Today I am very excited to share with you an interview I had with the incredibly talented Catherine from Woods and Bloom who is an event floral designer based in Maleny on the Sunshine Coast.
Catherine has been so wonderful and shared with us her path to where she is now, how adding personal meaning for couples on their wedding day is important to her and her thoughts on remaining environmentally friendly and its significance to weddings.
Catherine has spent considerable time in New Orleans further developing her craft which she first picked up and learnt to appreciate from her Grandmother when she was just a little girl.
Her work is wild, eclectic and absolutely stunning. I am so happy to share this insight into Catherine and her business – Woods in Bloom.
Can you tell us what services Woods and Bloom provides?
I do a range of event floral design. Wedding event florals can be as simple as a bouquet, boutonnière and arrangement for a sweetheart table or extensive as a fully decorated chapel or outdoor wedding site, personal flowers for the wedding party and reception site. Personal flowers can include a range of hair adornments, bouquets or botanical jewellery.
I also do large event decorating for corporate or birthday parties. I tailor florals to suit various products on photo shoots too.
A new service Woods & Bloom is providing are floral crown workshops for bridal or baby showers where you complete a crown, laugh a lot and have your event photographed. I think this is also a great icebreaker event for multi generational celebrations…
What inspired you to become a floral designer and was it a hard road getting to where you wanted to be?
I grew up next to my maternal grandmother. Most days when I was a very young age she would lead me around her garden showing me the different blooms that would flower overnight. I think that early exercise in appreciating flower transitions led me to flower design. There is a wonder in each bloom coming into being, and I appreciate the wonky ones with twisty stems easily as much as the perfect blooms.
I’m not sure if I’d say it’s been hard to get to where I am now but it’s been twisty.
How would you describe your style of floral design?
Wild, unruly, garden style and foam free.
Chapel window garland and textured foliage bouquet for an editorial shoot. Photography by Chesterton Smith Photography
What makes Woods and Bloom unique?
I rely heavily on the natural world for inspiration and I’ve recently realised that I see event florals as setting a stage for people to star on. I like working with a couple and layering meaning personal to them throughout their wedding florals.
I’ve collected vintage lace and ribbons on trips overseas. I’ve developed a good supply of flowers with bee-friendly growers, although I also get mostly Australian product from the markets too. I hand select all the material I use for quality and design purposes. I’ve compiled a sometimes quirky hire range of vessels. I love co-designing with clients to reflect their individuality.
I want to give back to the earth where I can so not only do I compost but my work is totally floral foam free. Formaldehyde and black carbon are two ingredients contained in floral foam. Neither ingredients are good to breathe or have leach into soil. Overall it does not sit well with me the symbolism of incorporating toxic materials into a celebration.
Tablescape with bee friendly orchids, blushing bride proteas and chocolate cosmos in recycled pallet boxes. Styling and vintage silver by Whole Hearted Studio. Photo by http://www.elkieandfox.com
What is your favourite element of your job?
The whole design process and continually learning new techniques. Oh and working with photographers. I like to think I’m providing them with the best quality floral material and design I can produce for them to weave a visual story of a couple’s day. I like knowing floral design is an element of a whole that becomes greater than the sum of its parts. Hah that’s possibly a top 5 of favourites. I truly love the majority of what I do.
Botanical Jewellery created with mainly succulents (vintage faux fur) Photo – http://www.elkieandfox.com
What inspires you and brings out your creativity?
Finding new plants or flowers that engage as many senses as possible. I just recently bought a soft lime green scented geranium that smells like oranges. I love thinking of what other scents can blend well in a bouquet or arrangement so that that memory of a special day is associated with that scent.
What advice can you give to Brides when they are choosing flowers and a floral designer for their wedding?
I think it’s important to understand how you’d like your flowers to make you feel within the context of your overall day rather than narrowly focus on a particular shade of colour or variety of flowers. Understanding that while nature is often bountiful, storms can wipe out a field quickly. If you’re open to trusting your floral designer to substitute the best available blooms you reduce your stress levels from the onset.
Beyond a floral crown is Botanical Headwear. This is for the bride who wants something different with textured with contrasting foliage and spring blooms. Photo http://www.elkieandfox.com
Is there a current trend you are seeing Brides ask for when choosing flowers for their wedding?
Texture, lots of contrasting texture. It doesn’t matter if they love pastels, a moody palate, or a really bright one, texture is a key trend.
Do you work only in the Sunshine Coast area or do you/can you travel?
Mainly I work on the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane but I’m willing to travel anywhere in the world I have access to good quality blooms … preferably local to that region and bee friendly.
Website – http://woodsandbloom.com/
Instagram – @woods_and_bloom
Facebook – Woods & Bloom
Woods and Bloom will have a new website early 2016.
If you want to meet Catherine in person then she will be at the Hinterland Wedding Showcase on January the 9th and 10th 2016 at Victoria’s Chapel, Maleny, Sunshine Coast which is a new wedding venue in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.