We are so thrilled to welcome our latest Well + Wonder Guest Curator, the talented jewelry designer and our friend, Mary Frances Flowers! Mary Frances and I met via the wonderful community of the Southern C and have since collaborated on a lot of fun photoshoots and events - one of which was a great party/pop up/holiday bazaar last November at Caviar & Bananas Nashville featuring a host of fun southern brands. As a champion of southern artists and entrepreneurs, Mary Frances was an easy choice for our next guest curator! See her current Well + Wonder picks below as well as read more about Mary Frances in our rapid-fire Q&A.
Tell us about yourself.
I started an eponymous luxury accessories brand in 2015 and every day since has been a super fun, whirlwind kind of ride. I could survive on tacos, thin-crust pizza, and stout beer. I’m obsessed with my bernedoodle pup, Porter, and am PUMPED I get to marry my best friend, Hobbs, later this year. I love my family and friends like crazy. I'm inspired by strong women, cool patterns in nature, and the stories behind old wooden objects. I'm a big fan of community and believe that everyone should enjoy the feeling of inclusion in their life. If I could physically make something with hands every day of my life, I’d be happy and content.
What is currently on your nightstand? What are you reading?
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman (plus at least three glasses half full of water - I have a problem with cups). My fiance and I are getting married this Fall, and my mom gifted this book to us a few months ago. It’s an excellent resource no matter where you are in a relationship, whether with another person or yourself.
What is your favorite room in your house? Describe it.
I love our living room not only because it’s where we spend the majority of our time, but because it holds some of our favorite things: a piece of sculptural art my fiance Hobbs and I found at a tiny shop in coastal Oregon a few years ago, the 1897 map of Italy Hobbs framed and gifted to me for my birthday one year as an ode to my semester abroad in Milan, the built-in bookshelf that houses all of our favorite stories, a super cool textiled club chair that once belonged to Hobbs’s parents, a pretty wooden side table that once belonged to my parents, the coffee table we built together one Sunday afternoon, a comfy West Elm couch that was my first real adult purchase in my mid-twenties, and stacked boxes of wedding gifts - the sweetest reminders of what’s on our horizon. It’s amazing how one tiny room can hold a lifetime of memories, accomplishments, and stories.
It is said to look for art that "makes your heart skip a beat." What aspects of art make your heart skip?
To me, there is something very intangible about how a piece of art speaks to me and “makes my heart skip a beat”. The colors or shapes or scenery might remind me of a happy or momentous time in my life, the memory of when I received or purchased the piece of art might give me an unexpected surge of encouragement or inspiration, or I simply feel an inexplicable connection to a piece. If a piece of art makes you smile and gives you a tingle in your fingertips, buy it. You’ll never regret it.
What is the benefit of buying art through a collective?
Not only are your options expanded tenfold by buying through a collective, but you also have the added bonus of a majorly talented curator to guide you in your purchasing. You’re able to discover artists you may not have found on your own, and you learn how to mix and match them. Well & Wonder can basically create a curated, collected home art collection for you by offering multiple artists in all different mediums so that it’s a one-stop-shop for making your walls look interesting and well-traveled (without leaving the couch).
Not to mention, Mollie’s efforts to find and offer art at an affordable price point means that being a young collector is now a very real, attainable goal. You don’t have to be in your later years of life with millions of dollars at your disposal to collect and cherish art that you love. Young artists can market their works to their friends and their friends' parents. It grows the art community in a way that makes everyone involved feel more included and welcome because you are no longer limited by how much money you have in your bank account or how many years in your life. If you love art, then there is something for you at Well and Wonder.
When and where do you get the biggest surge of inspiration?
Always ALWAYS when I’m not looking. Every time I travel or am trying to work on a new collection and I try my hardest to find inspiration, it never comes. It comes in the shower, while I’m driving down the highway, when I’m falling asleep, in a cool rock shape on the side of a building - it’s completely and utterly random and unplanned, which is both beautiful and frustrating.
The key to making a house a home? What does a home need more of and less of?
More treasures, less stuff. I love nothing more than a collected home - a home that has been built up with finds from travels, family, and friends. A home where you can point to a painting on the wall or a chair in the corner and say, “Oh, I remember when we got that. Let me tell you all about it.” It doesn’t matter if your house is filled to the brim, overflowing with decor or if it’s clean and simple with only the necessary basics for your day to day life, so long as each item in your house brings you joy, then you’ve made it into a home.