Fleur Friday

Q&A :: Florist VS Event Designer

The Question:

Would you consider a post regarding the line between being the florist and being an event designer?
Recently I had a bride come in with picture of what she wanted for floral. We finished the quote and then she wanted to know what chairs, dance floor, invitations, hanging lights vs festoons vs up lights, etc. I am all for providing opinions and feedback. That’s not what this was. This was more of a expectation for a design rollout. She even told me, “well, the florist designs the wedding”. I think this is from an era where the only design choices were linens and what color bow to use to cinch that net filled with Jordan almonds. Now the bride’s wearing cowboy boots and emerald jewelry in her engagement photo because in a year she’s getting married in a barn and her bridesmaids will be wearing emerald dresses.
In this age where the drinking straws match the pendants, which coordinate the menu cards, which have the same font as the “Pick a Seat” sign, which has a small, hand-drawn sketch of cowboy boots which harken back to what the bride wore in the engagement shoot a year before, I am not interested in event design. Can you provide some feedback on where the line is? I want to be helpful, but I don’t want to provide free design services either.
The bottom line – how do you make it clear to a bride when you want to do flowers only vs when you want to offer full event design services?
-Sarah

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The Answers:

I think if you are uninterested in designing the wedding, I think it’s completely sufficient to answer a few questions and as soon as you feel like it’s too much, simply say “I’m sorry, I don’t offer design services. The service that I provide is floral design and decoration. I’d be happy to refer you to someone who does event design.” If you are interested in providing event design services, I would list it in your pricing documents as a separate service, and define what the service is. This way brides know that if they’d like someone to help with linens, lighting, room arrangement etc, they are free to solicit your event design packages in addition to your floral design packages.
Blair of Sweet Blossoms, Maryland

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I think the best thing to start with is explain to a client what you are willing to provide vs. what you won’t provide. Starting with “I won’t do _____” may put a negative light on your business. Make sure your marketing and website reflects your focus on florals as opposed to other design elements. If you get the sense a bride is wanting this level of service in a consult, clarify what you offer and maybe refer them to a wedding planner or event designer you know of in your area who can do that for them while working alongside you. If that doesn’t fly for the client, it probably wasn’t a good fit in the first place. Listen to your gut and stay true to the core of your business.

Michelle of Blossom & Vine Floral Co., Vancouver, BC

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Share your thoughts with us on this subject – just share in the comments section!

Do you have a question you’d like to ask for a Q&A session? Email it to me at: info@flirtyfleurs.com

Wedding Wednesday :: Escort Card Tables

Escort Card Table - Accent Decor

Designer Unknown

Escort Card Table

Designer Unknown

White Orchid Escort Table Display

Designer Unknown

Fabulous Florist :: Andrea Layne Floral Design

Andrea Layne Floral Design
Your name: Andrea Layne
Your Business name: Andrea Layne Floral Design
Your Location: Wesley Chapel, Florida – serving all of Tampa Bay, including Lakeland and Sarasota

Andrea Layne Floral Designs

How did you start your business?
I started my professional career leading multi-million dollar projects to help companies either improve their processes or to help them to most effectively report their earnings. It was a stress-filled job that didn’t allow me to fulfill my passion for art and design. So after 11 years of working as an IT Project Manager for 4 different employers, 1 year of Interior Design training at the Art Institute of Denver, giving birth to 2 gorgeous daughters, and a blissful year of just being a mommy, I worked with a career coach to figure out how to turn my love of interior design, my need to have a more balanced life, and my interest in weddings into a business.

I received technical training at the South Florida Center for Floral Studies and took online classes offered by the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD). Then I sought out an amazing internship with one of the largest, and best, event design shops in Tampa, which turned into a freelance job for a while. My love of flowers and weddings deepened, as did my confidence…and in 2011, I took the plunge and created Andrea Layne Floral Design. I know my IT finance career makes me a great business owner, but it’s my attention to detail and ability to bring a creative vision to life that make my clients love working with me.

