By Olivia Tinsley
Our Crushing On series highlights Seattle designers, tastemakers, and off-the-beaten-path boutique owners to ask what chic coiffures, budding blogs, and local eateries are making them tick right now.
Kaleb Norman James first fell in love with wedding design at age 13 while helping out on his sister’s big day. Those nuptials led him to a gig carrying boxes for a friend’s event company (more grunt labor than glam, to be sure), and eventually into his own successful couture floral and event design biz.
With experience as a visual stylist for Nordstrom and a certification from the FlowerSchool New York under his belt, he is now an industry influencer with a hefty Pinterest following and a stunning portfolio.
Though Kaleb designs everything from ornate tablescapes to grand chandeliers, his favorite part of a wedding is simple and intimate. “Just after the bride is finished getting ready and before pictures start, I always make an effort to have a moment to present her with the bouquet. It often results in a gracious tear or two, and that moment it makes every late night worth it!”
Best Instagram feed? Jose Villa. His weddings are daily inspiration for me, and his work is flawless.
Who does your hair? Hair by Zigor
What item of clothing or accessory has been in heavy rotation this month? My Louis Vuitton keepall 65 goes with me everywhere. It can hold everything I need for the day, but isn’t obnoxiously large.
What item of clothing or accessory would you buy right now if you could? Low-top white Common Projects sneakers—they are the perfect all-white shoe for spring.
Favorite coffee shop or café? Zoka Coffee and Tea in Kirkland
Best restaurant you’ve tried lately? Staple and Fancy Mercantile in Ballard
Soundtrack for a Sunday afternoon? James Bay’s Chaos and the Calm
Seattleite you’d most like to meet? Chef Matt Dillon
Where’s your next travel destination? A trip to South Africa and Australia is in the works for a post wedding-season hiatus. Cage diving with sharks may or may not have made the agenda.