Fabulous Florist :: Rachel Cho Floral Design

Rachel Cho Floral Design
Your name: Rachel Cho
Your Business name: Rachel Cho Floral Design
Your Location: West Chelsea, Manhattan

Rachel Cho Floral Design New York City

How did you start your business?
I grew up in the flower business in a local flower shop that my mother started in the Bronx, in New York City. When I was a little girl I had to work on the weekends and every holiday to help out with the family business. After graduating college with a degree in Biology, I decided med school was not for me and started working in various industries, including fashion. In 2005, I decided to go back to the flower shop to start a flower business of my own, a luxury, “high fashion” flower brand. I was very fortunate to gain a lot of exposure early on, doing a lot of events for MoMA, gaining high-profile accounts such as the New York Yankees, and building a great wedding portfolio with highly positive reviews. Fast-forward to 2016: I’ve built great partnerships and a book of business that affords a 3500 square foot design studio in West Chelsea, in Manhattan. I’ve enlisted my husband, who left his corporate career to go into business with me in 2015, and now we co-own and run the company together. We have a handful managing the business together as well as 2 kids under 2 years old!

Rachel Cho Floral Design New York CityRachel Cho Floral Design New York City - citrus colored floral arrangement

How many years have you been in business?
I am approaching my 12-year mark, which will be at the start of 2017.

Rachel Cho Floral Design New York City - Red flower arrangement

What is your design aesthetic?
My design aesthetic is contemporary, modern, and fresh. We use luxurious, seasonal blooms that come from near and far in a highly curated, thoughtful style. I focus on textures, and always try to bring out a bloom’s inherent shape and form. My designs are clean, with a slight whimsical flair.

Rachel Cho Floral Design New York City

How do you create your style and where do you draw your inspiration?
My style has always been to combine various textures and interesting color palettes (whether it be a monochromatic design, or a mix of various colors, brought together in a harmonious way). My inspiration can be drawn from anything! From a customer’s emotional backstory, to a beautiful flower variety we have on-hand whose unique color or texture I’d like to bring out, I find that I create an arrangement by really thinking about who or what the arrangement is for.

Rachel Cho Floral Design New York City - red and orange ranunculus bouquet

What are the trends, flowers & colors that are unique to your region?
There are various trends that make designing with flowers so exciting. In New York, people love monochromatic tones such as a chic, simple all-white arrangement. Our signature arrangement, the White on Black, is always very popular. Using all white tones with various flower varieties, the White on Black is highly textured and gorgeously juxtaposed by its black vessel. Another trend that is so fun to work with is the new craze for garden-y, organic compositions that use a variety of interesting greenery, berries, and wildflowers. The challenge with this kind of composition is balancing full-face blooms with linear flowers, but when all is composed in harmony, you get a beautiful mix that has a lot of dimension. Flower trends have definitely evolved over the years from tight, compact, round shapes to organic and overflowing designs that look like they were freshly picked from a garden.

Rachel Cho Floral Design New York City

Are you a retail shop, studio/warehouse or home based?
We are an appointment-only design studio. We’re located on the 2nd floor of the historic Terminal Stores Building, which used to be known as the Tunnel, and was a popular New York nightclub in the 80s and 90s. Our studio is a large industrial space with 3 walk-in coolers and a working freight elevator that loads right into our studio. We welcome any walk-ins to stop by but most people order by phone or online.

Rachel Cho Floral Design New York City - centerpiece of purple and grey flowers

Do you offer any services in addition to floral designs?
We try to meet any requests that our designer hands and designer know-how are capable of! We’ve customized large-scale moss letters for a company logo and have installed extensive succulent and air plant wall displays. We have regular standing orders for terrariums and orchids. In addition to having the capacity for plant installations of various scales, we also provide plant maintenance services for corporate and private accounts.

Rachel Cho Floral Design New York City

What tool in your toolbox can’t you live without?
My ARS curved floral knife! I also can’t live without my ARS pocket shears and ARS scissors. The trick to labeling your tools is writing your name with nail polish! Sharpies, markers, or anything else will rub off.

Rachel Cho Floral Design New York City

What’s your favorite flower?
Roses. They are always my go-to. I’m always amazed by their diversity of color, shape, and scent. I absolutely love every kind of flower, but I do start to get bored (thankfully!) when the season of a particular kind of flower is coming to an end. I of course love the fan-favorites such as peonies, dahlias, anemones, ranunculus, etc. I adore some of the lesser-known varieties such as fritillaria, nerine, hellebore, poppies, and sweet peas. Roses are year- round but I never ever get sick of them.

