Who: Lori Grover from Sticks & Stems Floral Studio, based out of Waterdown, Ontario.
How It All Started
What inspired you to become a floral designer and start your own business?
I got my first job in a flower shop about 12 years ago. An opportunity came up from a designer who offered to train me and I was hooked! I've been a florist ever since. I decided to open up Sticks & Stems while on maternity leave with my son. I knew I wanted a lifestyle that allowed me to have a good work/life balance.
How did you come up with the name for your company?
A brainstorming session with my husband.
Why the wedding industry?
Weddings have always been my favourite part of floral design. I enjoy the freedom of creating different looks and styles. One weekend it may be a rustic, natural look, the next a vintage theme, and then a romantic glamorous affair. I love mixing things up!
How would you describe your floral design style?
Modern and fun with an emphasis on the details.
In your opinion, why is hiring a professional florist so important for weddings?
I'm a big believer in DIY but I don't recommend going it alone with your wedding flowers. If using fresh flowers (and I hope brides out there are) the arrangements have to be made either the day of or the day before your wedding. Brides should be pampering themselves and relaxing, not getting a hand full of rose thorns! The longevity and overall look of the arrangements depend on the quality of flowers as well as proper care and handling. You don't want wilted or browning flowers the day of your wedding. If a bride decides to do a DIY project, I would recommend doing a sample well ahead of time so they know what they're getting themselves into!
How soon should a bride book and confirm her florist?
On average 6 to 9 months before the wedding date. I've done weddings with as little as 1 month's notice and as much as 18 months.
What does a typical wedding day look like for you?
I generally make all my designs the day before, so for me the day of involves delivery and set up. Sometimes this includes one drop, and others 3 or 4 deliveries and partially assembling pieces on site. Every wedding day is different for me.
What makes you stand out from other vendors?
Personalized service. I really try to get to know my brides so I have a good idea of their overall vision for the day. I stay flexible with times for consults, and do day, evening and weekend appointments because I know my brides are busy. I do a lot of consultations over coffee, and recently went to the home of a bride with a 2 month old baby. I do whatever I can to make the planning process effortless and fun.
Having Fun And Getting Personal
What trends have you loved, hated, missed and/or are glad have come back?
I love that a lot of brides are mixing things up with the centre pieces. Either doing different designs, varying vases, or groupings on the tables makes things much more interesting.
What are 3 things people don’t know about you?
- People tend to think I'm very relaxed and laid back, while I'm actually a perfectionist bordering on control freak.
- If I won the lottery I would still run my business.
- I've been know to watch cartoons even when my son isn't around.
Openly talk budget with your florist. There's no point falling in love with a $100 centre piece if your budget is $25. Try to get an idea of what you want to spend so your florist can suggest ways to sill achieve a great look, while staying within your budget. If you're on a really tight budget, choose one type of cost effective flower and own it! Make your bouquets all babies breath or a mound of carnations. The key to still getting a great, modern look is to use one variety, one colour, and no greens or fillers. Keep it simple and clean.
If you can give a couple only one piece of advice before their wedding day, what would it be?
Try not to stress too much. Remember what it's all about, you're in love! Relax, have fun, and take it all in because the day goes by in a flash.
What is new for Spring and Summer for Sticks &Stems?
Lots of fun weddings this season. Keep an eye out for new pictures posted on my site and Facebook page.
How can readers connect with you?