Vendor Spotlight: EMMA LEA FLORAL
We sat down with Emma Van Vranken over one of Death & Co.'s fancy cocktails (love this space inside The Ramble Hotel in RiNo) to catch up and chat about the upcoming season. We at Curate have always been in awe of Emma's talent and aesthetic, but the personality behind the brand is even more endearing. You will not find a more genuine, down-to-earth human who shares a passion of beautiful things in such an eloquent way. Below is a little glimpse into her life as a florist and the talent behind Emma Lea Floral.
Who is your ideal client? What do you love about them?
This is going to sound a little cliché, but my ideal client is someone who loves flowers. It might sound like too easy of an answer but so many times there are people who don’t actually care about their flowers and are actually looking forward to them. As far as general personality traits, I think we all tend to attract people who are like ourselves. So I would say someone who is laid back and is thinking more about the experience rather than trying to have a perfect or concise planned out day. Someone who appreciates what they are spending their money on because it’s definitely an investment. If you don’t like flowers but are about to spend thousands of dollars on them, it helps to love what you are spending your money on!
Where do you create your designs?
I just redid my garage space actually this summer and it’s a constant work in progress, but that’s the nature of floristry. It seems like I need three storage units at all times! But let me paint you a little picture - it’s a two-car garage attached to my house. I have a huge stainless-steel table with vases on the bottom, all along the back wall, and a huge cabinet with stuff I don’t want to look at every day. There is also the big walk-in cooler that my boyfriend Patrick built me. The cooler has changed everything!
What inspires you in the world?
I’ve been feeling really inspired by my garden. I’m finally able to have a garden at my new house and last year I really dove into planting flowers! I only got to use a handful of flowers here or there for actual weddings, but the satisfaction from growing the flowers is incredible. I think finding that inspiration for me and figuring that out for myself will really take me to the next level in business.
I follow @atlastheadventuredog – he’s my favorite. But as far as florists, @tingefloral and @colortheorycollective. I always get inspiration from their color palettes and find ways to get more intricate and thoughtful in the flowers that I do. I’ve definitely made headway in exploring new color and new levels of depth in the last year.
When you're not creating floral goodness, what would someone usually find you doing?
Playing with my pets of course, cooking, or in my garden. I’m starting to really like cocktails - I’ve been a bit of a lush lately. Patrick and I have this old cocktail recipe book and we just see what ingredients we already have laying around to make something fun and different.
How do you define your style and approach when it comes to executing a wedding floral design?
If you were to ask me what your bouquet is going to look like, I can’t really tell you because it is more of a feeling and an overall vision. That moment when I’m designing the bouquets and centerpieces, it starts to become a little bit more clear. I’ll look at what I created at the end of the day and then compare it to the design board and it always just comes out that way! It’s almost like you have to let it happen for it to actually come together.
Tell us some trends that you are seeing for the 2019 season.
It’s so nice to see a lot of color coming back. There will always be a place for the neutrals like the whites and ivories, but I’m glad that people are getting a little more adventurous. A lot of florists are playing around with no greenery at all and lots of painted elements. Texture is going to be huge in the next couple of years - so that’s pretty exciting! I’m super excited about a greenery trellise and flower tunnel I have coming up for a 2019 wedding at Skylight.
Tell us your love story! When did you meet your boyfriend and what makes your relationship special?
My boyfriend Patrick and I actually met at The Cheesecake Factory. We were both servers and he was training me. I just remember at my last shift of training I thought, ‘I don’t want this to ever end!’ One day he came up to me at the bakery counter and casually said ‘hey, so wanna go on a date with me sometime?’ and I said ‘alright’ and then he walked away. We went on a total of 3 dates in the next two years, and then just started hanging out more one day! Now we live together and he’s amazing.
What are your favorite things about your clients' relationships?
I don’t get to see a lot of the bride and groom together, most of the time the groom isn’t too interested in flowers so my interaction with them together is usually just on the wedding day. My favorite part is when I get a feel of the groom’s personality when I’m pinning on the boutonniere. I just love LOVE in general, so I stick around and try to watch their first looks and to see the ceremony. My love story is relatively mundane, but I know the feelings that I have for Patrick are exceptional. So I just imagine those same feelings my couples might have on their wedding day. When I see them being really happy, I just feel happy for them and glad that they are there in that moment.
Also FYI for all florists – BUY ‘CHEATER PINS’ FOR BOUTONNIERES! YOU WON’T REGRET IT!
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