Sunday, November 22, 2015

Artist Spotlight: Gardens of Whimsy

    All those childhood, springtime afternoons spent in the sunshine with making flower wreaths with friends come to mind when browse the beautiful work of Gardens of Whimsy  Far lovelier than anything our little hands wove, these garlands are made, photographed and modeled by April Rissell, the founder and creative mind behind  I was fourtunate enough to chat with her about her shop and her creative process.  
Bleu Avenue:  April, thank you so much for joining me.  How did you start making flower crowns and hair accessories?
Gardens of Whimsy:  I started making flower crowns just on a whim. I never could have foreseen that it would become my job, but I am very fortunate it did.  About six years ago, I sat down with a pile of vintage velvet flowers and decided to make a few crowns just for fun and I listed them on Etsy. They all sold almost immediately so I continued to create and list them and am still doing that to this day!
B:  That is amazing; it must have been meant to be.  What is your creative process like and from where does your inspiration come?
GW:  My creative process has become more of an effort in recent years simply because I have to manage my time much more carefully to keep up with orders and just running my shop in general. I typically decide to make new creations when I have found inspiring flowers, vintage hats, or other supplies. That is when I feel most creative and bursting at the seams with ideas.
B:  That's always my favorite part of a project too, seeing something new and having ideas just brimming over on what I could do with it.  What is your favorite thing that you've created and why? 
Scarborough Fair Crown
GW:  I think my favorite creation to date has to be my Scarborough Fair crown. It had these tiny pink velvet vintage flowers on it and little taupe crystals. I wish I had kept one for myself because they sold out pretty quickly and I still to this day get requests for it, but unfortunately I cannot recreate it anymore since the florals were a vintage find.  
 B:  Those unexpected vintage discoveries are the most exciting.  Speaking of the unexpected, what has been the most surprising thing you've learned or experienced during this endeavor?
GW:  Through running my own Etsy business I have been most surprised by two things. The first being how much work is actually involved. It consumes literally every ounce of energy I have. And the other surprise has been how very kind my customers are. I am always blown away by the sweet feedback and kind messages I receive. It really makes me go the extra mile to try to make customers feel special, because I know everyone has their struggles in every day life and the Etsy community is a great place to take time to share kindness. 
B:  I agree on both of those.  The amount of work that goes into running the shop can sometimes surpass and even overshadow the creative part, but the customers are so wonderful that they really make it worth it to keep going even during the toughest times.  What do you think the future holds for you and Gardens of Whimsy?
GW:   As for the future, I would simply like to continue creating crowns and see my shop continue to grow. I hope to gain more stability through the seasons so I can worry about advertising and money less and focus on creativity more.  
B:  You are so talented; I wish all that for you and more.  Thank you so much for chatting with me! 

See more of April's beautiful work at

or follow her on instagram with @gardensofwhimsy

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