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Floristry in the U.S.: LBA student experience
Daria Medvedeva about moving to America, studying at LBA and opening her floral business in the U.S.
Daria has been living in the USA, Florida, for three years and has her own flower business. During our call we talked about the floristry peculiarities in the US, Daria's observations about floral business in America and how the Lacy Bird Academy courses helped her to develop her flower studio.
— Now you're in floristry. How has it happened?
— After moving to the US, I came to the thought… What can I do in this country? I was scrolling Instagram and suddenly saw a Lacy Bird AD. I remember my reaction: it was so unusual and curious for me to see absolutely stunning bouquets. I immediately fell in love with your style and thought that I want to do the same.
There are no such bouquets in Florida. Friends brought me ordinary flowers just because they could not find stunning bouquets here. And even when I wasn't an LBA student, I disassembled those bouquets and tried to collect them again and again using the spiral technique. To tell the truth, it seemed to me that my version of the bouquets bought in a shop were more aesthetic and stylish.
When I started to live in Florida, I realized that they don't have the flowers that we're used to. The floristry market in this state isn't developed at all. In New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles the situation is completely different: people there have taste, they understand colors. And the range of colors and flowers is large in these cities. However, in other states it is normal and even popular to give just some flowers with little wrapping. Really cool bouquets in Florida are made mainly by Russians, that's why they're loaded with orders and customers.
— Why did you decide to take a coloristics course?
— I believe that coloristics and harmonizing color combinations are the base of modern bouquets nowadays, it's what surprises clients and attracts them. I also know how to dye flowers properly, and I've learned this technique from you.
People are just thrilled! Sometimes I deliver arrangements myself, and when I take them out of the car, passers-by are surprised so much that they cannot hide their admiration. I started my learning process by watching videos on your YouTube and Instagram, then I bought a package of masterclasses at the LBA.
— Have you made any progress in applying the knowledge from the courses?
— In my opinion, I'm doing well (laughing). Although, I know that I still need to learn so many techniques and improve so many moments. Plus, not all customers are ready to "jump" from simple bouquets to the bouquets in the style of Lacy Bird. I think we need some kind of a middle stage in order to prepare clients for more fascinating and bright bouquets.
— Do you work alone or with a team?
— I'm alone now. Officially, I opened my online store only in January 2021. Right before February 14, I made a website, uploaded photos, and registered all the documents. In the U.S. it's strictly forbidden to have an illegal business.
People are just thrilled! Sometimes I deliver arrangements myself, and when I take them out of the car, passers-by are surprised so much that they cannot hide their admiration!
— Did the photography course help you in business?
— Yes! After the course, I know exactly what photos I need for my website, for social media and for my customers, what backgrounds I should use or what kind of light. Everything was told on the course. I even bought a set for shooting. Before the course, I didn't know anything about photography, I didn't know how to take commercial and apt photos. And after the course, I just bought everything according to the recommendations and I must say that everything comes in handy!
— Who mainly buys bouquets from you?
— Mainly it's the Russian and the Spanish. The Spanish like us, the Russian, are closer to lush and asymmetrical forms. As for native populations, the Americans also are unlikely to buy 101 roses.
— How are flowers sold in America?
— Many people buy flowers in supermarkets, but it's not a bouquet, it's more like an armful of flowers in a package.
If we talk about specialized flower shops, they often deliver flowers in a transparent vase. As for a technique of assembling bouquets, most of the time flowers aren't even assembled with a spiral. I don't see arrangements in boxes at all. And it is difficult to find such boxes for work, I always buy them in Russia.
What's about the flower purchase, we buy them locally or deliver from South America.
— Do you have a custom to give flowers in America?
The culture of presenting flowers is different from what we have in Russia. People buy and present flowers on Mother's Day, Thanksgiving Day and February 14. The bouquets look simple, but sometimes American florists also put some exotic flowers or bamboo in the bouquets.
— Before buying courses, were you deciding between the LBA and other schools?
— I didn't compare any school with LBA. I immediately bought courses because your level can't be compared with anyone. Yes, now I'm watching some florists and floral schools on YouTube and Instagram just to understand what's going on in floristry on the international level, but in my opinion, no one teaches like you!
— Did you have any difficulties during the training?
— Of course, I had! It was difficult for me to create the bouquet in your style at the very beginning. However, I understood that I need to dive deeper in what you do: I just looked through the photos on your Instagram every day. And after a while, I began to understand what flowers and colors should be combined with each other and what combinations I should ignore.
— What are your floral plans now?
— I would like to make the Lacy Bird style recognizable in Florida, develop it and inculcate in my clients such taste. As for my personal goals, I want to master wedding floristry: the installation, wedding tendencies and all other details.