When I came to New Mexico that was mine. As soon as I saw it, that was my country. I’d never seen anything like it before, but it fitted me exactly.
- Georgia O’Keefe
Meet the Founder
Wallflower’s story begins with its founder, Catherine Semrod.
An Oklahoman by birth, Cathy grew up outdoors, revelling in the wonder and mystery of the Great Plains. Then she attended college against the backdrop of lower Manhattan where the clean lines of New York City were joyfully interrupted by green space, visual art and trend-setting design. Urbanity caught her gaze. Along the way her passion for books and the written word drove her to become an English teacher.
In the end though, the earth won. She studied permaculture gardening techniques and got into landscaping as a livelihood. During a swing back through her home state, she was inspired to open an urban haven dedicated to her passions: gardening, design, literature all in service to unifying living between the thresholds of outdoor and indoor.
Wallflower was born on the streets of Oklahoma City.
But the earth wasn’t done.
Cathy found herself drawn to New Mexico and its Sangre de Cristo Mountains. It was a knowing that gifted her with a vision: Wallflower needed to be in Santa Fe, where its unique alchemy of the ancient, the urbane, art, ritual, maximizing earth’s gifts and a terrain unlike any other distilled and focused her passion.
She moved it and honed Wallflower into the source of a full blown aesthetic: Southwest Urban.
Southwest Urban represents a balance of earth-centered living, metropolitan sophistication, modern New Mexican artistry and ancient ritual. It’s about unifying the living environment, giving everyone access to a natural beauty that connects them with nature - inside and out.
Therefore, Southwest Urban is an aesthetic and a lifestyle, but it’s also a call to action and mindfulness bell. It beckons you to appreciate your time on earth. It says, “Go play outside! Be in nature. Enjoy nature. Be humans in nature, and all the while, honor the life around you. See it. Nurture it. Do it in style and joy and comfort. Yet as you do so, notice the bird peering at you through the shrub. Take note of the thousands of species of bees that are pollinating your herb garden or the ants who are spreading nutrients in the soils. Wonder at the simple dandelion.”
In this way, Southwest Urban requires you to engage with nature and bring it inside. By unifying the garden, life outdoors and life inside, life’s journey becomes a joyful, affirming experience. Importantly, it opens you up to experiencing true joy while celebrating your humanity. Gardening, playing games, lolling in a hammock, entertaining and serving guests -- when done with presence and intentionality - become rituals borne of life, the earth and pure joy. It makes your life sacred and passes that sacredness on to others in meaningful ways.
As the source of Southwest Urban, Wallflower seeks to make this a reality for you -- through our products, resources and service. Want to learn more or want to create your own design language based on it? Contact us.