by Kelsey Yanna
Hive & Hollow is not your average flower shop and its floral arrangements are anything but average. When I walked into the local Menomonie business, I felt like I was entering another world – one that is whimsical, botanical, and sprinkled with magic. Hive & Hollow’s flower arrangements are truly what makes this magic come alive as they are adorned with natural materials, such as mushrooms, feathers, antler bones, dried flowers, and grasses. Sarah Freeman, the owner of Hive & Hollow, describes her floral arrangements as “organic in style” and “free-flowing” because they aren’t systematically placed and tend to feature negative space.
Another way that her floral arrangements stand out is that they are locally sourced. Freeman proudly informs me that all the flowers at Hive & Hollow are either grown near Menomonie or in the United States. This allows Freeman to not only support small businesses in the area and American growers, but also makes her locally sourced flowers stay fresh for a longer period of time. Because the further away the flowers are grown, the larger their carbon footprint and the more longevity chemicals they are sprayed with.
With these sustainable flowers, Freeman creates a wide variety of floral arrangements, including bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres, table centerpieces, baskets, and wreaths. She also takes custom orders for special occasions like weddings, business events, and her most common request: funerals. Hive & Hollow provides options for customers looking for a more casual arrangement as well. Each day, her cooler is stocked with mixed-flower bouquets, vase arrangements, and individual stemmed flowers.
Whether the floral arrangement is made specifically for an event or for an ordinary day, every arrangement is truly unique. Similar to how every person is different, every flower arrangement is different. Each arrangement evokes a different feeling to reflect the recipient’s individuality. “I’ve done a flower arrangement for a grandpa’s funeral who loved hunting, so I incorporated a lot of antlers into that arrangement,” said Freeman. She has also created boutonnieres for a wedding that featured the cap of the groom’s favorite beer.
Because of her floral arrangements are reflective of the person, Freeman doesn’t have a specific technique of how she arranges her flowers. Instead, she bases them on how she feels and lets the flowers decide their place rather than adhering to a certain method. “I take the cue from the flowers more than anything,” she explained. “If the head is pointing down, then it’s in the front.” Likewise, if there’s a tall flower pointing upwards, it’s placed in the back.
Often times, Freeman centers her arrangements around a focal flower. “It can be one focal flower with a big leaf that I’ve cut from a bundle of tropical leaves,” she said. Freeman also draws her inspiration from whichever flower is currently in season. “I’ve been making a lot of arrangements with hydrangea from Oregon lately,” she said. “In September, I used a lot of dahlias because they were in season.” Because of this seasonal time factor, Hive & Hollow doesn’t have a definite bestseller flower arrangement nor does Freeman have a clear-cut favorite.
Although Freeman couldn’t pick just one favorite floral arrangement that she’s created, she did have a most memorable one: a peacock ice sculpture decorated with flowers. “The shape of the peacock was in ice and I made the tail out of flowers & feathers,” Freeman described. Upon knowing this, it’s safe to say that Hive & Hollow doesn’t sell traditional flower arrangements; a fact that Freeman prides herself in.
Whether you’re interested in creating traditional or extraordinary floral arrangements like Freeman, she encourages you to learn by experimenting. “Experiential learning is the best way,” she said. “It also helps to have a natural eye for design.” Soon, you too, will be able to transform your space into another world – one that is whimsical, botanical, and sprinkled with magic like Sarah Freeman’s Hive & Hollow flower shop.