FEATURED ARTIST | AUGUST 2013
Bio: Born in Mexico and raised as a hometown Dallas girl, Maxine began her design career in the retail world of visual merchandising. With stints at Anthropologie, Barneys New York, and Crate & Barrel, she honed her design eye in both fashion and interiors. With this background, she transitioned to the floral and wedding scene here in Dallas. The Southern Table allows her to combine and express her talents and creativity with her own unique vision.
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Favorite Dallas hangout: Sundown at Granada or Bolsa
AHD: Will you tell us all about your creative startup The Southern Table, including where the name came from?
MO: The Southern Table is a creative studio specializing in design for weddings, soirees, interiors and holidays. Our designs display an organic style with movement and texture, combining both vintage and modern sensibilities. Momentous occasions need to be celebrated with style!
The name comes from our goal to encompass all that it means to be Southern. We are social and hospitable, welcoming and sincere. We are comfortable, yet elegant, truly connected to where we come from and our history. The Southern Table concept inspires a sense of rustic nostalgia that is sophisticated yet remains grounded in clean and versatile design elements. Whether with floral, calligraphy, or general design, this moniker captures a feeling of wistful elegance balanced with fresh simplicity.
AHD: How long have you created custom floral arrangements, and how did you get your start?
MO: I first got inspired with floral arranging when planning my wedding in 2009. Design interested me, and I took a few classes around Dallas and Fort Worth that continued to pique my interest in all things floral. I was hooked and wanted to learn more! From there I freelanced a bit, worked as an intern with both Todd Events and Bows and Arrows here in Dallas, where I eventually became Studio Manager.
AHD: Why do flowers inspire you?
MO: Sometimes it still amazes me how such beauty and perfection is created in nature. Flowers evoke feeling, communicate the beauty of the world, and to me are very calming. I love discovering new combinations and looks, as well as learning about new varieties of plants and flowers.
AHD: Where a sculpture or painting may last hundreds of years, your medium can wilt within days. What's it like creating on the clock, knowing your work will have a short, albeit beautiful life?
MO: Creating on the clock is fun, stressful, and exciting all at the same time. It forces you to work quickly and be adaptable. Usually, I envision the design in my head before I start, but sometimes the design changes as you see how it develops. There’s definitely a bittersweet feeling knowing you’ve created something with a short lifespan. The beauty, though, is that appreciating the design forces you to be in the moment, to be present and enjoy and take in what’s in front of you, before that moment is gone.
AHD: What do you think the perfect arrangement adds to an already special event? What is your favorite type of occasion to cater to?
MO: Well, obviously, I love weddings! There’s just so much joy, emotion, and positive energy! Weddings celebrate life and love and bring people together for a meaningful occasion. The perfect arrangement adds texture and one more layer to an already beautiful setting, and sets the tone for the whole experience. I love color in floral. Mixing floral with unexpected elements creates beauty and awe. Flowers reflect the beauty that is already around them.
AHD: This month you're leading a Handmade on floral arrangements. How excited are you to lend your services to the creative community, and what do you hope attendees take away from your time together?
MO: I am beyond excited to be partnering with Art House Dallas! I’ve been blessed to learn from some extremely talented designers, and I hope I can pass a bit of that knowledge on to others. Design of any kind is a very personal thing. No one “eye” is the same. I’m hoping attendees will learn basic theory and techniques, but then incorporate and develop their own design aesthetic and create styles with a personal flair. I think there is a designer in everyone!
AHD: Weddings, showers and dinner parties are notoriously flowery. What are some times we don't necessarily think of where it's still okay to get floral?
MO: Any time is a great time to get floral! I think just keeping fresh floral around the house is a great place to start. Small arrangements or even simple bud vases can bring a space to life. Central Market is a great place to pick up a few blooms to arrange on your own. Take a nod from your surroundings and incorporate items growing in your own backyard.
AHD: How can we take in more of your designs, keep up with you and your creative startup, and reserve a space at your upcoming Handmade?
MO: First, come join my class with Art House Dallas on August 22nd! Purchase tickets for the class at www.arthousedallas.com, under Current Events. You will learn how to create a beautiful arrangement that you can take home or give to someone special!
I am currently working on collaborations and photo shoots with other vendors in Dallas. To follow my work visit The Southern Table at www.southerntabledesign.com, on Facebook, and on Instagram at the_southerntable. Most recently, my work can be seen featured with the new line of gorgeous vintage-inspired gowns and accessories by Winifred Bean at www.winifredbean.com! Find me and get inspired!