“Courage in the Making” A Susan McLeary Portrait

From John Azoni, Creative Director & Producer at Epic Motion
“When we set out to do a portrait of a new friend of ours, Susan McLeary, we intended on creating an intimate and authentic piece about the fear involved in making work that is remarkable, regardless of the market for the end product. We didn’t really anticipate how intimate it would get though. The surprise we received in the middle of the interview was both shocking and sad. But at the same time it was perfectly fitting for the story we were aiming to tell, and we’re really proud of the honor we were given to roll with this moment and allow the story to speak.”

Wedding Wednesday :: Wreaths

Fabulous Florist :: BLOOM floral design

Bloom Michigan

Your name: Jennifer Haf
Your Business name: BLOOM floral design
Your Location: Charlevoix, Michigan

How did you start your business and how many years have you been in business?
Inspired by our farm house renovation project and dreams of sharing fresh cut flowers from the garden, BLOOM was born. Our first venture was a weekend European-style flower stand offering fresh garden blooms arranged organically for passersby to purchase. Then came the first bride inquiry, literally on day one. Then the second and third…we had 6 weddings in our first summer without knowing where to begin. This was 8 years ago and throughout the journey of finding our aesthetic, we have since executed hundreds of weddings, opened and closed a retail location, moved our business to our home studio closer to the gardens. We could not be more pleased with the nature of our organic growth, the future is bright indeed!

What is your design aesthetic and what inspires you?
Our lovely Northern Michigan locale has most inspired our designs and has lead us to offer seasonal flowers in naturally designed arrangements that complement the amazing venues throughout our region.

What is your favorite part of being a floral designer?
The constant change; in season, in client, in venue, and especially in flowers. Each week is different than the next and no two of our events are identical so the nature of the business is always fresh and inspiring. As a seeker and suspect gypsy at heart, this meaningful work fuels the creative and constant motion that I crave…dream “job” indeed!

What is the most challenging aspect of being a floral designer?
Talking to clients about cost and talking them out of DIY aspects that would otherwise compromise the overall design. I believe that clients should hire a designer to guide and share their experience. We are here to offer opinions to help direct the overall vision for décor/floral elements and trust that experience is valuable, we have seen loads of events come to fruition.

What advice would you give to aspiring floral designers?
Make as many professional connections as possible; local, cyber, international, etc.. flower friends are the best and will continue to inspire!!

What are the trends, flowers & colors that are unique to your region?
With a short and sweet growing season with cold winters, peonies thrive here in Northern Lower Michigan (thankfully). We can also grow loads of old fashioned garden annuals; zinnias, sweet pea, snap dragons. On the off season, our evergreen forests offer an abundant selection for winter events that keep designs relevant and of the season too! Design trends vary depending on venue and we are lucky to have an amazing concentration of lakeside, ranch, elegant, estate, and historic venues throughout our region that we serve…. Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone.

What tool in your toolbox can’t you live without?
My snips, I love a good quality pair of Japanese snips and oasis liquid cold glue.

What’s your favorite Social Media platform and why?
Instagram hands down! It’s perfect for such a visual product and always kind and light!!

Anything else you’d like to share with Flirty Fleurs followers?
BLOOM would love to open our doors to interested aspiring interns for the summer of 2015. We are happy to share what we do with inspired flower people, just ask! We have one week intensive opportunities still available.

Contact Information
Jennifer Haf
231-675-9017
Web: www.bloomfloraldesign.com
Instagram: @bloomfloraldesign
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/BLOOM/117263884203
Twitter: @bloomupnorth

Designing at Detroit Institute of Arts Museum by Sweet Pea Floral Designs

Growing up in Detroit my family attended weekly church services at a gorgeous gothic cathedral on Woodward Avenue one block from the Detroit Institute of Arts . Even then I sensed the respect, awe, and wonder that still surrounds the DIA.   When an opportunity to create floral designs for the DIA presented itself naturally I jumped all over it!!
www.sweetpfloral.com Sweet Pea Floral Design XL floral arrangement for the Detroit Institute of Arts DIA

