Posts Tagged “floral education”

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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