Last week, Belle Fiori’s own Erika Herman was featured in a Vendor Spotlight for Mint an Lovely Studios. Of course, we’re always proud to call her one of our own, but it’s extra exciting when others appreciate the creativity of our Milwaukee area staff. Congrats to Erika for being recognized, and as always, feel free to stop by our shop if you’re in need of one of her beautiful floral arrangements!
Click here to see the whole Mint and Lovely blog feature!
How did you start in floral design?
I started my floral career about six years ago at Belle Fiori. I had graduated MIAD with an Interior Architecture degree and was looking for something creative to tide me over until I found a job in my field. The owner, Emily, brought me in as a floral processer/sales associate, but the shop was growing rapidly and I started learning design shortly after. I think my background really helped me to catch on quickly and I totally fell in love with floral arranging! I am now the lead designer for the shop and on the verge of obsession with all things floral. I truly found my calling here! I am so grateful to Emily, for taking a chance on me!
What are some of your favorite blooms to use in arrangements?
Oh man, I have so many! I get really excited about seasonal blooms, especially from our local Wisconsin farmer, Windswept Acres. When they show up the whole shop goes crazy and you can probably hear us squealing with excitement from miles away. They harvest a wide variety of cool oddities like Pitcher Plants, Garlic Scapes, Foxglove, Allium, etc. and I try to incorporate them as much as possible. Aside from that, I find myself trying to put Ornamental Kale in just about everything! In early fall I love using colorful Zinnias and Dahlias. In late winter and spring I love mixing tulips and tropical flowers like Ginger, Birds of Paradise and Cymbidium Orchids. More than anything, I love flowers/botanicals with great texture. I am also very passionate about carnations, which are such an underdog in the floral world. They come in some truly spectacular colors naturally and can be just as romantic as a ruffled Victorian dress!
What are some unique ways couples can incorporate florals into their wedding days besides just bouquets and boutonnieres?
There are so many aspects of the wedding day that could have floral elements, but the small personalized details are what really makes a wedding feel complete. A few of the bride’s favorite flowers in her hair or a floral crown is simple and gorgeous! Flowers for the chairs/pews during ceremony are a lovely way to lead the couple down the aisle and can be repurposed at the reception on cocktail, gift and card tables. A single bloom or stem of greenery/herbs on each plate is a small finishing touch that can make the guests feel extra special! Something really unique that we offer is a large customizable ribbon backdrop rental that can have a variety of floral swags, asymmetrical corner arrangements, or even hand threaded garlands to match the couple’s style and color palette. Use it for the ceremony or even as a photo-booth background! One of my favorite floral embellishments was a “boutonniere” for the collar of a couple’s pup who doubled as their ring bearer! It was so adorable!