This is a museum of epic proportions, among the top six collections in the United States with over 100 galleries, a 1,150 seat auditorium, an art reference library and state of the art conservation services laboratory.  Home to Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry fresco cycle and Vincent van Gogh’s Self Portrait.  It is so easy to get inspired here and so Crazy to think we almost lost it in Detroit’s ongoing bankruptcy saga.  

www.sweetpfloral.com Sweet Pea Floral Design XL floral arrangement for the Detroit Institute of Arts DIA
 I joined the Friends of Art and Flowers in 2012 after a recommendation from a florist friend.  FAF is a group started at the DIA in 1985 for the beautification of the museum.  The ladies and gentlemen who lead this talented group of designers are about the nicest people you could hope to meet and made me feel so welcome right off.  Each week we create 3 designs with a leader for each.  All of the designs in this post were lead by yours truly (and gleefully!!)
www.sweetpfloral.com Sweet Pea Floral Design XL floral arrangement for the Detroit Institute of Arts DIA
The above was designed for last spring’s Elizabeth Sikes Kuhlman Lecture This year the lecture/luncheon will be presented by Jane Godshalk on May 1st.  Jane will represent the United States as one of six international demonstrators at the World Flower Show in Dublin.
www.sweetpfloral.com Sweet Pea Floral Design XL floral arrangement for the Detroit Institute of Arts DIA
When I was getting started with these designs it was terribly intimidating.  They are so much bigger in person then they appear in photos and they take a LOT of flowers to look appropriately full.  On my first ever attempt I was so worried about having it look full enough from the front that I forgot to save flowers to fill in the back and ended up having to start over (oppsie). I guess I share this as my way of encouraging all designers to attempt larger scale work if they haven’t already… you can always take it apart and start over if you don’t love your first try!!
www.sweetpfloral.com Sweet Pea Floral Design XL floral arrangement for the Detroit Institute of Arts DIA
Honestly what might have sold me on joining FAF (besides my friendly team mates) is the huge gorgeous collection of vases they have in the floral design room located in the basement of the museum.  Every week we go in on Monday to clean up last weeks arrangement and drum roll please……… select our vases for this weeks designs from the candy shop which is their vase collection.
www.sweetpfloral.com Sweet Pea Floral Design XL floral arrangement for the Detroit Institute of Arts DIA
Unlike with wedding design I can pick the freshest in season flowers for the museum arrangements and let my imagination go nuts like with the above arrangement, I found the wild sage and various fall grasses and decided to wire up some ribbon to add the illusion of wind blowing the grass…. fun.
www.sweetpfloral.com Sweet Pea Floral Design XL floral arrangement for the Detroit Institute of Arts DIA
The above was an experiment with a gluing technique I learned from Francoise Weeks while in Santa Barbara this January with the Chapel Designers.  Maybe the first design that felt 100% like it belonged in an art museum.  Wasn’t sure how to display it so I just hung it below the weekly design like some sort of weird floral plaque (plaque: n. an ornamental tablet)
www.sweetpfloral.com Sweet Pea Floral Design XL floral arrangement for the Detroit Institute of Arts DIA
I can not think of a better volunteer opportunity and I am so grateful that I joined up and got right to it.  Designing on this large scale has taught me so much about mechanics, movement, texture and reconnected me to the city I loved as a girl.  
www.sweetpfloral.com Sweet Pea Floral Design XL floral arrangement for the Detroit Institute of Arts DIA
It has been a great place to tryout roses I’m considering for use in weddings, get a little kooky with designs that remind you of Dr. Seuss, and meet all kinds of kindred floral spirits.
www.sweetpfloral.com Sweet Pea Floral Design XL floral arrangement for the Detroit Institute of Arts DIA
Can’t wait until I get to roll my sleeves back up and add my little bit of pretty to the giant halls of masterpieces in this Temple of art.


