Lavish floral décor by renowned designers to exhilarate and revitalize your creative processes.
By Wendy Lee
When you look at the glitzy and glamorous photos of someone else’s ﬂoral design work, do you ever feel envious? Do you wonder if you will ever have that kind of client in your lifetime? Not every event designer started out with high-end clients; many slowly grew their businesses and likely had that one client who helped propel their businesses forward.
If you have ever heard Preston Bailey speak, he freely shares about his background and start in the ﬂoral industry nearly 40 years ago and how he achieved his superstar event-planner status. If you don’t know who Preston Bailey is, he’s the celebrity ﬂoral designer who did Oprah’s ﬁrst-anniversary party for O, The Oprah Magazine, Donald and Melania Trump’s wedding, and Melissa Rivers’ (daughter of the late comedienne Joan Rivers) winter-themed wedding. He has designed numerous over-the-top events internationally, as well, and has published seven books showcasing his work.
Admiring someone’s work is great. But, studying someone else’s work is actually even better. There are many reasons it’s beneﬁcial for ﬂorists and ﬂoral designers to dissect these lavish and opulent arrangements – even if you think you’ll never be hired to do such an event. Here are ﬁve key reasons.
1) GET INSPIRED.
Looking at creations that aren’t your own can get you dreaming again (read florists’ comments about this in “Question of the Month“). It may help you rejuvenate your creative spark and become motivated to try a new style or to work with unfamiliar blooms or foliage. It helps keep your mind fresh and renewed.
2) ENHANCING YOUR SKILLS.
If you’ve never had the chance to create a gigantic arrangement, then learning how to do it will add another skill-set that you might not already have. This, again, will bring conﬁdence when you do have the opportunity to design something on a mammoth scale or when invited to work on such an event for another ﬂorist or ﬂorist organization.
3) BUILDING A NETWORK.
When you have the opportunity to bid on an event that is beyond your current capacity, you will likely need to bring on extra stafﬁng and ﬁnd more space. Partnering with others ﬂorists is a great way to network and collaboratively cheer each other onward. They can also become your sounding board if you need to discuss pricing or other details involved with large events.
Should you not have the clientele to support these over-the-top arrangements – and we understand that many of you don’t – then catalog the design ideas and think about ways you can utilize them in ways and sizes that your customers can afford and are willing to pay for. All it takes is a little imagination, creativity and a desire to do so.
If your event orders tend to have more moderate price points, think about creating some of these larger ﬂoral designs – ﬂower walls, ﬂoral chandeliers or other hanging/suspended pieces, arches (circular arches are especially trendy right now) – out of permanent botanicals (ﬂowers, foliages or both) and, possibly, on a smaller scale. This way you can rent these spectacular pieces to multiple clients at a fraction of the cost of a fresh piece for a single event. And if they are pedestrian enough, you can customize your permanent pieces to each event by adding a few fresh ﬂowers or foliages, ribbons, etc. – again, at a minimal or, at least, an affordable price. These rental pieces can be another revenue stream for your business.
It’s often all too easy to just ﬂip through pretty pages, or even bypass them, because you feel that customers in your market will never bear the higher price points. However, life can be like the line in the movie Field of Dreams, “If you build it, he will come.”
Perhaps you think this is too simplistic, but how will any client know what you are capable of designing – or that such lavish designs are even possible – if you never showcase any? How will your other local creative partners know that you are interested in executing larger scale events if you never talk about it?
There is so much available online to get passionate about design, so don’t keep your talents hidden away. It’s time to show your community what inspires you and your versatility in floral design.