Your name: Janet Martineau
Your Business name: Floral Verde LLC
Your Location: Phoenix, Arizona
How did you start your business?
I started my business in 2006 after designing the flowers for my wedding, and the weddings of a few friends. I had worked at several flower shops in the past, and was working in the supply department of a floral wholesaler at the time. I took a few distance learning classes with the Floral Design Institute, and participated in as many local learning opportunities as possible. I made my own website, and bought a small walk-in cooler. I maintained other jobs the first couple of years, until my business picked up with referrals in 2008.
What is your design aesthetic?
My designs are lush – with lots of foliage and texture. I consider green to be a neutral, so it makes its way into almost all of my designs. I tend to design using a lot of analogous color schemes, focusing less on exact color matches, and more on a range of hues. When I do throw in complementary colors, I use them sparingly.
What inspires you?
I follow the blogs of lots of amazing florists, and am always finding new ideas there. Also, other areas of design – architecture, graphic design, print, paper sculpture, and landscape are great for inspiration. And finally, mother nature is the ultimate designer, and is an inspiration for me in terms of color, texture, and form.
What are the trends, flowers & colors that are unique to your region?
I’ve only been in Phoenix for 5 months, so I’m still learning about regional trends. I am super excited about using cacti, echeveria, agave, and cholla wood in my designs
Are you a retail shop, studio/warehouse or home based?
I am home based.
Do you offer any services in addition to floral designs?
I prefer to help my brides with basic event design decisions. I find that it makes my work look better when I help select the linens, rentals, and lighting. I also have an Etsy shop (http://www.etsy.com/shop/floralverde) where I sell fabric wrapped votives, silk bouquets, and handmade picks.
What does your toolbox look like?
Right now my toolbox is a large scrapbooking organizer on wheels. It’s an upgrade from the ream of paper box I was using two years ago, but I’m looking to upgrade to a heavy duty tool box. I’ve set it up as a mobile studio in response to a destination wedding I had last year. It’s full of clippers, scissors, knives, wire cutters, pliers, zip ties of all sizes, various tapes and pins, flower food and wax spray, water picks, wire, oasis floral glue, spare wristlets, basic colors of satin ribbon, towels, trash bags, a plastic tarp, a pitcher, Band-Aids, and of course, the client folder for the current project.
What tool in your toolbox can’t you live without?
My hands would completely fall apart without my leather gardening gloves. Also, I never go anywhere without my clippers and knives.
What’s your favorite flower?
This isn’t a fair question, as I can’t choose one. I think the one theme that flows through my body of work is my total obsession with interesting textures, especially when it comes to foliage. When I hit the wholesaler, I walk past the flowers and go straight to the greens lining the outer wall. I love scented geranium, dusty miller, succulents, passion vine, green leucadendron, and all types of eucalyptus. I especially go crazy for urban-harvested treasures like the Tree-of-Heaven that I would cut road-side in Michigan, branches of Japanese maple gifted to me by my dear friend Jenn at Modern Day Floral, porcelain berries from the woods, or wormwood and solomon’s seal from my garden. Those are the things I get really excited about.
Anything else you’d like to share with Flirty Fleurs followers?
If you aren’t networking with other florists, start now. It’s been such a blessing to have floral friends to bounce ideas off of, share experiences with, and to freelance for. Also, attend as many hands-on and learning opportunities as possible. You never know when you may pick up a tip that will save you hours of work, increase efficiency, or just alleviate your floral worries to help you get a better night’s sleep.