We are always talking about how we love the vendors we get to work with, and when it comes to Susan Cothern of Tabletop Elegance, there is no exception! You will always be greeted by her warm smile and positive attitude, which goes along with our love of southern hospitality. Learn more about this wonderful vendor below!
What is your favorite memory with Debby or The Branch?
I delivered candelabras to an event for Debby, but had never met her. I liked her a lot when we spoke. Meeting her in person is really special. Setting up for an event is busy and there is never tons of time to chat. However, Debby always takes the time to make you feel special and give you a big hug. She is always the calm force and makes set-up tons of fun. The first time we met, Debby had to leave the reception area and go to the church. Before leaving, she stepped back, stopped, looked around the room, and then said, “Oh, yes! This is beautiful!” I was really tickled by her enthusiasm. She was right. When the flowers were placed on my candelabras I almost started to cry! Her floral designs are exquisite. I thought, wow, she really gets these candelabras.
Do you have a favorite flower?
I love all flowers! I could never just pick one. Flowers are one of my favorite things in the world. Let me narrow it to a few: hydrangeas, roses, peonies, tulips, anemone, amaryllis and greenery. I am just crazy about filler flowers and greenery.
How did you get into your field?
In college my favorite classes were apparel and interior design. Creating and designing excite me! I really enjoy interior design, cooking, sewing and giving parties.
What do you love about your job?
The best part of my job is setting up for an event. When the final touches have been added, I love to step back and admire the finished product! No two events are ever the same. Each time I walk into a room to set up centerpieces I meet new people, see great venues and always think, “Wow, this is one of the prettiest events I have ever seen!” I love to see everyone’s hard work come together into one spectacular dream come true for the client.
Give us the story on how your business came to be?
I started my business four years ago. When I needed centerpieces for special events, there never seemed to be enough of what I wanted, and I could never find just the right piece that was needed. I went to one of my favorite florists and told him I had ordered crystal candelabras to rent. I asked him what he thought and he told me he needed them in about 10 to 12 weeks!” Then, he asked me to double my order! He needed twice the amount I had. I never looked back. Tabletop Elegance was in business!
Where do you find inspiration?
I am constantly looking at things and thinking how would that look with flowers? Could that be used for a centerpiece? I am just like the brides-to-be, I cannot wait for new magazines and publications to hit the shelves.
What is your top tip for a bride/client when planning their wedding?
First, I tell them this is your special day! I want them to get exactly what they want. Then, I tell them to get to the experts. I have said many times, “A talented florist is like a great carpenter when you are building a house. They add the special touches. You must use a great, experienced florist!” I am not a florist, but I can get brides to the best. I love using my centerpieces, but I tell brides that they need gorgeous flowers and a florist will take their event over-the-top!
What one thing we might be surprised to learn about you?
I just love weddings and that is not the surprise. I am the mother of two wonderful sons. I always tell my friends that I will not host a wedding; I am going to have to wear beige and keep my mouth shut. Can you imagine how much fun I will have when it is my turn to give the rehearsal dinner!!!! Get ready Debby, we are going to have flowers!!!!!!
What do you do to relax?
What does that mean? I never stop. I am always doing something and that makes me happy! When I have a little down time I cook, sew, needlepoint, try to arrange flowers, and I am learning calligraphy! It is not easy but so fun!!!! Oh, and I am supposed to exercise! I am trying!!!