Words by Andrea Glinn
Whether the modality is floral or metal, two unique artists bring beauty—and playful delight—to the home.
In the Studio of Eden
photos courtesy of Jenifer Hall
enifer Hall is rooted in flowers. Her maternal grandfather opened a flower shop in Oklahoma after returning from World War II, a business he ran for several decades. Her father then bought the business, so Jenifer grew up in this flower shop playing, pranking and working. Her family and the flowers—their vivid colors, variety of textures and rich fragrances—were her teachers. Now a third-generation florist, she has discovered a fundamental truth: Each flower has a voice and, with thoughtful arrangement, they will sing. When Jenifer bought a boutique flower shop seven years ago, it was structured as a traditional Teleflora business whose accounts with hospitals and corporations made it profitable but restricted creativity. It was founded on the premise of flowers as commodity—not floral art. She didn’t initially change the operational structure of the business, but ultimately decided to take a leap of faith and trust the process that she believed in. She canceled all existing accounts, quit Teleflora, renamed the shop Eden Floral and Events, and began focusing on weddings, events and tributes where she could use her creative skills and make meaningful arrangements to match the moments and people they commemorate.
“Each piece that goes out of here is a bespoke piece of art,” Jenifer says. Her in-house team of flower stylists are all creatives—many with art backgrounds—who take much pleasure and pride in their work. “It’s a colorgasm,” she giggles when describing the atmosphere in her studio. Jenifer loves to collaborate with her employees and may have a competitive streak as well. Last winter the Eden Floral team won the Art of the Arrangement competition at Leawood Fine Art, where some of the top florists in Kansas City were invited to interpret the work of contemporary painter Heather L. Lowe as floral arrangements. As Jenifer recalls the planning and design of that project, she recounts each team member’s contribution, giving credit and acknowledging their involvement, while skimming over her own role. She seems as intent on praising her employees as she does the flowers, and it is easy to see why she is successful in her business.
In addition to honoring the flowers and her colleagues, she also honors the farmers by supporting local growers and by valuing the philosophies behind the Slow Flowers movement. The harmony of her values results in ethereal arrangements that are not only beautiful, but good for business as well.
Humor and Heat
Photos by Josie Henderson
ason Wilson is a metal artist who has eight years under his belt as a business owner but who made Kansas City his home just two years ago. His business, Dane Fabrication, has been gaining momentum and hasn’t had any trouble standing out from the crowd with his whimsical and unique works. Take, for example, his seven-foot-tall gilded giraffe floor lamp. When Jason first stumbled across a company that sold cast iron molds of animals, he imagined fashioning the reproductions into a sort of svelte faux taxidermy that could go into posh homes and bring an air of playfulness to a space. Inspired by Moooi’s Horse Lamp, Jason has created various versions of the giraffe floor lamp—some with the lamp dangling from the animal’s mouth, others with the lampshade comically over the giraffe’s head—as well as a range of other animal lamps, statues and table bases (snake, crow and deer, to name a few). But animal art is not his only gimmick.
One of Jason’s first connections in Kansas City was to developer Troy Moore of Madi Mali Homes, who asked Jason to build a bespoke firepit for one of their homes in Westside (featured in the Summer 2022 issue). Jason happened to already have one in his showroom, which he brought to the site to help determine the appropriate scale, and it was a perfect fit. Troy was able to buy the showpiece on the spot rather than waiting for Jason to build a custom one, so it was a win-win. But Jason’s works are typically custom commissions and he keeps minimal inventory. He prefers to work with developers and end-use customers directly, rather than having an interior designer as an intermediary, so he can maintain creative control and be free to explore and experiment instead of just fabricating someone else’s idea. It’s clear he’s not opposed to taking risks, whether it’s with funky furniture, sculptural firepits or whimsical lamps.
That said, there is a big demand for more straightforward fabrication, such as for wine racks, handrails and steel doors and windows, and Jason takes on those commissions as well. While he prefers artistic expression, he enjoys having a variety of project types to keep things from becoming mundane. He doesn’t want to narrow his focus just yet and intends to expand his design repertoire with decorative light fixtures next. Stay tuned.
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