Bouquet designed by Rachel Cho Floral Design

Contact information:
633 West 27th Street Floor 2
New York, NY 10001

Rachel Cho Floral Design - bouquet with orchids and anthurium

Bloompop interviews Park Florist

Today we hand the blog reins over to Bloompop, who is interviewing Park Florist–

Park Florist Takoma Park

Park Florist is owned by Jeanne Ha in Takoma Park, Maryland

When did you start your business and where are you based?
I took over this little shop in old town Takoma Park, Maryland, from my aunt and uncle 11 years ago. It is an old florist shop – founded in 1935! – and I am very proud to keep its legacy going. We serve all of Washington DC, Montgomery County and some of Prince George’s county as well. We go beyond that boundary for our special events and weddings of course.

Jeanne Ha, Park Florist

What is your favorite thing about being a Bloompop Floral Partner?
It was really nice to be selected and invited as a Bloompop Floral Partner, as Bloompop invites only the finest and solid local flower shops. It is very easy to work with the friendly Bloompop staff. It is like I have the whole marketing and sales team’s support. Bloompop understands both the clients’ needs and florists’ capabilities very well and it makes my job much easier. Also Bloompop clients have such a high expectation and good taste, which I love to work for!

Can you tell us what prompted you to partner with Bloompop?
Like I said, I am a busy floral designer who rather wants to spend my time more on designing. Since Bloompop takes care of the communications and promotion, I can concentrate more on what I love.

Jeanne Ha  of Park Florist and Megan Doherty of Bloompop

Jeanne Ha of Park Florist and Megan Doherty of Bloompop

What (in your mind) is the biggest challenge facing the floral industry today?
I find it frustrating that people don’t understand what it takes to get a single bloom. Even though we have more people who try to understand the importance of supporting local business and going green, still many people don’t truly understand the nature of the floral industry. For example, sometimes my customer tells me that she loves seasonal and local flowers but her favorites are orchids. Or she wants peonies for her March bouquet. A little more understanding of nature would be very much helpful to the industry.

Where & how do you find inspiration for your floral designs?
Oh, certainly from nature itself. I love to tend my garden and love to watch the trees. How the season changes excites me very much. However, I also find it very inspirational reading and watching fashion and interior trends. Flowers are part of our daily lives, which is deeply involved with what we wear and what we are surrounded with. It is all different forms of art after all, isn’t it?

Design by Park Florist

Can you describe a typical day at your shop?
Oh, dear. We start my day at the shop as opening my Christmas presents. I am the one who ordered my flowers but opening those cardboard boxes thrills me. I usually have couple of phone conferences and one or two in person meetings with clients. We have our regular design training sessions for ourselves. We have our urgent morning orders filled and sent out then we get our lunch hour walk-in rush. In the afternoon, we work on our late orders and prepare our next day orders. We take care of our plants and clean up the cooler and tidy up our display. It goes by with a blink of an eye!

Bloompop partners with florists by invitation only, hand selecting the top luxury florists–did this play a factor in your joining Bloompop?
Of course it does! I am proud of what we are able to do in our shop and I am so happy that I can share it with Bloompop customers.

Design by Park Florist

As a designer it isn’t always easy to go hunting for new business opportunities- Would you say that Bloompop helps augment your sales team for business?
Yes, I always have hard time to find extra time to go out and reach out to new prospective clients. It is a long process and takes up lots of my time. Bloompop team is amazing on getting me these awesome new deals and gigs and makes me real busy!

What would you say to a florist who is interested in Bloompop?
If you are good enough to work with Bloompop, what are you waiting for? Get on board!

Apply to be a member of Bloompop

Fabulous Florist :: Heavenly Blooms, California

Heavenly Blooms - pink, tangerine bouquet

Your name: Jaclyne Breault
Your Business name: Heavenly Blooms
Your Location: Southern California

How did you start your business and how many years have you been in business?
My story is the quintessential road less traveled tale. I started my business about a year after I graduated high school. I never planned on being a florist when I “grew up”. I had always thought I would go to college and get a degree in business, then work in a corporate environment. I started working at a flower shop when I was 15 because I thought it looked like fun. While going to high school half day, I would work my office job then in the evenings and weekends, I worked at the flower shop. When I graduated high school, my plan had been to take a little time off and travel before attending my first semester of college. I used money I received for graduation to enroll in floral classes in both London and Amsterdam. My ticket to Europe was booked for September 12, 2001. In an instant, my life changed as the World Trade Towers crumbled on September 11th. I was devastated on so many levels for so many reasons. I was left without a job and I had missed the enrollment time for college. I had been working at a flower shop for almost three years by then, so I had plenty floral experience. I started doing small events for friends out of my garage. One day I got a call from a friend who wanted me to design the flowers for her sister’s wedding. It was my first wedding and a $12,000 wedding floral budget and I just winged it. I learned a lot from that experience; I also walked away with very little profit. My whole business was built on word of mouth from that wedding. I booked more weddings after that one. A few months later, the first flower shop I had worked at was up for lease. I ended up buying the business from the owner – that was 12 years ago. I have been a florist since I was 15 and I have owned my business for the last 13 years.

