“Floral, event and art design. Teach yoga by day. Dinosaur by night. ” As soon as I real Natalie Gill’s Instagram profile, I knew she’d be a good fit for this series. What I didn’t know is that she teaches yoga at my studio, and—wait for it—I’ve been to some of her classes and had no idea yogi Natalie was the same Natalie of Native Poppy, a floral and event design company with a wild and natural aesthetic.
What a cool, serendipitous surprise, no? And I had no idea this talented, petite gal was chock full of so many thoughtful and unique rituals, like morning yoga practice in a garage, former training in the San Francisco Ballet and beautiful floral arrangement made with dead flowers found outside an auto mechanic’s shop. Yes, really!
Let’s get to know her!
Name: Natalie Gill
Hometown: San Francisco, CA
Current City: San Diego, CA
Professional title: Floral and Event Designer, Artist & Yoga Teacher
The most important thing I do every day is my morning yoga practice. I wake up at 5am, and if I’m good only hit snooze once. I make some coffee, feed my pet rabbit, and head out the door by 6am. I make it to my tiny yoga studio, located in the garage of my teacher’s house, and a small group of us dedicated yogis enter into what we can only joke about as being the yoga equivalent of fight club. It is truly the most challenging and rewarding form of physical activity I have ever done (and at one point I was a ballerina at the San Francisco Ballet School). Ashtanga yoga forces me to face my fears, constantly trying to improve my abilities, and push the boundaries of what I or my body feels capable of doing.
Unwinding on the sailboat.
My boyfriend lives on a sailboat, and it is one of my favorite places to unwind and recharge my creative energy. As the sun sets we drink wine, he cooks dinner on his tiny stove, we eat together with two forks out of one pan. We listen to music and enjoy the gentle rocking of the waves. Being on the ocean is good for your soul; it’s quiet and meditative and allows for deep philosophical introspection.
My absolute ideal way to spend an afternoon alone is to make a flower arrangement from only foraged flowers. I put on my headphones, pick an awesome podcast (I like The Moth, and TED talks), I grab my clippers and go for a walk around my neighborhood. San Diego may feel like it doesn’t have seasons, but when you take the time to really examine the plants around you, notice the cacti flowering, interesting seed pods appearing, you can feel the shifts in seasons. They are subtle but absolutely real and unique. This past summer I did a wedding where I used dead passion fruit flowers, which look like incredible metallic spirals, in the boutineers. I would never have found that if I didn’t take the time to really notice the vine growing over the back fence of the auto mechanic shop down the street.
Thanks, Natalie! If you’re interested in learning a floral thing or two from Natalie (and munch on some brunch), check out the class she’s hosting with The Library Shop on October 25.
Happy weekend to all!