Jennifer and I have been very discrete from the beginning of our company, almost under the radar in many respects. Despite a strong Instagram following, we’ve always focused our communication on our work rather than us as individuals. Lavender & Rose is not just about its Directors, it’s also the professional ecosystem we’ve build around us in order to provide the best possible service to our clients. We’ve always put this at the forefront of our communication. However, we often get asked to share a little more about us on a more personal level so we thought why not! First off, let’s talk to Jennifer, the lavender in Lavender & Rose, the Frenchie brunette. You can check out Kerry’s interview here.
Where are you from?
Tourrettes-sur-Loup, a hilltop village near Saint Paul de Vence on the French Riviera. It’s a very authentic village with a real local vibe, everyone knows each other and there is a real sense of community. My parents still live there, I’m in Mandelieu-la-Napoule now. The specialty of Tourrettes is the cultivation and production of the violet flower, one of the most fragranced flowers in the world. It’s very rare as it only blooms for a month per year. My father gave away his family home to the local council and it was turned into a museum called the Bastide aux Violettes for people to learn all about violet flower production.
What did you do before you became a wedding planner?
I was working freelance for various event companies specializing in corporate events, teambuilding and incentive travel.
What made you want to get into wedding planning?
During an extended trip to California to hone my English skills, I discovered Napa Valley and saw how the wedding industry was developed there. So many venues in vineyards and country estates… I realized how much potential there must be for the wedding industry in the South of France.
In terms of the job itself, it gives the possibility to combine project management and creativity and all in English. Being in contact with foreign clients on a daily basis allows me to travel from my desk.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Sport, especially mid-distance running, trail running and hiking. I also love to travel (never without my laptop).
What’s your favourite country?
Aside from France of course, Argentina was one of the most amazing places I have visited, especially Patagonia. I would like to discover more Nordic countries at some point in the near future.
What part of a wedding do you enjoy most?
I love the adrenalin buzz you get from the setup, especially the 2 last hours when all of the details come together…. even the bride comes together! J
What do you most like about working with Kerry?
We don’t need to speak to each other anymore… we kind of share the same brain frequency! We know where our strengths and weaknesses lie, which allows us to combine our skills to do the best job for our clients as we possibly can. It took time to get to this point, but the more we got to know each other, the more in-tune we became. We’ve been working together for so many years now that although we’re very different, we really get each other. Our professional relationship is also a close friendship. We always manage to laugh in difficult situations, and I love to make fun of her at the office.
What’s the most challenging part about running your own business in France?
The lack of flexibility in terms of hiring people for sure. Also, the burden of taxes and social charges pushes you to stay in your comfort zone rather than trying to diversify or experimenting with new ideas.
What’s the best thing about being a business owner?
Being able to work whenever you want and wherever you want, being a professional nomad in many ways. Being able to follow your instinct and make your own decisions based on this. Building a business that is a reflection of yourself which I truly believe is why our company is successful. Lavender & Rose is a representation of our values and experience.
What are your professional specialties?
Seeking out new vendors that are just the right fit for the client, scouting for inspiration and the design process in general.
Do you have any pets?
Yes, my little Border Collie who is one year old. We named her after a trip to Santorini and the famous sunset city Oia. She’s the best companion for my trail runs and keeps us entertained at the office.
Do you have kids?
I have a very active 8-month year old little boy!
What’s your favourite place in the South of France?
Provence and specifically Aix-en-Provence and the surrounding area. From the Saint-Victoire mountain and the hikes and biking in this area, the vineyards and Chateaux, the lovely old town of Aix full of cute cafés and restaurants, great hotels and the relaxed lifestyle the town offers. If there was one area to which I would consider moving in the South of France it would be Aix-en-Provence.
What would be your ideal evening look like?
I would begin with a late afternoon coaching session on the beach with Kerry and our personal trainer Florent. Then I’d get ready and go to Nice with my other half and have an amazing early dinner at the counter of my favourite Japanese restaurant followed by a trip to the cinema.
Is there a wedding or event that stands out for you in your career?
What I remember most it the relationship I create with clients, not necessarily the event itself. It’s really the relationship I have with the clients that make it special for me. Nathalie & Joon’s wedding stands out for me. Nathalie was so excited and enthusiastic and really wanted her wedding to be special. We had an amazing collaborative relationship based on trust and communication. Exchanging ideas together was a really enjoyable process.
Tell us about a funny memory from a wedding
Not necessarily “funny ha ha” at the time… more in hindsight. Anne-Sophie & Gerald’s wedding in Provence where it rained so much that we were wet from head to toe, Kerry and I have a photo of us to prove it. Tears of sadness were followed by tears of joy when the rain stopped, we had such fun with the clients on that wedding and are still in touch today. We’ve been to see them in London and met their child.
What’s the most crazy and unexpected thing a client asked you to do?
In 2012 a bride asked us to put butterflies in bird cages along a 110-metre aisle at the Hotel du Cap Eden-Roc… but the bride wanted us to paint the orange and black butterflies gold (we’re talking real butterflies here, not fake ones). Another animal related story, we actually bought 2 swans to put on a lake at a private venue where the ceremony was going to take place!
If you had to open L&R in another country, which one would you choose?
Morocco, I love the aesthetic and colour palette there, so different from the lush greenery and rolling countryside of the South of France. Flat expansive land, sandy, earthy tones with flashes of colour…the 1001 nights party atmosphere. More of a blank canvas to play with in terms of décor. I also love Moroccan food.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
Being able to teleport myself to any location in the world to be wherever I want to be.
What are your dreams for Lavender & Rose
To build an entire house from scratch with lots of different rooms… a real journey of discovery for the guests. A lounge area, a dining room, a cigar bar, a night club … going from one room to the other… sushi in one room, lollipops in another… a real experience. I’d also like us to open an online store combining all of our favourite products.