Meet the Juror!

Hello Beautiful Person! I'm going to post some interviews with our esteemed jury for my Engagement Story Contest! First up is Rebecca Amblin from Origin Flowers! But first, an announcement--I decided to change the deadline to the contest until May 15th, after Crafty Wonderland. (Look for me at booth 145!) And now on to our interview:

Bunny with a Toolbelt: Tell us a little about your store and attitude about the wedding industry:

Rebecca: I own the flower shop, Origin Flowers, in the Arts District between 15th and 16th and NE Alberta St. It has been my very great honor to be there for some of the best moments in the lives of the people that live, love and shop Alberta Arts. My job is very much like solving puzzles. Usually by the time I meet a bride, the dress has been bought, the wedding colors are chosen and the venue is booked. My job is to factor all these variables such as what season, or when in the day the ceremony will take place, how many folks might be attending, any themes and the budget of course, and then turn it into a ONCE IN A LIFETIME floral event.

I know I might have taken a very creative process and made it sound a bit cold and mathematical but for me designing a wedding is really very much like painting a picture.Each wedding is a new chance for me to see the way 2 people come together, start a new life, and have a party to celebrate it.

Bunny with a Toolbelt: Tell us some stories of your favorite challenges from customers.

Rebecca: One of my favorite clients came into the shop on the recommendation of her friend whose wedding we had done the year before. This was several years ago and Martha Stewart was talking everyone into "pink on pink with pink accents" weddings which is what we did and it was very natural and springlike with buckets of dewy peonies and wispy greens. It was one part fairy tale and one part garden party. And it was also very, very pink.

So this new Gal comes in with her Sweetheart which was less usual 10 years ago and I admit I thought we'd be doing another pink wedding on Sauvie Island- which I love.... but still.
So this very lovely woman and her fiance tell me they were asking around and the friend that recommended she use us said I could do ANYTHING! and they had sort of a less traditional flower idea. The groom fairly admitted that the other wedding scared the hell out of him:" it was a lot of pink" after all.

It seems they met on a scuba trip and were going diving for their honeymoon and as much as possible wanted the reception flowers to look like life under the sea. Well, no one had ever asked for that before! So I had to re-examine all the flowers I had worked with and we came up with very cool arrangements of green dianthus, pincushion protea, lyco greens and I painted manzanita twigs in coral colors and red to frame the cake table like a reef. I guess it's a very long twisting way to say it was FUN to work with them.

I've put flowers in KFC buckets. And I have also frozen them in sub-zero ice to melt slowly as the flowers seem to magically rise out of the blocks in the heat of the summer sun. I just plain and simple like the difference of events, from client to client and from season to season.

Bunny with a Toolbelt: What brought you to work in the wedding industry?

Rebecca: As to floral training. I lived in Japan for some years and must have failed nearly every Ikebana class I ever came across there. I love the structure and formality of formal training but in the end my American exuberance for color or kinetics always put my instructors' hair on end. I think the Asian aesthetic is very obvious in my work but I'm sure there are 15 folks in Japan right now screaming "not me" were they to read this statement.

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