Smithers Oasis Creativity

When working on the “Inspiration for Creation” feature article in our March issue, we were overwhelmed by the number of floral designers who wanted to contribute to that project. Because we could not include everyone, we created this column to share their sources of creativity and inspiration in our future issues. Check out this feature every month as we highlight a different floral artist, and enjoy this introduction to the vibrant CeCe Todd.

CeCe Designs and Events, CeCe Décor
Birmingham, Ala.

Christy “CeCe” Todd, owner of CeCe Designs and Events and CeCe Décor (a décor and prop rental company) in Birmingham, Ala., comes from a long line of creative individuals. Her grandmother was a floral designer, and her mother, Peggy Wininger, was an internationally known jewelry designer and is a founding partner in CeCe Designs and Events. This creative bloodline led CeCe to pursue a career as a professional singer. After realizing the end of that career dream, CeCe entered into the flower world in 2000 as her creative outlet. Working for a local florist, she quickly became the wedding director, buyer and, eventually, store director. Today, in addition to her two event companies, CeCe is a founding partner in Create: A luxury wedding and special event collaborative + creative workspace. All of these companies and interests give CeCe the flexibility to remain on the cutting edge of design and props.

Where do you look outside of the floral industry for inspiration?
All of my floral designs are based around a single inspiration piece. The inspiration generally comes from one of three industries: fashion, art or interior design. I did an entire styled shoot that was inspired by a handbag and a gown designed by Kate Spade, a wedding set-up that was inspired by a hand-painted aisle runner, and an elaborate Christmas design built entirely around a candle-holder. I gather inspiration for my florals and designs from all the world around me. Beauty is all around us.

Do you or did you have a mentor, and are you a mentor to others now? How does that foster and inspire creativity for you?
I didn’t have a mentor when I started my business, and the struggles in the beginning led me to want to help others. I currently host two-day intensive workshops where I mentor floral designers of all skill levels. I also mentor people online through private Facebook groups and mastermind courses. I also mentor local college students through our internship program each semester. These mentoring outlets all inspire my creativity by helping remind me why I love floral design. It keeps me informed because I am constantly looking for ways to improve my craft so that I can pass that knowledge onto others.

Smithers Oasis