Lanie Jansheski is the whimsical creative genius behind Los Angeles-based floral and event design company, Little Thistle Design. From weddings, to pop-up events, to fabulous backyard soirees, Lanie and Little Thistle have the incredible ability to take your idea and make it ten times better than you ever imagined. (Full disclosure, Lanie, planned mine and husband's entire wedding, soup to nuts - all while 7 months pregnant!)
I sat down with Lanie at Jones Coffee Roasters in Pasadena to interview her over a cup of joe. I asked Lanie, who is in the midst of prepping for a fabulously spooky October Wedding gig, about her green thumb, discovering her love of event design, and what's currently trending in the wedding scene.
What do you love about Jones and their coffee?
While I'm not a coffee snob, I am an ambiance snob. I like the ambiance here so much. The crowd is a funny mixture of old and new Pasadena. Hipsters in one corner, middle aged real estate brokers in the other corner. Sometimes there's a person playing the piano...
Do you have a favorite spot in LA that’s your go-to for flowers?
For flowers for my house, I love the Sunday Farmers' Market in Montrose. I go almost every week. The flower vendors there grow what they sell. For events, most people don't want to pay the extra cost of sourcing locally grown flowers, so I love Rios Flowers at the Los Angeles Flower Market, downtown.
What inspired you to start Little Thistle?
I did a friend's wedding a couple years ago. It was so creatively fulfilling, and the look on the bride's face was priceless, so I thought...why not try to do more of this?!
How many plants do you have in your house at any given time?
I have a bunch of plants throughout my home. I love how they look, but it doesn't mean that I have a green thumb. I constantly replace plants that I've killed. If you're quiet, you can hear a plant I'm purchasing crying because they're going home with me.
What’s it like doing the flowers for an event so personal as a wedding?
It really depends on the type of bride that I'm arranging for - I mean, the DREAM would be to only have clients who have seen your work and trust your taste and style. They give you basic parameters and just say, Go! Create! And sometimes that happens. And it's awesome. And sometimes you get a people who micromanage everything. Or worse, want you to exactly replicate somebody else's work.
How Would You Describe Your Own Personal Style?
I'm colorful and whimsical. Bright and happy with a little dash of tongue-in-cheek. When I'm commissioned to do work that isn't my specific taste, I look at it as a creative challenge. At the end of the day, it's not my event. I don't have to love the pieces I work on or want it at my wedding, but I do have to love the faces of the client when they see what I've delivered.
What advice would you offer someone planning an event?
Trust the vendors you hire. We are artists. Study our work, give us ideas of your style, then let go. You wouldn't hand somebody else's cake recipe to your baker, so don't design the flowers for the florist. Get a clear handle of what you like, then turn the reins over to the people you've hired. This will make the experience so much better for you...there is such a peace that comes from not having to make every. Single. Decision. That's how Bridezillas are born.
Sometimes you have to verbally bitch slap a bride when they spiral. As I once told a bride who was obsessing over how the shade of grey of her linens would look with her flowers, "I don't put out anything that isn't adorable. Your wedding is going to be beautiful. Take a breath and let this go."
Any fun, upcoming projects you can share with us?
I have two friends who own and run Sheldon Ceramics who are eloping in Malibu. I'm going to do the florals for their little reception using gorgeous Sheldon Ceramics vessels...so excited!
Our side project, Department of Tiny Dinosaurs will be at the Jackelope Craft Fair November 12 & 13 in Pasadena's Central Park. Come by and say “hi” and take care of all your tiny dinosaur terrarium needs!
Are there any trends that you’re seeing right now in LA as far as floral and event design? If so, what are they?
I'm seeing a lot of California Rustic Chic. I think it's beautiful, and I’d also love to see more realistic representations of a bride and groom rather than a duplication of a Pinterest Board. That's what makes an upcoming October wedding gig of ours so exciting. The bride and groom are pretty dark, so there'll will be a lot of spooky elements to their wedding...imagine if Anthropologie did a pop up in a haunted mansion....