Monthly Archives: September 2017

Botanical Brouhaha Expert Discussion Panel: No. 104

Question:

Do you offer residential holiday decorating to your clients? If so, have you found it to be a profitable service to offer? Would love to know which holidays you cover and which services your clients ask for. I’m thinking about adding this to my plate, but want to make sure it’s worth it before moving forward.

Holly Chapple Flowers | Angela Newton Roy Photography | Hope Flower Farm

Holly Chapple Flowers (Abby Chapple) | Angela Newton Roy Photography

Answers:

For many years as a retailer, residential holiday decorating for some of my best clients was a big part of my holiday business.  It was absolutely one of the most profitable parts of my business, as I serviced their holiday interior work, selling them new decorations, switching out old ones, suggesting additional fresh designs as it got closer to the holiday.  Helping with fresh flowers for their parties…  Even though I have been out of retail for close to 12 years now, I still service 3 of my best clients to this day – they will have no other…  I have been assigned to do their decor as long as they live – they have told me as much.  Sometimes, servicing several very high end clients is all you need to keep things afloat.  Their trust in you and your expertise turns into a life-long forged business relationship. I am booked every year, about mid-year for dates to do the Christmas decorations. Also any other special occasions that may come up, parties, etc. – they try to get me to do (sometimes this does not work out date-wise, since I travel so much) – but I try to accommodate as much as I can.

The key to serving clients in this way is…  to offer excellent service, but charge well. This is the way to win their confidence.  If the service is offered at a bargain, they treat you like a bargain.  As a professional, you have to know exactly what your time is worth – this is why they hire you, because you are the best!!  Your hourly or daily fee has to be worthwhile. And then when you add in the mark-up on the products sold – it should definitely be very profitable.  When you have to bring in assistants, make sure that you have good mark-up on their hourly wage. This makes it all worthwhile.

Hitomi Gilliam AIFD (Design358)

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Our farm and design studio only operate during the growing season so by the winter holidays, we’re in rest and planning-for-the-next-season mode. We don’t do any residential holiday decorating.

Jennie Love (Love ‘n Fresh Flowers)

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Holly Chapple Flowers | Angela Newton Roy Photography | Hope Flower Farm

I truly love evergreen and winter designs, these types of designs were the first I learned to create. In my area it is easy to harvest and craft pieces out of items foraged which can make the margin awesome.

But here is why we typically don’t get too involved in this type of décor… my energy is spent by the end of the wedding season and I just don’t want to destroy my Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Christmas decorating typically begins on Thanksgiving weekend, just the receiving of the greens that weekend is enough work for me during a busy family weekend. There is so much projection and forecasting that goes into this as well and I don’t like purchasing with the hope of a sale. For the last two years we have hosted a huge open house at our farm. The event requires so much labor that we have trouble turning a profit. I am totally on the fence about this!!

Holly Chapple (Holly Heider Chapple Flowers)

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I don’t offer this service.

Alicia Schwede (Bella Fiori), Clare Day (Clare Day Flowers)

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I do not decorate for the holidays- in fact, I avoid it completely…

Susan McLeary (Passionflower)

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Holly Chapple Flowers | Angela Newton Roy Photography | Hope Flower Farm

Holly Chapple Flowers | Angela Newton Roy Photography | Hope Flower Farm

All images courtesy of Holly Chapple Flowers (Abby Chapple) | Angela Newton Roy Photography | Hope Flower Farm

Win The New Francoise Weeks Online Course

Francoise Weeks | Theresa Bear Photography

Theresa Bear Photography

Françoise Weeks is certainly no stranger to Botanical Brouhaha! I love to have her drop by occasionally to update us on her latest projects. I’m sure you’ve seen her textural Woodland and Botanical Couture designs over the years. She has traveled the world extensively to teach and inspire so many fantastic florists. If you have not had the opportunity to attend one of her workshops, then I have great news! Françoise just launched a new series of online classes! And, I have even better news – we’re giving the full online course, a total of four classes, away to one of you!

