When Meredith Young got married, she wasn’t a fan of her flowers. When she worked as marketing director for a law firm, she faced frustration in planning events and making sure everything was visually stunning. She explains, “I would call and say I wanted something specific and (the florist) couldn’t get it right.”
That’s a problem Young helps others avoid, as a designer and co-owner of Au Courant Floral, moving to Duling School.
Specializing in weddings, corporate events and private parties, Au Courant works alongside other vendors like Kendall Poole and DeVaine Lighting to design an aesthetically captivating room. Recent highlight events include a massive Jackson Country Club wedding last October (“Such an accomplishment,” Young says) and the Governor’s pre-inaugural ball party (You can see photos here.)
Young, 32, has been doing floral design for seven years but almost three years ago turned a part time passion into a full time career. Joining forces with interior designer Matt Nicholas, Young was invited to be a part of his business and share space in Fondren Village. After consolidating there to make room for Fondren Barbershop, with Nicholas’s showroom closing and more space opening in Duling School, the move is the next step for Young and her in-demand services.
The Duling space will be designed by Nicholas with advice from a former tenant very familiar with that very room. “Lesley Frascogna is a good friend of mine,” Young says of the owner of Tulip, now downtown, who once occupied Young’s soon-to-be Duling storefront. Call it “here’s what I would do differently” between two best friends. Young laughs, “She just got linens from me last week. We share everything.”
A showroom will help Young facilitate client meetings and spread out and display what is possible. “If there’s something pretty as people pass by, they will stop and see us,” Young imagines. “It really gets the word out we’re here.” With foot traffic passing through during Duling Hall events, Young hopes the increased visibility will translate to even more work.
As Pinterest-inspired wedding trends dominate many wedding plans, staying fresh and different is key to the equation. “A lot of girls wanted blush weddings last year, so we tried to use different containers or linens and make (blush) special for that person,” Young says. “You’re so busy so you have to slow down and really think about it.”
For Young, floral design is a love that’s grown with the appreciation for her mother-in-law’s Woodland Hills garden and penchant for a home full of fresh flowers. Still, it requires sacrifice and much tender love and care. “Sometimes brides don’t realize how much goes into it. Some even think it’s overpriced. We start, often on a Wednesday and don’t stop until long after midnight on a Saturday. It’s more than flowers; it’s an art.”
Young plans to open Au Courant Floral in Duling School in February. Nicholas will share the space and meet with clients there as well. Young is available by appointment at aucourantfloral.com.