Heavenly Blooms - urn with cafe au lait dahlias, stock, roses

What is your design aesthetic and what inspires you?
I sometimes struggle to find inspiration after having been a florist for so long (half my life!). When I feel burnt out and tired of seeing the same designs, I seek inspiration in traveling. Seeing new parts of the world or even revisiting favorite spots helps fuel my creative energy. I also find that walking around the flower market downtown and looking at all the choices inspires me. Nature is another place I find inspiration; I love wandering around gardens, forests, and parks. My design aesthetic actually varies from very clean to soft with a more romantic, garden-inspired style. Sometimes I like to design where everything is lush and full, packed with flowers. Other times, I love more movement such as softer foliage, cascading flowers and greens in a light, airy style.

Heavenly Blooms - bouquet of roses, ranunculus and anemones

What is your favorite part of being a floral designer?
Working with a beautiful medium that comes in the most amazing colors and forms, is by far, my favorite part of being a floral designer. I like that it brings people joy whether it’s during a happy or sad time in their lives.
My favorite part of designing wedding flowers is actually the whole process from the initial inquiry, to the collaboration of ideas and style, to the design of details and floral pieces, and especially the end result of witnessing the bride see her bouquet on her wedding day. When I leave a wedding, at the end of the day, I feel satisfied and content with a day well-spent. I love flowers. I love being a florist; it is a lot of work and very stressful but I genuinely love it.

Heavenly Blooms - white centerpieces

What is the most challenging aspect of being a floral designer?
Designing for other people is so challenging. As much as I wish I could design according to my own style every time, it’s not realistic. Not everyone has the same taste and sometimes I just have to create their vision for them because that is how I make a living. I do sometimes become restless and tired of the same style centerpiece with the same flowers. Another challenging aspect – the hard labor. No one warned me about this when I first started. At my first job at the florist, all I did was wrap bouquets and floral arrangements. When I walked into the shop, everything was already in buckets just waiting for me; it was easy and effortless. When I started working for myself, I was shocked at how laborious it was to transport, clean, and produce large amounts of flowers and arrangements without a full staff at my disposal. Event work is also on a different level than shop work.

Heavenly Blooms - pink and yellow flowers

What advice would you give to aspiring floral designers?
My advice to aspiring floral designers would be to start interning and working with a florist to learn the basics and how to create, install and work on events. Get a feel of the kind of work it is. Many people feel that working a wedding as a florist is glamorous and easy. It has it’s appeal but is far from glamorous.

Heavenly Blooms - elevated centerpiece

What are the trends, flowers, and colors that are unique to your region?
We are so blessed in California to have much of our product grown locally. And I believe it plays a huge role in what florists are using in terms of trends in flowers and colors. Peach and coral has been a hot color combination for the last two years, however I had more blush pink weddings and colorful weddings in 2014.

What tool in your toolbox can’t you live without?
My red knife. They do not make them like they used to and I have used this type of red knife since I started designing at 15. Don’t get me wrong, cutters are my second can’t-live-without – but when I am in the zone and working on 20 wedding centerpieces, my knife helps me to be more efficient with every cut of the stem.

Heavenly Blooms - green and white flowers

What’s your favorite Social Media platform and why?
I used to be obsessed with Twitter, however the constant catch up of reading through everyone’s 140 character tweets was stressful and I gave up constantly trying to catch up. I adore Instagram because it’s more appealing, visually, and my feed is filled with beautiful pictures (a lot of flowers) and I am able to share small snippets of my world through words and most importantly, pictures.

Contact Information:
Instagram: https://instagram.com/heavenly_blooms/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Heavenly_Blooms
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/heavenlyblooms

Heavenly Blooms

Fabulous Florist :: The Real Flower Company, West Sussex and London

The Real Flower Company

Your name: Karen Watson
Your Business name: The Real Flower Company
Your Location: West Sussex and London

peach and white bouquet

How did you start your business?
I worked in the fashion business for many years and had an allotment growing cut flowers and vegetables (when it was deeply unfashionable in the mid 1990’s!)