Thank you, Holly, for sharing your story with us. I know I really enjoyed seeing all the pictures of your pretty floral designs, and I’m sure our readers enjoyed them, too. Sounds like a lot of fun getting creative at DIA!

Holly Rutt is the owner of Sweet Pea Floral Design in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

2014 Trends in Floral Design

Hi Flower Friends!
I sent out a Content Call recently where I asked all of you — As the 2013 event season comes to an end and as the 2014 brides start to come in for their consultations, I am quite curious to hear what trends you are seeing for next year. I’ve heard that gold, crystals, opulent, elegant are in, have you seen the same? What color palette looks to be the most desired?

…..

Gold, gold, gold, did I say GOLD? seeing it used everywhere, as an accent, as a focal.
Margaret Burnette, Texas

…..

The romantic garden look is still very popular for weddings in Texas. Floral design tends to follow fashion and interior design trends and grey is the new neutral showing up in all the high end design magazines. In wedding design that can translate to a palette of white flowers and gray berzillia berries, dusty miller and blush garden roses as in my design below that won best floral design at the recent Houston Design Center “Deck the Tables” design competition this month.

I think we are finally starting to see some loosening up of the tight domed European bouquet look in Texas. High end designers here are starting to echo the naturalistic Constance Spry or Dutch Masters style from top New York designers like Ariela Chezar and Lewis Miller. With the new Pantone color of the year being Radiant Orchid, I imagine there will be more soft lavenders and blue tending pink showing up in the bridal palette.
Madeleine of Fleur de Vie, Texas

Centerpiece of anemones, juliet garden roses, berzillia berries, dusty miller, seeded eucalyptus

Designed by Fleur De Vie

…..

Looking into 2014 I see a lot of gold as an accent. Lush elegant designs -1920’s era.
A big lean away from mason jars to wine themed weddings (not necessarily at a wine venue) but elements of wine barrels, custom wine as a signature drink, rustic elements (vines, foliage, looser garden style designs, etc).
As far as color palette; I have been getting a lot of requests for all white weddings, followed by pastels (peach/coral, blush pink, butter yellow, etc.) and purple /lavender color palettes.
Lora of Sophisticated Floral Designs, Oregon

purple and green bridal bouquet designed by Lora Losinger

Designed by Sophisticated Floral Designs

…..

At this point all of my weddings for next year are diverse as the brides. I start the year with a bright pink and yellow Peruvian wedding in January…think lots of alestromeria and anemones. The next wedding is a napa/wine theme using white and purple hydrangea and succulents as the main flowers. I have a wedding in a recently renovated historical building that will use mostly white flowers that have a romantic feel, but will be more modern because the bride has long tables, instead of rounds and we will be using a lot of square and rectangle shaped vases. I have a wedding in the summer that will be using protea…kings, queens, and pin-cushions. And another that has a coral and teal look with peonies, garden roses, and succulents. AND I have a more traditional red rose wedding too! Seems like the only thing that is consistent is that the centerpieces are multi-layered….clusters of vases and lots of candles…and the bouquets are all hand-held….no cascading!
Andrea Layne Floral Design, Florida

peach and white rose bridal bouquet by Andrea Layne Floral Design

Designed by Andrea Layne Floral Design

…..

I am finally seeing blush! A lot of my fellow designers started seeing this trend last year but now it’s finally hit for us. Blush and lush with fluffy romantic flowers such as peonies and garden roses with gold vessels.I’m also seeing succulents and airplants continuing very strongly.
I’m still seeing a more elegant rustic trend, vintage touches with vintage bottles, lace etc. Mason jars have been slowly fading and we didn’t do a single Mason jar wedding in 2013! Yay
Susan of Three Sisters Custom Flowers & Events, California

Vintage Wedding Reception with cream flowers and succulents

Three Sisters Custom Flowers & Events

…..

