Posts Tagged “flower designer”

Interview: Carte Blanche Design

Carte Blanche Instagram Takeover

 

Last week, we had yet another terrific takeover on our Instagram – this time by the lovely Randi Eshelman of Carte Blanche in Arizona. We caught up with Randi to ask her a few questions about her love of flowers, her opinion on current trends, and how she got where she is today!

So tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you got started in the flower industry?

I have always loved working with flowers, however, when I was younger I didn’t believe a career as a floral designer was feasible, so instead, I worked in Commercial Real Estate for several years. Fast forward 10 years later, I really wasn’t enjoying the career path that I was on, so I started researching weddings and floristry, and I fell in love with the soft, organic, artistic floral design that Flowerwild, JL Designs, and others were creating. I freelanced for a little while, getting my feet wet, while continuing to work full-time. Then, four years ago, I started my own company. I started off VERY part-time, doing friend’s weddings and parties, and getting referrals from them. I was juggling two small kids at the same time, so I was unable to invest a lot of time in my business. However, in the last couple of years, I made a commitment to really work on my business and I am really blessed to have it where it is today.  I have no real formal training, I didn’t grow up in the flower business, and I left a stable career of 10 years, but I am so thankful that I made the leap to do something that I was really passionate about.

 

I adore your name, Carte Blanche! How did you decide on this to represent you and your brand?

Thank You! Carte Blanche loosely means – “whatever you desire”. Years ago, I had an unfortunate experience with a florist when I was planning my own wedding. I saw a beautiful wedding in a magazine (before pinterest, ha!) and I wanted to find a way to use it as a springboard for the inspiration for my own wedding. The florist basically knocked it down right away and said I should do something else. It was very sad to me and left a lasting impression. I did find a florist that took my idea, ran with it, and it ended up being perfect! So, when I was developing my branding and thought process behind our name, I wanted to convey to my clients that it is okay to dream!It is our passion to see their vision developed into a beautiful reality.

 

You offer both floral design and event styling. Do clients generally ask you to do both, and if so, do you prefer doing the whole shebang, or just focusing on the flowers and collaborating with other event stylists?

Right now we are focusing most of our time on the flowers and floral design. I love designing the arrangements; flowers just make me happy. We also design a handful of events for a few clients each year, however, it is not the main focus of our business right now.

 

How would you describe your design style?

Organic, Nature Inspired, Soft, Romantic. I really love using beautiful, full blooms in my arrangements, such as garden roses and ranunculus.

 

Carte Blanche Instagram Takeover

Photo by @danielkimphoto

Carte Blanche Instagram Takeover

Photo by @andrewjadephoto

 

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

I am seeing a few floral designers moving toward tropicals, whether they are phalaenopsis orchids, or large banana leaves. Tropicals have typically been used with very modern designs, but I am enjoying how florists are bringing them into very wild, organic compositions.

 

Which flower varieties are you really excited about for the upcoming season?

I am looking forward to using one of my all time favorites, the Hellebore flower. I love how it is such a delicate and beautiful flower. I feel like whenever I add it to one of my arrangements, it creates a little magic. I am also looking forward to all of the Japanese product Mayesh sources. Those flowers can’t be beat! They are simply stunning.

 

Carte Blanche Instagram Takeover

Photo by @melissajill

Since your wedding season generally starts a bit later due to hot, Arizona summers, what do your summers looks like in terms of floral design?

Summer for us in Arizona is probably a lot like other florists’ winters. I try to catch up on everything that I couldn’t get to in the Fall and Spring seasons, like paperwork, networking, and sleeping! 🙂
Let’s talk tools. Favorite florist tool, and favorite social media app for marketing yourself?

My favorite tool is probably a sharp, straight edged knife. I just seem to work faster with it than with clippers.

My favorite social media tool, by far, is Instagram.  I enjoy it so much more than other social media tools because I am very visual. It has allowed me to connect to clients as well as a wonderful floral community. It also saves me time because I can display my work quickly without having to blog all the time.

 

What’s the most memorable or favorite event/shoot you’ve worked on?

A few shoots come to mind but one that sticks out the most was when we created the floral design at the Luminary Workshop hosted by Daniel Kim Photography. It was an all day workshop for film photographers. We helped create three separate styled shoots for them (A boudoir shoot with a suspended garland over the model, a bride and groom shoot with several elements, and a single model with florals). It was challenging and so much fun at the same time. I enjoyed it because each of the three shoots was so different from one another.

 

Carte Blanche Instagram Takeover

Photo by @danielkimphoto

 

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

Be true and confident to who you are as an artist and designer. Everything always looks better when your soul is inspired. This is something I have to remind myself even now. And continue to invest in yourself and furthering your understanding of floral design, whether it is taking a workshop, joining a community of florists that you can learn from, or just plain practicing. There are always new things to learn and new friendships to forge.

