Little Wild Bloom
In a succulent-crazed world, flowers are having a resurgence. Before you roll your eyes at that sentence, think about it. The floral wallpaper we grew up with in the 80's and early 90's and thought was tacky is now celebrated and even put up in modern homes. Glance at what inspires Instagram feeds with hundreds of thousands of female followers: bright colors and floral patterns. Colorful tattoos, flower crowns, home decor, lush cascading bouquets, and intricate centerpieces are all here telling us flower power is back. The question is, where are you buying your beautiful blooms? Here in Orlando, Stephanie Forshee who owns Little Wild Bloom, wants to inspire you to find the flower child within and give local florals a chance. Where did her initial passion for perennials come from?
"I was inspired by a flower farmer in Seattle, Floret, and I read about her love of flowers and how she built her farm. In that moment I was part-time at Alchemy, I had recently had my baby boy Owen, and I was hoping to find something inspiring to do, but still be home with him. I wanted that side hustle and this inspired me. Flowers are so happy and they bring a joy to anyone. You hand someone a bundle of flowers and it's an instant mood lifter."The name Little Wild Bloom came from a wilder streak and a desire for something beyond the conventional norm.
"My original vision was small posies of locally sourced blooms, but I'm drawn to a more wild aesthetic than the typical dozen-rose arrangement. I like something more whimsical and wild. Hence the name Little Wild Bloom. I love to work with people that want to do something different like incorporating herbs or macrame and smaller backyard weddings or elopements that need an installation piece."
We all know from experience that interest in something doesn't mean you always know where to begin to get past curiosity into prosperity. Stephanie explained the simple path she followed.
"I'm an avid learner, so I started reading about the flower industry and started taking classes online on flower arranging. The more I researched I thought this could be a viable endeavor. I reached out to local businesses Buttermilk Bakery and P is for Pie to see if I could bring flowers into their beautiful spaces. I figured I will learn as I go and build relationships and see where it takes me. Slowly people started reaching out for weddings and local events, and it started growing organically. Flowers are limitless, there are so many avenues to bring them into the world."Stephanie works with a local wholesaler but also reaches out to local flower farmers in Florida which we do not have an abundance of which could lead her down a more rooted path.
"This year I want to focus on connecting with local farmers as much as possible, but I also want to try and grow myself. Maybe it can be a new industry here to have smaller micro farmers who are growing sustainable flowers."If you still aren't certain why purchasing floral arrangements from a local supplier is better than grabbing a cheap bouquet from Trader Joe's consider this: Those flowers you are buying from a grocery store or chain could have been cut days before you take them home which gives them a shorter life span once you purchase them.
"I typically pick up flowers from the whole-seller the day of or day before they go to their new homes. And if I am cutting from my garden or doing any foraging, that's the same time frame."Like many working moms, Stephanie has her share of challenges but she is able to find her own balance not to mention an adorable partner.
"Alchemy where I've worked for five years, is so flexible with my parenting schedule which is great. Owen has become my little side-kick in the business. We drop off flowers together, he goes to the wholesale shop with me, it's fun. His first word might be delphinium! It's a blessing to be creative and inspired and get to be involved with him while he's growing."If you are looking for any tips of keeping your flowers lasting longer and looking good Stephanie has a few tricks of the trade.
- Trim the stems upon arrival at home, before you place them in water. From there, change the water and trim the stems every other day. I once read the advice to "keep your vases as clean as your teacups" and thought that was a sweet reminder to wash your vases thoroughly.
- Create arrangements keeping in mind how they will evolve as time goes. Even if some blooms start to wither, others will keep on trucking for days or even weeks! I've got some greenery in a vase right now that started out before Christmas in an arrangement and is still going strong, long after the flowers have died.
- Keep smaller bud vases and jars around for that purpose - to break up an arrangement and give it new life for as long as possible!
You can see her beautiful arrangements on display at P is for Pie and Buttermilk Bakery. You can purchase her floral bundles at Market on South and The Owl's Attic. Look for her at local pop-ups like Galentine's at Redlight Redlight. If you are interested in working with her, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on her Facebook and her Instagram @littlewildbloom.
Stephanie's favorite spots around town are Buttermilk Bakery, P is for Pie, Adjective Market's and East End Market. She loves any good coffee shop like Foxtail Coffee and any place with a great outdoor space. And of course Alchemy is her home away from home.
Her future dream would be to have a little shop that is part coffee, part flowers with an outdoor seating space. I for one hope that happens sooner rather than later, Orlando would love it.