My new website

My site
Yesterday I launched a website for my floral design and styling business. I've quietly been doing flowers for events on my own for the past year and have finally opened up to taking on more projects.

The website has been in the works for months and I'm beyond thrilled and proud of how its turned out. It's been the most rewarding collaborative project I've tackled yet. Macon York designed logo and text layout, Bryan Gardner shot the GORGEOUS homepage photos, Andrew Fiorillo turned the images into a clean and easy to navigate website, Erica Nikolaidis elegantly edited the copy and I conceived the concept and styled all of the photos. Dream team, forever and ever.

I've gotten an incredible response from this wonderful post about my new website, I thought it'd be fun to tell you the story of how we as a team created the site from scratch.

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I started dreaming up the site's concept while I was traveling in Amsterdam last Novemeber. Micha and I went to the Rijksmuseum where I fell in love with this 1636 Jan van Kessel painting with currants and insects. As we walked home from the musuem, we stumbled upon Stenelux, a shop selling a beautiful collection of insects and butterflies. I promptly spent all of my remaining euros on a few moths and beetles with the hopes that I'd be able to recreate a similar tableaux of flowers, plants and bugs for my site.

The yellow violas are a photograph from 1910 that I thought was very sweet. I especially liked how they were shot from overhead, so it almost seems like a classic botanical illustration in picture form.
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When we got home from Europe, I started hounding the internet for more images to help me flesh out my idea. I've always been a big fan of Imke Klee's gorgeous, color coordinated overhead photographs and knew I wanted to shoot my collection of plants and flowers on a white background in a similar way.

The website Sheaff Ephemera has an astounding amount of scanned antique graphics, so I pulled these two to refer back to later. I was really drawn the fonts that were on the simple, almost modern side of the antique spectrum. The illustration is a 1970s book plate that I can't get enough of.

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I was really very taken with this Van Gogh painting when I saw it in The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, so much so I remember pulling out my little notebook and writing the name and something like stunning wine color with yellow and green...

The other illustrations are all from etsy, which is a treasure trove of book plates for cheap. The butterflies knocked me over, the greenhouse plants print really spoke to me because the layout and fonts were so clean and the carnivorous plants plate had a nice mix of all of the colors I wanted to use.

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At this point I reached out to Macon York, who is a really talented graphic designer and art director, to develop a logo. I've followed her blog for ages and knew she was awesome at combining beautiful fonts and photographs (which she was doing for Martha Stewart at the time.) She now works for herself, doing custom design work like my website and printing letterpress cards.

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Once I got her on board (very luckily, I might add!), she introduced me to her colleague at Martha, Bryan Gardner, who is a spectacular photographer. I've since learned he's a good southern boy who likes sweet tea, hosts a mean cookout in the park and has a really wonderful apartment with his whip-smart girlfriend Maggie in Greenpoint.
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One sleepy Sunday we all gathered together and shot the homepage. Even while I was clipping the plants I collected and starting to style the homepage, I was thrilled with how everything looked. Bryan is really out of this world talented and he put on Paul Simon's Graceland while shooting. I kept everyone caffeinated and full of cookies.
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When we had the images done, Macon got to work designing the site's layout. We did multiple options and while the floral wreath was my favorite photo- we all agreed the airy rectangle lent itself best to a website. The wreath is going to become a thank you card, so I'll get to look at it a lot, too.
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Once Macon had the text layout settled, we turned all of the files to Andrew, who built the back-end of the site. Not only did he work crazy quickly, he also handled my pathetic attempts to talk about HTML related issues like a champ. There was a night when we were supposed to be chatting about site stuff and instead he tolerated my ramblings for at least 30 minutes about how romantic Anthony Hopkins is as a butler in Remains of the Day. He is very kind, to say the least.
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My dear friend Frankie took this snap of me when we were in New Hampshire last week and I couldn't help but use it as a bio photo on the site. It makes writing a blurb about yourself much more bearable when you have a photo that doesn't make you want to hide. All of the words on the site got a once over from Erica, who is the editor for my posts on design*sponge. She has a witty and smart voice, so she's very easy to trust when it comes to polishing sentences. And she doesn't judge when I confuse its vs it's, which is all the time.