I’ve booked several weddings for 2014. Many of which include pink & gold. However, the country/rustic trend is still hot in my area…with the majority of what I’ve booked thus far in 2014 following that trend. I think this is the case because of the area I live in too. I also believe that a softer, laid back, country/rustic wedding is somewhat an escape from a fast paced world of smart phones, electronics,and plastic/metal manufactured surroundings.
Jessica of Blooms ‘n Blossoms, Kentucky

Blooms N Blossoms bridal bouquet of coral pink and white flowers

Blooms ‘N Blossoms

…..

I sure hope mason jars our going out, but seeing a lot of peach and mint with outdoor and barn weddings still big.. Also, purples are big for me. I feel Michigan is about 2 years behind the trends. I have a bridal show in Jan. and I am going to show lots of gold and mercury, tall candle sticks and black with flowers in magentas, purples, and fucshias, a good friend of mine (Holly Chapple) once said if your going to do it go big and show what you want to sell. I still will show my vintage but want to go the other way for 2014. and 2015
Tracy of Park Place Design, Michigan

Park Place Design, peach and white bridal bouquet

Park Place Design

…..

My clients are requesting pastel palettes. Blush pink, cream, and gold is definately the most popular. Many are requesting soft colors with a pop of a single color such as dark apricot or plum. Desired style for my clients range from vintage glamour to rustic elegance. Since, we are near the Jersey Shore, I have seen a trend toward vintage seashore themes.
Sally of Pink Dahlia Vintage, New Jersey

Pink Dahlia Vintage, Pink rose vintage bridal bouquet

Pink Dahlia Vintage
Tami Melissa Photography

…..

Neutrals with metallic shine of all kinds, but especially gold. Still a strong “wildflower” look, and we always have a good amount of nautically influenced weddings being on the coast. Elegant is definitely the most popular adjective for 2014.
Polly of Robin Hollow Farm, Rhode Island

Robin Hollow Farm, pink flowers in silver mercury glass containers

Robin Hollow Farm

…..

I’m seeing a little bit of the same with the blush, but I’m seeing a lot of requests for black/whites, lots of woodland designs and corals.
Alex of Exquisite Designs, Illinois

blush, peach and white centerpieces in mercury glass

Exquisite Designs

…..

Trends for 2014 are purples…or should I say more purple.
Kris of KRISanthemums, Oregon

KRISanthemums Purple and lavender bridal party bouquets

KRISanthemums

…..

The trends for weddings in my area are way behind the trends in other places in the country, so we are just now hitting the burlap-and-mason-jars scene pretty hard. I’m trying to push it ahead by doing a lot of styled shoots that are farther ahead in the recent trends.
Kelsey of Crabapple Floral, North Dakota

Crabapple Floral North Dakota Wedding Flowers

Crabapple Floral

…..

I’m seeing more purple tones for this year’s brides and still lots of texture. Burlap and lace continue to be favorites as it mixes the perfect marriage of rustic with romantic. Last year seemed to be the year for gold/silver/crystals but I hope it continues.
Dana of Della Blooms, Maryland

Della Blooms, Flowers decorating wedding cake

Della Blooms

…..

We’re continuing to see consistently strong interest in vintage-inspired weddings with pale color palettes and assortments of vintage vessels as reception centerpieces– barnwood boxes are big, as are vintage white pottery and vignettes of apothecary bottles with small bouquets or single stems. No “matchy matchy” centerpieces (These are all, of course, very Pinterest-fueled ideas.) We are also seeing a trend towards simplifying the ceremony site decorations and dedicating more towards reception site decor.
We are located in the Ohio, so big trends often start on one of the coasts and take a few years to make their way to the Midwest. We look forward to reading what others are seeing for 2014!
Kay & Susan of Buckeye Blooms, Ohio

Buckeye Blooms, wood box centerpiece with foliages and succulents

Buckeye Blooms

Buckeye Blooms, Vintage Floral Design with bottles and white flowers

Buckeye Blooms

…..

