Photos by Philip Hernandez || Interview by Emily Heegaard
Creativity flows through the blood of Minnesota native Latawnie Nigon—a stay-at-home mom who doubles as the owner of Style the Seasons, an Etsy shop specializing in high-quality, artificial wreaths. While growing up in a family of musicians and artists ignited her passion for the arts and DIY, things came full circle when Nigon found her own calling in the creative arts—specifically when she attempted to make a wreath for her first home’s front porch. After “attempted” became “succeeded,” Nigon never looked back. Now, five years later, Style the Seasons has carved out a space for itself in the seasonal home décor scene.
Tell us more about yourself.
I’m Minnesota born-and-raised. I grew up in Orono, a suburb around Lake Minnetonka, and I’m the oldest of three children. I currently live in Medina with my husband and two young boys.
How has your family shaped your passion for the arts?
On both sides, I come from a family of musicians and artists. They’re not recording artists or anything and no one has been a wreath-maker per say, but I feel I have this gift. I think it’s really cool that I can make it my own.
Why did you decide to start your own business?
At the time, I was ready for something new. I was always on nonprofit boards and doing volunteer boards, but I had just taken a step back and I was ready to fill my schedule a little more. I’m so proud of all that I’ve been able to create. It hasn’t been an easy road, but I’m really passionate and love being able to share my designs with others around the country. I feel wholeheartedly that creativity is in my blood. I take a lot of pride in knowing I’m carrying on my family legacy in my own way.
Where do you find design inspiration?
I look to nature and the changing seasons for basic color inspiration. My husband’s family also has a cabin, so we spend a lot of time going for walks and hiking, plus my kids help me pick pinecones and things to use in my wreaths. I also love looking through home décor magazines, blogs, and Pinterest to see what styles customers are liking.
What do you love most about wreath-making?
I love the opportunity to bring together so many different materials and colors to create a piece of art that can make such a large impact on someone’s home. It’s a great, warm, personal way to welcome friends and family to your home.
Tell us about the process of making a handcrafted wreath.
For sourcing my materials, I work with several wholesale distributors, but I also purchase from big-box craft stores like Michaels, JOANN’s, and Hobby Lobby. Quality material is my top priority, so that’s what I look for first and foremost. I handle all aspects of my shop from initial design, listing, and marketing to sourcing material, shipping, and financing. On average, a single wreath takes 30-60 minutes to make, depending on the style—but that’s before the shipping process.
What sets your wreaths apart from ones that customers can buy elsewhere?
I think the difference is in the eye of the beholder. Everyone has their own taste and style; however, I think the quality of my materials and unique, hand-placed designs set my wreaths apart from department store styles.
Do you have a team that works with you?
I work alone for quality-control reasons. I want to have control at the moment, but maybe in the future I’ll add more people to the team. I do depend on my husband, parents, friends, and preschool to help with the kids. That way, I can get supplies together and orders done. It takes a village.
How do you go above and beyond for your customers?
I would not be where I am now without the support of my customers. The positive reviews mean a lot to a growing business, so I make sure to communicate with my customers throughout the entire process. I’m also very quick on my response time. From quality control and handwritten thank-you cards to using tissue paper and having really beautiful packaging, I want their experience at Style the Seasons to be one to remember.
Do you have any tips for women who want to start their own business?
Do your research and be ready to go all in, regardless of what you’re planning to sell and where you’re planning to sell it. Work and consistency are key to see success in any business. Going into it, I heard three years was the magic number to see consistent revenue growth. To the month, that was true for me as well. Do not give up. It takes time.
What about now? What can customers expect this winter and early 2020?
I’m working on some exciting holiday styles. I also want to grow in more of an organic direction, so I’m really excited to try out some new styles for the holiday season and spring of 2020. I’m hoping to incorporate a lot of greenery and flowy designs. I want it to look really loose and natural.