I'm really thrilled with how the site turned out and I couldn't be more honored to work with the people who brought it all together. Long story but a short message, stop by and let me know what you think!

72 comments:

  1. Everything looks lovely! That Van Gough is stunning, I see why you were so inspired by it. Can't wait to see where you take this.

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  2. I've never commented before, but I was introduced to your blog through my studiomate Jennifer. We took a flower class from your former boss Sarah.

    Your new website is probably my favorite site ever. Thanks so much for giving us a peek into the process! The idea for the site is so darn clever, and it's clear you put a lot of time, research, love, and yourself into it. It must have been so thrilling to see your ideas come to fruition through the work of such talented people. Congratulations. And the photo of you is gorgeous, not to mention the flowers of course.

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  3. wow! nice pics... but the last one, the lady picking flowers is gorgeous... i love it!

    JJRod'z

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  4. yay amy!! best of luck to you with this new chapter. you are so talented and one of a kind and i'm glad to know you!

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  5. Love that photo of you and what a beautiful site! Lovely seeing the process as well, what great inspirations you found.

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  6. gosh that is a pretty site! you definitely got the right people to work on it. congrats on going it on your own! :)

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  7. i love reading about the process here -- your inspirations, the steps involved, the team. the website is incredible - congrats and bravo to all involved (and cheers to new projects as a result!)

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  8. Congratulations on your new website and business. The whole process of creating the design is wonderful. These photos are gorgeous. I just checked out the site...didn't know you were based in Brooklyn. (me too) Good luck with your business the site is just great!

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  9. I spy a bottle from Dead Horse Bay... and those exact tea tins (jasmine & black) are holding Q-tips and cotton pads on my bathroom shelf, alongside about a dozen milk glass jars and blue bromo-seltzer bottles from DHB. Mine is a hot, haphazard mess, but yours... your portfolio is just stunning! Inspiring stuff, to say the least.

    Unbelievably beautiful styling and photography. You and Martha really know how to pick 'em.

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  10. Amy,
    I have been following your blog for awhile now and have to tell you that it is one of my absolute favorites. You are very inspiring and I am so happy for you in this new adventure. You are going to do wonderful things with this...the website is beyond beautiful! I love all the vintage insect, plant and flower inspirations that you are using and your passion for everything beautiful. Good for you! I hope you post often about how it's all going ~
    Sarah

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  11. Hi, I'm new to your blog (I was sent this way via Design*Sponge) and I'm excited to follow along! Your new site looks lovely - I envy your photography skills!

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  12. I am in love with your new site and so happy for you. Thanks for sharing the process.

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  13. Hi Amy,
    I look so forward to each and every blog entry you share with us. I was thrilled to see via Grace's website that you had launched and wish you the best of luck.

    You make me proud to be a gardener as you bring out the beauty of the flower in the most special way.

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  14. You should be very proud of your site. Visually you want it to sum up exactly what your about, and it totally meets that requirement.

    Total eye candy. Your choice of flowers is very Amy.

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  15. wow wow wow. It is unbelievably gorgeous! i wish i could see things the way you do girl you are so talented.

    i am in the beginning stages of a website re-design and i find it painful.

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  16. WOW your website is amazingly beautiful! great job!

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  17. Somebody should tell Ami Mann that the sister of Rick Young is pushing for Michael Mann to direct the movie " KANSAS KINGS".
    She,along with dozens of others, wants the " tone" of real MOB, and TERRORISM and PEDOPHILIA and ARYANS truly " delivered".
    This is what you call:
    IRONICUS MAXIMUS BLOG.
    Sean Penn to Tarantino, better be put on notice, because all the companies that are ARYAN and support PEDOPHILESnand HEROIN and TORTURE are going to be exposed.
    GE to DELL are in the script that will soon start shooting.
    The script calls for CORRUPT MILITARY and CORRUPT GOVERNMENTS to be PUNISHED...leniency to OTHERS.
    YOU CAN ALL HELP MAKE THIS WORK.

