Posts Tagged “floral designer”

Ariella Chezar Demonstration & Talk

Ariella Chezar at the Seattle Wholesale Grower's Market

 

If you’ve been following along with my personal flower journey, #alitheflorist, I’m happy to be back with some updates! It’s been a minute since my last post, but like I said before, this has been a slow journey. However, things are beginning to pick up little by little, and I’m excited to fill you all in! Over the past month, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in some really cool experiences that have reignited the floral spark and continue to help educate me and grow as a budding designer. This may take a few blog posts (I tend to be an over-sharer at times – hope you like reading!) so stay tuned for more #alitheflorist updates!

The first experience sent me on a Wednesday morning jaunt down to the Seattle Wholesale Grower’s Market to see the incredible Ariella Chezar speak and do a centerpiece demonstration. I first heard about this event after Slowflowers.com creator Debra Prinzing and I discovered that we lived about ten minutes away from each other, and with our newly formed business relationship as a sponsor of American Flowers Week, decided that we must obviously meet in person to discuss that and more over croissants and avocado toast. Well it turns out, with Debra’s passion for flowers and amazing ability to connect people within her large network of friends and colleagues, what I thought was just a casual advertising inquiry for Mayesh has turned into much more, as Debra has now begun to play a small role in my own personal journey. And that, my friends, is what is so cool about this community! The people you meet and the connections you make are so important, and I’m starting to learn that everyone is in this together. BUT I DIGRESS. Back to Ariella. The original point of that tangent was to give a little intro as to how I ended up at the Ariella Chezar talk, which Debra had invited me to over that delicious avocado toast (if you’re visiting Seattle, go try it here!)

 

Ariella Chezar at the Seattle Wholesale Grower's Market

Ariella Chezar at the Seattle Wholesale Grower's Market

 

So, the talk. The only other time I had been to the grower’s market was for Lisa Waud’s talk about the Detroit Flower House, so I was excited to have another opportunity to go down there and see Ariella in a cozy, intimate setting. It went down something like this: Ariella was mic’d up, and set to work designing her centerpiece. She explained the what’s and why’s as she worked (proportion, color, why this branch went here, that flower there…) as well as opened up the floor to answer any questions we might have, which varied from design to business to pricing. Watching her design was inspiring in itself, but I walked out of there most inspired by some of the things she said.

 

Ariella Chezar at the Seattle Wholesale Grower's Market

 

As a complete newcomer to the industry, and never having owned my own business, I truly appreciated Ariella’s willingness to talk about the side of things we don’t always discuss: making your business profitable. As creatives, we tend to let that side of our brains dictate the way we do business. However, just because we know an arrangement would be that much prettier with that extra peony, does not mean we should add that extra peony. I’m also in the phase of my journey in which 1) my Facebook newsfeed consists mainly of engagement photos, and 2) those engaged friends having begun noticing all my #flowergrams and are reaching out to me to do their weddings. It’s an awesome way to jumpstart one’s career, but I have to remind myself that the work I’ll be doing and the time that goes into it is valuable, and while doing favors for friends feels good, it also feels, no, IS, expensive. KNOW YOUR WORTH!

 

Ariella Chezar at the Seattle Wholesale Grower's Market

Ariella Chezar at the Seattle Wholesale Grower's Market

Ariella Chezar at the Seattle Wholesale Grower's Market

 

The other thing that stood out to me was in reference to trends, and how popular the whimsical garden style is right now. While this is technically a ‘trend,’ luckily for us it is a trend that is here to stay. To quote Ariella, and I’m paraphrasing here, “to those of us passionate about nature and plants, this is logical and natural and beautiful.” And that is so, so true; this lovely, wild style that incorporates more foliage than we’ve really seen before, is what Mother Nature intended for plants and flowers to be. I’m lucky enough to live in Seattle where, although the rain can be a drag at times, the rain also provides the most beautiful, overgrown, lush gardens. Walking my dog through Queen Anne is my favorite time of day; I’ve even started carrying around my clippers to bring some of the beauty home with me! But don’t worry, I’m very conscious of what’s available to take and what would be considered trespassing… most of the time 😉

 

Ariella Chezar at the Seattle Wholesale Grower's Market

Student work from Ariella’s workshop

 

I gotta say, attending Ariella’s talk was a fabulous way to jump back in the game. I left the Grower’s Market that day with four pages of notes and a signed copy of Ariella’s new book, The Flower Workshop. Which by the way, I would highly recommend for anyone in the same boat as me. Not only is it a beautiful book, but it is crafted as if it were a workshop, giving you concrete how-to’s, step-by-steps, and floral recipes. I can’t wait to dive in and soak it all up!

That’s all for now, thanks for checking in! I hope some of Ariella’s words have inspired you like they did me.

Coming up: #alitheflorist learns to make wedding boutonnieres & corsages. Stay tuned!

Interview with Mayesh Design Star Shawn Michael Foley

Shawn Michael Foley Mayesh Design Star Interview

 

Last month, you got to know Mayesh Design Star Jerome Raska, and this month, we’d love to introduce you to our second Design Star, Shawn Michael Foley! His first video was posted earlier this week and has been a huge hit – if you haven’t seen it yet, but sure to check it out here!

