All Posts By

Kristal Childs

Events, Photoshoots

Styling for Blooms by the Box

Last Spring, I received an email from a PR company for Blooms by the Box, an international wholesale flower distributor, about styling a shoot for them. Of course I said yes! I’m proud to say this shoot was recently featured on Strictly Weddings. I worked closely with Marin Poelman, the PR representative to connect with several vendors from the area to create this lovely styled shoot. Enjoy!

Credit to these talented vendors!

Photography: Lindsay Steele Photography

Venue: Miss Mary’s Place

Flowers: Blooms by the Box

Flower Styling: La Bella Blooms

Rentals: Pursuing Eden Rentals

Cakes: Calavera Cakery

Gowns: Fabulous Frocks Bridal | Shreveport

Stationary: Ellie Bee’s

Hair & Makeup: Kylie Event Glam

Bride Model: Sara Rash

Groom Model: Daniel Biggs

Produced By: Rayce PR

Events, Photoshoots

Styling Job for Weddings with Style Magazine

Several months ago, editor Fayline Bass of Weddings with Style Magazine contacted me about an opportunity to collaborate with her and our vendor team in the development of her fresh and new vision for the magazine. I was honored to step in and assist with the creative direction and styling of the upcoming shoots, which would fill the pages of the magazine, providing a unified theme and story line for each issue. The best part of this opportunity is working with some of the very best vendors in the area. We’ve all worked together to create three magazine shoots so far, and today I’m excited to blog about the very first one, released in the Summer of 2016.

Fayline brought some inspiration photos and a vision for what she was looking for, and we worked together to bring it to life! I was so proud of everyone’s hard work, and wasn’t surprised a bit when the positive feedback came rolling in! The best part of these shoots is knowing that our local brides can achieve polished, perfect events by using local vendors -that they can actually have this magazine-worthy look and hire these top notch vendors here in East Texas and West Louisiana.

Photography: Jennifer Robison Photography

Venue: Cedar Croft Plantation

Rentals: Pursuing Eden

Gown: Fabulous Frocks Bridal

Floral Design: Mandy Cathey Weddings

Cake & Cookies: Social Bites of Ruston

Hair & Makeup: Fete La Femme

Calligraphy: Selah Grace Designs

Table Numbers: Fine Line Supply Co

Model: Cherish Roberts

Events, Personal

Arden Rose | Second Birthday

Our daughter Arden Rose was absolutely obsessed with the moon, so choosing her 2nd birthday party theme was easy… Two the Moon! I’m excited to say it was recently featured on Kara’s Party Ideas. Previously for her first birthday, I did the bright and light floral garden party theme, which was also featured on Kara’s Party Ideas, so this year I really wanted to change things up with a moody, galactic style.

Cosmic colors and geometric elements were an easy way to create the theme. I talked Doug into making a wooden moon for the kiddos and families to pose on as a photo booth, and everyone loved it! The striped backdrop was a simple craft project that I painted in just a few minutes. I bought a drop cloth and some sample paint jars in my color scheme. Then I laid the drop cloth out in the grass, and used a roller to lightly paint the stripes. The grass made it perfectly imperfect- uneven and patchy like a cloudy sky. Next to the moon, I left some little wooden stars and moon shapes as props that said “Happy Birthday, Arden Rose!” and “I’m just here for the cake!”

Arden Rose’s dress was made my by mom, with the cutest cloud and constellation patterned fabrics ever. This year I rented kid sized tables and chairs so the littles could all sit together like little grownups. It was so cute! Each place setting had a jar of Stardust (silver glitter… sorry parents) with an agate balloon. For the adult tables’ centerpieces, we cut geometric wood shapes, painted them white, and arranged them in different patterns on each table, simulating constellations.

