Happy Valentine’s Day

Mr Cook Flowers of Sydney, Australia

Mr Cook Flowers of Sydney, Australia

Fleur Friday

Hello & Happy Fleur Friday!

Are you all ready for Valentine’s Day?! I’ve been freelancing all week for my friends at Fiori in Seattle. Always fun to freelance, and be happy I’m not the one of charge on Valentine’s Day – ha!

As for classes, I got three more classes listed on the website this week – The Bridal Bouquet Designing & Pricing Workshop, Totally Tulips, and The Floral Arch and Chuppah Workshop. The Hail to the Hellebore class is full.

Also – quite a few people have been emailing in to ask if I plan to offer the online course this year, so yes, I got that on the schedule! “ONLINE MARKETING CLASS FOR FLORAL DESIGNERS” starts February 29th. Click here to read more and register!

Some fun news – I have a new website up for my business, Bella Fiori!
Started it last weekend and just a few things left to tweak … after Valentine’s Day! You can check it out here

Bella Fiori, Seattle, Washington

Care & Handling of Roses

Flirty Fleurs Red Rose Color Study with Roses provided by Mayesh Wholesale - Hearts, Spanish Dress, Wanted, Sexy Red, Freedom, Checkmate, Red France

Mayesh Wholesale sent out this email about proper care & handling of roses. Yes, it was intended for this week of Valentine’s insanity, but I think it is useful information year round — especially with Wedding Season quickly approaching!

  • The night(s) prior to your roses arriving prepare buckets with water and stage inside your cooler.
  • The day the roses arrive, open boxes and spread roses on rack in the cooler for at least an hour and up to four hours prior to cutting and placing in water that has a correct dose of hydrating solution (Floralife; or equivalent from Chrysal etc.). Do not use flower food at this stage.
  • Alternatively, prepare buckets of water with professional floral hydrating solution and stage in a cool part of the shop. Let roses acclimatize to ambient temperature of the shop where the buckets are staged, and then cut and place in water. The key is to ensure that the roses and the water are more or less the same temperature. Do not plunge cold stems into warm water or warm stems into cold water as the shock could cause a blockage in the stems, and they may not hydrate properly.
  • Do NOT unwrap the roses until they have hydrated for at least an hour, and preferably two to three. If you hydrated the roses outside of the cooler, after about an half hour or so put into the cooler. By leaving the wrappers on, the water can hydrate the stems and restore them to a turgid and stable state, restoring strength and elasticity to the stems and flowers.
  • After two or three hours you may loosen the cardboard sleeve and remove it. It is suggested that you keep the plastic sleeve in place. It is not recommended that you leave the cardboard sleeve on longer than 24 hours once they are in water as the hydrating blooms will start to swell against the packaging and the other roses.
  • When cutting the stems of roses, it is suggested that you use very sharp and clean cutting equipment, blades and knives. Because of the high volume at this time of year, bench-cutters are normally used by many floral businesses, but make sure they are sharp and cleaned regularly throughout the processing task. If you like to hydrate each stem with an individual cut on each stem, it is recommended that you cut the whole bunch and hydrate with the sleeve in place, and then after two or three hours has elapsed, process as you would usually do.
  • Maintain your roses in buckets that may be full but not packed tightly. Keep roses away from breezes, drafts and fans, and where necessary tent them with a clean plastic cover (drop cloth from Home Depot is ideal and inexpensive).
  • If necessary, change the water and re-cut the stems every two to three days. This step is normally not necessary except when large volumes of flowers are being processed and also during holidays where roses are a large investment: Any stem that perhaps was not drinking water properly, was inadvertently not cut or had a clogged stem is afforded an opportunity to be perfectly hydrated.
  • Remember to remove any leaves that will fall below the water line in the buckets as this can cause copious amounts of bacteria and organic material to block stems from drinking water properly.
  • Leave the guard petals on until you are close to using for an order. Guard petals protect the inner blooms from damage due to handling but also inhibit a flower’s ability to open. Removing them initiates a signal to the flower to start opening.

Wedding Wednesday :: Bash & Bloom + Botanique

My friend Eleanor of Bash & Bloom sent in photos from her wedding for my Florists and their Bridal Bouquets request. When I looked through the photos what I saw is a visual story that I think you’d all really enjoy. You see, Eleanor is a floral designer here in Seattle and when she got married last year she asked fellow Seattle designer Kelly Sullivan of Botanique to create her bridal bouquet. I just love seeing the emotion shared between these two sweet floral designers!
Photography by Shane Macomber

