Intern, Assistant, Freelancer, Boss: Florist and Stylist Kathleen Varner on Forging a Career as a Creative Professional


Kathleen Varner, florist, graphic designer, and prop stylist in Birmingham, AL joins Carrie this week on The Localist. Kathleen and Carrie have been friends for years after working together at a publishing company, Southern Progress. Kathleen tells us what drew her to styling and what being on set is really like (not as glamorous as you might think!). Kathleen breaks down her journey from intern to freelancer, and how every job she’s had along the way has prepared her for what she’s doing now. Kathleen and Carrie talk about their experiences as assistants, how to hire someone for your wedding or other creative endeavor, and how to work with a creative to really bring your vision to life. Kathleen tells us how she prepared to go out on her own as a freelancer, and how she deals with the business side of things as a type A creative. Kathleen and Carrie wrap up with how the pandemic has affected Kathleen’s business, how she has pivoted, and a few key takeaways. 


Mentioned in this episode: 

@kathleen_varner on Instagram

Edna K. Design

Southern Living  

Southern Progress 

Mariee Ami

Neillie Butler of Mariee Ami on The Localist Podcast 

Hoffman Media


Carrigan’s Beer Garden

About Carrie

Carrie Rollwagen is host of the Localist podcast and cofounder of Church Street Coffee & Books. Currently, she works as Vice President of Strategic Planning at Infomedia, a web development company in Birmingham, Alabama. Find the Localist at @thinklocalist on Instagram and follow Carrie at @crollwagen.

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