I don’t know about your parties, but at ours, the food station is always the center of attention. We had Two the Moon Turkey Sliders, Lunar Fruit with the Big Dipper marshmallow fruit dip, Veggie Rockets with the Little Dipper ranch dip, Moon Cheese and Crackers, Tang (which no one but the adults understood), Celestial Tea and H2O. I rented a silver sequin backdrop and table linens to enhance the design. Arden Rose’s cake table was a half moon shape (see what I did there?) with the sweetest two tiered night sky inspired cake. My mom also made the most amazing meringue cloud cookies which we served with the cake. Behind the cake I used clusters of white balloons to form clouds with a huge shiny silver metallic moon balloon as the focal point.

We had a build-your-own favor station with moon-themed goodies like Milky Ways, Meteorites (rock candy), Moon Pies, Astronaut Ice Cream, Moon Rocks (Starbursts inside of foil), Star Crunch, and Sugar Clouds (white cotton candy). We also had a play area with a giant inflatable bowling set, yard toys and quilts ready for our friends and family to make themselves at home. Seeing all of the planning and design come together is great, but spending time with friends and family is the icing on the two-the-moon-themed cake.

I’m so grateful to these vendors who helped make her party a hit!

Photography: Andy Roberts Photography

Cake: Kool Kakes by Dylan

Paper Products: Paper N’ Peonies

Rentals: Pursuing Eden & A1 Party and Tent Rentals

Styling: Me!

Personal

Neglected | Pursuing Eden Home

Tonight I’m feeling especially open about some behind the scenes struggles as a small business owner and mom. I’m hoping that I can share this to help other business owners and mamas know you’re not alone!  Two and a half years ago, when I gave birth to my daughter, Arden Rose, I kept rocking things at the store the best way that I could, but little by little the home store branch of my business became more and more neglected.  Anything store related was last on the to-do list, as mom-life and the demanding rental branch of my business took precedence.  I knew the store needed my attention and focus, but I just didn’t have any.  I couldn’t find the time or energy to really give it the love it needed.  I was tapped out, so the store suffered.  Have any of you been there?  If so, you’ve got a friend in me!  The Lord has been reminding me that I cannot be all and do all at once, and that there are seasons in life to focus on different things.  That is how He created life!  But still, the storefront has been in the season of Winter far too long. Now, it’s not been absolutely terrible, and I am sure some of you shoppers may be thinking, “what is she talking about, I’ve always liked it,” please know that means the world to me, but I am just not happy with how “off” things feel there with no focus from me.  Yes, there were spurts of creativity here and there, and yes we have wonderful, faithful shoppers, but the store has fallen short of my vision of where I want Pursuing Eden Home to be. But good news!  There IS light at the end of the tunnel, and at just the right time, God has given me His strength, renewed energy and focus to revamp the merchandise and restyle the store, and while my new designs won’t be happening overnight, I do hope many exciting changes will be in effect by Spring!  I have one thing to ask of you:  please keep coming, shopping and supporting this maxed-out mama on her journey.  You matter to me more than you know!

Here are a few sneak peeks of just a couple new finds coming your way.

xo Kristal

Interiors

Lake Tyler Petroleum Club | Bridal Suite Redesign

A few months ago, the ladies at the Lake Tyler Petroleum Club contacted me to consult the new design of the Harbor Landing Bridal Suite. Before, the suite was useful, but didn’t feel romantic or pretty.

But after, ya’ll! Natural light, monochromatic patterns, modern elements and subtle pops of color make all the difference.

Bring on the brides!

Venue: Lake Tyler Petroleum Club

Photographer: Matthew Hogan

Stylist: Me

Events

4 Tips for Hosting the Perfect Shower

Bridal showers and baby showers… just about every gal out there has helped host one, right? And just about every gal out there has thoughts on how to do it best. Or at least they think their way is best… am I riiiight? Below are a few ideas on how to keep everyone happy while also keeping the design simple and cohesive. Take notes from one of my past clients out of Tyler – she had the right idea!

1. Have something memorable as a sign in area. Writing words of wisdom, highlighting scripture, or notes to open at a later date are all easy and meaningful ways to make the bride or mom-to-be feel the love of her family and friends.

