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MICHELLE WEDDLE

OWNER, DESIGNER, MAKER

 
 

Waterstone Succulents is a line of handmade succulent sculptures with interchangeable planters, created by artist and designer Michelle Weddle.  After receiving degrees in Creative Advertising and Studio Art from the University of Texas at Austin in 2007, she began work as a floral designer. This is where she discovered succulents for the first time. Like most, she immediately fell in love with their forms, but became truly fascinated with the tenacious, inventive, and beautiful ways succulents in the mid-continental US and elsewhere have adapted to the extreme environments in which they now thrive. "They are one of many examples in nature where a species gloriously overcomes tremendous odds." It would take another three years, however, for the idea of 'Waterstone Succulents' to begin to surface. 

As a designer, her love and appreciation for the sculptural, symmetrical, even geometric silhouettes of these beautiful plants inspired her to create a method of capturing them in their peak condition. 

"From the beginning, I wanted to create something entirely new that wouldn’t suffer by comparison to the live plants. I faced many obstacles along the way, problem solving one by one until the final product was achieved. I believe it’s the pristine whites, luminous metallics and playful pastels that set these apart. As soon as I began applying paint, I said to myself ‘Ooo… now you have something.’" 

Waterstone Succulents were first launched as an etsy shop in May of 2012. ( Etsy is a global marketplace for anything handmade or vintage boasting upwards of 1.8 million sellers). Sales took off within the first 48 hours of the 60+ original designs being listed in the shop.  Within one month, the Etsy staff had featured a Waterstone Succulent on their Facebook page and scheduled a homepage feature. Six weeks later, Real Simple Magazine announced their intention to feature them in their December Issue Gift Guide for Women. In March of 2013, they made it to the pages of Southern Living Magazine. Later that year, they appeared in an Australian Fashion Magazine representing Etsy as the Editor In Chief's favorite online shopping destination, and were featured on numerous popular blogs.

They were one of the first products selected for the Houzz.com marketplace launch in the fall of 2014 which now boasts an impressive selection of over 5 million products and materials to choose from to help you decorate and design your home. Waterstone Succulents has since been categorized as a 'Top Seller.' In the summer of 2015,  Waterstone Succulents was featured in a Master Bedroom makeover for a lucky viewer of The Ellen Degeneres Show.

Most recently, in the summer of 2017, some Waterstone Succulents were selected for inclusion by Mila Kunas and a Houzz.com designer for the remodel of her parents Los Angeles condo in a segment titled 'My Houzz with Mila Kunis.' 

Other notable achievements include selection for the launch of West Elm's Local collection in Denver in early 2015, where they have retained a steady presence ever since. (West Elm is national chain and subsidiary of William's Sonoma Inc. offering both modern and contemporary furniture and home decor). Also in early 2015, Michelle refined the production process in a number of ways, resulting in crisper detail and more brilliant finishes. 

She has continued to evolve the line by traveling around the US to find new and unusual species to incorporate in a variety of sizes, designed and produced many new planters, and in 2017 began tinting the succulents with new dreamy pastel tones. 

In 2016 Michelle designed and produced beautiful new print material with plans to introduce a line of stationary, and by early 2017 she had personally designed and produced gorgeous retail packaging that doubles as a sleek gift box. 

Waterstone Succulents are now available to qualifying retailers in 39 of the most popular shape and color combinations and are selling in boutiques and art museum gift shops around the United States. 

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As soon as I began applying paint, I said to myself, 'Ooo.. now you have something.'

 

With a background in painting 

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"I wanted to create something entirely new..."

 

 

In early 2015 they were

 West Elm, Denver Collection Spring 2017

West Elm, Denver Collection Spring 2017

In May of 2015 I introduced a new method of production to refine the end product, and have since designed beautiful retail packaging that doubles as a sleek gift box, created new planters, and traveled around the US finding new and unusual species to incorporate.

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"...dreamy new pastel tones." 

I now offer close to 40 variations on the three most popular succulent designs to retailers and am excited to start growing more wholesale relationships. I’m proud to say that I still personally make every single item lovingly by hand in the United States.