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  18. Your site looks super! Gorgeous really.

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  19. This is great! I really envy your patience and vision to see your ideas come through, AND your access to such talented help!

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  20. your site is just stunning! the photos of the flowers section are amazing!! thanks for the details of photographing the homepage. loved reading it! oh, i can't wait to see where you will go with this! best of luck amy!!

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  21. Amy, I am speechless. Your website is breathtaking and gorgeous. I can immediately see, even without this post, how much love, time, thought and care you put into it. I'll have you note, even though you listed all of your inspiration, your work and your website are inspiration for me! A big, fantastic congrats for such a job well done. You should be very proud. You're off to do wonderful things!

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  22. love love love the new website! congrats!

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  23. Ahh!! So exciting! I just might contact you for wedding information. Are you willing to travel back to the good Ol' Line State?

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  24. What a beautiful and inspiring website! It's so lovely to see how your initial inspiration came together in the final version. Well done.
    And thank you.

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  25. Amy...I'm in love. As soon as I saw all of your layouts,I said THE WREATH! I'm so glad you went with what you did though and you are using the wreath for later. (I love love love Mr. Moth!) Such inspiration!!! Are they doing business cards for you as well? (Calling cards?)

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  26. very, very well done. classy, classic, visually beautiful, inspiring. great job. you most definitely should be proud!

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  27. Yay, that's so awesome! And it looks so great. Those arrangements are sooo lovely.

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  28. absolutely gorgeous amy! wow! you have outdone yourself! i wish you all the best!!

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  29. So So So beautiful. SO BEAUTIFUL.

    Thats all I can say really.

    x Di
    ICEFLOE

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  30. Congratulations - it's a triumph!

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  31. Congratulations. The site is gorgeous.

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  32. i've just spent the better part of my afternoon going through your blog and looking at your lovely pictures and reading here and there. elmwood is absolutely gorgeous, as are your flower arrangements, and now i'm dreaming of spending the rest of my summer drowning in the little world you've captured in your photographs :)

    ps. your website is wonderful! it would've been hard for me to choose which shot for the homepage as well, but i like the one that was chosen (even though i love the wreath one too)!

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  33. This is actually amazing! I saw it on blogloving and it instantly caught my eyes, so I clicked to see more photographs, Im really impressed, i love how you showed step by step of how you did it, your site is definitely one of the prettiest ones! ahhh i love blogging you never know what you gonna find! x

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  34. I just tried to find a google+ button here but couldn't see it would like to add it to my favourites on google+ :)

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  35. ive been a lurker on your blog for well over a year, but i thought i would come out of hiding to tell you that your website is exquisite. i wish you all the best! (and i simply love your blog, you have a truly refreshing voice and i always enjoy reading)

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  36. Gorgeous! Y'all have done a brilliant job!

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  37. Lovely! I am rooting for you Amy Merrick, your blog is on my daily read. You are very talented. -Reyna

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  38. the site looks beautiful, congratulations amy! :)

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  39. Amazing stuff lady! Big congrats!

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  40. Your new website is absolutely stunning. You guys did an amazing job. Huge congratulations!

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  41. Wonderful composition ! I love your fabulous website with all your beautiful pictures. Congratulations with new website !

    Best from Lilleba in Norway

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  42. I was in the middle of a comment the other day and got a call, so I'm back to say CONGRATS!! It's gorgeous!!

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  43. you have raised the bar high. absolute perfection. truly. felicitations.

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  44. one of the most beautiful websites i've seen. i love it.

