What Can't you Define but Really Want? Floral Wow.

It’s impossible to define. There is no formula. It can be maddeningly personal or regional. Yet people seem to know it when they see it. What is it? Wow. Arrangements that have it sell. Designers who produce it consistently set themselves apart. How can you add wow to your designs? Try new styles or materials. Blend old with new. Try a look from a magazine or online. Or simply listen closely to your customers to hear which design details excite them.

Follow your instincts

For Micky Kuttig, it’s follow your instincts and try things, even just what you might have on hand. This was her thinking when planning her design for the 2017 INSPIRE Design Showcase. She wanted to create an arrangement that you don’t see every day, is fast and easy to make and uses a different mix of materials. “When I design, I use what I have and go with the flow to do what my mind tells me,” she says. “The customer must say: ‘Wow! this is really something!’ I cannot compete with mass markets on price, so I must compete on quality and personal service.” The result: her “Dancing Orchids Design” was selected as the most inspirational in the 2017 INSPIRE Birthday/Everyday category. Smithers-Oasis Floral Design Director Kevin Ylvisaker AIFD, PFCI created complimentary designs for OASIS Floral Products print advertising. Micky shared with us tips on how she created her ‘wow’ arrangement in three steps.

“Maybe I should do this for fun”

“When I saw the Oasis ad on Facebook, I thought maybe I should do this for fun. I went to the studio and thought I just want to do something with the Midollino sticks.” “I use a lot of sticks and I love Midollino, because it’s very versatile,” she says. Step 1: Apply Midollino to the vase This design can be made on any similar style container. “I like rounds, so I chose a round container,” she explains. “You have to make money for your business, so think: what can you use to make your design interesting at any price?” advises Micky. “This design can be inexpensively made, but it does require a lot of gluing to glue the rows of Midollino in place. You can use any of the many colors to create this look.” Micky suggests using a low temp glue on the sides of the container to adhere the sticks to the glass. Press the Midollino sticks into the glue around the sides in proportion with the container. Keep the sticks even. An alternate way to adhere the sticks without using a glue gun is to apply rows of double-faced tape or UGLU on the outside of the glass. Press the sticks into the adhesive securely. Another suggestion is to place two rubber bands on the outside the glass and insert the sticks between the rubber bands and the glass surface. Cover the rubber bands with Flat Cane. Step 2: Add interest with Flat Cane Using strips of Flat Cane in several shades around the container, Micky was able to add color and texture to make the design more visually interesting. These strips can be glued in place using the glue gun or by attaching dashes of UGLU to the ends, underneath the cane. Add wet floral foam, if you choose. Fill the container with water. Step 3: Add flowers Micky placed her orchids in 12” orchid tubes, made on extenders, that she purchased in Holland. She hung the additional orchids on the Midollino by their stems. If those tubes are unavailable to you, extend glass tubes by taping wood picks to the tube base for extra length. Tuck the orchids into the container. “The recipient can reuse this structure many times,” says Micky. “I do not believe in waste, instead I look at how I can reuse or repurpose the materials.” “While I am new to the floral industry, I trained in Europe and my influence is in floral art. One thing I learned from the European masters is to always make a design reusable.”

A lifestyle change and her biggest challenge

Becoming a florist was a lifestyle change for Micky—she had earned a Ph.D. in Education. “After the birth of my daughter, I turned to flowers with the goal of always doing something different,” she explains.” This Dallas, Texas, designer has now been designing for two years. “Designing is not a problem for me, it’s what I love,” says Micky. “Whatever catches my eye as interesting, I just pick it up and I can use it.” “Putting myself out there to sell and upsell is more of a challenge,” she explains. “For me, the biggest challenge is putting myself out there to sell the flowers.” She sells her flowers online.

Selling flowers on social media

Micky sells her studio designs by posting them on Facebook, Instagram and her website. The majority of her floral orders are placed directly with her through emails, by phone or ordered online through Connect Store,” she explains. “I handpick the flowers and do all of the work myself,” she says. Micky believes “flowers are a simple luxury, but for people to be able to afford flowers in their homes every day you have to deliver flowers of high quality that are long-lasting and teach them to care for the flowers, like changing the water.” Micky believes the flowers you present to your customer must be long-lasting, beautiful and of high quality with a wow factor! “You need to treat flowers with respect.”

Additional ‘Wow!’ designs

  Design Director Kevin Ylvisaker AIFD, PFCI created additional ‘Wow!’ designs from the same decorative natural materials. Horizontal designs are very popular centerpieces as guests can gather around the table without flowers blocking their line of vision. Kevin used the full bundle of Midollino placed horizontally to lengthen this design. Kevin created visual energy in this design by his abstract use of Midollino pieces. Inserting each end of the Flat Cane strip into wet foam, Kevin was able to create a textural, round enclosure form over the simple flower design tucked inside. What interesting ideas come to your mind for creating a ‘Wow!’ design for your clientele?

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