In my next life I’d love to own a flower shop. Not only do you get to work with your hands each and every day, but your canvas is a vase filled with overflowing beauty. There’s something magical about it that just can’t be described. So when I get the chance to pick the brains behind beauties like the European Flower Shop, I jump at the chance. With photos from Ashley Sawtelle, there’s more beauty to be found over here.
SMP: Tell us a little about European Flower Shop!
EFS: We are a boutique floral design studio, creating inspired designs for weddings and events.
SMP: How did you get into floral design?
EFS: My first job ever was at the local flower shop in my hometown. I was 15 and my parents told me it was time to get a job, there was no other place I could imagine working. I was lucky to have an amazing mentor in the owner of that shop.
SMP: The best part of running your own business?
EFS: For me it is the creative freedom coupled with the incredible brides that I get to collaborate with. They come in to my studio with a color palette and a sense of the style they are going for and then they trust me to run with it.
SMP: The worst?
EFS: Getting bogged down in the administrative aspect of running a business. I am a creative and happiest designing, so I dread doing my books every month.
SMP: Your secret to success?
EFS: Listening to my clients and really getting to know them on a deep level. Once you learn everything you can about a couple, making their vision come to life on their wedding day is effortless.
SMP: What piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out in the industry?
EFS: Develop relationships with other vendors who you admire. They will be the ones who push you to grow creatively.
SMP: One thing you wish you knew when you started your business?
EFS: That is was going to be 24/7. I go to bed at night dreaming about weddings!
SMP: From where do you draw your inspiration?
EFS: From the flowers! I have a general sense of what types of flowers I will be using for each event, but when I go to the market to pick up my order, I always wind up trading this or that when something new in the cooler catches my eye.
SMP: Your number one tip for flower arranging?
EFS: Always have a focal flower and then work on layering textures and shapes from there.
SMP: Do you have any tips for making flowers look their best for as long as possible?
EFS: It is best to change the water every day or so and to give the stems a fresh cut. It is also helpful to pull off leaves and petals that are wilting, that way all the nutrients go to the blooms.
From Ashley Sawtelle: European Flower Shop is a boutique floral design studio which creates inspired weddings and events all over the beautiful state of Colorado. Located in the heart of the Santa Fe Art District, the shop welcomes visitors from all over the country and locals alike who want to have an unforgettable destination event. Ali, the owner draws her design inspiration from the incredible artists on Santa Fe, the outdoors and from the seasonal flowers that seem to choose her.
We wanted to showcase this floral studio space and how Ali (owner of European Flower Shop) designed the space on a frugal budget. Her studio is not only a workspace, but a reflection of her work. It’s a space to create and to invite her clients to dream up the floral visions for their wedding day or event.