Today we have a TREAT for you! One of our favorite floral designers took the time to answer a few questions about her floral business and the intricate world of what being a florist entails. Based in the beautiful Queen City, she puts together some of the most creative, expressive arrangements, that we have ever worked with. Seriously jaw dropping! We are thrilled to introduce Chelsea Cote of Blooming Branch Creative!
www.bloomingbranchcreative.com | instagram: @bloomingbranchcreative
1. What are some advantages of having real florals, as opposed to unreal?
This is certainly related to your preferences, but in my opinion, there is not silk flower in the world that compares to a real bloom. Natural beauty simply cannot be replicated or manufactured, and I think there's something so special about that. I love working with raw materials straight from our Creator, and knowing He made so many different types of exquisite flowers in all shapes, sizes, and colors to enhance and enrich our lives and our celebrations at their peak of beauty. What a gift!
2. What made you want to be a florist?
Almost two years ago, one of my best friends from college was planning her wedding, and asked me if I would be willing to design all of the flowers. I was intimidated - I loved creating beautiful spaces and tablescapes, but I'd never done anything with flowers before, much less for something so important. Ultimately, I'm so fortunate and thankful she had faith in me and my abilities! Little did I know that in her tiny apartment surrounded by ranunculus and dusty miller, I would find something I was so passionate about. I spent two happy days assembling and designing, surrounded by the most beautiful blooms and feeling so creatively stimulated. The only thing that surpassed that joy was the fact that I got to hand my designs over to someone I loved so much on one of the most special days of her life. It was an honor to create those elements for her, and I will never forget that weekend. After that I knew I wanted to continue designing, and several other friends were gracious enough to allow me to design their weddings as I built my portfolio. From there, I slowly developed the other arms of my business, including event design and management (which I've been doing for years), and curated rentals. I'm continuing to learn and hope that I will always be, but I'm so thankful for the road (and the people!) that have gotten me to this point.
3.What comes with you on a wedding day?
Physically, a myriad of tools - tape, wire, floral pins, spritz bottles, paper towels - the essentials. More than likely a trusty assistant, who often happen to be my wonderful (and patient!) Mom or boyfriend. I always have an "emergency" bag and extra blooms in the event that another boutonniere is needed, an arrangement gets dropped when being placed, etc. More than that, however, I bring a true passion for flowers, painstaking attention to detail, a commitment to excellence (if I'm not happy with a design, I start over), and a very personalized product. Every element of a wedding is an investment from and a part of the client's vision, and I work extremely hard to remember and reflect that in my work. And finally, relationships are so valuable to me. I want my clients to be friends, and I want to be work with them for all of the celebrations in their lives. I aim to build that and get to know their own personal styles so that I can best design with them in mind.
4. How long have you been a professional florist?
I've been designing for nearly two years, but an actual professional for about a year. My hope is that I can continue doing this for years to come!
5. What inspires your creations?
I'm particularly captivated by unique blooms and color palettes that aren't necessarily the standard ones you see on Pinterest over and over. I maintain that all flowers are beautiful, standard or otherwise, but I think floral designs can be so artistic when we step outside of the norm. Floral design is ultimately art - every person creates differently. Just as an artist paints or sculpts from her own perceptions, I do my best work when I can freely create, rather than copying a picture of an arrangement. I almost always design while listening to my favorites - Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, etc., which I find always make me feel inspired.
6.What are your favorite type of arrangements?
I prefer to create more wild, organic designs because I think they better reflect the beauty of the blooms by keeping them in more of a natural setting. I most enjoy designing the bridal bouquet because that's when I can use the best stems to create something extraordinary and unique. I love thinking about the bride holding it throughout her day and what (I hope!) it will mean to her.
7. Whats the best part of your job?
The floral wholesaler! Walking around their cooler and seeing hundreds of spectacular blooms is a literal (albeit chilly) dream! Ultimately, though, I love working with brides and being a part of such a special moment in their lives. I love being surrounded by flowers. I love doing something that stimulates me so much as a creative. There are too many things to choose just one - it's a dream job!
8. When should I hire my florist?
Ultimately if you have a particular florist in mind, as soon as possible to prevent schedule conflicts. That being said, I like to have a firm order set at least two months in advance of your wedding date, and it usually takes a couple of conversations and proposal edits to get there. Personally as a Type A planner, sooner is always better in my mind, but I'd say it's important to have a contract signed no later than three - four months in advance of your wedding date.