Francoise Weeks | Cam Ostman

Francoise Weeks | Cam Ostman

Francoise Weeks | Cam Ostman

Cam Ostman

The first series of videos introduced in the Françoise Weeks European Floral Courses focuses on Botanical Couture Jewelry. Françoise teaches you the concepts, mechanics and artistry involved in the creation of wearable rings, earrings, bracelets and necklaces. She discusses the tools and materials needed and walks you through the entire process, sharing her extensive knowledge along the way. From her Portland, Oregon garden studio, lined with flowers, tropical houseplants, foraged seedpods and bark, Françoise shows you how to deconstruct these floral materials to produce shapes and textures that rival gems and metals. You will begin to see the jewel-like qualities in flora all around you.

Françoise is such a gentle, genuine and generous floral artist and this comes through in her new videos. It’s a joy to spend this time with her, notebook and materials in hand, creating wearable treasures.

To learn more about Francoise’s flowering travels and classes, sign up for her newsletter by clicking here.

Francoise Weeks | Ted Mishima Photography

Ted Mishima Photography

To Enter:

For a chance to win  Françoise’s new video course (a total of four classes – valued at $399), simply leave a comment below. A winner will be chosen by random drawing on Friday, September 22, 2017 at noon (CST). The winner will be announced on Botanical Brouhaha later that afternoon.

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To see more of Francoise’s work, visit:

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Online Courses

Francoise Weeks | Taken by Sarah

Taken by Sarah

Botanical Brouhaha Expert Discussion Panel: No. 103

Question:

What is your favorite color palette for autumn weddings? I feel like my brides are stuck in a rut!

Love ' Fresh Flowers

Love ‘n Fresh Flowers

Questions:

Love 'n Fresh Flowers | Katch Silva Photography

My favorite autumn color palette to propose is “jewel tones” and ask the couple to let me take it from there. This palette almost always starts with a foundation of burgundy in the form of smokebush and ninebark foliage, then burgundy dahlias. Then I layer on pops of persimmon, peach, carmine, magenta, orange, and sapphire (porcelain berries are my favorite autumn accent). This fall burgundy and magenta together have been really making me happy. (photos: Katch Silva)

Jennie Love (Love ‘n Fresh Flowers)

Love ' Fresh Flowers AB101015_0086Love 'n Fresh Flowers | Katch Silva Photography

Love 'n Fresh Flowers | Katch Silva Photography

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Bella Fiori

I suppose I’m on the traditional side as one of my favorite autumn color palettes is rich, burnt orange and dark reds. Add in fall leaves and seasonal fruits like persimmons and pomegranates to the display and I’m even more thrilled!
My other go-to autumn color palette is the burgundy, plum and cream look. Burgundy dahlias, David Austin Tess roses, tardiva hydrangeas, plum scabiosa, etc. makes for a gorgeous design.

Alicia Schwede (Bella Fiori)

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Clare Day Flowers | Ameris Photography

Clare Day Flowers | Ameris Photography

Clare Day Flowers | Ameris Photography

When fall comes I love working with rust, brown, and gold colours. I love the ways these can come into play with cafe au lait dahlias and other pale flowers. The photos here show these flowers blended with ferns, rosehips and heavenly bamboo which worked beautifully with beeswax candles and gold silk ribbon. And the huge squash and pears from my farm were a perfect addition to mark the arrival of fall. (Photos by Ameris)

Clare Day (Clare Day Flowers)

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Fleuropean

Fleuropean

There are so many fun autumnal palettes available to floral designers, and I totally agree that it’s important not to get stuck in a rut. Perhaps by showing brides all of the potential color combinations fall flowers have to offer, you can help them branch out and find something equally beautiful (but more fun for you!). Based on what is growing in my garden, I will suggest several color combinations that are both adventurous and beautiful. The first would be burgundies and blushes. Dark fall foliage mixed with deep dahlias, berries, dark chrysanthemums, and black scabiosa provide a perfect contrast to Cafe au Lait dahlias, blush roses, and pale pink cosmos. The other color palette I tend toward is a very soft “pastel” version of autumn. I use only the lightest gold foliage and dried seedheads as a compliment to the nude colors of Cafe au Lait dahlias and the soft whites of anemones, cosmos, hydrangeas, etc. Autumn is also a perfect season to incorporate cute little veggies, herbs, and fruits! I think looking at what is growing locally at the moment (both in the garden and along the roadside) and finding fun, unexpected color combinations is key.