2. Focus on backdrops, which will enhance the food station and gift opening area. This is where the photos are taken, so you don’t want random family photos, a kitchen sink or clashing home decor in the background of every photo. And those backdrops can be simple! Too busy and they become the focal point instead of the bride or mom-to-be.

3. Just say no to cheesy themed decor. Keep the fake flower arrangements and plastic heart confetti in the attic, and hire a local florist (such as Moss, for this shower) to make some fresh greenery garland and a large floral arrangement focal piece. Also remember, renting backdrops and other linens and cake stands (from a place like Pursuing Eden Rentals, like this client did) is an easy way to create a high end feel without spending the big bucks.

4. For large events with many guests, hiring a stylist is an easy way to give you the thing you need most: time. Time to mingle, connect with and love on the guests and bride or mom-to-be, while the stylist works to get it all perfect.

Florals: Moss

Rentals: Pursuing Eden Rentals

Styling: Me

Interiors

Eclectic Modern Great Room | Phillips Family

This just might be the best birthday gift idea ever… a couple of weeks ago I was contacted by Zack, a husband wanting to surprise his wife Kristen with a newly designed living/great room for her birthday.  Y’all, seriously, is that not what every girl would want!?!  Impressive, right?  And it was all his idea!  They moved into their new home over 4 years ago, with newborn twins and a toddler… so of course busy baby life happens and suddenly a few years have passed before they had any time to take a breath and think about home design.   I met once with the Kristen and Zack to get a feel for what their needs were, and to take a few “before” pictures.

You should know… I will soon have professional (and non-blurry) pictures of this space, but I just couldn’t wait to share the project with you!

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Kristen and Zack already had several things going for them in their space.

Things I loved:

  1. The perfect muted teal wall paint by Sherwin Williams
  2. The simple modern raw wood mantel
  3. All that amazing natural light
  4. The fabulous vaulted ceiling
  5. The acid washed concrete floors that Zack did, himself!

Kristen and Zack needed a new sectional and area rug for starters.  Kristen showed me the sectional they were thinking about- and it was perfect!  (So perfect, might I add, that I’ve already been trying to figure out a way to make the same one fit in my much smaller living room!)  Sofa, check.  So we went straight to thinking about area rugs.  Kristen loves bright cheery color and had 8 or 10 rugs saved for me to look at.  I especially loved the option with the faded, hint-of-Aztec pattern.  Lots of color, but not too strong of a pattern from across the room.
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Wonderful herringbone pattern on the sofa.

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Bright and happy modern rug.

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Next was hunting for and gathering the new decor!  (Hair pin legs… yes, please.)

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I added a watercolor piece I painted as part of their gallery wall, to keep their gallery unique and custom.

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On Design Day 1, I brought over a truckload of goodies, and began placing and staging them.  I also planned out the gallery wall above the TV and used paper to help me visualize the layout.  I wanted the art to go uphill, following the architectural detail of the vaulted ceiling.  Getting this part just right *might* have taken me about 20 tries.  But I couldn’t stop until it was perfect!

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On Design Day 2, my hubby Doug came to help me hang all the curtain rods, art, and mirrors.  His math brain can get it all calculated and level on the first try. I, on the other hand, would still be over there attempting to get it all right… with about 117 unnecessary holes in the wall.  And obviously  I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to catch him in the act.

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The art, installed!

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I hand painted “be still, my soul” on two large canvases as an anchor piece to ground the large back wall.  With a strong wall paint color and a variety of colors throughout the space, I opted to keep this art clean and simple.  Balance is so important when choosing wall art and color combinations.  Kristen had this beautiful antique church pew and accent table, which I used to create a seating area by the front door, and it also serves as overflow seating for guests, as it faces the TV from behind the sofa.

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In our initial consult, Kristen talked with me about needing a way to capture and organize her kiddos’ art.  We all know a fridge front can only hold so much!  I used picture ledges and thin frames to showcase the artwork, and encouraged Kristen to rotate the art out every month or so.