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself and who you are, so our followers can get to know one of our 2016 Mayesh Design Stars a little bit better!

I’m a Wisconsin born floral designer, mentor and friend-tor living in Birmingham, AL.  I’m one of the lead wedding designers of HotHouse Design Studio.

My passion for creative expression and curiosity has fueled my drive in the floral industry. I am best known for my “Human Form Project.” An annually themed floral art/fashion series showcasing a fusion of beauty, blooms, and body.

I have been honored to have been published in several European magazines including Flowers World and Blomter.

My heart lies in education and I strive to push the art of flowers to sharp new places.

 

Shawn Michael Foley Mayesh Design Star Interview

Photo by BC Photography

How did you end up in the flower industry? Was it intentional, or did it just “kind of happen”, as many people in the business claim?

I fell into this industry quite by accident. I simply answered a want ad for a floral designer with absolutely no experience. They told me the hired me solely because of my personality, which is good considering I didn’t have a CLUE as to what I was getting into! After only a few months I started to fall in love with flowers and the industry as a whole and I haven’t looked back since.

How would you describe your design style?  What trends do you see happening in flowers right now?

I would say my style has a European tone to it.  I love to incorporate botanicals that aren’t just blooms and flowers.

 

Shawn Michael Foley Mayesh Design Star Interview

Photo by The McCartney’s Photography

 

Currently with Trends, in my market you are definitely seeing a split in styles. If it’s garden and gathered you are seeing a ton of greenery, they love it they want it can’t get enough of it.

OR!  They want super clean, classic, larger blooms like garden roses, peony, dahlias etc and little to NO foliage at all.

 

Shawn Michael Foley Mayesh Design Star Interview

Photo by The McCartney’s Photography

 

Favorite flower? 

My favorite flower really changes a lot.  I love so many of them for their different personalities. If I had to choose just one I am a huge sucker for a chocolate/black Dahlia. Sentimentally though, my favorite flower is the chrysanthemum.  I remember picking them for my grandma and grandpa before school when I was young. Their fragrance still reminds me of them to this day.

 

How do you hope to inspire your audience as one of our 2016 Mayesh Design Stars?

I want to bring Mayesh viewers a sense of fun and show them some fun tricks that are simple to pull off but look complex once finished. We all need to remember that we LOVE flowers and we can’t let the day in and day out aspect of the business let us forget that. Flowers are beautiful, fun and exciting! Let’s dive in together and create amazing floral things!

 

And as a follow-up, what do you want them to take away from your videos?

That one new trick that helps you land that client.  That one new idea that refreshes your imagination… and that one spark that refuels your passion for flowers!

 

Lastly, what is one piece of advice you’d like to go back and tell yourself during the first year of designing? 

It’s not a race, enjoy the journey.  Also, weird/funky does not equal good, self-editing is the key to success.

 

Shawn Michael Foley Mayesh Design Star Interview

Shawn Michael Foley Mayesh Design Star Interview

Shawn Michael Foley Mayesh Design Star Interview

Photos by BC Photography

Interview: Anthology Co.

Anthology Co. Instagram Takeover

 

Happy Monday, flower community! Just a little over a week ago, Veronica Cicero of Anthology Co. in Miami took over our Instagram for a couple of days, and it was fabulous. She hit us with colors, designer tips, and some super unique designs (the fireplace overflowing with flowers & the hanging bench were two of my favorites!) As is tradition, we asked her a few questions so we could get to know the designer behind the flowers. Be sure to head on over to the Anthology Co. Instagram to see more! (Above photo by @giannycampos)

 

So to start out, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you found yourself in the flower business!

I would say it was a multi-step process, from an early age it was clear that my path would be in some sort of creative field. But, it was shortly after graduating from art school in Hunter College, New York that I started decorating parties for friends and visiting the flower market that I discovered floristry was an outlet that really moved my heart as an artist.

How would you describe your design style?

Playful, Unexpected, Textural

 

Anthology Co. Instagram Takeover

Photo by @elainepalladino

Anthology Co. Instagram Takeover

Photo by @tolovephoto

 

New York and Florida are definitely two different cities! Have you found that you’ve had to adjust your style from city to city?

Miami was very receptive of my style from day one, I think the event industry down here was desperately craving a switch from the overly manicured Hydrangeas and Roses.

 

Aside from floral design, what else does your event design entail?

From setting the table with the whole Jazz to creating an experience where guests are transported to a place or a period in time.
Anthology Co. Instagram Takeover

Anthology Co. Instagram Takeover

Photos by @katielopezphoto

 

What trends do you see happening in flowers right now?

More and more people are understanding the importance of enhancing venues and event spaces by their own features: colors,shapes, materials…. etc

 

  Anthology Co. Instagram Takeover

Photo by @pabelonastudio

Anthology Co. Instagram Takeover

Photo by @carolina_guzik

 

Let’s talk tools. Favorite florist tool, and favorite social media app for marketing yourself?

Japanese Sakagen clippers from Jamali Garden… the monster of Instagram!