Emily Avenson (Fleuropean)

Fleuropean | Anna Doshina Photography

Fleuropean | Anna Doshina Photography

Fleuropean | Anna Doshina Photography

Fleuropean | Michelle Lange Photography

Fleuropean | Michelle Lange Photography

Fleuropean | Michelle Lange Photography

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I am in love with muddy tones. Gregor Lersch noted that I love this color and he calls it “dirty solider underwear” (note he is from Germany so insert a strong accent and a bit of a twist from translating). Mixing a muddy brown with anything and everything makes for a new and exciting palette. Even the most vibrant of tones look moody and dramatic with a tinge of brown and it makes them perfect for fall. I use foliages that are showing hints of brown or gold. Sometimes this tone of color is a sign of stress or disease in a plant or is the result of the first frost. Blueberry and grapevine are good examples of a change in leaf color as the season progresses. Some plants just naturally have this color. I love nandina, heuchera, abelia, plum, mauve or muddy lisianthus, some types of fern, and eleaganus are great for this also. I also love the flowers that show that muddy mauve brown tone, like Koko Loko roses from Ella Rose Farm.

Holly Chapple (Holly Heider Chapple Flowers)

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Passionflower | Kathy Davies Photography

Passionflower | Kathy Davies Photography

Although I adore the expected “fall colors”- oranges, reds, and burgundies, I don’t often design with these tones in autumn. I like to try and represent the season by using elements that are plentiful then, such as locally sourced amaranthus and dahlias, but I tend to suggest palettes that are a little subtler, and less expected. Coral, soft peach, and blush may be suggested in place of hot-toned oranges for instance, and this may be paired with deep plum-toned greenery, instead of a more expected bright red fall foliage. I love to add deep-toned berried branch or vine such as wild grape, privet, and viburnum, or white berried branch such as snowberry, or foraged dogwood branch. Lately, I’m loving pale beige and mustard tones found in such flowers as ‘Wonderous Light Brown” lisianthus, ‘Golden Mustard’ roses, and ‘Putumayo Beige’ carnations mixed in with plum foliages, soft blush tones, and soft gray or white accent materials.

Susan McLeary (Passionflower)

Passionflower

BB Podcast Episode 5: Gretchen O’Neil

“Nobody wakes up and says ‘I want to be a millionaire, so I’m going to be a farmer.’”

Gretchen O’Neil | Petals, ink.

Petals, Ink.

Today we’re sitting down with Gretchen O’Neil (pictured above right) of Petals, ink. & Grassdale Flower Farm to discuss:

  • how she finally recognized the constant pull of the floral industry on her career path choices
  • a pivotal moment which left her inspired to grow flowers in the challenging Texas climate
  • the heartfelt letter that won the hearts of the previous owners of her flower farm, Grassdale
  • her newest project: Austin’s first 100% locally grown mobile flower truck
  • and a special interview with her daughter, Aiwyn

Petals, Ink. | Lisa Woods Photography

Petals, ink. | Lisa Woods Photography

Petals, Ink.

Visit the Petals, ink. Mobile Flower Truck:

Beginning with the official launch date on October 13-14, the Mobile Flower Truck will be parked at The Tasty Spoon, a new gelato shop located in a creek-side bungalow in eclectic South Austin at 1413 S. 1st Street. Gretchen is thrilled with this location for the fall of 2017! The Tasty Spoon serves authentic handcrafted gelato alongside delicious coffee and espresso beverages. Similar to Gretchen’s commitment to locally grown flowers, The Tasty Spoon sources ingredients locally from the finest farms in Texas.

Petals, Ink.

Links mentioned in Episode Five:

Petals, Ink.

Petals, ink. Links of Interest:

Website | Instagram | Facebook | Grassdale

Petals, Ink.

An Additional Opportunity to Visit with Petals, ink:

Gretchen will be participating in craftHER Market, a space for women to showcase and share their wares, makes and goods. On Oct. 1, 2017, craftHER Market will feature 100+ booths at Fair Market, produce panels covering different topics relevant to the maker community and showcase resources in the Austin community (art collectives, alternative art markets, etc.) For more info: click here.

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BB Podcast Sound Engineer: Landon McGee