Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My Interview With The Founder of Bloom Boxx

Spence has more than 25 years of experience in the floral industry and has worked in many aspects of the business. As a floral designer and manager, he has planned and overseen numerous weddings, showers and parties. Earlier in his career, while working full-time in the industry in Norfolk, Virginia, Spence produced and emceed annual Christmas holiday design expos for audiences of up to 300. A natural on stage, he took his talents to television, and in 1995, Spence produced and hosted a 30-minute cable program called "Let’s Talk Flowers," which aired on three cable systems in Southeastern Virginia.

After spending 9 years in New York City, Spence is now based in Asbury Park on the Jersey Shore.  He continues to work as a floral designer, event planner and coordinator of weddings, bridal showers, and fundraising entertainment events.

How did you become interested in the flower business?  
I was born into it. My family has been in the industry in Norfolk VA, originally as wholesalers, since 1926.

What do you like the most about Flowers?
Flowers are one of nature's most colorful and lovely expressions of beauty. Fresh flowers cannot be manufactured. They are joyful. Even in unhappy settings, such as a funeral, flowers are the element of beauty, life, and joy. I love working with flowers.

What is your favorite “sensible” flower?
I am a champion of carnations. But lately my favorite is Mini green hydrangeas. They have become relatively inexpensive; they are large so they "fill" without needing a lot. They work easily into almost any color scheme. And they're simply lovely and can stand on their own.

What is your favorite flower, regardless of price?
I can never choose one, it changes all the time. My favorites include lilac, gardenias, and peonies. 

Can you share some images of your arrangements with us?
In the September 2010 issue of Florists Review Magazine, it was reported that the average price of a bride's bouquet is $140 (source: The Wedding Report, Inc.). Bloom boxx is proud to boast that our average cost for a bride's bouquet is only $83.50, that’s 40% less!

What do you see as the next trend in bridal flowers?
Hand-tied bouquets will remain popular. However I think you'll start to see them more "loose" and free-flowing in shape, not just the perfect "round mound". Also I think purple will be big in 2011.

How do you manage to keep your prices so low?
I incorporate less expensive flowers and fillers alongside more pricey flowers in my designs, and arrange them well so that the end result is a beautiful and elegant design that is sensibly priced.

I also help clients cut corners when it's easy to do so. For example if a bride is carrying a bouquet of pink peonies and roses and needs flowers at the church altar, I would encourage less expensive pink carnations or snapdragons in the altar flowers.  Because you'll still achieve the color effect, yet people won't be up close to the altar flowers and are only at the church ceremony for a short time before moving on to the reception.

So in summary I keep pricing sensible with flower selection, skillful design, and smart planning.  

Do you have a "Secret Garden"?  
Actually I would say my secret garden is the 3 bunches for $10 at the grocery store! You never know what they'll have on any given day, but I always find good, fresh flowers and it's a great source in a pinch for a quick hostess or birthday gift.

How do you keep yourself inspired?
Competition shows on reality TV. Watching other craftsmen at work, being challenged, makes me want to be better. Top Chef, Project Runway, The Arrangement

Also I enjoy making arrangements for my local art gallery, Parlor Gallery, in Asbury Park. I make arrangements for them when they open new exhibits and use their current show or theme as my inspiration or "challenge" to stretch myself and try new things with flower design.

What would you recommend to brides as the go-to resource for floral inspiration? I think best overall for weddings is Martha Stewart Weddings. However, specifically for flowers, there is a magazine available on the racks at stores called Wedding Flowers. It's from the UK and is filled with amazing wedding flowers in an array of styles. It's awesome.

Describe your perfect client?  
My perfect client knows his or her color palette and overall tone they wish to achieve for their wedding or event. But then is able to let go and trust me to create the flowers to achieve the vision, without worrying about each and every detail. As with any professional (caterer, baker, make-up artist, etc)- I want a happy client who will hopefully refer me for more business. Trusting me to do what I do best results in a win-win. 

If you could give one piece of advice before the big day what would it be?
It's about the experience, not the show. Your guests want to have a good time. Period.

Your dress should fit you well. You should be comfortable walking in your shoes. Your food should taste good. The cake should taste good. The climate should be comfortable. Your flowers should be pretty and complement the tone of your wedding. What any of it costs or what the designer label is does not matter. You can serve peanut butter and jelly with beer in cans - if people are having a great time, they'll love it!  It's about the experience, so make it a great one and let this philosophy guide you as you plan.

Beautiful. Stylish. Reasonably Priced Flowers.

To Contact Bloom Boxx:
Phone: 201.962.0620
Blog: http://bloomblogg.com

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