“When clients ask how often they will need to water their orchid design, I have the great joy of responding ‘never!’ As other flowers and greenery start to droop and fade, a Vine + Branch proudly stands tall and displays its rich color.”Allie Nielsen, Vine + Branch
Sometimes life takes an unexpected detour yet puts you right where you were always meant to be. Allie Nielsen originally pursued a career in nursing, but a more creative calling pursued her. “I am the product of generations of floral designers, interior designers, and photo stylists,” says the Fairhope, Alabama, native. “I always felt that I possessed the family’s creative gene, but I wasn’t sure how to express it until life took me to Andalusia, Alabama.”
While Andalusia isn’t top of mind as a creative hub for design, it turned out to be a catalyst that helped surface Allie’s artistic side. When Allie met her husband, Will, she was also introduced to his family’s dried floral business, the Knud Nielsen Company, located just one county over from her hometown. “I was instantly fascinated with the company’s rich family history, and I was impressed with the high-quality products,” Allie says. “I loved walking through the warehouse to see all of the botanicals in their various stages of drying and preservation.” That intrigue and those walks stirred her imagination, and the result was Vine + Branch.
Allie’s first pieces, moss-covered crosses adorned with dried lavender and silk ribbon, were designed as a fundraiser to help front-line workers during the pandemic. “I thought I would sell a few dozen to family and friends,” she says. “Remarkably, I sold over 400!”
Since then, she has expanded to everlasting orchid arrangements, moss bowls, wreaths, palm fronds, and succulents—all designed to make a statement without any maintenance. “I have a high standard for the quality of my materials,” says Allie. “I use preserved and dyed moss which will hold its color for three years or more. And I make sure my orchids are top-of-the-line.”
Allie sources her own containers, culling garden shops and antique stores. “I look for vessels everywhere I go,” she says. “I am most drawn to the natural and organic elements of handmade designs. In the future, I have plans to start experimenting with concrete and plaster to make my own containers.”
Allie also works with clients to fill their own cherished pieces. “Several clients already own a vessel that they love, and we work together to create a unique design for that container,” she says. For Allie, it’s a way to help her clients preserve not only her botanicals but also precious memories.
Ready to Order?
Visit vineandbranch.shop for ready-to-ship wreaths and preserved botanicals. Follow along on IG at @vine.and.branch_ for information about pop-up shops in Birmingham and Fairhope. And look for Vine + Branch as a vendor at the 2023 Nashville Antiques and Gardens Show in February 2023.