 

Carte Blanche Instagram Takeover

Carte Blanche Instagram Takeover

Photo by @melissajill

Carte Blanche Instagram Takeover

Photo by @charitymaurerphoto

 

For more drool-worthy Carte Blanche designs, check out her Instagram! Enjoy!

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Interview with Siren Floral Co.

Siren Floral Co. Instagram Takeover

 

If you’re looking for some tips about the biz and want to know more about the awesome lady behind this week’s takeover, look no further. Rachael of Siren Floral Co. is pretty darn cool, in my opinion at least, and I have had so much fun working with her for the past few weeks. Hope you all enjoyed her color-inspired takeover as much as we did! If you didn’t see it, check it out here. Oh, and check out her IG too (@sirenfloralco) – you won’t be disappointed! (above photo by @keithsavage)

 
So from what I’ve gathered, Siren Floral Co. is the floral part of Lace & Likes, correct? Tell us a little bit about all of that, and how Siren Floral Co. came to be! 

HA! yes, sort of 🙂 L&L was first and is my design//styling//coordination business. SIREN came to be as clients for L&L kept asking me to help them with floral, and I just gave it a whirl. I had NO idea what i was doing, but I went for it and the more I did it, the more practice I got, and the more I loved it. so you could say i’m self-taught. I did more research on flower care and slowly learned types of blooms and foliage, etc. thanks, in truth, to so many growers I was working with including MAYESH 🙂  I fell head over heels in love with the flowers and decided to make it a separate business 🙂
 

How would you describe your design style? 

OOF that’s a tough one. I’d say boho-romantic-organic-wild-free spirited blooms. a little unexpected.

 

Siren Floral Co. Instagram Takeover

Photo by @_mikeradford

 

Siren Floral Co. Instagram Takeover

Photo by @lillywhitephotography

 

How do you combine florals, fashion, events, and more into one cohesive brand? 

oh man, haha I wish I could tell you. I guess it’s just all a combination of things I love and put my whole heart into, and I’ve somehow managed to create a brand out of all of it. I’m passionate about all of those things and they just make up my life and lucky enough for me, they now make up my work as well. there’s no secret to it, it’s kinda all bits and pieces that make up my heart and soul i guess? I wish I had a better answer for this 🙂

 

Your Instagram and website are so on point. How have you used social media to help put yourself out there and grow your company?

UM, first off, THANK YOU. so kind of you-seriously get so shy about this/compliments altogether, but i appreciate that so much. this is such a good question, and I feel very relevant to business nowadays.  here are some of the elements i find that matter the most.

1- keep your filters//photo elements consistent. aka, learning how to take decent photos is key. luckily I have SO many amazing photographer friends who are constantly teaching me tricks. if you go deep enough in my insta (I’ve had it since the ancient times) my photos are nothing to boast about 🙂  BUT I think just by watching photographers and looking up general rules of thumb for photography, you can get it down! tips-keep your backdrops simple/clean, mix up busy photos with simple backdrops. so don’t put two busy photos next to each other in your feed. NATURAL/CONSISTENT LIGHT. always. always. if you can make it happen.

2- I also think a general color palette or theme for your insta is important too. and really just knowing your brand//posting what’s relevant to your brand. I have rules for myself//elements that I stick to for both instagrams and that helps really hone things in and create consistency across the board.

3-COLLABORATION. this is so important. I believe in encouragement and working together with people in your industry. partner with people you admire and you can make magic together that benefits both of you! plus, its fun. i find being creative with other creatives only inspires me more and re-ignites my excitement for what I do. it’s my favorite.

4-have fun with it//be genuine. I write all my posts and i try to just be myself//talk how I talk which means made up words and silliness most of the time 🙂

5-post often. it helps you remain relevant//interesting to new followers

 

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

cradle bouquets, garden roses galore, unexpected elements and foliage is everything I think. I see a lot of people using flowers in such unreal ways and it’s really inspiring. flowers are an artful/special medium, and it’s rad to see them being used as such 🙂

 

Siren Floral Co. Instagram Takeover

Photo by @renatastone

 

Siren Floral Co. Instagram Takeover

Photo by @meganeguerrero

 

Okay, I won’t ask what your favorite flower is, because people seem to hate the “favorites” question! Instead, which varieties are you really excited about this season or upcoming seasons? 

I am SO excited for fall foliage. like allll the maple leaves and colors just make my heart explode. and I’ll still answer the favorite flower question! haha. it’s always changing as I find new varieties but romantik antikes just absolutely slay me. and tree peonies, i’ve literally welled up at the sight of them-not exaggerating.

 

Siren Floral Co. Instagram Takeover

Photo by @carmensantorelliphoto

 

Siren Floral Co. Instagram Takeover

Photo by @renatastone

 

What is the most memorable event you’ve gotten to do flowers for? 