I used to attend amazing fashion shows and visit showrooms in Milan, Paris and New York in my role as Buying Director at Harvey Nichols and the flower displays were always amazing. I actually loved working in the fashion business but, after studying floristry by correspondence course in my spare time, I had decided that I needed to work with flowers full time.

I left Harvey Nichols and set up a floristry business selling to clients in the fashion, music and publishing industries.

Having decided to open a shop in London I was looking for a source of garden roses and I met 2 growers who had recently set up a company to market their stems, primarily to the trade. They asked me to join forces with them and, after a spell advising them, I agreed.

petite flower arrangements

How many years have you been in business?
The Real Flower Company is now 10 years old.

What is your design aesthetic?
Natural, organic, wild and abundant but beautifully presented.

I always view our designs as though I am the sender or the recipient. Flowers are an expression of emotion and it’s vital that the right emotion is conveyed.

white and purple bouquet

How do you create your style and where do you draw your inspiration?
Our designs are inspired by seasonal English gardens, woodland walks, seasonal bounty and all things natural and we aim to let the unique beauty of the individual flowers and foliage we use shine through in our bouquets and arrangements. We celebrate the imperfections of flowers and of course, scent is everything in our creations!

That said I draw inspiration from everything. I always carry a camera and sketch books, a hangover from art school where studied fashion and textile design. Mood board and designing ‘collections’ are a big thing for me…it’s very similar to the way I worked in fashion really.

Flowers are transient and I love the fact that they move and change shape and develop after a bouquet is delivered. They have a life force and even after the petals drop off they can still look amazing.

herbs and flower bouquet

What are the trends, flowers & colors that are unique to your region?
Our signature flower is the garden rose and with that comes the most amazing colour palette.

Are you a retail shop, studio/warehouse or home based?
All of the above in our case! We have always traded online and send out our bouquets and arrangements all over the UK. We have shops in London, within Selfridges store and in Midhurst in West Sussex (recently given the status as one of the best 100 shop outside London by Vogue). Our studio is based in West Sussex and this is where we produce all of our designs for our website. We make and dispatch all of our own work there. Our weddings and event work is either produced in our stores or at our design studio.

pink and textured bouquet

Do you offer any services in addition to floral designs?
The majority of the flowers that we sell are grown on farms that we work with to grow to our requirements. We ask them to plant specific flowers and foliage for us and work with them to develop our portfolio of scented roses, flowers, herbs and foliage in the colours and varieties that we want to work with.

We also offer floristry courses in bouquet making, wedding work and Christmas wreaths.

english floral design

What tool in your toolbox can’t you live without?
Well definitely scissors, thorn stripper (for roses!), camera and ipad.

What’s your favorite flower?
I love roses of course but they they have to be garden varieties and scented) but I also love hellabores, delicate woodland narcissi, spring lilac, flowering jasmine…the list is endless!

pink and blush bridal bouquet

Your contact information:
The Real Flower Company
Karen Watson
Tel: 01730 818300

pink and white arrangement

Fabulous Florist :: Sachi Rose, NYC

nyc florist
Name: Sachi Rose Pollard
Business Name: Sachi Rose
Your Location: New York City

pink and yellow centerpiece

How did you start your business?
I stumbled into floral design when I finished art school. I’ve always loved making things with my hands, so I decided on a whim to apply for a position at a new Los Angeles floral boutique. Fashion designer & floral genius, Stephanie Schur, had just opened Botany Flowers and hired me on the spot. Stephanie taught me everything I know and after two wonderful years with my Botany family, I moved to New York where I was lucky enough to manage & design for numerous florists including Flora NY in Tribeca. Eventually Flora’s owner decided to move back to Taiwan and when he closed his doors, a new door opened for me. I took it as an opportunity to start my own floral design business, and jumped right in.

magenta and black centerpiece

How many years have you been in business?
It will be one year in May. So much has happened in so little time! It was kind of like one of those pellets that you put in water and it turns into a big foam dinosaur.