Bash and Bloom and Botanique, Seattle, Washington Floral Designers

Bash and Bloom and Botanique, Seattle, Washington Floral Designers

Bash and Bloom and Botanique, Seattle, Washington Floral Designers

Bash and Bloom and Botanique, Seattle, Washington Floral Designers

Bash and Bloom and Botanique, Seattle, Washington Floral Designers

Bash and Bloom and Botanique, Seattle, Washington Floral Designers

Bash and Bloom and Botanique, Seattle, Washington Floral Designers

Bash and Bloom and Botanique, Seattle, Washington Floral Designers

Bash and Bloom and Botanique, Seattle, Washington Floral Designers

Bash and Bloom and Botanique, Seattle, Washington Floral Designers

Bash and Bloom and Botanique, Seattle, Washington Floral Designers

Bash and Bloom and Botanique, Seattle, Washington Floral Designers

Bash and Bloom and Botanique, Seattle, Washington Floral Designers

Bridal Bouquets of Floral Designers

Last week I sent out a request via Instagram and Facebook asking for floral designers to send in photos of the bouquets they carried for their own weddings. So fun to see what everyone carried!!

Flora Organica Designs - JJT Photo - Peach and White Bridal Bouquet

Faye of Flora Organica Designs
JJT Photo

Fleurie Flowers of Reedley, California - cascading bouquet of white flowers

Laurie of Fleurie Flowers

Fleurie Flowers of Reedley, California - cascading bouquet of white flowers

Laurie of Fleurie Flowers

Mandy of MJM Designs - Bridal bouquet

Mandy of MJM Designs

Stacey of Roots Flowers and Events - Bridal bouquet of purple and green flowers

Stacey of Roots Flowers and Events

Stacey of Roots Flowers and Events - Bridal bouquet of purple and green flowers

Stacey of Roots Flowers and Events

Bella Fiori Bridal Bouquet - lilacs, roses, clematis, and dahlias.

Last, but not least. The bouquet I carried! Lilacs, purple roses, dahlias and clematis. I combined my favorite flowers with my grandma’s favorite flowers. She loved roses, but growing the purple roses always proved difficult – small little plants back in the day. She had gorgeous lilac bushes. If I could have fit a pansy in here, I would have! Burgundy dahlias have been one of my favorites for years. Then there is clematis, if you know me you know I adore clematis!!

Ask The Expert :: Graphic Designer Kimberly Schwede

Good Monday Morning!
Today we have a special treat for all of you, an interview with Graphic Designer extraordinaire, Kimberly Schwede! Kim is the amazing art director who designed both issues of Flirty Fleurs Magazine, plus my book Bella Bouquets, and many of the graphic images you see here on the Flirty Fleurs blog.
‘Tis the season that many floral designers are updating their marketing materials – website/blog updates, new business cards, stationary, heck a whole new business identity – so I’ve asked Kim to answer a few questions y’all have sent into Flirty Fleurs.

Kimberly Schwede Graphic Design

Question –
When working with a floral designer, what helps you to understand the client’s brand so that you can create a logo or website for the client?

Kim – A great place to start is to research the competition. What is the competition doing? How can we improve and beat the competition! Below are some questions I often send new clients to help them better understand their business wants and needs.

YOUR COMPANY
Describe your business: What do you do? Who is your main competition? How do you differ?

YOUR PROJECT
Who is your target market? Age groups and demographics?

Who are you currently marketing to? How do your clients find you? What makes your company unique?

Question –
What type of input materials do you like to see when designing a logo or web site…photos, other designs, etc.

Kim – These are some questions to get the creative juices flowing…

Describe in a few words the feelings you wish your brand to evoke: Beautiful, Modern, Feminine, Humorous, Fresh, Classic, High End, Friendly, etc…?

Which companies (design wise) do you like and dislike and why? Does not have to be in your market.

Are there particular designs you like in my portfolio? www.kimberlyschwede.com

For print materials photos need to be 300DPI resolution and for a website 72DPI resolution. The larger in size the better because I like to be able to crop and focus in on the key image.

Kimberly Schwede Graphic Design - Business cards for Florists

Logos – Vines Business System – Logo Design, Business Card, Letterhead, Postcard Promotion

Question –
What do you find most helpful when trying to bring to life someone’s business or brand?

Kim –
I like to see their reaction once the design process goes under way. There are usually 3 phases of design drafts. After the first phase the client chooses a direction to move forward with and from there we finesse the design until its satisfactory. To see a clients excitement and hear feedback on the various design phases leads to a beautiful final product. In the end its a lot of creative collaboration between the designer and client.

Kimberly Schwede Graphic Design - Website Design for Florists

Graphic Design – Logo, Business Card design and Website Design

Question –
We are redesigning our website this year – exciting! We have decided on a template and have taken an inventory of our current site. We are figuring out what we would like to keep, what to remove and what to add. My question is, at what point in the process do you recommend bringing on the graphic designer? We were thinking we would figure out the written and visual content and then pull in the graphic designer, but I would love to hear your take.