How many years have you been in business?
A little over 4 years
Started my education and internship in June of 2010
Started my business in February of 2011

What is your design aesthetic?
I am a design chameleon, in that I adapt my personal creativity to meet each of my clients’ unique theme, venue, and color scheme. I love variety and texture, and ensure these are present in all aspects of my designs, from the linens, to the containers, to the types of flowers and foliage I select. As I add each layer to the creation it reinforces the theme and style for each individual event. I like mixing premium flowers, such as orchids, garden roses, and ranunculus with more humble flowers such as waxflower, spray roses, and mums to create a design blend that is unique for each of my customers. Out-of-the box creativity defines me best.

Andrea Layne Floral Designs

How do you create your style and where do you draw your inspiration?
I draw my inspiration from each client’s event. Typically we start with the venue style, colors and theme that they want to incorporate into the design, the season, and their own personal style. As we walk through their desires, I start to visualize the feel of the event, such as updated modern, romantic garden, beach glam, and that then helps to drive the whole design. The types and color of the flowers, the vases, votive, and other décor items, and finally the linens bring the whole thing together into a cohesive picture.

If the customer is unsure of her vision, we’ll start by creating a design board with a color scheme selected from Design Seeds to drive each detail. I find the pictures associated with the colors help the client hone in on their vision.

What are the trends, flowers & colors that are unique to your region?
Being in Florida on the gorgeous gulf coast, you can imagine the beach and destination weddings we get to do on a weekly basis! There are literally hundreds of beach venues from the Post Card Inn on St Pete Beach that has a 60’s surfer theme to the absolutely stunning Ca’ d’Zan Mansion at the Ringling Museum in Sarasota with its the Bayfront Promenade and everything in between. Even though you will see sand, shells, and tropical flower at many of these weddings, the current trend here is to go outside this vision and create a theme that is unique to the bride. So we’re doing garden, vintage, glam, Roaring 20s, mid-century modern, and everything in between at these beach venues.

The Tampa Bay area is also close to the rural core of Florida, so there has been a proliferation of barn-style venues. So we are seeing a lot more rustic, earthy designs lately. My personal favorite design vision one of our current brides brought us for one of these venues is an English Equestrian Theme…think old trophies, brown leather, crispt white linens, bits and bridals, horse show ribbons and combine that garden styled flowers. I can’t wait for January to make these creations!

Andrea Layne Floral Designs


Are you a retail shop, studio/warehouse or home based?

Since I started my business I worked out of a large studio in my home. In the last 2 weeks, we moved out into a space in a business park. I am so very happy to have the ability to make this move. The extra space is so wonderful!

Do you offer any services in addition to floral designs?
I have partnered with several linen companies and a chair rental company to offer a discount on these items to my clients. But my core business is strictly floral design for weddings and events.

Andrea Layne Floral Designs

What tool in your toolbox can’t you live without?
How can any florist be without their trusty knives?!? I have 4 different Swiss Army knives… light blue, pink, yellow, and burgundy. I guess it’s kind of an obsession! I also have a heavy duty pair of clippers by Corona that are the only ones I use to cut the stems of bouquets because it is can handle cutting large and delicate stems with precision and creates an even bottom. And finally, I can’t live without my Oasis Floral Adhesive. That stuff can fix almost any problem! I buy it by the case!

Andrea Layne Floral Designs

What’s your favorite flower?
When I started this business it was such a personal renewal for me. So I use the Cherry Blossom in my logo to signify this. I don’t get the chance to use them too often in my floral design though. In design, my favorite flower is typically the ones I am currently designing with…lol! I fall in love so easily! How could you not, when you are as blessed as I am to work with so many premium flowers all of the time?!? I love all types of orchids, garden roses, tulips, freesia, ranunculus, forsythia, oh and dark blue delphiniums!

Anything else you’d like to share with Flirty Fleurs followers?
Do what you love! I am so blessed to have taken the risk to completely change my career and start my own business. I am a happy, balanced person because of it.