I did flowers for a vow renewal last july and it was with the beauties of @sittinginatree//for the most incredible woman, @missmultee and it was so refreshing creatively-I mean, i filled a giant green trunk from @foundrentals with blooms. so it was like a treasure box of flowers. it was so fun//outta the box (literally). and recently, I did a wedding in april at the parker-it was new color palette for me and my bride was incredible//totally challenged me creatively in the best way.

 

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

honestly, my first thought was, “you need to charge more” HA-the blooms we use are EXPENSIVE, also why they’re so beautiful-they do all the work, really :). but when i thought again, i’d just be more kind//give more grace to myself. like, every step is a lesson and making mistakes is part of the process. we are ALL humans, and we are all struggling and learning and growing. so just let go and be present. (that’s advice i always try to give myself :))

 

Siren Floral Co. Instagram Takeover

 

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Interview with Carla Kayes

Carla Kayes Takeover

 

Photo by @jenna_photo

By now, you have probably realized that these Instagram takeovers are becoming a big thing with us! We have been having so much fun and can’t wait to continue finding more amazing clients to feature on our Instagram. This week, the lovely Carla Kayes of Southern California took over our page for three days, sharing some of her beautiful designs as well as some fun designer tips and tricks! Read below for a bit more from the designer herself, and make sure to follower her at Instagram @carlakayes!

 

To start off, why don’t you tell us how you ended up in the flower industry?

I’ve been in love with flowers since I can remember.  I grew up in central Ohio with parents who were avid gardeners. My mom had the most beautiful English herb & flower garden complete with used brick paths and a pergola, which my father made.  I joined the local 4H horticulture club and competed in the county fair.  I attended Ohio University and have a BFA in Graphic Design and Art History. I worked as a graphic designer for 7 years and was never happy with what I was doing.  Soon after I stopped working to be a stay at home mom (my oldest was 2 at the time) I had a wholesale dried flower company.  I loved getting up and driving into the LA market where I purchases flowers to dry.  Over the next 15 years I dabbled in floral design, working seasonally for local floral shops, while I was raising my girls, and doing flowers for friend’s weddings. Eight years ago, when my youngest was almost finished with high school, I decided to open up my own wedding & event floral design studio and work at it full time.  I love what I do and don’t mind schlepping around heavy buckets and the sweat & hustle that goes into wedding work.  I can never get enough of flowers and working with them!

 

How did your background in graphic design help you transition into flowers?

All components of design are also relevant and used in floral design: Color theory, texture, shape & composition.  And how all these elements come together to form an overall design that has great eye flow and interest.

 

How would you describe your design style?

Natural, organic lush garden inspired designs.  I am happy if my works looks like I went out to my garden to clip stems then arrange.

 

 

Carla Kayes Takeover

Photo by @allielindseyphotography

 

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

Thankfully, as much as I love blush & peach, I’m seeing a return to bright, juicy color pallets for weddings. As well as wedding style, themes and tablescapes with modern & bohemian décor.

 

 

Carla Kayes Takeover

Photo by @suzijacobs

 

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’m crazy about Dahlias and Garden Roses. Oh and right now I love Zinnias.  I’m looking forward to early spring with Ranunculus and Japanese Sweet Peas!

 

 

Carla Kayes Takeover

Photo by @dulcetweddings

 

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

I love my Pink handled Ohana Floral sheers.  They are the best clippers I’ve used.  The light pink handle helps me locate them in all the green trimmings that seem to accumulate everywhere I’m working.

Instagram is by far my favorite. I’ve found it to be a wonderful source of inspiration, and flower sourcing. It has also provided me with a wonderful creative community, locally and around the world.  And it’s so simple & easy!

 

What’s the most memorable or favorite event/shoot you’ve worked on?

The shoot I did last July at Temecula Creek Inn with Bryan Miller Photography. http://www.stylemepretty.com/california-weddings/temecula/2015/07/14/rustic-romantic-temecula-wedding-inspiration/ It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but when I saw Bryan’s film images it was all so worth it!

 

Carla Kayes Takeover

Carla Kayes Takeover

Carla Kayes Takeover

Photos by @bryanmillerphoto 

 

What has your experience been like with Mayesh?

When I started my business 8 years ago, as soon as I had my permit, I set up an account at the Carlsbad market Mayesh.  Another florist highly recommended them.  And it’s been a great relationship!  There was a lot I didn’t know 8 years ago.  Cindy and Trudy, my reps, taught me so much along the way.  I am always finding a picture of a flower or foliage that I don’t know and they are always so great with flower ID, sourcing, availability and pricing information.  Oh and there was one time my cooler froze an entire wedding and Mayesh had everything I needed to redo it all in 2 hours (Plus it was a Saturday and they weren’t even open!)  They always have awesome product and I love going into the cooler to see what’s new. After all these years they are more like friends than business associates!

 

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

I was so eager to work that I would do any job for any price.  I wish I had focused more on developing my own style (not taking every job that came along that didn’t suit my style) and being firm with my pricing.  When you know your style, strengths and value, clients will value what you do.

 

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