Your name: Alicia Schwede
Your Business name: Bella Fiori
Your Location: Seattle, Washington
How did you start your business?
I started Bella Fiori in March 2003. I had only lived in Colorado for about one year & barely knew a soul in Colorado! I rented a small studio unit next door to Lifestyles Catering in Lakewood and became good friends with Kaye Lyssy, (previously of Lifestyles Catering). The rest as they say .. is history.
What is your design aesthetic?
I’ll admit it is always changing. My design style is influenced a lot by traveling. Lately I’ve been into the lush, garden style and loving vintage milk glass. There have been phases of modern, few flowers, sleek lines. I rarely go for the full-on wildflower in the mountain look. After all, I’m a city girl from San Francisco..
What inspires you?
Life. People. Traveling to the ends of the earth to see something different (yes, I have traveled to the end of the earth & no I didn’t see any flowers in Antarctica 😉 )Driving around in the spring time and seeing trees full of blooms! Visiting the flower markets and seeing what just came in.
What are the trends, flowers & colors that are unique to your region?
Dahlias are hot here, girls love them! This year I’m working on a lot of pink & peach weddings. I think it is the whole movement of the vintage inspired look. Ranunculus and anemones are also hugely popular.
Are you a retail shop, studio/warehouse or home based?
I have a studio/Warehouse location. We also offer rentals items and need the warehouse for storage.
Do you offer any services in addition to floral designs?
Yes, we have a division called Bella Rents. Where we rent tables, chairs, lighting, decor pieces like chandeliers. Be sure to check out the website to get a full listing of current items. Chad & I are always building our inventory.
What does your toolbox look like?
It’s big! Industrial size from Lowe’s 😉 It’s full of scissors, clippers, knives, windex wipes, twine, wire, pins, every kind of tape imaginable! Oh, and business cards!
What tool in your toolbox can’t you live without?
What’s your favorite flower?
Tough one! I stay pretty consistent with burgundy dahlias & green cymbidiums.
Anything else you’d like to share with Flirty Fleurs followers?
I love flowers, this is why Andrea & I started Flirty Fleurs – to connect with other people who love flowers!