What is your design aesthetic?
I apply aspects of what I like about many styles into one practice. Since I was little I’ve been a hunter of fun old things, so I try to incorporate antique tins, bottles & jadite (my favorite!) when ever appropriate. I especially love using raw elements such as apple branches, artichokes and air-plants for their organic textures and untamed shapes — nature is surprising and unpredictable, and I want my arrangements to convey that. I also tend to group same blooms together — like a mound of sleek black calla lilies or a bundle of parrot tulips, which I think lends a moment of modernity to a wild bunch.

ranunculus and garden roses in pink

How do you create your style and where do you draw your inspiration?
Most of my inspiration comes from nature. I’ll be walking in Brooklyn and see a plant growing out of the sidewalk that I’ve never seen a florist use, and I think, why not?

pink calla peony and ranunculus centerpiece

What are the trends, flowers & colors that are unique to your region?
NYC is famous for having a little bit of everything. The trends depend on the store, the hotel, the person, and the neighborhood … but I definitely would say that you can’t go wrong with elements like succulents and air plants. They require little care, last months, are structurally interesting, can be masculine or feminine, and are non-native to the North- East.

peach peonies arrangement

Are you a retail shop, studio/warehouse or home based?
We’re currently growing out of my home-based studio and on the look out for an event studio. Fingers crossed for something special!

Do you offer any services in addition to floral designs?
We provide flowers for events, deliver single arrangements locally & also make custom succulent arrangements, orchids & terrariums.

airplant flower arrangement

What tool in your toolbox can’t you live without?
Floralife Finishing Touch spray. It’s a life saver!

What’s your favorite flower?
Ranunculus hands down.

peach garden rose centerpiece

Anything else you’d like to share with Flirty Fleurs followers?
We love to stay connected with fellow flower enthusiasts! Come “like” our page: www.facebook.com/sachirosedesign

pink and red flower arrangement

Your contact information:
Phone: 212.744.3071
Website: www.sachirose.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/sachirosedesign
Facebook: www.facebook.com/sachirosedesign
Instagram: http://instagram.com/sachirosedesign
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/sachirosedesign/

white flowers and succulents

Fabulous Florist :: A Garden Party, Elmer, New Jersey

A Garden Party

Your name: Dawn Clark and Mary Coombs
Your Business name: A Garden Party
Your Location: Elmer, NJ


How did you start your business?
We are two sisters with a passion for floral design and love working together spreading the flower love. Our business started with a business plan that Mary wrote up in college at Penn State. We started our business 6 weeks after her graduation in the summer of 2006. Like many florists, our business began with designing weddings for friends and family. Word spread, and before we knew it, we were designing over 100 weddings a year in the tri-state area (NJ, DE, PA).

box with flowers

How many years have you been in business?
7 years

green and purple bridal bouquet

What is your design aesthetic?
We pride ourselves on staying on trend. Our favorite way to design is taking a walk through the garden and creating gardeny, natural designs utilizing whatever we foraged that day. Our designs end up being unique and home grown.

composite rose bouquet

How do you create your style and where do you draw your inspiration?
Nature inspires us, as well as many of our fellow Chapel Designers. We love seeing their creations, they are such a talented group. We also are avid Pinterest fans and encourage our brides to create boards to share their inspiration with us. We are lucky enough to be located in an area that is central enough that we get to design shore themed weddings (what florist doesn’t love spending their Saturday in Cape May, NJ!), weddings in the city (only 40 minutes from Philly!), and tons of rustic, farm themed weddings (we are located on a farm!).

burgundy pink lantern centerpieces

Asya Photography

What are the trends, flowers & colors that are unique to your region?
A Garden Party is based in a very agriculturally rich community so utilizing locally sourced product is something we love to share with our clients. It has become a popular request to use as many locally grown flowers as possible. Just last weekend, we designed an entire wedding using all locally grown flowers and foliage. It was a dream come true and we hope to do it again soon.

flowers on chairs

Are you a retail shop, studio/warehouse or home based?
We are a studio, located on Mary’s homestead in Elmer, NJ. We frequently get brides from the city, that can’t believe the endless fields that surround our studio, which is in a 100 year old barn.

birch chuppah

Do you offer any services in addition to floral designs?
For our wedding clients we also offer linens and vintage prop rentals. A Garden Party also designs everyday and sympathy arrangements.

green tall centerpieces

What tool in your toolbox can’t you live without?
Scissors (which, believe it or not, we have forgotten in the past).

bouquet purple white green magenta

What’s your favorite flower?
Mary loves anything she cuts from her garden. Dawn loves ferns (and about a million others).

green and white bridal bouquet

Anything else you’d like to share with Flirty Fleurs followers?
A Garden Party is really just two normal sisters that run a business. We strive to treat our customers the way we want other businesses to treat us; timely correspondence, fair pricing, excellent customer service, and honest practices. We think of our clients as friends.

