Sara-Lisa Flowers and Friends Karlstad, Sweden
What are your sources for creative inspiration outside of the ﬂoral industry?
I always have my eyes open to find inspiration. Traveling is very important. Different cultures give me a lot of inspiration – the architecture, food, fashion, street fashion, art, etc. I also get inspiration from the fashion industry regarding the use of textures, and I study interior design and décor. Besides that, I get a lot of inspiration from history about trends, styles, color combinations and expression.
As with many other florists, one of my greatest inspirational sources is Mother Nature. When I lack inspiration, a walk in the forest always helps.
Of course, I also get inspiration from social media, and I often go to the hardware store to find inspiration in both materials and different tools that I might be able to use as a florist.
Nothing, however, beats hands-on training. My promise to myself is to keep investing in my skills by participating in workshops, classes, etc. We all can learn something new; I will never stop to trying to learn!
On the business side, I learn from other companies how to organize and plan a successful company, how to value my skills and put the right price on my products, and how to develop competence by investing in my staff and myself.
Do you or did you have a mentor, are you a mentor to others now, and how does that foster and inspire creativity for you?
I have had several mentors during my career, and I always will because I will never be too old to learn. Some of my mentors have been in floristry, including Ulla Åkesson, Alison Bradley and Sue Phillips, and others have been in areas like pedagogical methods, business and leadership, such as Jonas Bergman-Wallin.
As a former floristry teacher, I think being a mentor is part of the program, and you can be a mentor on different levels. For me, it is important to pay if forward.