Andrea Layne Floral Designs

Contact information:
Andrea Layne Floral Design
5854 Argerian Drive, Suite 102
Wesley Chapel, FL 33544
(813) 810-9645

Website: http://www.andrealaynefloraldesign.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/AndreaLayneFloralDesign
Instagram: http://instagram.com/andrealaynefloraldesign
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/andrealaynefd/

Garden Roses by Alexandra Farms

One of my favorite farms for garden roses is Alexandra Farms, they grow such full, lush, hardy roses. While in Holland a few weeks ago I had a chance to visit with Joey and discuss the latest and greatest roses they are growing, and for your viewing pleasure I took photos of the various roses they had on display -

Alabaster Garden Roses

Alabaster Garden Roses

Aphrodite Garden Roses

Aphrodite Garden Roses

Ashley Garden Roses

Ashley Garden Roses

Augusta Luise Garden Roses

Augusta Luise Garden Roses

Bridal Piano Garden Roses

Bridal Piano Garden Roses

Candlelight Garden Roses

Candlelight Garden Roses

Caramel Antike Garden Roses

Caramel Antike Garden Roses

Baronesse Garden Roses

Baronesse Garden Roses

Fiction Garden Roses

Fiction Garden Roses

Free Spirit Garden Roses

Free Spirit Garden Roses

Hearts Garden Roses

Hearts Garden Roses

Heirloom Garden Roses

Heirloom Garden Roses

Lemon PomPom Garden Roses

Lemon PomPom Garden Roses

Mamy Blue Garden Roses

Mamy Blue Garden Roses

Mariatheresia Garden Rose

Mariatheresia Garden Roses

Mayra's Rose Garden Roses

Mayra’s Rose Garden Roses

Mythos Garden Roses

Mythos Garden Roses

Pink O'Hara Garden Roses

Pink O’Hara Garden Roses

Pink Piano Garden Roses

Pink Piano Garden Roses

Precious Moments Garden Roses

Precious Moments Garden Roses

Princess Charlene of Monaco Garden Roses

Princess Charlene of Monaco Garden Roses

Romantic Antike Garden Rose

Romantic Antike Garden Roses

Sunset Garden Roses

Sunset Garden Roses

Vitality Garden Roses

Vitality Garden Roses

Voyage Garden Roses

Voyage Garden Roses

White Cloud Garden Roses

White Cloud Garden Roses

White O'Hara Garden Roses

White O’Hara Garden Roses

Yves Piaget Garden Roses

Yves Piaget Garden Roses

Alexandra Farms at IFTF

Alexandra Garden Roses

Alexandra Farms and Florabundance at IFTF in Holland

Joey & Paula from Alexandra Farms and Joost from Florabundance Wholesale visiting at IFTF, check out the size of those roses!!

Fleur Friday

Holland IFTF Flower Show

Rose display at IFTF in Holland

Q&A :: Dealing with difficult Load-Ins

The Question:

This weekends wedding was a beast for me. It was a whopping 11 tables and 6 cocktails, easy-peasey, right? But there were rentals of pillars and backdrops and the loading dock was a country mile from the set up sites. It was 15 minutes of walking, 2 service kitchens and two elevators from the truck to the reception site. With this kind of obstacle course, efficiency is paramount for timely delivery, calm work environment and my aching feet.
I am interested to hear what tricks of the trade there are for load-in.
How are trucks packed? What’s the preferred dolly/cart? Are florists designing based on what they can transport the easiest? One of my biggest strengths is making something work, no matter how hard it is to accomplish. This is also one of my biggest weaknesses.
I do not want to be killing myself with load-in if there is an easier way. Thoughts?
-Sarah

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The Answers:

