Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Value of Decorative Branches

When I finished college and moved to New York, I was struck by how I'd see branches decorating places ranging from boutiques on Madison Avenue selling handbags for thousands of dollars, to restaurants in Chinatown where you could get eight dumplings for a buck. After some initial bafflement, it made sense - branches not only have a powerful decorative impact appreciated by designers who could afford anything, but being inexpensive and having an indefinite lifespan, make them a sensible choice for someone on a shoestring budget, which certainly is what I had.

I was very proud of my first apartment and wanted it to look its best. However, I had poured my meager savings into just getting the keys to that tiny Manhattan apartment, and my "decorating budget" was minimal. Branches were a fantastic value, so I headed to the floral district over on 28th Street and got a bundle of Red Dogwood and a bundle of Curly Willow. Those first bundles decorated my apartment for years.

The value of decorative branches - the visual impact that they have, the fact that they can last indefinitely with minimal care, their low cost - is what first inspired me to purchase them. When I was thinking about starting Nettleton Hollow and was trying to convince friends, family (and myself) that I was building a business around products with lasting appeal and not some passing fad, the value of branches was the main point I kept on returning to. And with frugality on everyone's mind now and likely for quite a while, the value of decorative branches is more relevant than ever.

1 comment:

Ann said...

I agree with all you have said about the value of branches. My small apt. has been transformed with affordable branches, grasses, pods ...from Nettleton Hollow.

The decorating possibilities of branches is limited only by your imagination. I have just rearranged Manzanita Seconds to hold jewelry...I didn't do this for about a year, as everyone who visited me loved the beauty of the unadorned sandblasted branches.

I sometimes mix picks from Jamali to give an established arrangement a bit of much fun!

Keep up the good work, Justine.
Ann in Orlando