Jayme Thomson of Crown and Thistle Floral

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Florist of the Month

Jayme Thomson of Crown and Thistle Floral

I reached out to Jayme from Crown and Thistle Florals after I’d been following her on instagram for a while. She posts the most stunning arrangements - they will take your breath away. If you’re not following her Instagram, you should do so right away. Jayme has a beautiful obsession with blue and tries to bring a little of it into all her arrangements. She spent most of her career as a registered nurse, but her artistic nature and creative drive took over. Now she is beginning her second act of life following her passion and not letting practicality and circumstances drive the choices she makes. While you read through her interview, you’ll pick up on her seemingly inborn love of fine art and of the classics. She is inspired by ancient and historical pieces, something you will observe in any of her arrangements. There is something antique and refined about her floral art that reminds me of delicate china and Victorian ladies sitting in an English garden.

ME:

What attracted you to the flower business?

JAYME:

I’m not sure I was drawn to the flower industry as much as I was to the flowers themselves. I worked in healthcare for over 30 years and floral design has been my creative outlet. I’m hoping that entering the industry will be my second act.


ME:

Where do you look for inspiration?

JAYME:

My inspiration comes from a variety of places. When I look at Dutch Masters I’m inspired by the sheer abundance of flowers which really appeals to me. I love to see what other designers are doing and I also follow several museums on Instagram. The biggest is probably being outside, seeing how things grow, finding an unusual shape or color combination that I want to work with. Sometimes it’s just seeing what’s available at the flower market, eyeing something beautiful or interesting and going from there.


ME:

You started your floral career later in life, what advice would you give to someone that might be thinking of switching careers to become a florist?

JAYME:

I never intended to become an RN, I have a BA in Literature, but circumstances prevailed and I’m glad I made that choice. It brought a lot of opportunity and satisfaction in caring for others. If I could go back, I would tell my younger self to pursue my creative dreams much earlier in life - I always wanted to write. These are all choices and to be truly happy, if you can do what you love and what fills you up - find a way to do it! No regrets!


ME:

What type of floral jobs do you take the most? Are you more of a wedding florist, or do you do sympathy arrangements, mixed bouquets, and that sort of thing?

JAYME:

My business is just getting started and what I am hoping to do is freelance for weddings and perhaps a smaller scale business of centerpiece work for clients and events.Of course that could all change! I’m learning so much.


ME:

What was your first paid floral job? What did you learn? How did your client find you (or how did you find them)?

JAYME:

My first client was an auction. They asked me to auction centerpieces to raise money for their benefit. Not very exciting but certainly rewarding and it brought money in for a good cause. First paying gig, a hydrangea wreath! My client found me on Instagram and it made her very happy. I learned that people enjoy my work, and that maybe others would too.


ME:  

Can you describe your signature design style (modern, rustic, classic, traditional, English, etc…)?

JAYME:

I would say my style is more English garden, natural and non traditional. I like a lot of flowers and less greens on the whole. But I’m finding foliage more and more interesting as I increasingly forage. I’m still working on my style as I want it to be ever-evolving and not too rigid. Also I tend to use blue as an accent flower. Many of the most striking ancient paintings that I love have an element of blue in them that really heightens the colors for me.


ME:

What is your favorite type of arrangement to design (Floral chandelier, arbor, centerpiece, corsage, etc.)?

JAYME:

Centerpieces are my favorite, including really small scale, like a tea cup (I have a weird thing about miniatures). I tend to practice a lot on hand tied bouquets, my hands are very small and I have less experience making them. But I am working on it, I would just like it to flow better while I make them.


ME:

What type of floral mechanics do you find to be the most difficult?

JAYME:

Frogs! I use them and continue to try to be more capable with them.


ME:

What’s your favorite flower?

JAYME:

That’s a hard one to answer, I’ve hardly met a flower that I didn’t love. I’m partial to lavender. My daughter got a lavender tattoo to honor me, knowing they’re a favorite of mine. Of course I had to get one as well to honor her! I’m crazy about hydrangea, blue in particular but I also love oak-leaf and limelight. This year I’ve become mad for tweedia and scabiosa and I’ve always really loved cornflowers. I guess that’s a lot of blue!


ME:

Do you always have fresh flowers at home?

JAYME:

Yes, my house feels strange without them. Even when I was a poor student I could afford a lone carnation. I had less success finding them in Saudi Arabia where I lived for seven years but even then I bought them when I could find them. My children’s friends would comment on the fact that we always had flowers in the house.


ME:  

How do you think your background and experiences influence your flower style?

JAYME:

I was raised in dry Los Angeles, without seasons. My biggest influence was traveling to Coos Bay Oregon every summer where my cousins own several farms. My Aunt Jo had a cutting garden, I’d never seen anything more beautiful in my life. She passed away several years ago and I was able to bring some of her plants home for my own garden. She’s the reason I ended up in Oregon. All the green and lushness of our area informs my love of full lush design.

I love things a little offbeat and imperfect, like life and nature itself. My father was a painter, my husband and daughter photographers so I look for the beautiful, unusual and interesting in my world as you would while painting and taking photos. We have many painters in our family including my great grandmother and great aunt, I like to think some talent trickled down somehow.

My job in Saudi Arabia afforded me the luxury of extensive travel and access to many cultures and the great art and architecture of Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Next time you look at the Sistine Chapel checkout the blue!


ME:  

Where do you see yourself (or business) in the next few years?

JAYME:  

I would like to intern this summer for a wedding floral designer and then work freelance, possibly editorials if I’m so lucky. I want to embrace my creative side but not own a large company. The community of designers are so welcoming and supportive. I’ve spent the majority of my life helping others and now hope I can make art my central focus, another way of making people happy and giving back.


A few examples of Jayme's stunning work:


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  • Casey Wagner