We use carts, refrigerated box trucks and enough man power to get it there at the time we say we will. If there is a venue you have never worked at before it’s good to go take a visit so you can say well it’s only 11 tables and a few cocktail pieces but all of those rentals are going to take a small army to get there and charge wisely. Everything and I mean everything goes on a rolling cart we do not lift as it’s not good for our lower backs in the long run. Plus one person can push one cart and that is like moving 8 flower boxes full of flowers. So it turns out to be cheaper in the long rung. Shrink wrap and carts on wheels is how we roll. Pun intended!
Alex of Exquisite Designs, Illinois

florist moving arrangements

flowers loaded on rolling carts

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I had the very same situation this weekend. In 14 years, this was the most difficult delivery I have had. It was the same story. Downtown Dallas, a new venue for me and a single loading dock which happened to be occupied at the time of our scheduled delivery. We ended up at a loading dock across the street and had to take 2 security elevators and walk 2 blocks to the venue. This was for 26 centerpieces, vintage columns, large urn arrangements…..you all know the drill. They provided us with one small kitchen cart to use…….do the math. They cannot pay enough for this!! There were 3 of us making the delivery which normally would be fine. So, I am also curious how others work through this kind of delivery. Here are the things I would do differently. If it is a new venue, I am going to do a pre-visit to make sure I know what is ahead of me. Secondly, we will be purchasing our own carts……although it’s never been an issue until now. Thirdly, I could have easily used two extra staff IF I had known what was waiting for me. Last but definitely not least, I will charge triple!!!! There is a silver lining to the saga…….I got the best text from the MOB……”Your flowers were beyond magnificent!!! Even more beautiful than we had ever dreamed of!!! You totally caught our vision and executed beyond and executed beyond our expectations!!!” Ok……maybe the delivery wasn’t THAT bad!! We count on those comments to keep us going don’t we? Thanks again to Alicia for the constant encouragement this blog gives me!
Jan Barstad

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Do you have suggestions and advice for Sarah? Please leave it in the comments section – thanks!

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Do you have a question you’d like to ask for a Q&A session? Email it to me at: info@flirtyfleurs.com

Wedding Wednesday :: Long Table Decor

Sash Floral Design Nathan Russell - succulents, moss and driftwood

Sash Floral Design Nathan Russell Photography

Brooke Keegan Weddings & Events - hot pink, black wedding reception

Brooke Keegan Weddings & Events

Brooke Keegan Weddings & Events - all white wedding reception

Brooke Keegan Weddings & Events

MMD Events,  Kismis Ink Photography - autumn inspired reception table

MMD Events
Kismis Ink Photography

Fabulous Florist :: Flora Organica Designs, Arcata, California

compote centerpiece, with garden roses, seeded eucalyptus, cafe au lait dahlias, hydrangea and dusty miller

Your name: Faye Krause
Your Business name: Flora Organica Designs
Your Location: Arcata, CA

Farm Information:
Flora Organica
Andi and Lisa Zierer
McKinleyville, CA

FLora Orgnaica Fields of Dahlias

Faye, your family owns a flower farm and you are a floral designer, can you tellus how the farm first started and how did it evolve into you providing floral designs?

Faye:
The Farm first started in 1984, although my parents had been farming for years before that and my father had worked in a florist shop in Germany, before coming to the US. The story they like to tell is when my mother was pregnant with me they were deciding what to grow and decided if the baby was a boy it would be potatoes, and if a girl they would would grow flowers.
As I grew I was always surrounded by and working with flowers. I remember creating my first Christmas wreath, it took me two days, I was 5 years old. My parents did an occasional wedding and I was always bugging my dad to let me make the boutonnieres, or corsages and head wreaths. When I was thirteen I created my first bridal bouquet for a family friend’s wedding. After I graduated high school I traveled Europe and found that while away from flowers something was missing. I managed a floral department at a local grocery store for a short amount of time, and then decided it was time to go out on my own and Flora Organica Designs was founded in 2005. I had been creating weddings for a few years as part of my parents’ farm I decided to use Flora Organica Designs as my business name.

Lisa:
We started our farm in 1984 as River Rose Flowers in Orleans, California. The first year we grew a mix of summer produce and flowers for the dried flower market. At the peak we did 12 acres of flowers mostly for the wholesale dried flower market. We began to integrate fresh flowers and nursery stock, predominately landscape plants into our production. We moved to McKinleyville, California in 2000 and started another farm, Flora Organica. We grew specialty cut flowers and landscape plants. In 2009 we added herbs to our nursery production and the following year we added vegetable starts. This led to growing produce in the field which we sell at farmers markets, local grocery stores and nurseries. Currently we do a mix of specialty cut flowers, produce, and nursery production with an emphasis on vegetable starts, herbs, colors, lavender, and succulents.