Asya Photography

Asya Photography

Contact information:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AGardenPartyFlorist
Website: http://www.agardenpartyllc.com/
Blog: http://www.agardenpartyllc.com/blog/
Instagram: Mary, http://instagram.com/mary_agardenparty#
Dawn, http://instagram.com/dawn_agardenparty#

A Garden Party

yellow and green bridal bouquet

A Garden Party

Fabulous Florist :: Passionflower, Michigan

passionflower michigan
Your name: Susan McLeary
Your Business name: Passionflower
Your Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan

How did you start your business?
I was a frustrated, stressed out worker bee at a wedding and event floral company for a number of years when a sudden family illness put things into sharp focus for me. That experience gave me the drive and courage I needed to go off on my own. It is so wonderful and rewarding to have creative freedom, I’m so glad I made the leap when I did.

purple succulents, privet berries and callas

How many years have you been in business?
A little over 2 years.

What is your design aesthetic?
Natural, textural, and luxurious. I love incorporating unexpected and uncommon flowers & foliages.

peach ranunculus and juliet garden roses centerpiece

How do you create your style and where do you draw your inspiration?
I created my style slowly… by observing, reading, and learning from others. I’m feel I’m still evolving
and that is exciting! I draw inspiration from nature, art, interior design, and by learning
from other designers.

What are the trends, flowers & colors that are unique to your region?
The rustic look is still popular here, as is the classic garden look. You can’t go wrong
with white garden roses and dusty miller… everyone seems to love that combination!
I am excited to see a return to soft, romantic colors. I will do a number of blush pink and
champagne weddings this year.

bridal bouquet orchids acacia ranunculus

Are you a retail shop, studio/warehouse or home based?
I have a studio within a large warehouse.

Do you offer any services in addition to floral designs?
No, I’m happy to focus on just flowers.

loose bridal bouquet of peonies and orchids

How do you balance the desires a modern bride when purse strings rest on the shoulders of traditional parents?
Luckily, I haven’t had much trouble with this, generally my brides and their parents are on the same page. Thank goodness!

What tool in your toolbox can’t you live without?
Well, I can’t do much without my knife, I favor the cheap red plastic ones.

blue mason jars white and green flowers

What’s your favorite flower?
Oh my…. it depends on the day. I have to say Japanese sweet peas really make me happy.

Anything else you’d like to share with Flirty Fleurs followers?
Myself and 3 other florists in my area have a new collaboration that I’m very excited about called Bloom Florist Collective. We have a little flower school, and we are really enjoying teaching! But the best part is the bond we have formed- instead of four competitors, we are collaborators sharing advice, trading labor hours and even sharing our rentals!

Your contact information:

white bridal bouquet dahlias and gladiolas
hot pink orchids and garden roses
sweet peas and ranunculus
pink sweetpeas and ranunculus

Fabulous Florist :: anastasia ehlers floral design

Your name: Anastasia Ehlers
Your Business name: Anastasia Ehlers Floral Design
Your Location: Eugene, Oregon

How did you start your business?
I’ve always known this is what I would do. As a kid, I used to alternate between answering “botanist” or “florist” whenever somebody asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. After pursuing botany in college, I learned I was way more interested in arranging and admiring flowers than classifying them (or counting thousands of their seeds, but that’s another story…), so I took a design class and worked at a local retail flower shop. I started taking on weddings on the side, and before I knew it, being in business for myself just made sense.

How many years have you been in business?
This is my second year.

What is your design aesthetic?
I like to think of it as contemporary, but approachable. My favorite arrangements have lots of different textures and a color palette that’s uncomplicated but not entirely expected.

How do you create your style and where do you draw your inspiration?
Color is certainly one of the main driving forces behind my designs. For clients, I always ask what sort of experience they want their guests to have, and that’s proven to be very insightful and important to the process as well. Last, I like to remember my roots in the scientific side of life. I can tell you which flowers are related, how they got so many delightful petals, and what their wildflower friends are up to. The knowledge keeps me grounded, grateful, and utterly in awe of the whole process.

What are the trends, flowers & colors that are unique to your region?
Oregon hosts a phenomenal landscape of natural beauty and that influence is hard to ignore. We do so love our ferns and moss around here. We’re also really lucky to have beautiful local product and people who care about taking advantage of that–in the summer, I could practically pick the flowers for a whole wedding myself at nearby farms. There’s something truly magical and meditative about that.

Are you a retail shop, studio/warehouse or home based?
Home-based for now.

Do you offer any services in addition to floral designs?
Couples love DIY, but flowers are a really scary project to tackle–we’ve all seen the results of DIY flowers gone horribly wrong. I offer a service to help couples throw a “flower party.” Together, we come up with a design plan, then I take care of the details and show up with all the flowers and materials to teach their most creative friends and family how to make the arrangements. It works really well for any repeating elements that aren’t too technically complicated, and anything aside from that I can still whip up. It’s such a blast to get to hang out with everybody!
Okay, so technically that’s still floral design. Oops.