 

What is your favorite or most memorable event or shoot you have been apart of?

I got to transform Gotham Hall in NY into a Rainforest – from the very narrow entrance completely covered by tropical plants, the overtaken old bank’s railing cover with wild vines to a 22′ tall Bamboo installation in the space… it was the magical Amazon in the center of the concrete jungle.

 

What is one piece of advice you’d like to go back and tell yourself during your first year of designing?

Take business classes!

   Anthology Co. Instagram Takeover

Photo by @carolina_guzik

Love her work? Head over to our Instagram to see the rest of her whimsical takeover!

Interview with Passionflower’s Susan McLeary

Passionflower Instagram Takeover

 

This interview was a super fun one for me, as I recently got to meet Susan of Passionflower at the Floret workshop. She is an incredibly talented and special lady, and I was thrilled to learn that she would be willing to take over our feed and answer a few questions! I so enjoyed getting to know her, and experiencing a hands-on workshop designing flower halos and floral cuffs in person at Floret. Susan was also a part of FlowerHouse Detroit, so read below to find out more about herself as well as her experience with FlowerHouse!

Above photo: @amanda_dumouchelle

 

So to start out, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you found yourself in the flower business!

I like to say that I became a florist by accident! I’ve always been fascinated with nature, but never thought I’d become a florist. It happened about 13 years ago. At the time, I had a hobby making jewelry for friends. One such friend asked me to design her wedding flowers in addition to her wedding jewelry. Not knowing what this would entail, I said yes!  When I had her flowers in my hands, I knew I’d found my passion. One friend’s wedding turned into many, and gave me my start.

After I practiced on my friends, I moved on to a busy floral studio where I worked for 2 years. I also free-lanced for many talented florists, read every design book I could get me hands on, and absorbed all the learning opportunities I could find.  I knew that I had something unique to share, and over time, I started to feel creatively stifled. In 2010, two events gave me the push I needed to try this out on my own. My father suddenly became very ill- this really drove home the importance of seizing the day, and not taking passions for granted. It became clear that I’d need to be brave, and take a leap if I wanted to share myself with the world. The other event was a very fortunate one! My husband’s wine importing business had acquired more warehouse space, and there was a perfect little rectangular room that they didn’t have a need for. With lots of encouragement from friends and family Passionflower was born!

For the first 4 years, the studio focused on weddings- doing around 50 per season. This past year, I decided to pull back on weddings a bit, and focus more on my current passions- living jewelry, wearable floral art, and professional floral instruction. Future projects include a line of home decor for flower lovers, and eventually a book.

 

Living jewelry is so beautiful and intriguing, but not necessarily that common, besides flower crowns and some other forms of headpieces. How did you get into living jewelry?

I was inspired after a session with the wonderful Francoise Weeks at a workshop in California two years ago. I made a floral ring, and the photographers covering the conference liked it and asked me if I would make a collection of floral jewelry for an upcoming fashion shoot. Of course I said yes, but was heading back to Michigan in a few days, and they live in California. I told them I would make some pieces and ship them overnight. Well, when I got home, I had to figure out what to use that would survive the trip and still look great. Succulents, of course! They are perfect- sturdy, resilient, and they look beautiful for days-even weeks out of soil. The reaction I got to these pieces was so exciting- it prompted me to open an Etsy shop, and I’ve been shipping succulent jewelry throughout the US ever since!

 

Passionflower Instagram Takeover

Photo: @amanda_dumouchelle

 

Who or what (or both!) inspires you when you’re in the studio creating, whether it’s living jewelry or a wedding centerpiece?

I’m very inspired by the materials I use.  The flowers and foliages must be interesting and beautiful on their own for me to feel charged while arranging them.  If I’m excited by the collection of elements in front of me, the arranging doesn’t feel like work- it feels like a choreographed dance- each element taking it’s perfect place and supporting its partners.

 

What trends are you seeing in wedding flowers right now, and how do you incorporate them into wearable pieces for the bride?

I’m seeing loose, artful, gracefully arranged pieces that look a little wild…I love this! For me, a little on the weird side is a wonderful thing- arrangements should stir something inside you! I’m also seeing a lot of berried branches, vines, and interesting foliages- I definitely love to incorporate unexpected foliages and textural elements into my wearables.

 

Passionflower Instagram Takeover

Photo: @amanda_dumouchelle

 

Education is such an important part of our industry, and it seems like you are very involved, both on the learning and teaching ends. Tell us about your experiences with floral education, and how they have helped you evolve into the designer you are today?