We’re still seeing lots of blush and ivory palettes. Hydrangeas, garden roses and peonies are still very popular. We’re also still seeing a lot of burlap, lace and baby’s breath.
Althea of Rose of Sharon Floral Designs, Arkansas

peach and white bridal bouquets

Rose of Sharon

What’s the most requested flower this wedding season?

Recently I sent out a twitter request & email to our mailing list, asking for input on seven different questions. Thank you to everyone who sent in their replies!!

Question #7:
What’s the most requested flower this wedding season?

Peonies!
By Rose of Sharon Floral Designs of Arkansas

bouquet with peach and coral flowers

Designed by Rose of Sharon

peach and pink bouquet

Designed by Rose of Sharon

Our brides have definitely joined the peony obsession, especially in their bouquets. When peonies are not within their budget, our brides love English Garden Roses as a substitute. Orchids are also highly requested and used within our special event designs.
Jennifer of Mancuso’s Florist of Michigan

white and blush bridal bouquet

Designed by Mancuso’s Florist

white bridal bouquet

Designed by Mancuso’s Florist

pink peony bridal bouquet

Designed by Mancuso’s Florist.

We are always behind the trends in South Texas. Succulents are huge now, everybody is using them.
Sheri of Blumen Meisters, Texas

bridal bouquet with succulents and anemones

Designed by Blumen Meisters

pink and orange bridal bouquet

Designed by Blumen Meisters

Probably the most requested flower this season is garden roses.
Kris of The KRISanthemums, Oregon

peach stock and pink rose bouquet

Designed by KRISanthemums

It’s become a running joke for us this year that if it doesn’t have dusty miller in it, it’s not a wedding. (We have our share of succulents, too.)
Gerry & Rebecca of Petal’s Edge Floral Design, Virginia & Washington DC

orange succulent bouquet

Designed by Petals Edge

pink and white bouquets

Designed by Petals Edge

pink and blush centerpiece

Designed by Sophisticated Floral Designs

bouquet with dusty miller and peach flowers

Designed by Petals Edge

Most requested flower? The Coral Charm Peony. No surprise there.
Sue of White Magnolia Designs, Washington DC

blush bridal bouquet

Designed by White Magnolia Designs

peony bridal bouquet

Designed by White Magnolia Designs

Succulent, followed by hydrangea, ranunculus and garden roses.
Lora of Sophisticated Floral Designs, Oregon

coral and white bridal bouquet

Designed by Sophisticated Floral Designs

blue and white floral centerpiece

Designed by Sophisticated Floral Designs

succulent boutonniere

Designed by Sophisticated Floral Designs

white grey and yellow bouquet

Designed by Sophisticated Floral Designs

purple and orange bouquet

Designed by Sophisticated Floral Designs

orange roses and orchids and succulent bouquet

Designed by Sophisticated Floral Designs

white hydrangea and succulent bouquet

Designed by Sophisticated Floral Designs

boutonniere with succulents

Designed by Sophisticated Floral Designs

woodland centerpiece

Designed by Sophisticated Floral Designs

Peonies. I’m starting to not like them as much. The growers cannot seem to meet the demand and a lot of the plants are inmature leading to small buds and high prices. Let’s also add to this list anything blush and muted colors.
Alexandra, Exquisite Designs, Illinois

pink and orange flower centerpiece

Designed by Exquisite Designs. Photograph by Ashley Biess Photography

Orange fall flower centerpiece

Designed by Exquisite Designs.

pink and green flower centerpiece

Designed by Exquisite Designs.

Red flower arrangement

Designed by Exquisite Designs.

pink and white flower centerpiece

Designed by Exquisite Designs.

