Spending time outdoors while growing up in south texas is where Shane Friesenhahn first cultivated ideas for his floral designs. “Exploring nature and wondering about its story is the inspiration of my work,” he says. Today, the founder of The Botanical Mix and his team of designers create stunning floral arrangements and sculptures for The Thompson, Four Seasons Las Colinas, and other hotels—as well as luxury weddings and events. They complete roughly 100 designs per week, using thousands of plants to create their art.
Friesenhahn began designing floral arrangements as decorations for his mother’s parties more than 25 years ago. “It became something I really loved and something I knew I had to do,” he recalls. Entirely self-taught, he opened a design studio in Plano in the early 2000s and, after several years of doubling and tripling revenue, moved to Dallas Market Center in 2015. “I knew my business was not going to die in Plano, but I also knew it was not going to thrive,” he says.
The pandemic only increased demand, as people sought new ways to boost their spirits and invested in home décor. “People were wanting uplifting designs to fill their spaces,” Friesenhahn says. Conversations with real estate developer Shawn Todd led him to open a shop at The Thompson downtown. It was there where he fulfilled Todd’s dream of a showstopping 55-foot holiday tree in the hotel’s Elm Street entrance, inspired by Annabel’s, a private club in London.
Friesenhahn says he especially enjoys working on intimate, high-style, romantic projects. “I do a moody look, then all of a sudden come in with a softness that is almost like the yin and yang,” he says. He sources some of his materials from Mars Hill in Ferris, which hires war refugees to grow its produce, flowers, and herbs.
Next up? Friesenhahn has recently expanded his marketing to millennials by creating experiences with his arrangements and launching an online subscription service. He also wants to set up a few Botanical Mix popups across the country. “It’s going to take a few more years,” he says. “First, I know I must get this ship really nailed down. I don’t want to go too fast, too soon.”