CREATIVES: St. Simons Entrepreneurs to Watch Bryce Brock & Kelly Revels
St. Simons Islanders Kelly Revels and Bryce Brock own The Vine which is a landscape design, garden market and event design company. Their creativity and the way they celebrate unique and unusual flowers has always blown me away – I have been using them for sprucing up my planters and fresh flower arrangements for years. I love to bring them a magnificent but odd piece of majolica and see the work of art that comes home with me after their touch. But they are so much more than a floral shop. Their work is often the focal point, finishing touch or foundation of an event. Some of my favorite gardens and outdoor living spaces in our area were created with their discerning eyes. But of late, I am enjoying getting to know their business moxy. They work with the University of Georgia’s local Small Business Development Center for training and tools to grow their business. After attending The Southern C Summit in Charleston this spring, they are working with one of our presenters, Haile McCollum of Fontaine Maury, on their branding. I am on the lookout for what is coming next from these ladies. I know they will come out smelling like a rose!
Enjoy my recent visit with them …
How did The Vine come to be:
BB: After graduating from the University of Georgia with a bachelor in landscape architecture, I worked for Sea Island Company as the Landscape Director and found myself in charge of all of the Interior and Exterior Container Gardening as well as the Floral Design Department (in addition to landscape). I needed some major help wrapping my head around it and Kelly came on board to help. While we were diving into all of the details of all three lines of business we found a common thread to Landscape Design/Event Design/ Interior & Exterior Container Gardening. The concept of pulling git all together was born. It was not the right time for Sea Island to commit to our idea so with their blessing we decided to go out on our own. Thus, The Vine was born.
KR: After college, I started working for a Fortune 500 company in the throes of Corporate America. People who know me always get a big kick out of that. There is absolutely nothing corporate about me!! However, the skills I received from that time in my life are absolutely priceless. With the support of my husband, I was encouraged to find out who I really was and explore the creative side of what I truly thought I had to offer. After entertaining friends at a GA/FL party at my house (GO DAWGS!), one of whom was Bryce, she and I began conversations about the help she needed at Sea Island. I couldn’t believe she was going to actually pay me to do the work she described. Within days I was planting orchids, hydrangeas, ferns, moss and succulents in extravagant containers for The Cloister on Sea Island. I quickly caught on to and fell in love with the compositions behind high end container gardening. It was through that experience that Bryce and I started to realize how close the relationship between landscape design, container gardening and event design was and could warrant an actual business. And then…. came The Vine!
BB: Boxwoods (Atlanta), Scott Shrader Landscape Design (LA)
KR: Boxwoods (Atlanta), Terrain (PA), Revelry Event Design (LA), Mark’s Garden (LA)
#1 Skill/attribute needed to be an entrepreneur:
BB: There are a lot if things you need to be an entrepreneur: you need to be smart, have thick skin, have a great advisory board, love your bank, love your accountant, have a supportive family, make quick decisions, the list can go on and on. But the main thing you need is to be true to your self and others and always treat people with respect. Respect is the #1 skill. It will get you far within your company and with all of your relationships.
KR: Adaptation. To be an entrepreneur, you must be able to adapt and roll with the punches. There is always a fire to put out and there is always one to light up. Its how you adapt and keep your cool through those moments that allows you to stay motivated. In our business, Bryce and I may find ourselves in front of a fancy architect from NYC building a $10 million home or a bride who may be right out of college and in either situation we need to show them who we are as business owners and give them the same creative experience we strive so hard to show all of our clients.
BB: My Mom: She can do absolutely anything and has always given me the confidence that I can do anything I set my mind to. I started going to meetings with her as early as 3 or 4 so I learned from an early age what it was like to be a female in a working environment. Usually I have no fear until I get about 50% into a project!
My Husband: He is the calmest individual I have ever met. He teaches me to take a step back and look at every situation, even from points of view I am not interested in exploring! He has taught me to not get emotional about things until I have thought through the situation. Because of him I sleep a lot better at night!
KR: My Mom: My entire family is passionate about all things creative. One of the first times my husband was ever really around my family he said, “wow, you and your family really like to talk about gardening (he actually said ‘growing stuff’) and cooking.” Looking back on my childhood, he was right … we did spend a lot of time in the yard and in the kitchen, creating. I am from a very small town. We had no malls, movie theaters, fast food restaurants or anything like a larger city. So, we had to get creative. My mom quickly got me involved in theater, ballet and other types of creative expression. It gave me the confidence to speak in public and the appreciation for those who express themselves creatively.
My Husband: Although I was brought up knowing that making good decisions when given the choice was the right thing to do, my husband, Scott is dedicated to always making the right choice. You always have choices, right? So taking the time to do the right thing every time always ends the right way…. every time. He is one of the most honest, kind and considerate people I’ve ever known and he helps me to be that
kind of person.
BB: Instagram. Eye. Candy.
KR: Instagram!!! What an incredibly powerful tool!!! #ishouldpostmore
Most Used Emoji:
BB: Tie – wine glass and crying face (I have an almost 4-year-old and a 1-year-old in addition to the business)
KR: So it’s really hard for me to decide which one I use the most – either the praying hands or the wine glass. Or maybe I’m just praying for wine … it’s just really hard to say. In either case I think emojis may be one of the best things ever invented in the cell phone world. Who knew that one tiny little picture could say so much!?!
