stone archway above the front door
- Tri-mix garland on the back living room mantle + framing the window above the kitchen sink
- Tri-mix wreaths on the front doors, living room french doors, and above the fireplace
- Tri-mix centerpiece on the dining table
- Final touches of greenery on her gorgeous bar cart (one of our favorite uses of greenery to this day!)
We’re not kidding. This place was a stunning winter wonderland. “My favorite place to use greenery is on my staircase because I think it makes the biggest impact,” says Hotze, “it’s part of the guest’s first impression when they’re welcomed into the party. The lush green garland always makes a big WOW statement because it’s simply beautiful!” For her springtime get-together, Laura opted for a gorgeous Nagi + Cocculus garland to once again adorn her banister, back mantle, coffee table, and bar cart. Though many people don’t normally associate greenery with year-round decorating, Laura had a vision for how it could transform her home and the results were breathtaking. The greenery brought new life to her already-beautiful home, instantly transforming it into a whimsical garden party that would make the perfect setting for Moms’ Night Out.
ADDING PERSONAL FLARE
To personalize her holiday greenery, Hotze added simple satin ribbon to her staircase and hearth (can we talk about how perfect these non-traditional holiday colors are?). For a fresh twist, she added pomegranates and oranges to the Ultimate Holiday Mix garland, topping it off with stockings to create a classic Christmas look – the perfect backdrop for Christmas morning. Laura allowed her spring greens to speak for themselves and can testify to the fact that fresh greenery doesn’t need much to make a huge statement for your home or event.
THE INSTALLATION PROCESS
Installing greenery for our customers never fails to bring us joy. We had the privilege of helping Laura install her greenery for both the holidays and the spring!
“I had the amazing GG team install and couldn’t have been happier. They were so pleasant and efficient and definitely met their goal of making my life less stressful and more enjoyable. I highly recommend!”
Here are a few of the tools we used:
- Command hooks – used for securing greenery onto mantles, walls, and other smooth surfaces
- Nails – useful for outdoor installs, such as hanging greenery on brick
- Floral wire – foolproof for securing greens to hooks and nails
- Garden Shears – good for trimming excess greenery
Laura discovered Gracious Garlands through two friends that were customers, and knew she wanted to take part in what we were doing when she learned of our support of our partner non-profits, Magdalene House ATX and Thistle Farms in Nashville. “Using fresh greens as a backdrop for a party is always a good idea, and this team makes is so easy. Their selections are beautiful and robust. My house smelled delicious during Christmas, and I love bringing the outdoors in as much as possible when decorating. This greenery helped me create the most welcoming vibe. I want both my family and guests to feel welcomed, comfortable and accepted when they come into our home.”
“I will remain a loyal customer for two reasons: First, the simple beauty and value the greenery added to my home, and second, the commitment and excellence provided by the entire Gracious Garlands team!”
TIME TO CELEBRATE
We’ll never let a Storyshare get past us without taking the time to celebrate the individual! Cheers to Laura, for pouring out kindness to her community. For relentlessly loving her husband, three daughters, and those that surround her. For her commitment to using her God-given talents and gifts to give her best to others in gathering people and cultivating relationships. We’re endlessly thankful for customers like her who embody our mission and vision for gathering people together in celebration. Cheers!