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The mantel art may be my favorite.  A few years ago, Kristen had one of Zack’s favorite photos of them turned into a sketch.  Finally, it’s now framed and serves as the focal point of the mantel.  Personal pieces are the key to making a home “yours”.

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Here’s the space, completed!  I pulled geometric patterns and a blend of rustic and modern accents to create an eclectic, bold style which Zack and Kristen love.

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I am thankful for this opportunity to style a space for this sweet family to live and grow in!

 

xo Kristal

 

Events, Photoshoots

Bright and Bohemian | Stone Oak Ranch

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stoneoak-6Lavender, coral, red, blush, tangerine, gray and navy… this color palette is full and vibrant, and I love it!  Using layers of color in your florals can build richness and depth.  And who doesn’t want that?  La Bella Blooms took what was in my mind and ROCKED IT.  Photography by Gema captured it wonderfully, and without a doubt, Stone Oak Ranch’s new pond ceremony cite made this shoot complete.  Many of the elements that made this shoot so detailed and perfect are from Pursuing Eden Rentals.  Working with a talented team makes all the difference in the event industry!stoneoak-50

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For the tables I made DIY concrete votives to add a natural yet modern element.  My conclusion… a messy but inexpensive project!  They took about 24 hours from the start until they were dry and ready to come out of their molds.  I used recycled water bottles and cups for an assortment of sizes and styles.

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Venue: Stone Oak Ranch

Photographer: Photography by Gema

Florals: La Bella Blooms

Rentals: Pursuing Eden Rentals

Models: Lauren and Nathan Nichols

Styling: me

Events, Photoshoots

The Truth About Why I Split

A question for the dreamers out there- How often do things go exactly the way you envisioned?  Never?  Then to you I say, Congratulations!  I’ve determined one sign of a successful small business is to stay flexible and leave room for growth and change.  Some aspects may be just as you predicted, but usually the areas that end up evolving can be one of your biggest strengths as a business.  In November of last year I launched Kristal Childs as a separate business and focus from Pursuing Eden.  With some direction from friends in the wedding industry, lots of prayer and deep thought I knew it was time.  But I’ve never really told you why… so now you’re about to be in on the truth.

First, you must know I love Pursuing Eden Rentals.  I enjoy meeting a need in my community for specialty rentals, and I enjoy providing a unique collection to inspire local brides and party throwers.  Notice my two key words here- community and local.  Rental companies are made to serve their area, and serve them well!  But after five years, I saw two holes in my business.

1.  I was personally being asked to design weddings, events and photoshoots in non-local areas.  I struggled with how to physically get a truck and trailer of rentals to an event many hours away without the delivery and labor charge getting terribly high.  Pursuing Eden is a very small business and we must charge for hotels for the tear down team, gas for the big rigs, labor expenses for the team’s drive time, wedding wait time, food, and the list goes on.  There is no way around the fact that the farther the PE team travels, the higher these expenses get.  So how do I personally serve interested clients with a local only rental business?

2.  Not every event needs Pursuing Eden Rentals.  I know, you’re thinking, “Wait, did she just admit that?”  But, it’s true!  Pursuing Eden is a SPECIALTY rental company.  We do not carry everything.  We do not want to carry everything.  I couldn’t figure out a way to serve clients who came to me for design help, but who didn’t need what Pursuing Eden carries.  Also, through Pursuing Eden, there wasn’t a logical way for me to schedule one-on-one consults with each client and help them compile a list of regular rental needs outside of Pursuing Eden, like tents, plastic tables, regular linens etc.  How do I personally help those who have needs outside of Pursuing Eden?

So my business, simply titled Kristal Childs, was created.  Now, when I am contacted by non-local clients I can easily use rental companies from their area in my design for their event.  No Pursuing Eden Rentals required.  Separating my event styling services from Pursuing Eden Rentals means I can travel anywhere in the US (and beyond!) to style an event.  All of my local brides who have hired me for my styling services are wanting to use Pursuing Eden Rentals, and that’s great!  But my goal is to use any vendors needed to create the absolute best event.  As a separate styling business, I can offer more suggestions and assistance with the design from beginning to end.

