We were lucky enough to shoot our latest lookbook with professional adventurer, art director, florist, wardrobe, and photoshoot stylist, Rachael Lunghi. Whether it’s a wedding, event, or photo shoot, Rachael always manages to lend her beautifully unique aesthetic to everything she touches. Her latest venture, @bearbitchmanor is something we’re super excited to see come together. Read on to learn more about everything Rachael’s got goin’ on now.
We love the location of this shoot - Can you tell us more about @bearbitchmanor
Yay! Me too. My mama and I went up to Big Bear to start a new Christmas tradition this last year. We absolutely fell in love with it and were immediately on the hunt for a property to buy together to make into a vacation rental. We wanted something we could share with others, but also a space we could live in each year around the holidays. The house is a kit home/cabin originally built in 1976. It has wood paneled walls, a stove fireplace, a rustic kitchen, raised beds, fruit trees, and a chicken coop. Basically everything about it screams cozy cabin in the woods! Before we even drove up there to look at properties, I knew it was my favorite just from the images. And then when I walked in, that was it. I didn’t even want to see anything else on our list.
It seems like you’re always on-the-go! What made you choose to buy a house and renovate it in Big Bear?
I feel most connected to the mountains/forest/countryside, so it was a pretty easy choice for me! Plus, looking for cabins/yurts/magical vacation rentals in the woods is one of my favorite past times, so I was so excited to get to have one of my own!
You manage to balance so many different creative endeavors. How did you get involved with all the things you do?
Oh goodness, sometimes I don't even know! I honestly love so many creative avenues that I think they've just kind of fallen into my lap and then I've tried the ones I'm most excited about. I feel that interior design, floral, event styling, fashion styling, etc. all kind of tie together. I hope that my aesthetic shows throughout all of the things I'm a part of. They make up all the bits of my heart, I guess.
How did you get your start into your businesses?
Once upon a time when I was really young, I got married to my college sweetheart. Although that didn't end up working out (all for the best!) I did learn that I loved styling events/weddings. I had a blog beforehand that highlighted our wedding planning process and it had a pretty good following. Our timing was pretty great too because that's when Pinterest and wedding blogs were blowing up. Our wedding got featured all over the place and our video went viral. The wedding became my business card and people started reaching out to me about helping them with their weddings.
From there, the floral side of things came about very organically. Most of my clients just asked me to do them and I tried (sometimes not so beautifully) and learned by doing. I practiced more and more and realized how much I loved it. Then I decided to focus that creative energy into its own business as well and @sirenfloralco was born.
The blog has always been my place to share my travels, florals, events, fashion, all of it. I think it sums up all the things I do in one cohesive place and I hope to continue to build that side of things!
Whenever people ask me this question, I tell them to just try some things, be honest with yourself about what's working and what's not, and follow your heart. What drives me isn't necessarily making the most money or being at a certain level of anything. I just want to do things that I love with people I love and hopefully live a beautiful life that makes me happy. It's bigger picture stuff. I just try to let go and follow the road as it takes me.
How do you balance so many projects?
With help! I have an amazing assistant who helps me with in-office elements. And I am working on filling the roles of blog manager (L&L) and social media manager for @bearbitchmanor. I also have my dreamboat of an accountant//business consultant Samantha of Little Petunia Consulting who helps me with all of the in-betweens. I'm also a crazy list maker-if I didn't write it all down, I'd lose it.
What keeps you inspired?
Traveling! I feel like the more places I see, the more refreshed I feel. There are so many experiences and cultures that inspire my designs, fashion, and floristry.
Of all the things you do, what are you most passionate about?
Flowers, hands down.
This is our second lookbook we have done with you and Taryn. How did you all meet and what’s the vibe like on the shoots?
We love working with you ladies!! And I think from our first shoot together, we were able to gauge more of your vibe/style. Our goal when working with clients is to make sure it's on brand for them, along with throwing our creativity into it :)
What tunes are you currently listening to?
Tegan and Sara everything
"Love that Woman"- Sean Hayes
What are your favorite pieces from the collection?
The Lola Top, Hepburn Pant, Femme Dress, and Honey Tee. I love everything though!
What are your favorite things to do when you're not working?
Hike, walk my pups, eat out, garden, read, arrange flowers just for fun/me.
Favorite project thus far?
That's so tough! I loved the whole southwest project I did with Jules and Taryn. The last two weddings I did as @sirenfloralco have got me really excited for the rest of the summer/fall. One of my all time favorite weddings we styled will be featured soon on GWS (green wedding shoes) And I can't wait to share more of the shoot we just did for you babes! Plus the house is coming together which I couldn’t be more excited about.
Which influencers do you love following?
I love @cosmic.american and her cute little daughter and life in Joshua Tree! She's so genuine and their life in the desert looks amazing.
@teamwoodnote because she's honest and raw and her colors and photos are amazing. Plus, her travel roster is nuts - she's even been to Antarctica.
Want to know more about what Rachael does? Head on over to blog or her Instagram. And while you’re at it, be sure to shop our latest lookbook, starring Rachael, here.