When I first became interested in floral design, I found it very difficult to find learning opportunities. I devoured every design book at the library, watched every online tutorial I could find, and searched for an internship. I eventually found the Michigan Floral Association, and was thrilled to learn that they have a certification program. I went through this process, and got my certification in 2008. I met many inspiring florists, worked with them, and absorbed all the knowledge that they would give me. But I have to say that the real turning point for me- the point at which I began to really delve into my passion was when I connected with The Chapel Designers. This group of generous, talented, supportive, driven, flower-obsessed florists blew my mind wide open. I instantly felt at home within this group, and the knowledge I gained from spending time at these conferences, and working and getting to know these people has propelled me further than I thought possible. Another life changing experience was the workshop I took with Francoise Weeks two years ago. I actually won the workshop through a giveaway on the blog Botanical Brouhaha! I had spent years establishing my business and trying to please brides, and this workshop forced me to slow down and make beautiful, unusual floral art pieces just for me.  It changed the way I approach design, and re-kindled my love for fashion and jewelry. It changed the way I looked at myself and my business!  I’m so pleased to say that my journey has brought me full circle- I was once a young, hungry floral design student searching for knowledge and professional instruction, and now I’m teaching and sharing what I’ve learned over the years with others. I’ve created a one-on-one teaching program for professional florists, and have taught six students so far this year.  I also assisted at two Floret workshops, and will teach at three of these next year. I’m thrilled to be teaching at the March Chapel Designer’s conference in New York City, and at Mood Flowers in Glasgow Scotland this spring.

 

Right alongside education is the importance of community and collaboration. You’re involved with Flower House, an incredible project in Detroit in which an old, abandoned house will be filled with local flowers and plants for a weekend installation, and then deconstructed and converted into a flower farm and design center. How did you get involved, and what is your role in it?

I became involved because the creator of FlowerHouse, Lisa Waud is a good friend.  At first, we’d chat about this grand idea over coffee…but pretty soon, it became clear that Lisa was really going to make this happen!  My role has been a supportive one- listening to Lisa’s amazing ideas, adding some of my own, and helping push the project forward.  I’m incredibly impressed by what she and the FlowerHouse team have accomplished, and am thrilled share in this goodness.

 

What do you think this new flower farm and design center will bring to the community of Detroit?

It’s a very exciting time for Detroit. The city is experiencing a rebirth, and FlowerHouse is a physical representation of that.  I love the idea of re-purposing the land in this way. There are many ways to bring vibrancy and value back to abandoned spaces, but an urban flower farm?  It might just be the most inspiring, creative way!

 

You are sharing a room with Francoise Weeks which is exciting! How do you see the two of you collaborating together to create a beautiful, living space?

Francoise and I work very well together- we share a similar aesthetic, and both love creating surfaces that look like tapestries- alive with intricate texture. We shared ideas for our kitchen space early on- she conceived a free form dripping “chandelier” made with berried branch, vegetables, herbs, foliages and delicate flowers, and I a table and chairs encased in foliage that will look as if it’s growing out of the floor. We are lucky to have many talented hands at the ready- florist volunteers that will help us bring this dreamy surreal kitchen to life.

 

Passionflower Instagram Takeover

Photo: @hsaundersphoto

 

And to wrap things up, what is one piece of advice you’d like to go back and tell yourself during your first year of designing?

Be yourself!  Think about what you have to offer- what excites you most, what makes you dance around, what you most enjoy doing. These are your passions.  Follow them fiercely!  Make sure to take the time to develop your own aesthetic- be more “you” than you think you should.  It’s our individuality that makes us stand out- it should be celebrated.

 

Passionflower Instagram Takeover

Photo: @jenniferilene

Passionflower Instagram Takeover

Photo: @jenniferilene

Passionflower Instagram Takeover

Photo: @amanda_dumouchelle

Passionflower Instagram Takeover

Photo: @johndart

Passionflower Instagram Takeover

Photo: @amanda_dumouchelle

And if you hadn’t already seen it and need more dreamy Passionflower inspo, drop everything immediately and rush over to our Instagram – her takeover was totally insane! And be sure to check out Sue’s Instagram as well!

Interview with Pot & Box

Pot & Box Instagram Takeover

 

Photo by @hsaundersphoto

Assuming you have all heard of Flower House (if you haven’t, check it out here, here, or just keep reading), we are so excited to share with you a little bit more about the lady behind this wonderful project. Lisa Waud of Pot & Box in Detroit, MI is an inspiring designer who is in the middle of turning her dreams into a reality. Here, Lisa answers a few questions about how she got started in the flower biz, and what inspired this amazing project. And if you haven’t already, head on over to our Instagram to check out her takeover from the past few days! Oh, and one more thing, to keep up with all the Flower House happenings (which officially makes it’s debut October 16-18), follow along on Instagram with @potandbox and @flowerhousedetroit!

 

So first, let’s hear a little bit about you, and how you got started in the flower industry? When and how did Pot & Box first make it’s debut?

