Ingrid Rose Floral Artistry
Natalia Solis Vermette
i. I work as a: florist
ii. I do this creative work because:
Flowers are something that found me after many years of searching for what I can only describe as the missing piece of my soul. I rely enormously on the creative process of working with my hands, working with flowers, and creating beautiful things that bring not only clients, but myself, joy. During our slower season, I notice a significant difference in my overall energy and the moment flowers are back in the studio again, I’m refreshed and uplifted again.
iii. A ‘typical’ day for me under Covid lockdown involves:
I’m fortunate to work from a private studio space in my home, so COVID hasn’t changed my day-to-day too significantly. Although many events have been postponed, I’ve seen a delightful surge in intimate celebrations and elopements which have kept me rather busy throughout the summer.
I begin the day by being cheerfully greeted by our 17 month old son, Leon, getting breakfast started, and while he enjoys his toast and blueberries, I try to answer as many emails as I can. After breakfast, we often go together to pick up flowers for the days ahead, or wait for them to be delivered, while puttering about the house, playing in the backyard and spending time in the garden. My garden is purely for the bees; I use the odd stem here and there in arrangements, but I prefer to support local flower farms who spend months tending to their seedlings, growing some of the most beautiful flowers I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.
During Leon’s nap time at noon, I begin my studio work – bouquets, centrepieces, etc. Depending on the day, I don’t always finish designing during nap time, and on my husband’s days off, he takes Leon for the remainder of the day so I can push through the afternoon. During the summer, I also have the support of my mom who watches Leon while I am in the studio. Being a work from home parent and a business owner is a bit of a juggle, but one that I’m fortunate not to have had to adjust to during the pandemic – this is how it has always been for me and, while challenging, allows me to spend time with our son that I wouldn’t otherwise have.
I try to finish work by about 5 each day, and then it’s dinnertime, bath time, and Leon’s usually asleep by about 7. I generally head back down to the studio once he’s asleep to finish any lingering projects and to clean up for the following day. It’s during this time I often answer a few more emails and have a bit of quiet time after the whirlwind of the day.
iv. Personal qualities that help me in my work are:
I think by nature, creatives tend to be empathetic – feelers, if you will. It’s not uncommon for me to feel a deep connection to a colour palette, design or the people I am designing for. This quality is something I frequently mistook when I was younger as one of my weaknesses. I’ve come to realize that my intuitiveness, and this almost spiritual investment in my work is actually a strength – one that makes my designs uniquely mine during a time when social media allows new ideas to seem rather fluid.
Vanessa Lust Photography
v. The greatest challenges around doing this work are:
For many (myself included!), floristry is a dream. Everyday I hear: “Oh how lovely that you get to play with flowers all day!” Or, “When I retire my dream is to open a flower shop!” I know with my whole heart how fortunate I am to have found what I love to do, but what I think often doesn’t translate well, particularly in beautifully curated Instagram photos, is just how hard the work is from a labour perspective.
Floristry encompasses hours spent on your feet, cleaning buckets, carrying buckets, and processing flowers. Our hands grow weathered quickly, and our bodies tired. Floristry is a true labour of love, from the time the flowers are tenderly grown, cut, ordered, collected, processed and ultimately designed for our clients; it’s a vocation I don’t take for granted, and one that comes with a tireless responsibility to honour the flowers, their life cycle, and their artistry, in every way possible.
vi. Creative childhood hobbies:
While I was never creative in a formal, traditional sense, I see now that I was rather creative in other more diverse avenues. I figure skated for many years and trained in classical voice for much of high school – always searching for a creative outlet, I suppose, that spoke to me. When I finally found flowers, it was as though I had been creating with them my entire life and I knew I didn’t need to look any further.
vii. Other creators who inspire you:
This is a tough one because there are so many! There is a bravery that accompanies creating something you think is beautiful and presenting it to the world. Regardless of the form of artistry, these are the people who inspire me.
viii. Training that has helped me in this career:
When I first began working with flowers, I enrolled in several online training platforms with florists that I deeply respected and admired. As time went on, I craved a more in-person approach and attended a workshop with Gabriella (La Musa de las Flores) in Vancouver in Spring of 2019, and a jointly run workshop with Cara Fitch (Trille Floral)/Brie Pflederer (Splendor of Eden) in Chicago right before COVID in early 2020.
