That’s one of the questions I’ve heard the most over the past couple of months and it’s a tough one to answer because doing flowers for Oprah was an amazing experience that caused at least a hundred different emotions…
It was wonderful, exciting, nerve-wracking, fantastic…you get the picture.
I’ve also had some other really great questions including these from a recent interview I did with Samantha Moonsammy of Starfish Creative Events and, I thought you might like a bit of an insider’s look as well. Enjoy!
Q: How did you end up doing Oprah’s flowers?
A: It was great, they called us! Harpo hired a set designer to organize and create the set for the whole Canadian tour. The set designer was based in Calgary, they called a rental company in Ottawa and asked for a recommendation for a local floral designer for the Live in Ottawa event. They went on our website, loved our work and called and asked us to do the flowers for Oprah.
Q: What was your first reaction to the news that you would be doing Oprah’s flowers in Ottawa.
A: Get out!! Heck ya!!… Seriously? Maybe not all in that order!
Q: Why did you decide to take this opportunity?
A: Its Oprah, everyone in attendance was my target market. I know how much Oprah loves flowers, and when you get called to do flowers for Oprah, you either ‘Go big or Go home’. So I knew I had to go big. This was a great opportunity to create something that has been in my head for awhile. I pitched it to the set designer, who then got approval from Harpo, and they told me to run with it.
Q: As a fellow business woman what does Oprah mean to you?
A: Oprah is a big supporter of small business. She sees the passion that people have when they are doing something that they love and that they are meant to be doing. She appreciates consistency, hard work and quality.
She believes that reward does not come without sacrifice. Oprah brings such an energy to everything she does, its contagious. If you love what you do and you are truly gifted at it, you will succeed.
Q: What was your vision for the flowers? Were they inspired by Oprah’s favorite designs? Please explain.
A: My vision…..Oprah LOVES colour! I knew that I had to create something to compliment almost any wardrobe choice. I wanted the flowers to be an accessory to her and not distract from her. I decided to use white hydrangeas, cream spray roses, blush pink garden roses, soft lavenders and punch up the colour in the deep pink/purple of the phalenopsis orchids. I knew these were all flowers that she loved and would work well together in the shape and texture that I was going for. I created the arch of phalenopsis to pop and cascade down the vase so that from afar, the large ball of flowers on top would not look like it was just floating in air. We carried the same flowers and style throughout the rest of the stage and into the VIP events and her dressing room. Oprah asked her assistant the night before her show in Ottawa, what the floral designer had planned for the flowers. Her assistant showed her the colours of the flowers that we had chosen. Oprah was originally going to wear a blush pink the same colour as the garden roses, but changed her mind. I was ecstatic to see her walk out on stage in an outfit identical in colour to the deep pink/purple of the phalenopsis orchids. She complimented the flowers perfectly! When she walked out, everyone cheered and called her name…I yelled ‘YES! She’s wearing purple!’
Q: What process did it entail to get the designs “just perfect” for Oprah.
A: Planning, planning, planning. Ordering well in advance to ensure that I received exactly what I wanted and everything was consistent. We work on quite a few large weddings and events, so giving ourselves the proper amount of time to create, carefully transport and setup is key
Q: What advice would you have for others who would want to work with Oprah and her brand?
A: It’s all about hard work and great relationships. That’s how we received the phone call in the first place. And we created a wonderful relationship with the set designer as well. Every client, whether they are a bride, a woman who walks into your shop, a client on the phone, or Oprah, needs to always feel like they are your first priority. Because they are. Passion shows in your work, if you don’t have passion, your work looks boring.
Q: How do the flower designs you made for Oprah complement Spring/Summer 2013 floral trends?
A: We are seeing a lot of soft colours being used this year. Mixes of different flowers in different sizes create beautiful texture in pictures. If you are going to introduce just one colour, it needs to compliment and flow, not look like it’s just being added without a purpose.
Q: How do you think this experience will benefit your business?
A: Bragging rights??!! That’s worth it for us! I think it will breathe a new energy into Flowers Talk and help expand our client base.
Q: What’s next for you? Who is on your bucket list of celebrities whom you would want to do their flowers?
A: That is a good question…..who is next? We have done flowers for the Governor General of Canada, the Daili Lama and now Oprah….pretty good so far? Is Preston Bailey too much to ask for? Or maybe a Royal Wedding?
Share with me in the comments below – if you could work with anyone in the world, who would it be?