A few weeks ago, I met Suzanne at the Schoolyard Market, which was hosted by Hope & Main on a beautiful Sunday morning. I approached to her because I was obsessed with her truck! (and of course the flowers too!) During our conversation, I found out that she is a local florist, who specializes in wedding industry as well! Just like my previous interview blog with Sophie (In The Event Design), the same idea came to my mind while Suzanne and I were talking.
Without further ado, I want to introduce you this fantastic lady along with her beautiful work.
Website: Bella Floral Studio
Can you tell us a little about yourself and what your company does?
I grew up moving every three years and because of that I’ve lived a bunch of different places (21 to be exact!) and had the opportunity to travel all over the world. It’s given me a deep appreciation for how beautiful & diverse cultures are, and how important it is to embrace and celebrate differences. Because we now live in a tiny coastal town, we make sure our kids have the opportunity to travel often so that they too can appreciate how vast and inspiring the world is. Whenever we can we pack the car, or hop on a plane and seek out adventure and new experiences.
I so appreciate the beauty the world holds, but at the same time I love the tiny coastal town we find ourselves living in now. I might love the city more, and some day you’ll probably find me back there permanently, but for now it sure is nice to be able to walk down to the beach and stare out into the vast ocean and just BE, whenever I want. Sitting on the jetty on a quiet, grey winter day, watching the waves overlap the rocks in a steady, hypnotic pattern is probably the most peaceful I can be at the moment, in a life otherwise filled with chaos (a beautiful mess of chaos)! Everyone needs to find that place, and that moment- whether it’s a beach, a mountain or just curled up on the couch with a hot tea and a good book.
You need to find your place, but you also need to find your thing. For me, creating with flowers and making connections is my thing. Now that my business is mobile it kind of ties everything together- my love of design, my desire to meet new and interesting people and my need to always be on the move! So.. I hope to see you out there some day, or if you’re planning a wedding please get in touch. Let’s talk flowers! 🙂
I have been a floral designer for almost 15 years. I started off with a small studio in Boston, offering flowers for weddings and events all over Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The early years were busy years! I was a young mom with a 1 year old daughter, building my business from scratch. I used a rudimentary, homemade website and lots of word of mouth advertising to drum up interest and awareness in a time when independent floral design studios were a rarity. Most people were still more comfortable going to their local retail florist for their wedding and party needs. My first year in business I worked on maybe 5 weddings tops. By the end of my second year I was providing flowers for more than 30 weddings a year! I attribute that growth to a commitment to quality, a keen eye for design, a focus on stellar customer service, lots of marketing and just putting myself out there, time and time and time again! It was a lot of hustle, but worth it in the long run.
Later, driven by a need to slow things down a bit (all that hustle is hard to maintain over time!), my family and I moved to Marion, MA on beautiful Buzzards Bay where I reinvented Bella Floral Design with a new focus on sustainable business practices and a commitment to supporting the local flower growing community. These days I find it especially important to be mindful and responsible in the ways I market products and consume them. We’ve only got one earth and it’s ours to preserve (or destroy). The commercial flower industry is a huge pollution contributor and I feel it’s important to do my small part to combat that.
I love creating with flowers! Through the years I’ve provided florals for events of all types- from large scale weddings in glamorous ballrooms to small, intimate affairs in private homes. I love the variety and creative license I get to take as a designer and I love helping happy couples set the stage for their special day. Flowers can be a very personal reflection of a couple’s unique style. I try to get to know my clients so I can translate their personalities and style into everything I design for them. In fact, one of my favorite things about being a floral designer is the people it connects me to. Over the years I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a ton of talented, creative and interesting people–clients and fellow wedding vendors alike. I’m fortunate to call many of my past client’s friends, and I’m very lucky to have a ton of fellow floral designer friends who I admire and count on for inspiration and advice. It’s really great to be part of a creative community focused on spreading joy and celebrating life’s happiest moments!
Do you have any recommendations for our brides who are getting married in the fall season?