Summer bridal bouquet of all organic flowers grown by Flora organica  and arranged by Flora Organica Designs

Where do you sell your flowers? Do you ship your flowers?
Lisa:
We sell flowers to local wedding designers, florists, farmers markets, and stores. We did ship when we grew flowers for the wholesale dried flower industry but currently we sell only locally.

Flora Organica Bridal bouquet

Olivia Leigh Photography

Tell us about your design aesthetic, how do you create your style and where do you draw your inspiration?

Faye: I would describe my design aesthetic as natural with a European influence. I draw my inspiration from the flowers and materials themselves. Having grown up on a farm and I have always been conscious of where my flowers come from, and that is reflected in my style, where you will find mostly in season blooms, and unusual local blooms and foliage, and botanicals.

summer bouquet with organic dahlias, craspedia, mint, stock, yarrow

What is your favorite part of being a floral designer?

Faye: taking a handful of flowers or a room filled buckets of flowers and turing it into a curated design…. Getting a shipment of flowers, opening that box is always like christmas morning !…..Handing a bride her bouquet on her wedding day and having her tell me “it is exactly what I wanted and I did not even know what I wanted”

Spring centerpiece, with wisteria, tulips, azalea and hawthorne by Flora Organica Designs

What advice would you give to aspiring floral designers?

Faye: Buy a pair of #2 Felco clippers and accept that you will be always working holidays, but Mondays will become your favorite day of the week!

Flora Organica Dahlias Fields

Do you offer any services in addition to floral designs?

Faye: Along with floral design I offer decorating for the holidays. I also have a dried flower wedding line that I ship all over the country that can be found in my Etsy store www.fayemarie.etsy.com. In my Etsy store you will find many items made from product grown on my parents farm. I ship bulk cases of their lavender, as well as craspedia.

custom dried flower etsy bouquet

everlasting corsages

What tool in your toolbox can’t you live without?
Faye: My felco #2 clippers

romantic bridal bouquet with cafe au lait dahlias, garden roses, stephanotis, hydrangea,


Your contact information:

Faye Krause
www.floraorganicadesigns.com
www.fayemarie.etsy.com
instagram @fayekrause
twitter @FODesigns
facebook @flora organica design

Flora Organica Farm
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Flora-Organica/1725360587688507

tractor on a flower farm

Faye and Alicia with one of the Cafe Au Lait Dahlias

Faye and Alicia with one of the Cafe Au Lait Dahlias

My Favorites from Holland

Hello Flower Friends!
Well, I’m back from a whirlwind trip to Holland! It was a great trip to attend both IFTF & FloraHolland shows and to see lots of new flower varieties. I traveled with Florabundance Wholesale to the shows which was super cool and I think Joost, the owner of Florabundance, knows just about everybody at the shows!
I have tons of images to sort through and lots of interesting things to tell all of you, but for today I am keeping it simple and posting my 12 favorite flowers that I saw last week. (Blame it on jet lag .. it’ll take a bit of time to get all these photos sorted out!).

Gravity Roses

Gravity Roses

Reflex Spray Roses

Reflex Spray Roses

Anastasia Star Pink Mums

Anastasia Star Pink Mums

Anco Pure Vanda Orchids

Anco Pure Vanda Orchids

Antique Carnations

Antique Carnations

Fabulous Carnations

Fabulous Carnations

Grand Pastel Ranunculus

Grand Pastel Ranunculus

Green Spider Amaranthus

Green Spider Amaranthus

Kahala Roses

Kahala Roses

Nerines

Nerines

Ruffled Pink Lisianthus

Pink Lisianthus (exact name unknown)

White Cloud Garden Roses by Alexandra Farms

White Cloud Garden Roses

If you see something you like and want more information on ordering any of these be sure to check in with Florabundance Wholesale – they’ll be happy to help!