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 –
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.
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
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 –
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
ARLENE PHILLIPS ATTENDS NTAs WEARING A JOSEPH MASSIE ORIGINAL ‘LIVING’ 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”
Your name: Maria Schollen
Your Business name: Niche Events
Your Location: Maple Ridge, British Columbia (45 minutes outside of Vancouver)
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.
What is your design aesthetic?
I would say my design aesthetic is classic, timeless and, most importantly, beautiful.
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.
What is your favorite part of being a floral designer?
I get to wake up each morning and create something beautiful.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!