Creatives in Conversation: Margot Shaw, Editor-in-Chief of FLOWER Magazine
We are excited to launch a new blog series titled Creatives in Conversation! The mission behind this blog series is to introduce and celebrate fellow female creatives and entrepreneurs that also happen to be ExVoto clients.
Meet Margot Shaw.
I will not pretend here. I will always be honest with you and, honestly, it is somewhat intimidating to write about Margot Shaw. She is the founding editor of a national magazine and a published author! My writing is full of grammatical errors left, right and center! Thankfully, there is much more to Margot Shaw than her list of successful accomplishments. She is classy in every aspect of the word. She has accomplished much, yet remains gracious, kind, generous, joyful, deeply soulful, humble and thoughtful.
Margot Shaw is the founding editor of FLOWER magazine. FLOWER is full of beauty and, in my opinion, one of the most well executed magazines in the genre of home and garden. Flower is full of fascinating articles covering people, places, gardens, travel, art and design.
I first met Margot Shaw about five years ago in Charleston, South Carolina. She was the presenting speaker at the garden luncheon during the Antiques show for the Historic Charleston Foundation, and I was there with ExVoto as one of the pop up shops before the luncheon. We made the Birmingham connection and kept in touch. Margot is a lovely lady inside and out. She is one of ExVoto’s “cheerleaders,” as I say. Margot will stop by our Birmingham showroom for gifts, have a seat in one of our yellow silk chairs, and give me insight into the ExVoto brand that I had maybe never even seen before myself. She always has encouraging words for me pertaining to ExVoto and she enjoys telling the story of ExVoto to anyone who mentions the name. Like I said, she is one of my cheerleaders! I am so humbled and honored that she enjoys what I create.
Elizabeth: “What led you to start FLOWER?”
Margot: “A love of beauty, words and flowers. I studied art history and interior design. When you look at my life experiences, you can see I was really teed up for this. My parents moved our family to Europe when I was six years old and I lived there until I was eight. We traveled throughout Europe and I was old enough to absorb the culture. My mother was a wordsmith and very chic. My father knew more about French country furniture than most furniture experts. When my daughter got married, Sybil Sylvester was the floral designer for the wedding. At that point, I began to see flowers as art! I began an internship with Sybil that later became a paid position and I learned so much from that experience.”
Elizabeth: “What are your favorite parts of this job?:
Margot: “Every day is different. Every day I’m surrounded by beauty and I love the people.”
Elizabeth: “What is the most interesting story you have covered?”
Margot: “FLOWER featured a trip to Italy with Matthew Robbins, a floral and event designer out of New York. I was able to go along on this trip with him and a photographer was also in the group. With Matthew, the trip was very non-touristy. Our experience was a wonderful mix of high and low, in terms of hotels and restaurants, and that gave us more of a sense of the culture. We visited small boutiques and museums, had a cooking class in an ancient villa in Orvieto and toured a family owned olive oil manufacturer. We even visited the Ferragamo museum in Florence which I recommend. I knew I was seeing something really special that would not be available to me unless I was with him. We visited the gardens at the Vatican and other must-see locations as well, of course. To write about that trip first-hand was an amazing experience. It was difficult to edit actually, because there was so much rich content and not enough real estate in the magazine! I ended up making the article into a travel journal format with photographs included because there simply wasn’t enough room for the whole story.”
Elizabeth: “Where do you dream of taking FLOWER next?”
Margot: “Next is my book that is being published by Rizzoli and will be released in late March. It is a natural outgrowth of the magazine but it isn’t the end-game, for sure! I hope for more books. Living Floral is the title and it shows how different creatives live, entertain, and decorate with flowers. We were fortunate to be able to create the layout with our FLOWER magazine team.”
Elizabeth: “What would your advice be to a 20 year-old you if you could go back and talk to her?”
Margot: “Listen and pay attention to your life. What sparks you? Don’t feel you have to have it all figured out and planned out. Everything in your life builds on the thing before. Take all the internships that you can. You never know where it may lead you. I had an intern that later became our managing editor.”
Elizabeth: What are your favorite pieces of ExVoto?”
Margot: “I like to give the leather valet tray as gifts for men. And I really like that they can be monogrammed. I love the Affirmation Cuffs with inspiring words. I also like to give the Shield Earrings as gifts. I see the shield as a spiritual symbol of the shield of faith.”
To learn more about FLOWER click HERE!
Photos by Abby Norris.