Let’s see here, the summer I graduated from high school, I wanted to work outside. I got a job at a place in my hometown, Petoskey, Michigan, the garden service was called Polly’s Planting and Plucking, and I worked there for six seasons, and loved it. When I went to school at Michigan State, I studied horticulture and landscape design, and really immersed myself in gardening and plants and horticulture and moved out west, to Portland, OR and worked at a fabulous nursery there called Portland Nursery. It’s a city block within a residential area, grandfathered in, so amazing, I learned so much and my mid-western mind was blown by the growing season. I remember gardening over the holidays in Portland and thinking, what? Why do people live in Michigan? I lived in Portland for three years, moved up to Olympia, WA, gardening the whole time, freelance gardening I guess you’d call it, and then actually moved to Hawaii for a year and boy oh boy, tropical gardening, it just never stops, you could pull the same weed the next day that you pulled out the day before. I decided it was time to move back to Michigan where I grew up and where I belonged, and I moved to Ann Arbor and waited tables for a few years because it’s the easiest way to make money and meet a lot of people, and then I got back into gardening when I launched Pot & Box and that is nearly nine years ago now. Almost three years ago I moved over to Detroit and expanded with a second studio. In between those years, I moved more into fresh floral design, doing friends’ weddings and that kind of thing. And eventually it was not sustainable for me to have the garden service if I wasn’t doing the work. So we are full time floral design. I still do green walls and that kind of thing, but mostly fresh flower design.

 

How would you describe your design style, and where or from whom do you draw inspiration?

I would say my design style is wild, organic in shape and texture, and I love foraging local foliage and flowers when I can, pulling from local farms, and anything variegated or textural or strange I love. I draw inspiration from architecture, other florists of course, I love the style of Emily Thompson and Saipua and Studio Choo, all of those ladies out there in the world. And of course from my local florist friends who are always pushing me and inspiring me… and snagging the good stuff from Mayesh if I don’t get there early enough!

 

Pot & Box Instagram Takeover

 

What are your favorite flowers and/or foliage to work with?

Well funny enough, back when I worked at Polly’s Planting and Plucking, a right of passage when we worked there was “if you were a flower, what flower would you be” and getting appointed your flower. It was decided that I was a dahlia, and, I’m dating myself here, when email first came out, my very first email was dahlialisa@hotmail.com which I don’t think works anymore, but I’ve always been a dahlia and I will always love them and I’m looking forward to growing more of those in the Pot & Box garden very soon.

 

I LOVE your idea for a Flower Truck, especially one that started as an Ice Cream truck! Tell us a little bit about that, and why you decided to include a mobile aspect to the studio.

Well I feel like food trucks get to have all the fun! And that’s not fair, so I’ve always loved old cars and vintage things, and I snapped up an old ice cream truck at a screamin’ deal and got some Pot & Box logos put on there, and people love it! I’m working really hard to put together some money to really get that out in the world. I’d love to do more restaurant and residential deliveries and if I can have that refrigerated truck going around it can be more affordable for everyone. I’d love to get more into that European mindset of having fresh flowers as a really normal and welcomed thing to have in your home. And I think the truck can help with that, which by the way is named Scoops. The name from when it was an ice cream truck in it’s former life is still on the bumper and we left it on there, so it’s called Scoops still even though it sells flowers.

 

Pot & Box Instagram Takeover

 

You kind of have your hands in all sorts of things – educational classes, flower design, horticulture, The Flower House (which we’ll get to in a minute). How do you balance all of those aspects, and which make you the most excited and fulfilled to work on?

I just love being in business for myself. I love the flexibility and the mobility of it, I think it’s more normal for people to be able to be flexible in where they work and when they work, and I am so fortunate to be in that world. I love the design classes, often I collaborate with florist friends to host those, and every class that we teach is a really fun evening and I make new friends, sometimes hire people straight out of them, it’s always a joy. Of course I love the flower design… as I’m busier and trying to manage all this, actually working with the flowers is a very small part of my week, and so I really try to set aside time to enjoy when I am working with the flowers and materials. In terms of balancing, I guess it’s in my genes to make to-do lists; I often consult with my mom about her to-do list techniques. I think it’s just a balance of using software that’s helpful and managing what’s important to you and what charges you. And I think that when you’re doing things that you love and enjoy it doesn’t feel like work.

 

And now, you knew this was coming… The Flower House. What an amazing idea and such a unique and creative way to revitalize an old, abandoned house and neighborhood lot. What made you think of this whole project?

I have always been completely enamored with the work of the artist Christo and Jeanne-Claude, they have done things like the wrapped bridge in Paris with gold fabric, the orange gates in Central Park, umbrellas on the coast of California and Japan, and now Christo is wrapping up a river in Colorado and a floating bridge in Italy. I was just always completely consumed by that kind of work – long term planning, high dollar projects that were temporary, the juxtaposition of the long term planning and the short term exhibition – what a concept. I guess I never really knew how to embody that on my own until I saw images from the 2012 fall/winter Dior show where they filled the walls of a mansion outside of Paris with flowers – white phalaenopsis orchids as far as you can see, a whole room of yellow salidago and other yellow flowers, and I was just obsessed with finding images and videos of this project. And I knew instantly that I was going to blatantly steal that idea and do it myself. It took a few months to figure out where I would do that, but once I had this lightning bolt, it was really obvious that we have thousands upon thousands of abandoned houses here in the city of Detroit and I could use one of those for the project. So I found myself at a city auction in the city of Hamtramck, which is a tiny city within the Detroit city limits, and bought not one but two houses for $250 each, one we used for the preview event in May and the second will be used for our big exhibition, a fifteen room installation in October for Flower House.

 

Pot & Box Instagram Takeover

Photo by @hsaundersphoto

 

How have you seen the community, both floral and geographical, come together to support this project and make it come to life?

