SLOW FLOWERS Podcast: Meet Alicia Schwede, floral designer and editor of FlirtyFleurs.com (Episode 118)
December 4th, 2013
If you’re at all active in the online universe, and if you’re a florist or simply passionate about good design, you probably already know about today’s talented guest, Alicia Schwede, creator of the popular FLIRTY FLEURS blog. Alicia has more than a decade of floral design to her credit, beginning with her first wedding clients in the Bay Area, and later, her Denver-based studio Bella Fiori.
In the past year, Alicia migrated from Colorado back to Northern California’s wine country, where she created the florals for many happy bridal parties this past wedding season. And now, due to life’s unexpected turns, she is here in the Pacific Northwest.
The life of a studio designer is a lot like the life of a writer. You are pretty mobile, and you can take your talents with you when you relocate. That’s exactly what happened this fall, when Alicia followed her husband Chad for a work-related move. We met in person when she surprised me by showing up in a workshop I taught last month.
Since then, we’ve had several great discussions about floral design and the state of the business. I’m excited to share our most recent conversation with you in today’s podcast. Learn more about Alicia, about her career as a floral designer, and what inspired her to launch FlirtyFleurs.com, an online community for floral designers to gain ideas and inspiration from each other.
In this podcast, we also discuss her beautiful book, Bella Bouquets, which is a compendium of more than 100 wedding bouquets, arranged by color theme, which is quite the perfect way to organize flowers.
I was struck by this passage from the foreword to Bella Bouquets:
” . . . I still stop dead in my tracks when I spy a perfect peony, a gorgeous garden rose or the sweetest sweet pea at the market,” Alicia writes. “I find great pleasure in sharing my love and affection toward flowers. This book, and the blog Flirtyfleurs.com are just a few ways for me to share and connect with others while exploring the flower path ahead.”
To me, that flower path is right here, under our noses. It’s not on another continent, especially when locally-grown and seasonal botanicals are available to designers and flower lovers. A big believer in locally-grown blooms — and it’s no wonder, since she has many ties to California floral sources — Alicia shared four of her favorite American-grown arrangements for you to see here. “How funny is that?” she wrote in her email message accompanying these images. “Four bouquets representing three different states!”
If you're interested in learning more about Alicia and Flirtyfleurs, be sure to subscribe to her free
newsletter. You'll also find details and registration information on Alicia's "Bridal Bouquet Workshop,"
which I'm hosting at my event space in Seattle's Pioneer Square on Feb. 1, 2014.
Thank you for joining me in this episode of the SLOW FLOWERS Podcast with Debra Prinzing. Because of your support as a listener, there have been more than 3,500 downloads since July – and I thank you for taking the time to join to my conversations with flower farmers, florists and other notable floral experts.
If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto Itunes and posting a listener review.
Thank you, Alicia, for such inspiration! Until next week please join me in putting more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time.
The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Hannah Holtgeerts. Learn more about her work at hhcreates.net.