How do you balance the desires of a modern bride when purse strings rest on the shoulders of traditional parents? Funny thing is, most of my couples seem to be paying for their own weddings. But if things are really at odds, nothing puts people at ease quite like pictures. Sketches, inspiration boards, or even just a board on Pinterest are great for communicating a vision, even for off-the-wall things.

What tool in your toolbox can’t you live without?
In my case it’s a hot pink tool belt instead of a box, but regardless, my super sharp ribbon shears win hands down. I’m ridiculously protective of those things and what I let them cut. It’s kind of a problem… 🙂

What’s your favorite flower?
It will always be the lovely dahlia. When my husband and I had our own wedding, I knew I wanted our date to be in the height of the local dahlia season.

Anything else you’d like to share with Flirty Fleurs followers?
Just that I feel so incredibly fortunate to be able to do this. To be able to share my art with one of the most special moment’s of life is really a pretty great gig.

Your contact information:
Twitter: @anastasiafloral

Fabulous Florist :: Fiori

Your name: Miles Johnson
Your Business name: Fiori Floral Design
Your Location: Seattle, WA

How did you start your business?
I was a buyer for Nordstrom and other department stores for many years before I started
in flowers. I wanted a more creative outlet and more control of my own destiny. My
parents were self-employed and set a good example. When I was looking to make a
change, I worked with a career counselor to find a new career path and one of the things
that kept coming up was combining creativity with entrepreneurship. Owning a flower
shop fit that bill very well. I knew that starting a flower shop wouldn’t be easy so I
looked for an existing shop to purchase. One of the things that I knew from working for
Nordstrom was that you buy the best and you can’t go wrong. Fiori Floral Design was
just that. Since then we’ve been voted the best florist in Seattle by several websites and
received many awards.
While it wasn’t a passion for flowers alone that got me into the flower business, that
passion has grown with time as I have seen the effect that flowers have on people. What
other business is there for people for all major milestones: birth, marriage, death,
birthdays, illness, declarations of love? I think about that with every arrangement that I
create. I truly believe that what we think about when we are making art comes out and is
infused into what we create. So when creating a “get well” floral, I think healing
thoughts. I think thoughts of comfort when creating a sympathy arrangement. I think
thoughts of love and passion when working on a wedding. That can be difficult during
busy holidays and is one of the reasons why I don’t design at Valentine’s Day. I’m
juggling too many hats making sure things run smoothly so that my designers are free to
put that energy into what they are creating.

How many years have you been in business?
Fiori Floral Design was started in 1994 but I purchased the business in 2003.

How do you create your style and where do you draw your inspiration?
Fiori has always had a particular look: refined pavé style arrangements with interesting
elements and only premium flowers. I’ve perhaps defined the style for Fiori capitalizing
on an existing template more than creating it. My formula for a typical Fiori floral is
this: hydrangea, feature flowers, accent flowers, accent greens such as scented geranium
or mint, cymbidium orchids and fruit. Every week we select a color palette which is
generally monochromatic. All of the flowers that I buy fit into that palette so I know
everything is going to work together to create a cohesive arrangement. The palettes are
usually inspired by one element or two elements and how they look together, although
sometimes I will see color combinations in an ad or garment and match the flowers to
that. I then build from that selecting hydrangea, feature flowers, accent flowers and
orchids to allow us to create florals in every price point.
Doing this has given me exposure to flowers in all price points which helps when
designing arrangements to fit a client’s budget. Give me just about any palette and I can
find the flowers to make just about any reasonable budget work.

What are the trends, flowers & colors that are unique to your region?
We are so fortunate here in the Northwest to have access to a lot of locally grown flowers
during the growing season. We are close to the growers in California and the auction in
Vancouver, BC as well. That affects what we use in a big way because locally grown
flowers are going to be more reasonable in price. So when local peonies, lilacs and
dahlias are in season, we tend to go after them in a big way.

Are you a retail shop, studio/warehouse or home based?
We are a hybrid of studio with a retail setting. Everything we do is custom so you can’t
walk in and just pick up an arrangement or cards or gifts but we do have a front of the
shop for meeting with clients and display. We use this area as overflow during big
events and holidays and for students to take breaks during classes.

