Creative Calling: Nyki, Bestow

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Welcome to my new site!!! I am SO happy to have finally made the plunge and moved over to a portfolio/blog site. You may also have noticed that my name changed! I decided to switch the biz to my real name  and rebrand when we moved to Portland because 1) my last name isn’t Taylor (it’s Zajonc (like “science” with a z – which is crazy, I know) and 2) my husband Taylor has nothing to do with this business (other than his loving support!). So our move, a general slow period and my desire to professionalize a bit more prompted me to get to work switching things around. It took a lot longer than I would have liked but here it is! I’ll be keep the old site up for a couple more days as I migrate most of the content over here and back things up and then it will get redirected to this new one. I’ve updated my Instagram and Twitter usernames and am in the process of merging my new Facebook page with the old one to keep my likes and reviews (that’s a whole other headache!) so def take a look and update your feeds with these new addresses! I’d love for all of you to keep following!

Whew! I guess that’s it. I hope you like the new look and stick around! I’m so happy to be back to my ol’ blogging ways!!

Now onto today’s programming!! There was no Creative Calling in January as I spent most of the month revising so here we are in February and I’ve got a real stunner of a lady for you! This interview is with the lovely Nyki Burns from Bestow, an adorable little flower shop nestled inside the St. Johns Coffee Roasters in North Portland. Nyki’s work is amazing and so organic and creative. Her style is right up my alley and I think she is going to make a lot of brides (and other Portland flower patrons!) really happy this year with her work. Nyki is also the wife of one of my awesome lady coaches at PDXStrength and just a generally all around cool chick (with amazing tattoos!!). Check out her interview and the photos I snapped of her shop a few weekends ago!

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Can you tell us a little bit about you and your shop? How did you get started in floral design?

Bestow is my dream manifested.  I was living in Berkeley, California when I got my first job in the floral industry.  It was at a beautiful flower stand a block from the infamous Chez Panisse.  I quickly realized that flowers and plants were my passion.  I immediately dove head first into everything botanical.  The bay area is a plant lovers paradise. Everything grows there, and with personal gardens in my neighborhood and the San Francisco flower market, the flower options were immense.  I got a Sunset Western Garden book and looked everything I saw up and read about it.  What is it’s latin or greek name, where is it native, what is the care?? A few years later I moved north and took a break from the retail side of plants and flowers and focused on medicinal herbs, native plants and homesteading.  Being an at home mom in a rural part of Oregon.  I missed the designing so much that I started doing weddings flowers and events, worked out of the back of my Pathfinder and eventually bought a beautiful flower cart.  It was more of a hobby than anything.  I am so happy to have my life choices bring me to Portland and be able to really do this.  I’ve wanted it for so long, I just had other chapters of my life to live before this one was once again realized and brought to life.

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What inspires you?

I’m inspired by things growing in their natural habitat. The lush mossy, ferny forests here in the PNW.  I love getting up close and really seeing whats going on, like Georgia O’Keefe did.  I have to say that my customers inspire me, too.  They’re so excited to have me in St Johns and I’m finding that they love what I love and are really into the more exotic and unique plants and cut flowers that I am constantly bringing into the shop. 

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What sets you apart from other florists in Portland?

There are so many talented floral designers here, I can think of 10 amazing floral designing woman who totally inspire me, but  I think the biggest thing that is setting me apart from them is the total plant nerd that I am, and the plant that I get for my shop.  But I don’t just sell plants… I specialize in helping my customers find the best plants to suit their style and their setting.  What direction their windows are facing, how much to water it… etc.  My goal is to help folks keep their plants alive.  If I don’t already know, I will find out. Plants aren’t disposable to me.  None of them.  Not even Pointsettias. They’re alive and I love them all. lol

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What is your favorite flower/plant and why?

To name one is out of the question.  The flower that really stands out to me, and that i can’t shut up about during its season are dahlias.  The color, the variations, the sizes, everything about them.  I only wish they’re vase life was longer.

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What are some upcoming floral trends that you see for the next wedding season?

I think that the looser, less formal looking bouquets will stick around for a bit, lush and full with lots of texture.  I see more ribbon being used and cascading down rather that the tight pinned looked.  The look is more relaxed and wild, more organic with other elements added, like branches, feathers, moss, silk, fruit

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How do you stay centered?

I like going to nurseries and walking around & wild places where the sidewalk ends. Connecting with nature as cheesy as that sounds, that helps me stay centered. That can even mean just me taking some time to just totally pamper my indoor plants.

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I wish I could tell my 24-year-old self to:

Listen to your heart, gut, intuition… whatever you want to call it.  Your self knows whats best for you at that moment.  Don’t try to convince yourself otherwise.  Life is too short.

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What’s your advice to women wanting to work for themselves?

Go for it.  Reach out to everyone, start networking.  There are so many people that just want to support you and see you succeed.  Don’t let fear stop you.  It’s never too late!

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Fav food cart in Portland? :)

Prolly Nong’s.  I don’t get out to carts much, but that one is just so simple and healthy and delicious!!  AND Nong is a badass and inspiring woman!!!

Thanks so much Nyki for sharing about your beautiful shop, Bestow! If you want to connect with Nyki you can find her on Instagram and Facebook. Right now she is running a pretty sweet Valentines Special with Sweetheart Bakery. You can get flowers, candy and jewlery for a great price! Check her out!

Happy Monday, friends!

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