To kick off the Premiere Select blog, we’re featuring one of Premiere Select’s gallery designers – Beth O’Reilly AIFD, TMF. As you’ll read in Beth’s interview below, she clearly knows what she’s doing. You can also see her in action here: Floral Perspective: Autumn Floral Feast with Beth O’Reilly AIFD. This video was made for a national design competition Beth is competing in. Winning this competition would mean that Beth would become Mayesh’s national design spokesman for 2015, and she’d get to bring an entire years’ worth of instructional videos to consumers!
Here’s a bit about Beth.
How long have you been in the floral industry and how did you get started?
I started as a “budvase” girl at the age of 18 at a shop in Perrysburg, Ohio called Ken’s Flower Shop. When I moved to Texas I worked for several flower shops as I worked my way through art school at Texas State University. I eventually earned my fine art, Sculpture degree and found that I was so passionate about floral and event design that I decided to stay in the industry and take my floral career as far as possible. In 2006, I won the Texas Cup- Texas Designer of the Year, in 2007 I was inducted into the American Institute of Floral Designers, in 2008 I received my Texas Master Florist Certification, in 2010 I did my first AIFD symposium program (this is a huge honor in our industry) and in 2012 I started traveling to China as a product designer for a major manufacturer of permanent floral and home décor products.
What do you love about working in the event industry?
I love to see all the elements of an event come together and flowers always bring that final touch, the cherry on top so to speak. Flowers leave such an impression and can make a room come to life while accenting beautiful linens, chairs, draping and lighting. I just love the drama of it all! Plus, the event industry talent that is available right here in Austin is extraordinary. Austin has so many wonderful event vendors and working alongside these professionals is always exciting. From planning to execution, install and dismantle…. There is never a dull moment!
What is the most memorable event you’ve provided your services for?
The biggest event that I produced to date was in 2009 for The Aga Kahn. I was the lead designer and part of my job was to coordinate lighting, entertainment, a fireworks display, all the rentals, linen and draping, stage décor and I also assembled a great team of AIFD designers. The floral budget alone was over 200K…it was a spectacular event.
How would you describe your style?
My design style varies from architectural, soft and romantic, contemporary and edgy, to organic and rustic. I think it’s important to have a well-rounded repertoire of design styles but above all the most important thing in any design style is that it follow the principles and elements of design. As long as a composition follows these rules (and yes you can break the rules once you have mastered them) than any design style becomes inarguably masterful…..but if I had to pick just one style that I couldn’t live without it would be sculptural design, of course! Creativity and good solid mechanics are the most important thing to me when designing. My design style itself is something I like to change up. Working to develop new trends is probably what drives my style the most. I think it is important to be inspired and inspire others with floral design. Keeping things fresh and new and DIFFERENT is so important in this industry.
What is trending NOW:
A big trend that is happening now in floristry can be described as “Gathered and Styled”. There is a clear distinction between this and a loosely picked bouquet though. Gathered and styled maintains a very finished and designerly look and is very intuitive….from the floral artists heart. It is also very romantic, something that you might find in a Flemish painting or along the French countryside. It uses timeless flowers such as peonies, garden roses, olive branches, ranunculus and lots of open faced flowers with a soft romantic color palette. This style can be seen all over Pinterest and is very popular for wedding décor.
Trends on the rise:
I recently did a design photo shoot for Florists’ Review Magazine….we actually did the shoot at The Premiere Select showroom. It made the cover and a 5 page spread and featured some design trends that are on the rise: Dipped in Gold, Radiant Orchid, and Steampunk. These are definitely trends to watch for but beyond that I am seeing a lot Rose Gold being introduced into the market…not just in floral and event design but home décor as well. Maison de’ Objet featured tons of Rose Gold items at the annual show in Paris….this show dictates trends several years ahead of the curve. Floral fans are also on the rise right now as an alternative option for brides to carry.
What are important things to consider when choosing a florist for an event?
I would say the top 5 things to consider when hiring a wedding florist would be:
-Are they a professional with lots of experience with weddings and events…..flower knowledge, venue knowledge and timing (flowers are perishable after all)
– Do you connect with the florist, do they understand your vision, do you like them, do you WANT to work with them?
-Do they have a reputation for success…look at reviews, testimonials and recommendations. Also look for certifications, accreditations and awards in the floral industry
-Do they have the staff/ cool storage and staff to produce the type of event that your wedding requires?
-Do they offer the best, freshest quality flowers on the market? Flowers are graded just like meat in the meat department. There are As,Bs and C’s. Is your florist diligently sourcing the best, biggest most beautiful product available…or are you getting the last pickings from auction.
What do you love most about your job?
There are so many things that I love about touching people’s lives through the language of flowers. I look at floral design as an artistic expression and I am very passionate about bringing floral design to the high art status. I want people to experience my flower designs in a way that they had never imagined and in doing so I want them to see floral art as a viable form of high art, albeit ephemeral. The process of creating custom floral installations is so rewarding and I am always learning new things in the process because there is so much to build upon and explore in this industry.
To see more of Beth’s work, you can find her designs at the Premiere Select gallery, and you can visit her here.