“Megan contacted me over Instagram in June 2014. I knew who she was because, well, she is amazing, and I thought for sure it couldn’t actually be her emailing me. But it was and I was beside myself with excitement!” explains the wonderfully creative Texan Floreographer Ashley Woodson Bailey of the moment Megan Morton got in touch...
“She asked me if I would consider coming over to Australia to teach at The School and of course I jumped at the incredible opportunity. I teach Florography (a term that Megan came up with) and next month I will also be teaching an advanced florography class with the use of Olympus cameras!”. If you’re flower or art obsessed – and we’re assuming you are if you clicked on this story, then you’ll love the work of Woodson Bailey. She not only creates heavenly limited edition floral prints, fashion and wallpaper but has also recently collaborated with Australian childrenswear line Hubble + Duke on a limited edition clothing collection. Raised in Corpus Christi, Texas, Woodson Bailey worked as a floral designer for two decades before moving into photography. It was after a life-changing head-on collision in 2012, which left her physically unable to create arrangements for large-scale events, that the self-taught photographer decided to capture enduring flower arrangements through the lens of her camera. We caught up with the extraordinarily talented mother of two to find out more… Go to www.ashleywoodsonbailey.com and www.theschool.com.au
What do you do when you wake up?
I check my email while still in bed, let the dogs out, make coffee and make sure Byrd is dressed and ready for school.
What is the best advice you’ve been given about motherhood?
Every child is different and every parent has a different parenting style. Don’t compare yourself to everyone else.
Can you tell us about your childhood?
I grew up in South Texas. We moved around a lot because my dad decided to go back to medical school when I was three. We lived in Alice, Nacogdoches, Galveston and finally landed in Corpus Christi when I started the 2nd grade. It was a great town to grow up in. I am still very close to my friends from childhood.
What was your inspiration to pursue your dreams?
I have always been pretty fearless when it comes to doing what I love. I think my grandmother instilled that in me – to be myself.
Where did your love of florals begin?
I fell in love with honeysuckle vine when we lived in Galveston, Texas. I was probably four or five. After that I was pretty much sold on the whole flower world.
What has been one of your biggest career challenges?
My biggest career challenge thus far is how quickly the business is growing and trying to stay on top of it. I am about to start hiring more people, which is the scariest thing I have done to date for the biz but I think it will be worth it in the end.
What about your recent collaboration with Hubble & Duke?
Isn’t it just gorgeous? Those girls! I mean, the talent is beyond. They reached out to me last year about collaborating on the gorgeous collection for girls. I can’t wait to get my hands on every single piece.
Do you think you’re born creative or it’s something you learn?
I think I was born creative, but I don’t think I really knew what that meant until I was much older. I used to dress very creatively when I was younger and I remember having some pretty abstract thoughts but I didn’t really explore any of it until I got to college.
Favourite social media platform?
Instagram, without a doubt.
Can you tell us a little about your accident...
I was in a head-on collision that almost killed me in 2012. It is a miracle I am alive.
What is your approach to wellbeing?
Taking time for myself. Spending adult time with my husband. Getting massages. Watching terrible television.
How to you treat yourself?
My biggest treat I currently have is a housekeeper that comes once a week.
Do you prefer to text or call?
Depends on the conversation but I text a lot.
Coffee or tea?
Who is your role model is?
My grandmother, Toody Byrd. She is a strong Texas woman who worked her entire life until she retired. She is as smart as a whip and can tell better stories than anyone I know. I like to think that my desire to help motivate people and share my story and skills comes directly from her.
What is your definition of success?
Gosh, I think having a successful family life comes first and I recently had to be reminded of that. Success can be a green monster but I am learning that if you can hire good people, you can be successful in every way.
What did your own mother teach you about life and motherhood?
My mom is equally as strong as her mother, my role model. She taught me not to sit around feeling sorry for myself or to compare myself to anyone else.
After you finish writing this, what are you going to do?
Email back and forth with Megan. I land in Melbourne in 15 days and can hardly wait!