Do you offer any services in addition to floral designs?
My favorite thing to do is to teach classes in pavé floral design. I offer six or seven
public classes a year and many private classes for groups of six or more. The private
classes are a lot of fun because everyone knows each other and guests are able to bring
wine to share. It creates a relaxed and festive atmosphere. I love the look on my
student’s faces at the end of the night when they are taking home the arrangement that
they have created.

We also do a lot of holiday decor for private residences and businesses. It keeps us really
busy from the end of November through the middle of December.

We are also very well known for our orchid plants.

What tool in your toolbox can’t you live without?
I always pack it with a little of everything that is specific to each event but I couldn’t live
without a really good pair of ribbon scissors. I have them sharpened every two months
and treat them like they are my baby.

What’s your favorite flower?
Hands down my favorite flower is the peony. The have a short local season and are
available in a variety colors so I never have a chance to get tired of them. They become
even more precious to me when they are out of season. I’m always a bit sad when the
local season ends and they become priced like they are made from 18 karat gold again.
I’d never grown peonies until I bought my house 12 years ago. There were peonies
already in the yard that bloomed about a month after I moved in. I cut some and brought
them in. The scent filled the entire house. I’ve been smitten ever since.

Anything else you’d like to share with Flirty Fleurs followers?
Be different and know your style. We have a particular look at Fiori Floral Design
that we rarely vary from for our daily orders. While we do custom work for weddings
and events that may not match our daily style, we built our reputation with consistent,
quality pavé design. I don’t do long-stemmed roses and I don’t offer English garden style
through Fiori. I can’t be everything to everybody but our customer’s know they are what
they are going to get when they order.

For those customers who are looking for something different than what we offer or lower
price points, I created a second brand: Lavender & Vine Florists that I can refer them to.
It is all created in the same space with the same team of talented designers and allows me
to say yes to customers I might have otherwise told no and avoids diluting the Fiori Floral
Design brand. I will be folding Lavender & Vine into a third shop that I bought last year
when the owner was looking to get out from under the stress of owning a shop.

Contact information:
Miles Johnson

Fabulous Florist :: Marti’s Floral Designs

Your name: Marti Thompson
Your Business name: Marti’s Floral Designs
Your Location: 915 Monmouth Newport, KY

How did you start your business?
I have always enjoyed throwing parties but I always received the most pleasure from the florals. They add the extra touch. I love to bring in unexpected touches in the containers and textures. It is what makes it memorable and unique.

How many years have you been in business?
I started in 2008. I had quit my day time job in 2007 to be a stay at home mom and quickly needed to fill my creative urges on the side. It quickly became a full time job and I love it!

What is your design aesthetic?
I really like for the flowers to be the icing on the cake. I love to bring in different containers, methods to make the flowers shine. When I design a wedding, I do it to reflect the couple. I have a method to the madness and have clients question me about it all the time. I don’t work from a “look book”. I ask them who they are, what they enjoy, and so on. I have attended my fair share of weddings that are the same old same old. I am not a flower factory that pumps out the same arrangement over and over.

How do you create your style and where do you draw your inspiration?
My inspiration is mainly from my clients. I love to search real weddings. It is crazy the things that people come up with.

What are the trends, flowers & colors that are unique to your region?
Cincinnati is pretty traditional. I am not originally from here so it is hard to see how things never change here. Just like Mark Twain said, “If I knew the world was coming to an end, I would go to Cincinnati because everything happens ten years later in Cincinnati.” I love being apart of the wonderful vendors we have here to help change this!

Are you a retail shop, studio/warehouse or home based?
I have a new work space in a historic district. Tin ceilings, original hardwood floors, brick walls. Pretty much doesn’t get any better!

Do you offer any services in addition to floral designs?
I love to help with the overall design. Eclectic/vintage rentals (furniture/containers) is what I find a big part of what I find doing extra on the side to just help with the overall look of events.

How do you balance the desires a modern bride when purse strings rest on the shoulders of traditional parents?
Good question! I love to incorporate 3 table designs into the mix. It makes it more special. I find that everyone can find a happy medium between it all. Tall, short, cost effective. You get the gist of it!

What tool in your toolbox can’t you live without?
That is hard to say. I have a “trick bag” that has everything from many different forms of tape to hammers. You really never know what you will need on site to make something work!

What’s your favorite flower?
Plumeria by far! After doing my cousins wedding (it was a must to have due to sentimental reasons) it quickly became my favorite flower. When I get to order it, I anxiously wait with my face at the door waiting for it to arrive!

Anything else you’d like to share with Flirty Fleurs followers?
There are plenty of weddings to be had every year! Make friends with all your fellow vendors. I gather so much inspiration from so many!

Contact Information::