Oh my goodness, I can’t even tell you how warm my heart is working on this project. There is something in this project for every one. There’s this idea that it takes place in Detroit, and in one of these abandoned houses, and that can really speak to someone. It’s a floral art installation, a massive one, and maybe that really tugs at someone’s heart strings. It’s the floral design community coming together. It’s flowers, it’s design, it’s art, it’s a little bit of everything, and then all that aside, it’s a deconstruction project. This responsible deconstruction of a house with the materials repurposed for use in other projects in the city. And THEN it’s like, stop, I can’t take anymore – I’m going to have a flower farm on the property where Flower House once stood! Like I said, there’s something in it for everyone.

 

Pot & Box Instagram Takeover

Pot & Box Instagram Takeover

 

Knowing what you know today, what would you tell your younger self, as you were just starting out and beginning your floral adventure?

Oh boy. Well I actually know how to answer this, because I am seeing friends who are younger than me just starting businesses. Maybe they’re in floral design or event design, and when you are a creative person, you know how to be creative, you can’t stop that. But there are so many logistical boring things that you need to do in order to do the creative things you want to present to the world, or your bride, or your daily clients. If you can fold that in early and make that part of your routine, then it’s easy, especially now, with all the software that is built into our lives. So I guess my very boring advice is to fold in all that logistical stuff at the beginning when you’re launching your business and make it easy and part of your routine. Then it actually frees up more of your brain space and more of your creativity to go and really do that stuff. If you’re not good with the boring stuff, like if you’re allergic to math like me, then hire someone to do it for you. Figure out how to make that extra money and hire someone. And if you know it’s getting done, that’s freeing up your personal bandwidth to be able to do cool stuff. And that’s what we’re good at!

Interview: Victoria with Flora Pop

Flora Pop Takeover

Photo by @hellogabyj

 

If you follow us on Instagram, you probably saw our takeover this week with @florapopshop! If you loved what you saw, then keep reading below to find out more about these pop-up weddings from the lady behind Flora Pop, Victoria!
So to start off, why don’t you tell us a little bit about the concept and background of FloraPop. What exactly do you do?

Flora Pop started on my bicycle in NYC. I was inspired by the street vendors & mobility of the artists that I would see daily. So I decided to try it out on my own. I would sit outside the courthouses in both Brooklyn & Manhattan & sell unique & beautiful bouquets that you wouldn’t be able to get inside.

 

What was the inspiration behind these pop-up weddings, and how did you end up here?

I moved back to Las Vegas & really decided to just go for it with Flora Pop. I take care of gardens for restaurants & commercial properties. I do weekly flowers for bars as well. But one day it hit me. I could really do it all, not just floral for weddings, but the whole shebang! I had been thinking about a brick & mortar but it never felt quite right, given the traveling nature of my spirit. I knew I wouldn’t want to be tied down. So, pop-up elopements were born & what better place to do them than Las Vegas! Flowers, officiating, the Teardrop, all of it!

 

Tell us a little bit about the Teardrop! It’s quite adorable 😉

Thank you! I built the Teardrop by hand & it’s modeled after a 1950’s Kenskill trailer. There are vintage pieces, like the wheels & hubcaps, but it’s all one-of-a kind & made by me. It was initially supposed to be my roadside flower stand, but with the heat in the summers here, that didn’t quite make sense. There’s also a full-sized bed in the cabin. It makes for fun adventures, especially when I’m officiating away from home.

 

 

Flora Pop Takeover

Photo by @hellogabyj

 

How would you describe your floral design style?

I love allowing the florals to work for themselves. Very organic & different every single time. There’s no formula to what I make.

 

Flora Pop Takeover

Flora Pop Takeover

Photos by @hellogabyj

 

Okay, I won’t ask what your all time favorite flower is, because that’s a really hard question! Instead, which varieties are you really excited about this season or upcoming seasons?

I am always drawn to the quirkier flowers, dark purples & bright minty greens. I don’t like using conventional flora, so I always strive to use something eye-catching & different.

 

Flora Pop Takeover

Flora Pop Takeover

Photos by @ashley_m_myers

 

How in depth do you go with flowers in these pop-up weddings? Do you have a basic “set” you offer, like a bouquet for the bride, an arrangement for the alter, etc., or is it always different depending on the couple?

I always give the couple flowers for their wedding, with special attention to the bridal bouquet, but I have had more elaborate floral as well! Lots of plants, cacti, flowers all around the teardrop & even a floral garland for the back of a vintage car!

 

Flora Pop Takeover

Photo by @hellogabyj

 

What are your favorite types of clients to work with? I would imagine anyone wanting to do a pop-up wedding would be pretty interesting and spontaneous!

I really attract like-minded people. I have made friends from all over the world doing this! I like to think I get couples that are open-minded & their wedding is truly about them & the love that they share. Not what their families want for them.

 

Flora Pop Takeover

Photo by @hellogabyj

 

You must have some crazy stories or weddings that you’ve been a part of… Any come to mind?

Nothing super crazy! Not yet, anyway. I get very sincere, creative folk, that are here to celebrate the beauty of the desert & the beauty of the love they share within.

