Friday, December 5, 2014

Sweetface Spotlight: Sweet Root Village

Welcome to the first Sweetface Events Vendor Spotlight! This is a new series on our blog where we'll be featuring local wedding vendors in the DC area to serve as inspiration for our readers and brides. Our first feature is on a lovely creative business based out of Alexandria, Virginia that shares a similar name (we couldn't resist). Sweetface social media intern Kate sat down to chat with Rachel Bridgwood and Lauren Anderson of Sweet Root Village, which focuses on photography and florals.

Rachel and Lauren of Sweet Root Village
Photo by Sarah Bradshaw Photography 

There's nothing more refreshing than talking to people who love what they do. For the ladies of Sweet Root Village, their passion for their work was evident from the beginning of our conversation. I met with Lauren and Rachel on a cold Friday morning and was immediately ushered into their beautiful studio space with a warm welcome and the offer of freshly prepared French press coffee. We chatted about how Sweet Root came to be, their strengths as business partners, and what they envision for the future. 

The Beginning. 
Lauren and Rachel met during their college years and became fast friends. Both were creatively minded, interested in photography, and had dreams of starting their own creative enterprise. The brainstorming session for the business began, as all good brainstorming sessions do, over a glass of wine. The name Sweet Root Village was inspired by a blog Lauren and Rachel liked the sound of - A Cup of Green Ginger. They began writing out words they liked and seeing what sounded good together. Village was a staple from the beginning, as its all-encompassing nature seemed to fit the vision they had in mind. Sweet Root came soon after, and the name was born. 

When the two friends started their blog in the summer of 2010, they really honed in on three facets: florals, photography, coordination. Both loved florals and photography, and couldn't do without either. Coordination was added as a bonus - a smaller focus that was mainly for brides who liked Sweet Root's style and asked them to coordinate their wedding day as well as do their photography and florals.

The Team. 
Lauren and Rachel work exceptionally well together - it must be related to that instant bond of kinship that brought them together in the first place. Both women are equally passionate about florals and photography, though they play different roles in managing the business. Lauren has a head for numbers and handles Sweet Root's finance. Rachel studied graphic design in college and heads up their online presence and branding. They both spoke to the benefit of having a business partner that they are completely committed to and open with. They communicate well, and have the benefit of filling in for the other when one of them is out of the office.

Sweet Root Village's studio space is housed on the bottom floor of a lovely historic brick building in Old Town Alexandria. They share the building with other creative business: Alumbra Photography, UpCircle Studio, Kelley Cannon Events, and Michelle Lindsay Photography. While this much overlap may cause competition in other studios, the women at 112 South Patrick use the shared space to their advantage. Being so close to other creatives leads to wonderful collaborations and a family-like environment. Lauren and Rachel told of a recent potluck with everyone in the building, and it was actually Susannah of Alumbra Photography that Lauren and Rachel partnered with to look for a studio space together. 

The Business. 
When talking with Lauren and Rachel about their proudest moment as business owners, they discussed several significant accomplishments: moving into their first studio, being featured in The Knot, Washingtonian, and Mingle Mag all at once, and for non-wedding events, collaborations with West Elm, Kinfolk, and Anthropologie through partnering with A Daily Something. 

Sweet Root Village's designs for a wedding at Murray Hill
Photos By Sweet Root Village

Their favorite wedding was undoubtedly the one at Murray Hill in Leesburg, Virginia. They created hanging macramé for the florals, loved the vendors, and truly clicked with the bride and groom. Read more about the Murray Hill wedding on The Knot, here

Another stand-out point for Sweet Root Village is their focus on sustainability and their use of locally sourced flowers. From day one, Rachel and Lauren wanted to be sustainably minded. While there are many places to find flowers worldwide, Sweet Root Village prefers to get as much as they can during the local growing seasons from a nearby co-op of Virginia farmers. It's a labor of love as it takes much more coordinating and planning, but it's something they're really passionate about - the opportunity to work with local farmers and see the faces of those who have cultivated their flowers.

The Future. 
As for future plans, Rachel and Lauren want to see where the business takes them. Maybe moving to a warehouse space and hosting workshops, maybe something else entirely. They are open to whatever the future brings. The beauty of this is focusing on the present without the constant pressure planning or readjusting missed goals. Sweet Root Village will naturally progress, as it has done so far. And based on their past success, their future must hold quite a lot of promise. 

Be sure to check out the blog posts below for more lovely photography + flowers by Sweet Root Village! 


Here's hoping for a Sweetface and Sweet Root collaboration in the future! 

1 comment:

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