Linda Walser has loved flowers for as long as she can remember, and she’s been cutting them for bouquets in her home since she was a child. Now Walser, who was born and raised in Chico and attended Chico State, is putting her fondness for all things floral to work for her. Walser is a sales, marketing, and business-development specialist at Salvagno’s Event Planning and Floral Design in Orland. In her off time, however, she decided to start her own business, Simple Elegance, that offers foliage designs that sometimes have a Mediterranean, Tuscan or rustic theme. She is quickly gaining customers, making wreaths, garlands, swags and other foliage pieces for a variety of events. On a recent sunny afternoon, she stood at a patio table outside Bidwell Perk, fashioning a whimsical garland to festoon the entrance. “I’m often just inspired by foliage or greenery that I find,” she says. Contact Walser at 342-2474 or 518-7294.
How did you get your start in foliage design?
I had always decorated for parties, particularly for Christmas, creating wreaths, garlands and swags, and that parlayed into other things. I’ve done a lot of storefront design for places such as Red Tavern and other dining establishments. Fresh-foliage storefront design is a niche area I’m pursuing. It’s my own passion.
What do you do at Christmas now?
Last year, I showcased Christmas wreaths and garlands in front of Nancy Lindahl’s Zucchini & Vine in downtown Chico. I’ll do that again this year.
What happens when potential customers contact you?
My approach is to bring in a fresh design and talk with them about what they want and what I envision. At Bidwell Perk, we started with a Mediterranean/Tuscan swag—olive branches, cumquats, oranges, lemons, grapes and grape leaves, and later, fresh foliage with berries, different vines and an integration of ivies.
Where do you get your supplies?
My greenery and foliage supplies are resourced from business contacts developed as far north as Forest Ranch and as far south as Oroville. I also grow greenery in both Oroville and Chico. On edibles, most come from farms or ranches where I have brokered resources and opportunities.
Where do you get your inspiration?
My inspiration comes from the simple fact I love to forage and develop rustic, elegant foliage designs and bring a different concept to the forefront for people to utilize. I have definitely created a unique, refreshingly new niche. Greenery designs are my passion and have been well received.