“The earth laughs in flowers” by Ralph Waldo Emerson
She’s like the fairy godmother of flowers. She waves her magical wand and blossoms spring to life. She transforms a simple ordinary flower into a grandiose bouquet meant for a queen, a princess, or a bride. She understands their language and their needs, and how to make them shine. The beauty of the flowers around her doesn’t compare to the vibrant southern belle that loves them so well. This special lady is Teri Shackleford the owner of Mansion and Marsh, a floral and event design company.
As a little girl, Teri grew up making clover crowns and playing amongst gardens full of flowers. She inherited her green thumb by generations past. Teri’s grandparents lived along the water in Louisiana and had gorgeous lush gardens full of gardenias. Her mother was also a gardener and she fondly remembers her childhood home lined with rows of gardenias. Teri shared a story where she remembers being with her mother at the store and her mom was going to buy a fern. She laughed and said how disappointed she was that her mother was buying a plant and not a flower. The lovely owner of Mansion and Marsh has always had a strong connection to nature even since a very young age. Teri said, “I have always been amazed by flowers, and the details God has put in each one. Even the weeds flowers have glitter in their little centers.”
We love the name of Mansion and Marsh, and were curious as to the meaning behind it. Teri shared a story of when she was in church one day, and this lady came up to her telling her about a dream she had. “She said that she had been walking with Jesus, and he was showing her this amazing mansion but there was a boggy marsh in front of it. She asked him, why? Jesus told her not to worry about that, just to focus on the gorgeous mansion. It stems from my philosophy in life….the good and the bad are always with us. We just gotta focus on the good. Hence the name mansion and marsh!”
This designer started her boutique floral and event design studio about five years ago, by making corsages for her kids and their friends. Teri said it just grew from a hobby into a business. Her daughters creative energy encouraged her then and now to keep pursuing her talents. Teri’s first and most important job has been staying home and raising her girls while her husband worked long hours. “The kids were my life, so when they left they left, it propelled me”, says this sweet mama. Even though Teri’s daughters have left the nest, the bond between them is close and special, “I loved being a stay-at-home-mom, it was my greatest achievement”. The way she nurtures her flowers, she also does so with the relationships in her life. From Teri’s family to her clients, she gives love wherever she goes and they mean everything to her. You see it in the work she does and hear it in her voice as she speaks about them. That level of support ignites strength to keep going. If someone believes in you, nothing can stop you! “Dare to life the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true”, quoted by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
An artistic eye, raw talent and passion is a perfect trio for beauty. Styling flowers into masterpieces is the goal of her business but the heart behind it is building those relationships. The people. Who then become more than just clients, they become family. As Mansion and Marsh grows and thrives, Teri will always keep the relational part of her job close to heart. The people become her people. Who doesn’t need more people?!
The artist of Mansion and Marsh recreated herself into something I’m not sure she thought she could do. “Necessity is the mother of invention”, Teri says. She didn’t let anything or anyone stop her. She faced her fears and went for it. One of Teri’s favorite quotes is, “those who dare to do great things often risk a fall”. It’s true, and if you don’t ever try you will never succeed. A bit of advice Teri shared with us is, “just jump in…you’re going to mess up and make mistakes, but you just have to start getting through it.” There are so many qualities to fall in love with Mansion and Marsh, but the one that stands out the most is simply Teri. Her tenacity, spirit and energy are contagious. Within the short time we have known her, it has fueled our dreams to hang in and just keep doing our thing. Once you meet this lady you will know what I mean.
“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul”, quoted by Luther Burban. This quote describes Teri Shackleford, the soul of Mansion and Marsh, and reminds me of who she is as a business owner and as a person. As her work reaches the world around her, so does her heart.