The most requested flower this past spring was ranunculus. A close second was peony. For this summer the most requested flower is dahlia.
Kate Sparks, Lilies and Lavender, Pennsylvania

white and pink flower centerpiece

Designed by Lilies and Lavender

dahlia bridal bouquet with crape myrtle berries, dill and sea oats

Designed by Lilies and Lavender

Peonies!
Jane of Budget Blooms, British Columbia, Canada

white peony and queen anne's lace bouquet

Designed by Budget Blooms

Fleur Friday

green yellow and white centerpiece

Designed by Passionflower, Michigan.

The Pricing of Boutonnieres

Designed by Shannon Cosgrove-Rivas of Flourish, California. 3 Yellow Aranda orchids Seeded Eucalyptus Solidaster Brezillia berry (sprayed silver) Dusty miller $18.50 (photo by Briggs Photography)

Designed by Shannon Cosgrove-Rivas of Flourish, California.
3 Yellow Aranda orchids
Seeded Eucalyptus
Solidaster
Brezillia berry (sprayed silver)
Dusty miller
$18.50
(photo by Briggs Photography)

Designed by Tracy Park of Park Place Design. Blue sea thistle, Globe Thistle (from my garden)   Queen Annes Lace and wrapped with a twine  22.50

Designed by Tracy Park of Park Place Design, Michigan.
Blue Sea Thistle
Globe Thistle (from my garden)
Queen Annes Lace
Wrapped with twine
22.50
(photo by Michael Terri Studios)

Designed by Holly of Sweet Pea Floral Design, Michigan. (www.sweetpfloral.com) Nerine lily Star of Bethlehem Seeded Eucalyptus Grey Grosgrain Ribbon Silver Boutonniere pin $17.50

Designed by Holly of Sweet Pea Floral Design, Michigan.
Nerine lily
Star of Bethlehem
Seeded Eucalyptus
Grey Grosgrain Ribbon
Silver Boutonniere pin
$17.50

Designed by Ria of Natures Grace Design, Colorado.  Gloriosa orange, craspedia, willow euc. celosia, satin ribbon,   pinwheel accent   $15.00

Designed by Ria of Nature’s Grace Design, Colorado.
Gloriosa orange
Craspedia
Willow euc. Celosia
Satin ribbon
Pinwheel accent
$15.00

Designed by Amanda of Alluring Blooms, Wisconsin.  Burgundy ranunculus Sprig of red huck Sprig of gold grivellia Wire/tape Pure silk ribbon $13.00

Designed by Amanda of Alluring Blooms, Wisconsin.
Burgundy ranunculus
Sprig of red huck
Sprig of gold grivellia
Wire/tape
Pure silk ribbon
$13.00

Craspedia,kangaroo paw, dusty, bear grass, grosgrain ribbon $15.00

Designed by Ria of Nature’s Grace Design, Colorado.
Craspedia
Kangaroo Paw
Dusty Miller
Bear Grass
Grosgrain Ribbon
$15.00

Lily grass, fiddle head fern, moss, and scabiosa pod, and a succulent, The Number 22 was added for the groom it was his late fathers number. wrapped with silver bullion wire.. I charged 28.00

Designed by Tracy Park of Park Place Design, Michigan.
Lily grass
Fiddle head fern
Moss
Scabiosa pod
Succulent
The Number 22 was added for the groom it was his late fathers number
Wrapped with silver bullion wire
$28.00

Designed by Lisa of Petals and Promises. Birch twig, Acorns, sprigs of Naked Seeded Euc, Bittersweet with florets of Black Story Orchids and Bear Grass 15.00

Designed by Lisa of Petals and Promises, Maryland.
Birch twig
Acorns
Sprigs of Naked Seeded Eucalyptus
Bittersweet
Florets of Black Story Orchids
Bear Grass
15.00

2 ranunculus 1 freesia viburnum berries $21.00

Designed by Holly of Sweet Pea Floral Design, Michigan.
2 Ranunculus
1 Freesia
Viburnum berries
$21.00

Designed by Cindy of Bloomers Floral Design, California. 2 Lisianthus blooms and a bud myrtle. $10.50

