How One Floral Designer Uses Accents to Increase Impact—and Profits

Like most creative florists, Adrianna Duran-Leon AIFD loves experimenting with new products to see what happens. “Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't,” she says. Her experimental and modern-edgy style of design is popular with her customers, who refer to it as 'Adri style.' “When a client requests an ‘Adri design’, I know they are asking me to do what I do best and create something different,” she says. Adrianna also knows she can create greater visual impact with the addition of decorative accents. Specifically, she’s learned she can achieve a larger profit margin by using minimal product and less labor to make a big statement. [rev_slider alias="accents-increase-profits"] When a special 50th anniversary design was left to Adrianna’s discretion, she used the OASIS™ Flat Cane she had on hand to accessorize the arrangement. She knew it would work well with the fresh Asian Lilies she planned to use. She loved the result and entered a photo of the arrangement in the OASIS Floral Products Inspire Floral Design Showcase. Her arrangement was chosen as the Anniversary Most Inspirational design. Smithers-Oasis Floral Design Director Kevin Ylvisaker recreated it for OASIS Floral Products 2017 print advertising and shared some additional design ideas of his own. Adrianna shares with us her helpful hints for using decorative accents to attract the attention of customers.

Adrianna’s signature style

As a child, she fell in love with design while spending her afternoons after school ‘helping out’ in a flower shop with her aunt. She was inspired by watching the floral designers at work. “Flowers should evoke emotion, happy, warm emotions. I find this happens more often when you design something other than a roundy-moundy,” she says of her personal style.

Making a statement with flat cane

Adrianna recently discovered that adding decorative accents like OASIS™ Flat Cane or OASIS™ Midollino Sticks to a design adds visual interest and increases the perceived value of an arrangement. “Anytime I have a design with OASIS™ Flat Cane in the cooler; my customers love it,” says Adrianna. “They don't always buy it, but they love looking at it.”

The most inspiring 50th anniversary design

[rev_slider alias="accents-increase-profits-2"] For the anniversary arrangement, Adrianna rolled flat cane into concentric circles and used UGLU™ Adhesive Dashes to keep the binding points from unrolling. She then wired the cane loops to a wood pick and inserted the pick into wet OASIS® Floral Foam Maxlife. The wood picks swell in the wet foam and help secure the cane in place. She also used UGLU Dashes to roll the ends of the aspidistra leaves. Creating this dramatic line helps guide the viewer’s eye to the focal area of Stargazer lilies positioned at the base of a strong vertical line of equisetum. She used the sleek and simple lines of a Caramel Ice Gathering Vase as the perfect backdrop foundation for this elegant floral gift. These are the simple design techniques she picked up from her years of design experience.

Growing up in a flower shop

Adrianna literally grew up in a flower shop. “When I was 12 years old, my aunt managed a Hallmark Store that offered flowers. My aunt knew I was creative, so she invited me to come after school each day and help.” “Like many budding young florists, I swept floors, washed buckets and made bows. Lots of bows!” she laughs. The magic that drew Adrianna back each day was that she really loved watching the designers. After her 15th birthday, Adrianna got a work permit allowing her to work part-time. She began learning to design.

Minding both sides of the flower shop

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Interpretations of Adrianna's design by OASIS Floral Design Director Kevin Ylvisaker

She was 17 when her aunt bought The Flower Company in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They made a plan for Adrianna to eventually purchase the flower shop. She attended business school to prepare herself for future shop ownership. “There are two sides to the daily business of running a flower shop, a creative side and a business side,” says Adrianna. “It requires a fine balance to keep the two in check. A lot of florists fall short in one area or the other. As the owner of a floral business, you should be of both minds.” After a hectic Valentine’s Day last year, her aunt decided it was time to retire. April 1 marked the end of Adrianna’s first year in business a shop owner.

The inspiration continues

Adrianna is inspired by a customer’s request for floral artwork that makes loved ones feel special and dedicated to providing her customers with flowers that ‘wow’ their recipients. To meet the challenge, she thinks outside the box to deliver an unexpected design. What creative ideas have you experimented with for using decorative accents to enhance your floral designs?

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