The “Artisan” approach is a refreshing shift in floral world
Our visit to the Portland Flower Market earlier this month was filled with delightful new discoveries of the farmers and designers who believe that uncommon, fresh and locally-grown botanical ingredients are at the heart of their success.
First up, here’s Debra’s interview with veteran design educator Leanne Kesler of Portland’s Floral Design Institute. Leanne’s educational program teaches a range of subjects, from introductory floral design skills to cutting-edge techniques. Would-be designers enroll in the school’s full program; experienced designers freshen up their skills at one- or two-day workshops. Leanne and her husband David Kesler also produce DVD instruction videos to train students around the globe.
- Flower consumption is “up,” but Leanne sees that there is a paradigm shift to how customers are buying their flowers. While supermarkets and large retailers continue to stock an array of cut flowers, Leanne says there’s a return to the small flower shop underway.
- Reminiscent of the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s, that small studio or retail shop “offers the romance of hand-crafted flowers,” she says. The flowers may be grown by the designer or by “someone they know, such as a farmer who uses good growing practices.”
- The strength of this shift is in the relationships connected to any flower purchase. Those relationships connect flower farmers to floral designers; designers to the floral customer.
- Design tastes align perfectly with this shift because Leanne observes that customers are passionate about ”wild garden,” “field grown,” and “Grandma’s flowers” – including lilacs, peonies, snowball viburnum, garden roses and spray roses.
Watch the full conversation to learn more, including Leanne’s predictions about changes in floral color preferences . . .