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  45. The very very best to you!!! The web site is exquisite! Such beauty... Its inspiring and makes me so very happy for you and your new venture despite only "knowing" you through your blog.
    Also: Remains of the Day is superb... ;-)

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  46. This is so, so exciting! Congratulations!

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  47. Hi Amy,
    I just wanted to take the opportunity to introduce myself. Today was the first time ever to have read your blog, or seen your work. I've spent a shameless three(plus!) hours reading as many blog posts as I could pack in because it's all just so wonderful to see and read. Your writing is honest and so full of tenderness and love for your family and little things in life, and I am very moved and inspired. I'm eagerly awaiting any future posts and am on my way to look at your beautiful new website now. Congratulations and thanks ever for much for inspiring me so.
    Kayla

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  48. Thank you so much for explaining the origin of your idea. I love hearing the flow of thoughts of artists an designers that ends in a final product. What a great team to work with and stunning end result. Well done!

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  49. i stumbled on here quite by accident so lucky am i ♥. this is my idea of heaven it feels truly an eden close here.
    i wonder if you named your sweet blog an apple a day because if i were to come here every day and partake, i would live forever.

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  50. So lovely!! It's safe to say that I adore everything in this post!
    xo
    Annalee
    http://www.ramblingsofagypsynomad.com

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  51. Your new site is just so lovely and refreshing, and I've enjoyed learning about your design process tremendously. After reading just a few of your blog entries, I'm in awe of your seemingly effortless writing and gorgeous images. What a talent.

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  52. congratulations this is so lovely! and it's always so interesting to read about the creative process behind something.

    I think what I like best about your website is that the design reminds me of the way flowers are placed and pressed within a book. Just beautiful.

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  53. I will add to the cacophony of praise: your new website is truly gorgeous! I have been a reader of your blog for a little while now, and it is inspiring to see you put your strong aesthetic sensibility to such great use. Congratulations to you!

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  54. Lady, it's just beautiful. Just. Beautiful.

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  55. Your website is beautiful and inspiring!

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  56. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful life with us!

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  57. Just AMAZING! Thank you so much for sharing the creative process- it's something all of us designers always love to see.

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  58. lady, you really knocked it out of the PARK. totally delighted and smitten and in love with the whole concept. brava, you incredibly talented soul. brava.

    also. can we talk about the sphinx moth? yes? good. it's a date at your skurry coffee place soon. xo.

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  59. Congrats! The creativity + thoughtfulness and love that went into this endeavor is sure to reap some beautiful benefits. Good luck sweet girl and wishing you a most wonderful adventure!

    xx,

    Miss B.

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  60. Your new site is utterly gorgeous... truly!

    ... I am a botanical illustrator (for our homewares line) so I just LOVE flowers, and the blooms and arrangements you have created and captured are so luscious, I'm inspired.

    If it wasn't almost midnight, I think i would pick up my pen and paper right now ;)

    Congratulations! x

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  61. love hearing & seeing the behind the scenes story and inspiration to the new, beautiful site. congrats!!

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  62. OMG Amy! Your website smells good! LOL! The homepage shows the visitors a very good hint about your service. Maintain it well, and keep the flowers blooming. Goodluck! ♥

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  63. What camera did you use for your shots? The pictures are clear and the angles added character to the shots. Well, your site looks great. I bet insect lovers would appreciate the added decorations. Hehe! :)

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  64. Whoa, it is a brilliantly-made website! The basic principles of color combination, simplicity and effective writing make it a cool website for your flower business. This will click if you take care of it and your customers. Goodluck!

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  65. Thanks for taking the time to share this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If possible, as you gain knowledge, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me.

    Cheap Flights to Mumbai

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  66. Bravo! The website itself looks quite nice. Design-wise, it's like a good ad. The bright colors suit the flowers well, so the content of your website is easy to understand.

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  67. I like the simplicity of your layout. It perfectly complements everything about your business. Your image viewer is very accessible which drives great impact to the viewers. And what's even more amazing about your site is that it has the unique capacity to make clients stay and explore the website.

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