Kim – It’s great for the client to organize their thoughts and content before meeting with a graphic designer. You’re off to a good start! Upon meeting a designer they will likely ask you the following questions:

*What is the focus of your website? Informational, Portfolio/Gallery, e-Commerce/Online Store?

*What feelings would you like a visitor to experience while visiting your site? Do you have a logo, color palette or font guidelines/style guide?

*Is there a particular product/service you want to draw the most attention to? What are your biggest money-makers?

*Please list a few websites you find compelling, interesting or similar to what you hope to achieve. What are the strengths of each of these sites?

*What does the outline of the website look like? What pages and sub-pages would you like? (i.e. Home, About, Gallery, Services, Press, Blog, Contact, etc)

*Then when gathering content a Word document of the text for each website page and 72DPI JPEG photos can be sent via Dropbox or email.

Kimberly Schwede Graphic Design

 
Thank you, Kim, for joining us today on the blog and for answering some questions from our readers! We really appreciate you expertise!!
For our readers, if you’d like more information about how to freshen up your business identity be sure to check out Kim’s design portfolio at: www.KimberlySchwede.com

 

Fleur Friday

Hello Flower Friends!

Happy Friday! I hope you all had a splendid week. Busy with projects around here, as usual. One of the projects that I just launched yesterday is a new website for Greater Seattle Florist Association. I joined this group when I moved to Washington a few years ago, and what a great group it is! Each of us contributes what we can and working on the website was one of my projects for the group.

Hung out with my friend Melanie of Melanie Benson Floral Design. She took me to visit Vintage Ambiance – oh my word, too much good stuff for us decorator types!! Of course, the week was filled with writing up floral estimates for summer brides – ’tis the season, right?!

I don’t have any interesting articles to share with you this week. I was at the computer a ton this week, but working away on projects and never had a moment to search for interesting articles. Maybe next week! Oh wait, next week is Valentine’s Week .. yea, it’s “a week” when you are a florist! I’ll be freelancing for my friend Miles’ of Fiori Floral Design – woot woot.

I have a Hellebore + Compote design class scheduled for March – only two spaces left as I write this! Here’s the info –

Bella Fiori, Green and Burgundy Hellebores, Peach Quince and Akebia Vine

Hail the Hellebore!
Sunday, March 6, 2016 / 1pm to 3pm

Join us for an afternoon class on March 6th where we will be inspired by the Queen of Winter, the Hellebore. This little beauty comes in an array of colors – pinks, plums, whites, and greens. We’ll discuss the care & handling of the hellebore while designing a lush, garden style flower arrangement. Our vessel of choice will be a compote using chicken wire as the support structure.

Following Alicia’s demonstration each student will create their own floral arrangement masterpiece to take home.

Date: Sunday, March 6, 2016
Location: Floressence Design Studio, 5628 Airport Way S #240, Seattle, WA 98108
Time: 1pm to 3pm
Investment: $225.00 per person
Register: HERE

Wedding Wednesday :: Purple Bouquets

FLORAL IS THE NEW BLACK by Joseph Massie

ARLENE PHILLIPS ATTENDS NTAs WEARING A JOSEPH MASSIE ORIGINAL ‘LIVING’ DRESS

Joseph Massie Lavender Floral Dress

Strictly Come Dancing star Arlene Phillips walked the red carpet at the National Television Awards wearing a “living” dress created by floral artist Joseph Massie, decorated with real flowers that are all used for homeopathic remedies, including Clematis, Roses, Hydrangea and others.

Arlene and Joseph are lending their support to a campaign launched by eleven homeopathic charities and associations, including the British Homeopathic Association (BHA) and the Homeopathy Action Trust (HAT). The campaign aims to raise awareness of homeopathy and the organisations’ useful and informative website: www.findahomeopath.org.

The dress was the inspiration of award-winning floral artist (five consecutive RHS Gold Medals and four Best in Show awards from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show) Joseph Massie. Months of work have gone into designing and making the dress, with Massie and his team spending over 100 hours painstakingly attaching each petal onto the fabric.
The botanicals used within the dress include Clematis, Roses, Hydrangea, African violets, Olive, Chrysanthemum, Arabicum, Hyacinth and Jasmine, all entwined in Massie’s signature style to create a truly sumptuous bouquet.
On Homeopathy, Arlene commented, ‘I’ve regularly found Arnica cream to be so helpful with healing bruises and dancing related injuries!” She continued, ‘Once, when I was Germany, I had to take my daughter to a Doctor who prescribed a homeopathic remedy as opposed to penicillin and it helped enormously”
On the dress, Joseph commented, ‘It was such a pleasure to collaborate with these two leading homeopathic charities to create such a fabulous piece of floral couture for Arlene to wear at the NTA’s. It was a really wonderfully creative project to design a piece of couture that was both, light and elegant, but also able to hold an array of beautiful blooms. Floral couture has always been a big part of my practice, and to work with these charities to promote such a good cause was a real pleasure”