BB: “The minute you think you are irreplaceable, you become replaceable.” (from an old boss)
KR: “Your vibe attracts your tribe.” — we have such an amazing team of the coolest people that work here at The Vine. Each one of them is so creative and so special in his or her on way and bring something so authentic to the table. What’s more is that they are all really decent and wonderful people … maybe a little strange … but in that cool amazing way that we all want to be strange like them.
On my desk at home is this quote by the brilliant Simon T. Bailey: “In the future, the creative artists will inherit the earth and their brilliant artistry will influence the head, heart, and hands of everyday people.” @simontbailey
Biggest Risk that Paid Off:
BB: Convincing a long term client to let me install my landscape plan instead of bidding it out. I’ve been installing all of my designs since.
KR: The move! When we changed locations and did a build out of our current space it was very scary. The pay off and the exposure has been so rewarding, however.
BB: Kelly and I ended up having our second babies at the same time. Everyone thought we were nuts for it to happen that way. We felt like it was genius! Having a business partner is one of the biggest strengths of The Vine because we can equally share the responsibility, pressure, risk reward, etc … Since we were both out at the same time, neither of us had the additional pressure.
KR: People always ask Bryce and I how we do it? Well, I can’t begin to answer that question … other than to say that we have an entire village that supports us — both at work with our amazing team and at home with our families. What some people don’t get is how we sustain our friendship and our partnership in business. I think that it all comes down to the amount of respect that she and I share for each other. Hands down – I would honestly bet my life on it — that she is the most talented landscape designer I’ve ever known. I guarantee she would say the same for me … (well, she better! hah!).
BB: Eye of the Tiger, Survivor
KR: Boogie on Reggae Woman by Stevie Wonder – because no matter what and I seriously stand by this theory, if you hear that song, it WILL CHANGE YOUR MOOD. I strongly suggest putting the theory to test, FYI.
Favorite Book or Author:
BB: Honestly, I don’t have time to read. By the time I am able to open a book at night, I can’t keep my eyes open. I long for the day to be able to read. The last book I read was when my husband and I went camping in the Raven Fork last October and I read ‘Brain on Fire’ by Susannah Cahalan. My life consists of Traditional Home, Elle Decor, Lonny Blog, Veranda, Architectural Digest and The Skimm blog.
KR: Wonder why there are a lot of children’s books that are popping into my head right now (5-year-old and 1-year-old at home) I’ll likely pick up an actual novel sometime closer to 2020. The one thing I am obsessed with are cookbooks. I can read cookbooks like novels. My favorite cookbook authors are Virginia Willis and Libbie Summers. If you haven’t read The Whole Hog Cookbook (Summers), Sweet and Vicious (Summers), Basic to Brilliant, Y’all (Willis), or Bon Appetit, Y’all (Willis), then you are missing out. Libbie and Virginia are not only crazy talented, but they are hilarious and they LOVE the SOUTH, y’all!!!
BB: Crossfit, boating, shooting skeet, and drinking wine 🙂
KR: Crossfit, waterskiing (wish I could do more), boating, fishing with the family and I cherish the time I get to spend with my family and my girlfriends
BB: American Cancer Society and Hospice of the Golden Isles
KR: Hospice and American Cancer Society
What do you love about the Golden Isles:
BB: Saint Simons is a unique town. I have always felt that we are so lucky to live on the water (in a town that attracts a lot of tourists) that has such a strong sense of community. We depend highly on people here with second homes and the majority of those people dig their heels into being a part of our local culture and economy. I also love that I get to raise my children in such a magical place. Being able to load up the boat and spend the day over on Cumberland or head on over to Sapelo is priceless. I can’t imagine if I had that option growing up!
KR: To be able to jump on the golf cart with my husband and kids and go across the street to the beach is such a blessing. My son is in kindergarten and we live literally a block from the best elementary school on earth – (Go Super Dolphins!). I have seen this entire island swell around families in need on many occasions as well as cheer those on that have accomplishments. I feel so blessed that my kids will always call this special place home.
Photo by Kelli Boyd Photography
The Southern Coterie is a social network (tscoterie.wpengine.com) with events (thesoutherncsummit.com) that connects influencers, entrepreneurs and marketing professionals with an affinity for the South- the Makers and Doers.
Enjoy this series where we introduce you to Southern creatives we find inspiring-
- Nan Myers, Jay Ducote and Jane Pope Cooper
- TJ Callaway, Natalie Evans and Javacia Bowser
- Marquin Campbell
- Putt Weatherbee
- Jamie Meares
- Molly Jane Gravitt
- Ursula Reynolds
- Claire Bruce
- Ashley Schoenith
- Hillary Crittendon and Laura Martin
- Sarah Almond
- Louise Van Winkle Breen, Carrie Van Winkle Greener & Chenault Van Winkle James
- Tracy Blanchard
- Katherine Frankstone
- Kyla Cox
- Morgan Hutchinson
- Marion Blount and Leslie Chapman
- Elizabeth Joyce
- Julie Willis
- Sarah Elizabeth Dewey and Jolie Bensen
- Pamela Berger
- Jean Daniel
- Laura Vinroot Poole
- Deirdre Zahl
- Whitney O’Brien
- Rusty Heery
- TJ Callaway
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