Wow! Another year in the books for Palm Orleans! We could not think of a better word to describe our 2023 than fête. Fête is a French word that can be used as both a noun (party, gala, celebration, do, feast or festival) and as a verb (to celebrate, honor, laud or acclaim). As our seventh year of business comes to a close, we reflect on some of the thrills and frills that came along with operating our small, female- and family-run fabrics and wallcoverings company in our beloved hometown of New Orleans. We took an epic road trip to Florida, participated in Art in Bloom at the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA), released a new floral fabric called Bougainvillea Fête, and launched our fabulous website that gave us the opportunity to write this blog and share some of our behind-the-scenes moments.
Though we are choosing to focus on a few highlights, we acknowledge that this year, as all years, included many highs and lows, ups and downs, joys and tragedies, triumphs and failures. Our humble team of two stresses, struggles and falters together; and, on the flip side, our dynamic duo gets to laugh, flourish and celebrate even the smallest of triumphs, side by side and hand in hand. We are more than coworkers, and certainly more than cousins; we are true friends that wholly support and appreciate each other. We understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses, empower each other to be their best selves, and to also be happy, dream big, and succeed in our personal lives and in the land of Palm Orleans.
As in life, it is important to have a solid co-pilot on your journey — riding shotgun, navigating, deejaying, chitchatting, and distributing snacks. Our trip to Florida was an exercise in friendship and finding that sweet balance between work and play. Our Florida road trip brought us to a luscious bougainvillea farm in Miami that was bursting with vibrant, colorful blooms (nature’s confetti!). The back of the u-haul became an Eden with the bougainvillea plants we selected to use in our Art in Bloom tablescape. From there, we continued on to Palm Beach, where bougainvillea robustly grows and adds to the palpable joie de vivre. We picked up a few treasures and treats, toured the annual Kips Bay Decorator Show House, and said hello to the fabulous krewe at Hive Trade Showroom, where Palm Orleans fabrics and wallcoverings are beautifully on display. On the drive back home to New Orleans, we mused about all things bougainvillea and conceptualized our tablescape for Art in Bloom between carpool karaoke ballads.
Art in Bloom is a fantastical event at NOMA that we highly anticipate every spring. For the first time, we were contributors and beyond thrilled to be able to create a floral design for the tablescape exhibit. The 2023 theme was Paradise Under the Palms, which took inspiration from the subtropical landscape of our wonderful city of New Orleans — just like we do here at Palm Orleans for some of our patterns and colorways! We showcased the bougainvillea plants we picked up in Florida; and we accentuated the sculptural quality of their organic form by creating vines out of raffia-wrapped wire and dried bougainvillea leaves. The statement piece blossomed from a vintage, tulip-shaped planter that anchored the fantastically frilly and flowery table skirt, which was crafted out of our new Bougainvillea Fête fabric. We worked hard and played even harder at the gala, as authentic New Orleanians tend to do! We look forward to participating in Art in Bloom next year to support NOMA, their educational initiatives and exhibitions, and the Garden Study Club of New Orleans’ community projects. We cannot wait to behold what 2024 has in store for us and our small, but growing, business!
*P.S. See a sneak peek below of a bespoke Palm Orleans piece that we will be listing on chairish.com as we join the sustainably chic marketplace with unique finds!