Joseph Massie Lavender Floral Dress Details

Joseph Massie Lavender Floral Dress Details

Joseph Massie Lavender Floral Dress Details

Joseph Massie Lavender Floral Dress Details

www.josephmassie.com

Fabulous Florist :: Niche Events, Bristish Columbia

Niche Events, British Columbia

Blush Photography

Your name: Maria Schollen
Your Business name: Niche Events
Your Location: Maple Ridge, British Columbia (45 minutes outside of Vancouver)

Niche Events, British Columbia

How did you start your business and how many years have you been in business?
I was involved in the event industry as a coordinator for around 10 years. I opened my business 5 years ago when I decided to venture out on my own. My dad was an architect and my mom was the original “Martha Stewart”. She was an interior designer, floral designer and one of the best cake designers of her time. So, naturally, after several careers and raising three children, I evolved and found myself in the event and wedding design industry. I was always doing the décor and florals for my events and it seemed a natural transition when I started my own business to focus more on design, décor and florals.

Niche Events, British Columbia

What is your design aesthetic?
I would say my design aesthetic is classic, timeless and, most importantly, beautiful.

Niche Events, British Columbia

What inspires you?
I am inspired daily by everything around us. From fashion to interior design, nature, travel, history and, of course, my clients. I love hearing how they have met, their proposal story and their wishes for a dream wedding. They inspire me to design something new and creative just for them. I am also inspired by all of the wonderful floral designers in the world. There are so many creative individuals! The floral industry is constantly changing for the better and we all encourage each other do better and create more interesting projects.

Niche Events, British Columbia, Bridal Bouquet

What is your favorite part of being a floral designer?
I get to wake up each morning and create something beautiful.

Niche Events, British Columbia, Bridal Bouquet

What is the most challenging aspect of being a floral designer?
I would say the business part has been the most challenging part. I am very creative and I would be happy just playing with the design, décor and flowers portions of our business. But as entrepreneurs we have to wear many hats such as: salespersons, business development, social media, bookkeepers, floral buyers, and taking care of the production and execution of all projects. It can be very challenging learning all of these areas and still trying to make your business thrive.

Niche Events, British Columbia

What advice would you give to aspiring floral designers?
Keep plugging away, it will come together! It may take a while to land that dream job or open your dream business but you can do it. You need to start at the bottom and work your way up. I would also suggest that you take as many courses and workshops as possible. You may prefer a certain type of floral design but it doesn’t hurt to try new things outside your comfort zone. You are never too old to learn new skills that will enhance your business.

Niche Events, British Columbia

What are the trends, flowers & colors that are unique to your region?
In the Lower Mainland (British Columbia) we have quite a bit of diversity. Some clients still love the classic style with all flowers in compact shapes. Currently, most of my clients are wanting the fresh compote style: loose and organic with lots of greenery. They are utilizing birch structures with gorgeous draping, harvest style tables with floral garlands and waterfalls. The colours tend to be very pastel and neutral. Lots of blush pink, white, peach, and lavender with touches of greenery. We have some great growers in British Columbia with our summers being plentiful with peonies, hydrangeas, Lisianthus, lilies and roses. I like to use a mixture of flowers including imported garden roses, ranunculus, spray roses and exotic blooms such as phalaenopsis orchids.

Niche Events, British Columbia

What tool in your toolbox can’t you live without?
I can’t work without my cutters, wire, green tape and oasis glue. They are my staples.

What’s your favorite Social Media platform and why?
I would say that Instagram is my favourite social media tool. It is visually quick and I get the most interaction from viewers. It is an easy platform to use as a business owner with little time.

Niche Events, British Columbia

Anything else you’d like to share with Flirty Fleurs followers?
I have been a Flirty Fleurs follower for a few years now and love the blog and social media channels. There is always something new to learn. Whether it is setting your minimum with Allison Ellis Floral Artistry, the rose studies, upcoming conferences and workshops or just finding out about other wonderful floral designers from around the world in their Fabulous Florists blog. I would highly recommend following them on all social media. One last thing: We are currently celebrating two milestones! We are in our 5th year of business and we finally have an adorable space of our own to showcase our gorgeous blooms and décor. For those interested in popping by for a visit please contact us directly and we would be happy to book a complimentary appointment for you!

Niche Events, British Columbia

Maria Schollen
Niche Events
www.nicheeventstylists.com
604 818-1849

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/Nichestylists
Instagram: @nichestylists
Twitter: @nichestylists
Blog: http://www.nicheeventstylists.com/blog/

Niche Events, British Columbia

Niche Events, British Columbia

Blush Photography