Tahoe Engaged recently had the pleasure of speaking with Emily Williams, Owner of Manzanita Glow, a company that rents natural arches, trees, centerpieces and other visually pleasing structures for weddings in the Lake Tahoe area.
Emily had the best of both worlds growing up, as she was raised on both the West Coast and East Coast. In fact, she attributes her interpersonal skills to being a “military brat.” Being thrown into new environments and having to make friends each time, those frequent moves helped Emily to develop a more outgoing personality, which has helped her to create wonderful relationships with her clients and other wedding industry colleagues.
She began her professional career as a hair stylist after receiving her cosmetology license. Following many successful years in that field, Emily wanted to transfer her artist talents into the great outdoors. But she wasn’t quite sure how to make that happen, so she enrolled in an entrepreneurship class at the University of Nevada Reno. At about the same time, her daughter became engaged to be married. So entrepreneurial Emily decided to design the centerpieces for her daughter’s wedding, using manzanita branches. Emily discovered that she not only loved this work, but she realized that it could be a unique service to help other couples elevate their special day.
Emily decided to name her company Manzanita Glow, which refers not only to the kinds of branches and lights she uses in her designs, but also the exceptional service she brings to each and every client she serves. Emily cares deeply about the sound structure of her finished artistic creations. Of course, Emily has trade secrets and couldn’t share everything with us. But you can rest assured that every branch engineered so that even if you were on the highest peak in Lake Tahoe with high winds, “it’s not going to fly off the mountain!” says Emily.
In addition to manzanita branches, Emily also loves to work with birch and aspen branches. Because she works with branches, people often assume that she is also a florist, which is not the case! Instead, Emily partners with many florists to create the gorgeous finished products of both branches and florals.
There are three expressive words that Emily uses to describe her work: Natural, Ambiance and Anywhere. She explains, “Natural, because we strive to surround events with the beauty of nature by using natural products that are sustainable. I love Ambiance – the lights, the whole theater that is created to transform the space, it speaks to my soul. Anywhere – because I can set up my creations anywhere – lakefront, mountains, you name it! Those three words really define my creativity!”
When we asked Emily about her sources of inspiration or influences on her work, she replied, “I’m a very visual and tactile person. I love complementing and contrasting textures, lines, shapes, and colors. I find it immensely important to listen to the client, understand what their vision is, and match that to my own styles.”
We wrapped up our interview by asking Emily what advice she had for couples planning their wedding: “The best advice I’ve given is to not work with any vendors who you wouldn’t like as guests. Planning your wedding should be as enjoyable as the day itself, so don’t invite anyone into the process who would change that.”