I was recently contacted by US-based florist, Francoise Weeks and today I’m delighted to feature an interview with Francoise, together with photos of her beautiful intricate work.
Could you tell us what prompted you become a florist?
I grew up in Belgium, where flowers are part of everyday life as they are in all of Europe. We always had flowers at home and from a very young age I loved helping my mom arrange them.
When I was in my mid-twenties, it became my dream to own a flower business.
When did you start your business and where are you based?
I started my business in 1996 in our basement. Five years later, we had a wonderful studio built in the back yard.
What kind of floristry services do you offer?
I primarily do flowers for weddings and events. I also teach seasonal flower arranging classes as well as three workshops which cover weddings/events, botanical couture and woodland arrangements.
Could you tell us about the different types of workshops that you hold?
My workshops are limited to five students to ensure individual attention. Students have the opportunity to develop skills and obtain information not readily available to those beginning floral careers.
They hone their artistic talents, creating arrangements at every level of formality, and are encouraged to listen to their intuition and further their creative vision while interpreting requests from clients.
Students have come from all over the US, and well as from Canada, England and Australia.
Weddings/Events: These are intensive and inspiring classes, providing insights and techniques that I’ve developed over the years.
Participants learn to source and order materials, market and price services, handle client relations as well as receiving daily hands-on experience creating flower arrangements.
Classes begin with a lecture and presentation and after a demonstration of techniques and mechanics, students design their own pieces.
Botanical Couture: I share the mechanics behind creating designs that mimic objects in our everyday lives. Ornate purses, shoes and headpieces can expand the way you think about flowers!
Woodlands: Seven years ago I had a memory of hiking with my family in the Swiss Alps and of making arrangements for my mom of found objects from the trail and the forest.
My siblings and I would find a piece of bark and gather moss and wildflowers to create a spontaneous gift for our mom. The woodland arrangements are a result of that memory.
I always say to my students to look at their own gardens and surroundings as a source of new ideas and inspiration. When I began to make my own woodland arrangements, I never looked at my environment the same way again.
How would you describe your style?
Very detailed and textural. I love using materials that create depth and interest…
What is your favourite flower?
I cannot just list one but poppies, fritillarias, hellebores and anemones are all up at the top.
What are your plans for 2012?
The wedding industry is still quite affected by the economy here in Portland in Oregon and I would like to teach more workshops and find connections in the fashion industry, which would offer opportunities to explore the botanical couture to a different level.
(Images : 1-Melissa Tomeoni, 2 & 3-Ted Mishima, 4-Jamie Bosworth, 5 & 6-Rebekah Johnson, 7-Deyla Huss, 8 & 9-Joni Shimabukuro, 10-Ted Mishima, 11-Kelly Goode, 12-Jessica Hill, 13-David Barss)