 

Let’s talk tools. Favorite florist tool, and favorite social media app for marketing yourself?

I love these scissors called Flart! Yep, Flart!

 

Last but not least, what is one piece of advice you’d like to go back and tell yourself while you were starting out as a floral designer?

I would tell myself to not be afraid & would have jumped into this sooner. Starting a new business is scary, but if you put everything into it, you’ll succeed! No matter what!

Interview: The Little Branch

The Little Branch

 

As many of you probably know, last week The Little Branch took over our Instagram for a few days! They shared some of their favorite designs and events with our followers and continued to inspire our community with their beautiful work.  We hope you enjoyed their takeover as much as we did, and if you were curious and wanting to find out more about the lovely ladies behind the photos, you’re in luck! We asked Meg a few questions to get a deeper look into The Little Branch. Enjoy!

 

So tell us a little bit about who The Little Branch is, and how you got started in the flower industry.

The Little Branch was started by Annie and I eight years ago. At that time, a lot of our friends were getting married and realized that they weren’t finding what they were looking for as far as floral design so we decided to do it ourselves. It kind of snowballed from there, one friend to another, then a friend of a friend and before we knew it, we were doing multiple events a month.

 

The Little Branch

Photo by @brdsofafeather

 

The Little Branch

 

Working with friends always sounds amazing, but I can imagine it can get tough at times! How has it been for the two of you?

Actually it has been so easy for us! Eight years in and we are still great friends and are currently working on a new business venture together.

 

How would you describe The Little Branch’s style?

Our style is very organic and natural. We love working with heavy greenery and lots of texture and we are super sticklers when it comes to colors and hues. Nothing drives us crazy more than colors that just don’t work well together.

 

The Little Branch

The Little Branch

Photo by @hazelnutphoto

 

What trends do you see happening in wedding flowers right now?

Ha! It’s so funny, because when the trends first start you think “oh, what a great idea, I can’t wait for this wedding!” Then by the end of the season you are begging to do something different! This year we have seen a lot of neutral color schemes, garlands and a lot of mixed metallics, brass/copper.

 

The Little Branch

Photo by @love_is_a_big_deal

 

Okay, I won’t ask what your favorite flowers are, because that’s a really hard question! Instead, which varieties are you really excited about this season or upcoming seasons?

I absolutely LOVE the product that comes from Japan. Their Ranunculus are out of control. I also love to see new varieties of roses.

 

Let’s talk tools. Favorite florist tool, and favorite social media app for marketing yourself?

My favorite tool would be chicken wire and twist ties. You can work a lot of magic with those. Especially when building arches. As far as social media, we rely on Instagram. I love being able to take photos in the studio or on site and be able to show our followers what we are doing as the day progresses.

 

I noticed that you offer some workshops! In the DIY culture that we live in today, they must be super popular. What are your workshops all about?

We are only able to offer a few classes a year during the off season Jan-Mar. Each workshop is different, we’ve done ombre, bouquets, hair wreaths, modern, garden organic and wood box arrangements. Each workshop is two hours long and we go over all the different types of florals and greens, discuss proper processing and then on to actual arrangement construction. We switch up working with tape, foam, hand tie etc. so yeah, each class teaches a different technique.

 

What is your favorite or most memorable event you guys have done flowers for?

I don’t think we have an all time favorite. There are always a few really fun weddings each year. We are lucky enough to get some really cool clients that have some fantastic ideas/themes and we just run with it.

 

What is one piece of advice you’d like to go back and tell yourselves during your first year of designing?

Work smarter not harder!

 

The Little Branch

The Little Branch

Photo by @love_is_a_big_deal

 

The Little Branch

Photo by Diane McGregor

Thanks again to Meg and Annie for letting us take a peek into their world, and be sure to follow them on Instagram, @thelittlebranch! Stay tuned for more fun interviews and takeovers with some fabulous designers!

Interview with Sarah Winward: Where is She Now?

Sarah Winward

 

Photo by @kychellephoto

 

We’re super excited for this interview (for many reasons), but mainly because we have admired this designer’s work and influence on the flower industry for the past few years. It has been so fun to follow her journey, from a small, young florist to hitting it big and becoming one of the most sought after wedding floral designers out there. You have most likely heard of Sarah Winward of Honey of a Thousand Flowers in Salt Lake City, UT, and we were able to catch up with her and find out what’s been going on since our last interview in 2011!

 
So it’s been four years since Sabrina interviewed you, and in that time, a lot has changed for you! Can you tell us a little bit about how your business has grown since then?

Everything has changed! When Sabrina interviewed me I was in my first real year of business and I was still finding my style, my clients, and getting used to the wild floral and event world.