Designed by Cindy of Bloomers Floral Design, California.
2 Lisianthus blooms and a bud
Myrtle
$10.50

Ranunculus, arailia foliage, dusty miller Salal, chiffon ribbon, accent   applique  $15.00

Designed by Ria of Nature’s Grace Design, Colorado.
Ranunculus
Arailia foliage
Dusty Miller
Salal
Chiffon ribbon
Accent applique
$15.00

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:
Passionflower
www.passionflowerevents.com
734-678-5192

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

Fabulous Florist :: Sweet Pea Floral Design, Michigan


Your Name: Holly Rutt
Your Business Name: Sweet Pea Floral Design
Your Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan

How did you start your business?
My business was so unexpected I feel like I stumbled dumbly in the direction of my dreams. I was praying to St. Therese of Lisieux (AKA the little flower) asking for a new job because I was unhappy as a cashier at Whole Foods Market. That very day a woman asked me if I knew anyone looking for a job because she was leaving her position in the flower shop. I applied, got the job and was promoted to manager within a short time. It was love and after graduating university I quit to take a “big girl job” as an office manager. I was clearly miserable at my desk job when a friend suggested we start a wedding floral design company together. Two and a half years later I was fully booked with 45 weddings and had long since left my “day job”. My friend moved on to study midwifery and I looked around surprised to find myself an independent business owner with a successful following. It all happened so fast I can’t even believe it.

How many years have you been in business?
Sweet Pea was official as of January 2009 but I have been designing for this or that company since 2003.

What is your design aesthetic?
I tend to the organic field picked side of design but I like to cater as much to my bride’s aesthetic as possible. I like the flowers to appear carefree and effortlessly beautiful, not overworked and forced into modern shapes. I love to include as many different types of foliage in each design as I can to build a nest of texture that makes you want to look deeper.

What inspires you?
I am completely inspired by nature, that golden spiral that appears in so many places, leaf veins, nautilus shells, wood grain, and feathers, camp fires, and my house plants (of which there are many). Whenever I’m uninspired a good drive to the country or walk in the woods fixes me right up. A strong cup of black coffee and James Taylor’s greatest hits will do the trick when I can’t get away.

What are the trends, flowers & colors that are unique to your region?
I love the pride my brides take in offering Michigan made wedding favors including my own handmade custom label soaps and lip balms. One wedding sticks out to me as unique to our region featuring Petoskey stones with each centerpiece.

Are you a retail shop, studio/warehouse or home based?
I am home based with dreams of converting a garage into a 3-season studio with big French doors and a wood-burning stove. For now I settle to design in a much humbler indoor studio with less natural light than I would like but still spacious and I’m grateful to spread out more here than in our last home!

Do you offer any services in addition to floral designs?
Yes! At this time I offer custom favors such as hand made soaps and lip balms with labels that reflect the motif of each unique event. Within the year I hope to add more event design services for my clients such as linen service, and possibly a few lines of invitations as well.

What does your toolbox look like?
I love my vintage green metal tackle box, its so industrial chic (if that’s a thing)

What tool in your toolbox can’t you live without?
It’s got to be zip ties! I can’t tell you how many times they have saved the day. When everything is threating to fall apart or blow away……zip ties to the rescue

What’s your favorite flower?
Trillium. I’m way to chicken to get a tattoo (or pierce my ears for that matter) but if I did it would be a trillium. Because it is the state flower of Michigan, because it is the icon of Ontario where my mother hails from, has beautiful religious symbolism and grows in the woods among the ferns and mushrooms. They are illegal to pick but so delightful to stumble into.

Anything else you’d like to share with Flirty Fleurs followers?
Thanks to Alicia for writing such an inspiring and informative florists blog!! I am so honored to be counted among your featured designers (my heros)

Sweet Pea Floral Design
122 South Main Street
Suite 110
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
734.717.8684
site: www.sweetpfloral.com
blog: http://www.sweetpeafloraldesign.blogspot.com
facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sweetpeafloral