Today Flowerona readers, you’re in for a real treat!
I’m thrilled to feature an interview with Los Angeles-based florist Nancy Teasley of Oak & the Owl.
I so enjoyed compiling this blog post. I loved the combination of Nancy’s heart-felt words and the stunning images of her beautiful floral designs.
I hope you enjoy reading it too…
Could you tell us what prompted you to become a florist?
Ever since I was a very small child I’ve been mesmerized by flowers.
By the time I could walk, and direct myself to the nearest flowerbed, my father has called me his flower child. When I left for the Bay Area for college, that nickname was cemented in more ways than one.
There was this wonderful flower shop in the Rockridge neighborhood of Oakland, CA where I lived, named Bloomies.
I had a few friends working there and when one left I went in and applied for the opening. I stayed there from the time I was 19 till I was 24.
I continued to work for them on and off for another 3 years while also taking on bridal clients in my own business. So, I’ve been working with flowers for over 15 years now.
I took about 3 years off to finish my interior design degree and work in design firms, but I always had one foot in the flower world.
I would freelance doing flowers in SF restaurants, and I took on a few bridal clients during that time as well.
When did you start your business and where are you based?
I worked under my previous business name for approximately 6 years before opening Oak & the Owl in February of 2012.
We just celebrated our first year anniversary. I’m based in Southern California and I do weddings all the way from San Diego to Seattle, WA.
I’m also open to traveling farther for weddings if the right budget comes through.
What kind of floristry services do you offer?
Oak & the Owl offers full service wedding florals and event design.
I’m also a fully educated and trained interior designer and am gearing my business more towards that direction.
I will always offer flowers, but I want to have my hand in how an event looks overall. That’s where I truly get excited. When my flowers and the feel of the space, and how it is interacted with, goes hand in hand.
I want clients to come to me for a signature Oak & the Owl event.
While I’m more than happy to just do flowers for weddings, I think my bigger gift to clients is in directing the entire aesthetic of their event.
Where do you get inspiration for your floral designs?
Well, from anything and everything.
My undergrad degree was in painting from CCA. So that informs much of what I do. That and my degree in interior design.
I think, when you’ve had so much classical training, and are put in situations where you have to come up with inspiration and essentially break down how you applied it, it becomes almost second nature to be able to find design direction in the simplest, or most complicated thing.
That could be a negative for an artist, but something I love about event florals and styling is that it’s fast. It’s to be experienced for a night, not a lifetime.
The memory of it is to be kept forever, but that’s a much easier place to be in when trying to come up with concepts that work.
For weddings, my clients and their stories inspire me. If you read my blog (since I’ve been getting more personal), you can tell that I’m a bit of a sap for the personal and beautiful moments of people’s lives.
I love love. I love my job for many reasons, but I do honestly become very excited that I get to make the celebrations of people’s affection and commitment to each other visually beautiful.
Maybe after experiencing a few weddings where the bride is a bit of a bridezilla will dampen that feeling for me, and it will become more of a typical job to pay the bills.
But for now, I relish the belief that my client’s stories are beautiful, one of a kind, love stories.
How would you describe your style?
While I’m trained in almost every style, my personal style is very lush, feminine, garden-like, and romantic. I liken how I feel when I design flowers to how I feel when I paint.
It’s very internal and it can be emotional. I think my flowers can sometimes give that off, a feeling of some kind of emotion.
But whatever it is is for the viewer to experience and define for themselves.
What is your favourite flower?
Oh, that is the hardest question to answer. I love so, so many. But an interesting spin on that question is that I have to say lately my ‘crutch’ flower has been the amaryllis.
Its shape is so special and dynamic and can take any arrangement, from a standard shape to something much more interesting.
I’ve been trying to not buy them the last couple of times at market, but I always end up with a few stems.
What are your plans for 2013?
My plans for 2013 are to keep growing my business in the direction of fewer more high-end events, create new relationships in the industry, and put myself out there for my styling as much as my flowers.
Thank you so much to Nancy for all her help in compiling today’s blog post.
I hope you have a lovely Good Friday, whatever your plans. I’ll be back tomorrow with Flowerona Reflects.