Since then I think I have narrowed in on who I am, what my style is, and I have found “my client”.  I made my way through a few years of just making lots of beautiful flowers and sending them off to events that weren’t really that interesting to me. Since then, I’ve worked to find clients that are hiring me to make flowers for their events that also match the aesthetic of my flowers. I feel so grateful to finally have clients who are hiring me for my look, and trusting me to do what I think is best. It feels so wonderful. I actually cried four years ago (around the time of my last interview) while I was sitting in a meeting with a future client ( I played it off like I had something in my eye) when she was telling me how she wanted her flowers to look. I was so overwhelmed with joy that this bride was verbalizing to me how she wanted her wedding to look and feel, and trusting me to interpret and execute that, rather than sending me a Pinterest board and asking me to copy it. I cried with joy because I felt like I had finally been hired by someone who was hiring me to be creative, and that is why I was attracted to working in flowers in the first place.

I travel for most of my events now, and I love that. I love working in different environments and with different materials as I travel.

 

Sarah Winward

Photo by @heathernan

 

Sarah Winward

Photo by @kateosborne

 

Sarah Winward

Photo by @heathernan

 

Going off the last question, how has your design style evolved over the years?

I think my style is constantly evolving, and that is what keeps this job alive to me. I love that the seasons change and bring with them new flowers, textures, and color combinations. I take most of my inspiration from the individual blooms that are in season, and the environment that will be their final destination. Since I have been traveling for most of my work I think my style has picked up pieces from everywhere I’ve been. I have always loved greenery, and seem to always be incorporating more of it and smaller more textural flowers into my work.

 

Being a destination-wedding florist, you must have traveled to some pretty incredible places! What have been your favorite wedding destinations?

Before I worked in flowers I made traveling a priority in my life, and I spent all the time I could out exploring the world. I am so happy that my job has brought me to a point where I can combine two of these things that I love so much. Ireland and Thailand are probably tied for my favorites so far. Ireland was incredible because I was there in the fall and we caught all of the foliage in its most colorful stage. It was my personal heaven to be able to use so much colorful foliage!

Thailand was incredible too! Though most of my flowers were imported, I used all local and mostly foraged foliage from the small isolated peninsula in the South of Thailand that I was working on. It was incredible to watch ordinary roses and tulips take on a jungle look by mixing in the local foliage.

And of course, working in California is always amazing because there are so many wonderful resources for flowers, and I don’t have to have them shipped!

 

Sarah Winward

Photo by @kellylenard

 

You have recently added workshops to the mix! Tell us a little bit about those, and why you decided to expand to the educational side of things.

Teaching gives me new life, and makes me see things in that simple, beautiful way that I did when I first started working with flowers. I love the energy in the room when students are really loving their work. I feel like I am at a point where I do have a lot of knowledge I can share, and I love sharing it. I love keeping in touch with students and seeing what they do with their style and business after we meet. In general, I feel like teaching flowers spreads happiness, and I love that. It is a nice contrast to the quick paced and stressful event world.

 

Sarah Winward

Sarah Winward

Photos by @kychellephoto

 

So I won’t ask what your favorite flower is since we already know it is the Indian paint brush (unless that has changed?) Instead, what flowers are your favorites to work with and why?

I do love indian paint brush! (Of course I love a flower that doesn’t last well as a cut and isn’t cultivated in the floral world!) I love spring blooms Foxglove, Hellebore, Fritillaria, Allium Sicilum, etc. I love the small, intricate bell shaped blooms. I love the texture that they give to arrangements. A garden rose is nice and luscious, but I love indulging in all the small stuff and experimenting with mixing them together and still making strong focal points.

 

Sarah Winward

Photo by @kateosborne

 

What trends do you see surfacing in wedding flowers right now?

Wild and natural looking is definitely front stage right now. People are wanting more moody color palettes instead of the really soft, subdued stuff everyone was into for a while. And last but not least, installations! People want stuff hanging everywhere.

 

 

Sarah WinwardPhoto by @jon_upchurch

 

I loved your story about the bees! With your busy floral life, are you still tending to your backyard beehive and making wild honey?

Yes! It doesn’t take that long to “keep” bees. They pretty much take care of themselves, but I check on them every week or so and then harvesting takes some time. In the late summer we harvest honey if we are lucky. It is such a wonderful thing! The honey tastes like all of the flora that was blooming with the pollen and nectar were collected and I love being able to taste my surroundings. It is a whole different way to experience flowers.

 

And last but not least, knowing what you know today, what would you tell your younger self, as you were just starting out and beginning your floral adventure?

I have really enjoyed my flower journey, and am really grateful for how smooth it has been. From the beginning of it until now has been a very organic process. It felt a lot like a tornado that I was sort of thrown into, not knowing what I was doing, but it was a beautiful tornado!

I do wish I would have photographed more of my work. Sometimes I send a really beautiful piece away, and never get photos of it. That hurts! I wish I had just made the time to photograph them so that they could live on forever.

I would have also been more selective about the work I took in the first few years. In the beginning you have to take work because it is work, and not necessarily because you love it. But, I found that work I did not love drained me of my creative spirit, and being able to use that creative spirit is the whole reason I got into this. The second I started being more picky about the work I was taking, was when my business took off in the direction I wanted it to. If I had valued my own time a bit sooner I think I would have saved myself many exhausting jobs that did nothing for my love of flowers or bettering my business.
 
 
We hope you enjoyed our follow-up interview with Sarah, and that you followed along with her Instagram takeover on our page!

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