Buy local! It used to be that most cut flowers were flown in from South America, Holland and California, but the sustainability movement and the upsurge in farms that are focused on growing flowers specifically for local consumption has changed all that. Now in New England there are a good number of local flower farms who grow gorgeous product in a responsible and ecologically friendly way. When flowers are sourced locally it helps strengthen the local economy, cut down on harmful emissions and combats the floral industry’s reliance on cheap labor and harsh chemicals. Not to mention the fact that it opens up a world of new flower options and makes available delicate flowers like sweet pea and stock that can’t easily be shipped. And the growing season is fairly long- from late April through early November for most- so brides don’t have to compromise on variety or style.
Also, don’t feel like you have to be limited to “traditional” fall colors like orange, red and yellow. You can get an equally autumnal feel using colors like deep plum, dark pink, maroon and even some blue- yes really! It’s all about how the colors are put together and the textures that are used. I love pairing privet berry, plum, dusty rose and champagne colored blooms with red maple leaves and olive branches. Call it “fall romance”!
What do you think are the new trends that emerging into wedding flower world?
I love where floral design is headed these days which is a move toward unstructured, free form, organic bouquets and arrangements that look fresh picked from the garden or field. This effortless look can be used for any type of wedding- from black tie to casual back-yard garden and it works! It’s just all in the way you dress it up. For more formal events, pair the arrangements with gold, silver or crystal vessels that lend an air of elegance. If your wedding will be a more casual affair collect buckets, tins and old bottles to use for your arrangements. I like to scour antique shops, flea markets and second hand shops. Don’t be lured by the cheapness and abundance of mason jars though- that’s a trend that’s thankfully almost run its course. Dare to be a little different.
Can you share one unforgettable story of you being as a florist?
For me, the best jobs are the ones that are really personal. Last year I provided flowers for my husband’s French cousin who I have known since she was a very young girl. She lived with us for a summer when she was 16 and ever since then we’ve shared a close bond. The summer she spent with us she worked with me in the studio and helped me deliver flowers and set up events. She told me then that when her time came to get married that she wanted me to do her flowers… so 12 years later I did! We weren’t sure it would be possible as it presented a bit of a challenge in the planning and the logistics were tricky since the wedding was being held near her hometown in France. But we pulled it off without a hitch and had so much fun! I loved sourcing the flowers with other family members at a local flower market, working with her to create the perfect bouquet and accent flowers and enlisting everyone’s help to execute it all. My husband’s family is a very close knit, loving (and fun-loving!) group and we don’t get to see them as often as we like (only once or twice a year), so it was especially meaningful to be part of the wedding in such a hands-on way.
Any tips or advice you want to give to couples who are ordering flowers?
Don’t get caught up in what everyone else is doing! It’s so tempting to be drawn into Pinterest and Instagram and fall in love with all the weddings you see featured. But you should let your unique relationship, your story and your personal style shine through. Flowers are a great way to personalize a space and the way they are presented can really showcase who you are and what’s important to you. Recently I had a couple who had a serious love for ice cream. A love that went beyond the ordinary ice cream love that pretty much all humans share. Naturally, the theme of the wedding was centered around ice cream. We collected Ben & Jerry pint containers and used them to make the centerpieces and other accent flowers with. Instead of having table numbers, each table was named after an ice cream flavor. It was super clever, cute and absolutely perfect for the couple.
What do you suggest couples do with flowers after the wedding is over?
The one thing I don’t love about wedding flowers is that they spend such a short amount of time making people happy! They are one of the things about your big day that you have to enjoy in the moment and then leave behind. I always feel sad when I go to pick up rented pieces the next day and the gorgeous arrangements we worked so hard on are just sitting there waiting to be thrown away.
But luckily that’s not the only option! There are now companies that will come collect the flowers after the event and deliver them to retirement homes or hospitals. Check out The Reflower Project (https://reflowerproject.org) which is one such company. If you’re not local, seek out similar companies in your area, or solicit friends or family members to go back to your venue the day after your wedding and deliver them to a predetermined location. You can call your local retirement home or hospital and ask them if they accept cut flowers for patients.
Where can we find you?
The studio is open for appointments only so if you’re interested in talking wedding flowers, the best way to reach me is via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also check out my website www.bellafloraldesign.com. If you want to see flowers up close and personal and share a moment with the most adorable truck ever, you can find us at local farmers markets and makers fairs. Stay in the know by following me on Instagram @bella.flowertruck. I try to post where I’ll be next at least 5 days in advance!
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for other amazing vendors!