Also, when I am personally involved in photoshoots and events, I can now be tagged as a separate business on social media, so potential clients understand they have options.  We want everyone to know that renting with Pursuing Eden can be as simple as choosing whatever rentals they want, picking them up and returning them.  Or they can hire me for design direction, separately, if needed.

Another plus!  When I launched Kristal Childs, I was able to start offering interior styling as a separate service also.  Now, I can easily serve customers from Pursuing Eden Home (a unique and fresh local home decor store) who request my interior styling services.  In the same way as the rentals, I use Pursuing Eden Home pieces as well as other finds from various sources to create a functional and complete, yet personal and unique space.

Now lets talk about this gorgeous shoot at The White Sparrow Barn with some of the best vendors out there, recently featured on Wedding Sparrow!  I’ll let the images speak for themselves…

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Take a look at the list of amazing vendors below:

Photography: Brandi Smyth

Flowers: Mandy Cathey

Rental Props: Pursuing Eden

Cake: Social Bites

Rings: Lollars

MUAH: Meka Bennett

Stationary/Calligraphy: Paper Glaze

Events, Photoshoots

5 Ways to Create a Refined Outdoor Event

The great outdoors can provide a backdrop that no venue or rental collection can compete with; however, the venue and rentals you choose matter beyond measure.  Your venue and rentals can complete (or ruin) the effect of that lovely landscape.  Outdoor events do not have to be low quality or cheesy, but it does take a clear and direct design approach to make an outdoor event feel polished and stylized.

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Here are 5 simple ways to create a refined outdoor event:

1.  Lighting!  Hire a professional to hang chandeliers and cafe style string lights.  If possible, choose these types of lighting over generic Christmas lights.  This detail really matters in the overall feel.  Also, when it’s dark, the guests are gone and it’s time to tear down, you will be so glad you’re not tripping on tree roots and beer bottles.

2.  Use real dishes and glassware.  I know, paper plates make a ton of sense when you’re outside.  And they are less expensive!  But they look less expensive, and do nothing to help you create a refined, elegant wedding.  Counteract the outdoors with formal tableware.  I promise the effect will be worth it!

3.  Let your venue work for you!  Find the best walls or areas of impact at your venue and make those be your backdrops for the important spots, like your cake display, sweetheart table and Just Married photos.  Too many times, I’ve seen cakes set up with the DJ in the background, or a sweetheart table with a big red fire extinguisher directly behind the couple.  Y’all, the background is what creates a frame for each space… it is so important that what’s behind looks great!

4.  Layer.  Tone-on-tone neutrals and metallics currently have my heart, so obviously I’m going to advise you to use neutrals and metallics when choosing your linens, chargers, floral containers,  flatware, dishes and all of those fun details.  And when I say neutrals, a washed-out sandy peach or faded gray-blue counts.  But mix it up!  If you’re using an organic natural linen, add a metal floral container.  Now, please don’t be afraid to use bright, rich colors as accents.   But know if all you have is an overabundance of strong accent colors, they lose their effectiveness and your eyes won’t know where to rest.

5.  Let’s talk flowers.  Simply put, you get what you pay for.  But good news, even the most experienced professionals aren’t as expensive as what you may assume.  Call them up and book them!  Outdoor events = heat and humidity = wilting flowers by amatures = ugly bouquet and centerpieces = crying bride = this is not you, because you hired a florist to create and install your lovely blooms.

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Ok, surprise No 6. Hire me as your stylist.

Styling this shoot was a wonderful experience!  Wondering who else to hire?  Check out these amazing vendors.

Photography: Brandi Smyth

Rentals: Pursuing Eden Specialty Rentals

Venue: CedarCroft Plantation

Cake: Cakes by Carrie

MUAH: Kendall Morehart

Florals: Brianna Belton Design LLC

Dress: Fabulous Frocks of Charleston

Also seen on Style Me Pretty!!