While I value online learning and how accessible it is, there is nothing like having your favourite florists walk you through their process in person while you both have flowers in your hands.
ix. A common trap that can hurt people in this career:
As my time working with flowers has progressed, I’ve realized how important it is to take on projects that really speak to my heart. This is not a hobby and it’s the career I’ve chosen to support my family, but at the same time, it’s important that this creative process remain fresh and exciting so that my skills and artistry can follow suit.
Often when you first begin in a creative field, you work solely off of the brief you have created for the client, worried that if you veer to far from their vision it many lead to disappointment. I’ve learned that clients welcome my suggestions and ideas, and this has ultimately evolved into innovative colour palettes and unique design. While Pinterest is a welcome tool, I always say that if we can’t find exactly what we are creating on Pinterest, that’s a good thing because it means we are doing something that hasn’t yet been done.
Photo: Kelly Brown Weddings
x. Some proud career moments:
Vancouver Island is the host of several incredible florists, all of whom I respect and admire so much. This past February, right before COVID, I submitted an entry into the Vancouver Island Wedding Awards for the title of Best Bridal Bouquet. To my complete surprise, I won! I stumbled down to the stage to accept the award, wanly remembering the first bouquet I had ever made in 2015 and how badly I struggled creating its shape. This was a proud moment for the simple fact that bouquet work has always been a challenge for me – proof that if we work hard enough at something there’s not much we can’t accomplish.
xi. Upcoming shows or events include:
We have two more weddings still to come in 2020, and then a full schedule of events in 2021. I am hopeful that our 2021 couples will move ahead with their celebrations, even if guest counts have to be scaled back. If this past season has taught me anything, it’s that sometimes even the smallest celebrations can be the most special. At the end of the day it’s truly about the marriage, not the wedding.
xii. If you want to work in my field, I suggest that you:
If you’re interested in a career as a florist, get your hands on flowers as often as possible. Find a local flower farmer or a wholesaler in your area to source flowers from. If these two mediums aren’t available, find a friend with a garden who has granted you permission to cut. Experiment with colour pairings, vase length, seasonal availability, arrangement styling and bouquet work. You don’t need fancy, imported blooms to create something beautiful – in fact, quite the opposite!
There are many online resources as well that will offer a great starting point in regards to mechanics and floristry techniques. Soak up as much knowledge as you can. When I first decided I wanted to work in florist, a local flower shop welcomed me onto their team during their Mother’s Day rush and Christmas season. I washed buckets, processed stems, and watched and learned as much as I possibly could. Learning how to properly care for flowers before they are designed with was an integral part of my own business and I’m deeply grateful for this experience.
Myrtle and Moss Photography
Christine Pienaar Photography
xiii. A professional goal I have for the future:
I’ve always really enjoyed teaching and when COVID first started, I began Instagram ‘Lives’ once a week where people could join in to a very introductory vase design, using plants and flowers from their garden or neighbourhood. The purpose was purely to get myself working with flowers again, but also to showcase how we can create beautiful things using what’s in our immediate environment
In the future I would love to offer a workshop dedicated to celebrating local, seasonal flowers, highlighting bouquet and compote design, in addition to a larger scale installation. It might take me a little while to sum up the courage to offer this, but I’ll get there 🙂
xiv. If you want to see my work, go to:
Instagram is my primary medium to showcase work, @ingridrosefloralartistry
Our website www.ingridrosefloralartistry.com also offers insight into past work and upcoming projects, in addition to information about the services we offer.
Photos: Floral Design + Bouquet Photos by Natalia Solis-Vermette