A Whimsical Mother’s Day

Published 7:04 am Sunday, May 8, 2022

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Mothers are a piece to our puzzle growing up that leaves such an imprint on who we are and who we become. Every turn I’ve taken in my professional career has shown me something new that my mom taught me along the way. Whether telling stories of our area or arranging flowers for visitors to enjoy, I know that my mom’s influence to present things in their best light comes through time and time again.

For Olivia Pate, she can easily and glowingly say the same about her mother, Sue Pate. Together they have crafted the land of Olivina on Main Street in Downtown Natchez. Olivia took some time to tell me about her special bond with her “SuSu” and what impact she has on their whimsical world.

“Olivina is a land of one’s most pure imagination,” Olivia shared. “It’s a land that couldn’t possibly be in Natchez, Mississippi, because once you walk through those doors you are instantly transported and swirled above the clouds into a world filled with the most beautiful colors and treasures from all around the world. It’s a land where Neverland meets Candyland. It’s where Wonderland meets Oz and any other whimsical land that resides within you. Olivina, in essence, is all of me and SuSu’s most favorite things in one place.”

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Working alongside her mom, Olivia continues to learn from her mom’s expertise in home design. “I can say that SuSu has for sure taught me how to decorate without really ‘teaching’ me to decorate,” she said. “Growing up, I would always go with her on jobs to client’s homes; and I didn’t know it at the time, but every single thing she did, every placement of an accessory, or every tweak of a flower in an arrangement I took note of subconsciously and that has without a doubt come through in most everything I do at Olivina. When I’m puzzled about the placement of a certain display I will think to myself, ‘What would SuSu do?’ Instantly my imagination ignites, and the answer presents itself. She has taught me to create in a way that is unique and imaginative but ultimately aesthetically pleasing to the eye.”

What better way to spend each day than with someone who knows how to challenge you each day and teach you a thing or two? Olivia added, “My day-to-day workings with SuSu are, without a doubt, the most joyous and memorable days that I will forever cherish for the rest of my life. I always get to the shop first; but when I see her cute little self walk through the door, my heart truly smiles. Whether we are unpacking giant sugar plum fairies or unicorns and hanging them from the ceiling to creating enchanting window displays to hysterically laughing because something funny happened, I can truly say that we just have fun. We get to create. We get to meet amazing people – many of whom we have developed everlasting friendships with.

“I love the memories that we create every single day. Memories that are more meaningful now especially with the recent loss of my Dad, Mac Pate. We are doing what we love, and we are doing it together. Working with SuSu is something I could never have imagined doing if you would have asked me 5 years ago. And working with SuSu is now something I could never imagine not doing.”