Getting to Know Julie Pointer, Author of Wabi-Sabi Welcome

Written by Kettle Brine

Julie Pointer shines light on the style of wabi-sabi, a Japanese concept that highlights the beauty of natural imperfection and a life of chosen simplicity, in her newly released book, Wabi-Sabi Welcome. Thumbing through the pages of her book, we are struck with her warmth and comforting quality, grounded in a deep sensitivity to her environment and surroundings, as well as her desire to bring people together in a meaningful way. Needless to say, we've found a kindred spirit in Julie. 

Having previously worked for Kinfolk Magazine as a writer, stylist and producer, Julie also created their international dinner and events series, prior to opening her own floral studio with her husband in Santa Barbara called Olivetta Flowers and Foliage. As followers and fans of her work, we asked her a few questions to get to know her better.  

wabi-sabi decorIf you had one word to describe yourself, what would it be?

Observant —being an extremely visual person who processes things internally, I am constantly watching, noticing, and listening to everything around me.

Who is nearest and dearest to you, and what word would they use to describe you?

My best friend and now husband, Ryan, always describes me as balanced.  

wabi-sabi welcome

What was the first moment that drew you to this concept of wabi-sabi?

I think it was when a graduate professor of mine described something I had made as having a wabi-sabi aesthetic. Once I understood what the term meant and embodied, I realized it was the version of beauty and way of life I had been drawn towards ever since I could remember. 

olivetta flowers julie pointer

Why do you choose flowers as a creative medium?

Flowers are just one of the many ways that I can create some kind of beauty and order out of chaos—which is a process I am constantly repeating whether it’s through arranging flowers, arranging a room, composing a photograph, or so on. Flowers are a medium that brings everyone joy; they’re not practical or necessary for everyday life, but somehow having them in our lives can create little moments of beauty and calm. I love creating something that can foster those moments for other people.  

wabi-sabi ceramics

Describe a day in your life?

Honestly, every day looks fairly different for me, but on a busy flower day (like today), I always start with some quiet in the mornings; usually breakfast and coffee and emails. I’ll sneak in a little reading or journaling if I’m lucky. Then I head to the flower market and pick out everything I need for my arrangements. Home for processing everything (cleaning, trimming, etc.) since I work out of my backyard (perks of living in a Mediterranean climate), and then I’ll spend the whole day preparing my various orders. Sometimes I’ll also hit the afternoon farmer’s market for additional flowers or foliage, or head into the backroads of Santa Barbara to do some wild foraging. Usually a walk with Ryan when he gets home, make dinner together, then take it easy for the evening! We live a pretty mellow life. 

wabi-sabi design

What brings you back to center?

Quiet times of solitude and reading, contemplation, and written thoughts/prayer. These are the moments that always calm me and remind me of who and where and what  I am—but they don’t happen often often. Also, being in nature can have this same effect if I’m being attentive enough. 


Check out Julie's Friends, Food and Flowers event happening at the store on June 25, 2017. The workshop starts at 4 pm with an open reception to follow at 5 pm. 


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