Cameo: Laurel St. Romain
Welcome to 'Cameos' a series featuring a lovely cast of characters from around the globe and across creative disciplines. We’ll try to keep it curious, with questions that range from cheeky to inspiring.
Since it's a Cameo, we’ll always ask our subjects to share something that is precious to them. As a jewelry designer, I think of all things as vessels for meaning. But true to life, precious does not always mean fancy. It's all in the energy and the story.
Meet Laurel St. Romain!
Simply stated- this is a Cameo of an incredibly special, doe-eyed faery creature with a wonderful way about her–a way of lightness, beauty and delicacy. When I met Laurel she was making exquisite hats (many moons ago!), and her current passion- @deadflowers– is equally innovative and inspiring. Her floral installations employ paper flowers and dried botanicals to magical affect. She’s also a new mother to one magical child I’m endlessly inspired by her creativity, kindness, quiet strength…and, well, I am pleased as punch to share her Cameo Q+A with you!
ALSO her beautiful installations alight in both LA and NY store- including one delightful caterpillar made of blooms in each location as a emblem of NEW BEGINNINGS.
WHAT’S YOUR CURRENT USE OF COLOR?
I have been inspired by spice colors lately – colors like nutmeg, cinnamon, paprika…but then mixed with shell, macrame, terra cotta, and warm pinks and soft browns.
FIRST FAVORITE MAGAZINE (AS IN FROM THE TEEN OR TWEEN YEARS)?
SEVENTEEN!!!! I remember convincing my mom I was “ready” for it, whatever that means! I can also vividly remember the feeling I got when I opened the mailbox and saw it stuffed inside…like “your escape awaits.”
WHAT SUPERPOWER DOES YOUR MOTHER HAVE?
My mother has many, she’s a true super hero who raised my brother and I by herself through loads of her own grief, without ever once letting us feel the burden BUT on a lighter note, she did have one rather funny superpower. There would be days when I would crave this concoction of cornflakes, peanut butter, and chocolate…it was sort of like a Rice Krispie treat in consistency and appearance. Whenever I craved it, she somehow knew and they would be waiting for me when I got home. Never once did I have to ask for them, they were just always there when I needed them, kind of like her.
WHAT SUPERPOWER DO YOU HAVE AS A MOTHER?
Some days I feel like I’ve done the most amazing job being a mother, and other days I feel like I’ve completely failed. To be a mother is like that – euphoric and heartbreaking. I’d say my superpower is in a way similar to my mother’s. I am parenting through grief and trauma and hoping I can do half as well as she did.
IF YOUR DAUGHTER WERE A GEMSTONE, WHICH WOULD SHE BE AND WHY?
Without a doubt she’s a diamond, now keep in mind I have no idea what the meaning of a diamond is, however, from what I know about them, and from what I know about her, it’s a perfect fit. Diamonds are these gorgeous presentations of pressed carbon. Doesn’t it take something like a billion years to make a diamond? Now that’s patience!
My daughter Tallulah has never had it easy. She came into the world early and ill-prepared. She stayed in the NICU for 92 days, and at age two is in more physical therapy than anyone I know! She works so incredibly hard to achieve milestones that most parents wouldn’t bat an eye at. She came from this extreme pressure as a helpless baby in an incubator and emerged this insanely strong, resilient, beautiful toddler who is full of life and light.
WHAT SCENT IS TOPPING YOUR GOOD FEELS FRAGRANCE LIST?
I have a frankincense roller that I carry with me almost everywhere. I put it on Tallulah and I throughout the day. Something about that smell just makes me feel centered. And I’m pretty sure as a bonus it’s also good for your skin!
WHAT FLAVOR BRINGS YOU JOY?
Malden smoked sea salt. I put it on everything and can eat crystals of it plain. I also snack on cherry tomatoes dipped in Malden throughout the day! I also really like it in yogurt with granola. It honestly goes on most things I eat.
WHAT IS SOMETHING IMPORTANT THAT YOUR CHILD HAS TAUGHT YOU?
She’s an incredible teacher, which is an unfair label to put on a child, but so often they are our greatest educators. I guess the most important thing she’s taught me is how to advocate – both for her and for myself. I was never the type to speak up in uncomfortable situations, and when her life depended on it I found that courage and stepped into that power.
“To be a mother is like that - euphoric & heartbreaking.”
IF YOUR HOUSE PLANTS COULD TALK, WHAT WOULD THEY HAVE SAID TO YOU TODAY?
“Thank you for keeping us very much alive and thriving, for not being afraid to prune us, and for not forgetting about us after the baby was born. Thank you for teaching said baby that we ‘are alive’ and to be gentle with us, and most importantly thank you for leaving us happy music to listen to while you’re away”. I guess I think my plants would think highly of me. I play Bob Marley and Plantasia for them pretty much daily, and I’ve had most of them for many years now! Those all have names.
YOUR #1 KARAOKE SONG?
It’s not a popular one, but its SUPER fun to sing, especially with a group, double especially if everyone is making up their own words – Bigmouth Strikes Again by The Smiths.
IS THERE AN IG YOU’RE FOLLOWING THAT CONSISTENTLY MAKES YOU LAUGH OR SMILE?
YES! @jeffsheltonarchitect Talk about dream homes…I love dreaming about homes. I have been manifesting homes all over the world, only, I’m still here renting in Brooklyn.
WHAT ARE YOU READING RIGHT NOW?
The last thing I read was a book on plant dyes, but I haven’t had an opportunity to read more than emails and bills.
WHAT’S KEEPING YOUR EYEBALLS FULL OF INSPIRATION?
SPRING! Every time I walk outside it’s incredible to see the transformation happening. Daffodils came and are on the way out, tulips are in full bloom, trees are blossoming, the Japanese maple is coming back, green ivy is creeping up the brick brownstones….it’s truly something to behold after such an excruciating winter.
WHEN NO ONE IS LOOKING, WHAT ARE YOU EATING?
My daughter is on a medical diet and can’t have sugar, so I usually sneak my sugar when she’s asleep, but it’s usually dark chocolate or something. I’m not that much of a sweets person thankfully. I do sneak cuts of raw fish like tuna and salmon while I’m cooking it and no ones looking.
I ASK ALL MY FRIENDS TO SHARE SOMETHING THAT IS PRECIOUS TO THEM. WHAT’S THE OBJECT? HOW DID THIS COME TO BE PRECIOUS TO YOU?
For me, this object is easily BINGO. BINGO is a stuffed dog I have had since I was a baby. In fact, it’s so old that it’s filled with sawdust, and has contorted over time to look more like a sheep than a dog. BINGO has been all over the world with me, to this day I still have to travel with him. He’s been all over the US, to various parts of Japan, Italy and Mexico, Paris, London, Toronto, Barcelona, and Cuba… I’m sure I’m missing somewhere.
When I’m anxious I turn BINGO upside down and listen to the sawdust run from his legs to his head. BINGO now watches over Tallulah in her bed. She’s not as attached as id want her to be, but that’s kids for you! You have all these plans for them and they just do their own thing!
Before we go, a quick Ad Libs with our Cameo guest!
‘If I could teleport myself, I’d go to Kyoto.’
‘The one song that brings me joy right now is Alice Coltrane’s version of “Govinda Jai Jai”.’
‘My favorite road trip highlight is: so cheesy but driving through Roswell from Santa Fe to Marfa. I LOVE ALIENS. We stopped at the museum and it was SO BAD and SO GOOD at the same time. I had dreams to take over as curator, but I’m underqualified..’