Sweet Lilacs is a small group of creatives that absolutely love to work with flowers!
Our studio operates as a collaborative art studio where we discuss, confer, disagree, experiment and delight in our work.
Instead of paint or clay, our medium is flowers and foliage.
We are so honored and truly humbled to be part of over 1,000 weddings in the past 15 years.
We are not yet done.
We love the challenge of working with new styles and colors, different venues, unique tastes and most of all, different combinations of florals and foliage.
Every week is different for us. The unique styles and flower trends stretch our creativity.
Here are some great examples: A bouquet of white peonies with succulents is a different look than white peonies and cream open roses. Elegant chic versus elegant romantic.
Café au lait dahlias have a ninety degree angle that is challenging in a round bouquet. Blush flowers can tend to soft pink or tan depending on the flower combination.
So many little nuances. We notice these things.
It is our job to do so.
We learn and grow with every event. Admittedly, it can be very difficult and most times, very satisfying.
We care and are passionate about our work.
We know the little details make a huge difference because our work depends on it.
We are fanatics about the details and getting it right!!
My introduction to floral design was through Sogetsu School of Ikebana. Through Sogetsu Ikebana, I learned that flower arranging is not mere decoration, but a form of art. I absolutely love flowers, art and nature. I have a floral studio, I have an art studio and I live in the picturesque town of Sonora, California on top of a hill.
I have over fifteen years experience in the floral industry. My foundations in the floral industry are rooted in San Francisco: Sogetsu School of Ikebana and SF City College Floral Design. In my first year of study, I won 3rd place in the student national competition for American Institute of Floral Design (AIFD).
I moved to Indianapolis and opened a floral shop in Carmel, Indiana specializing in weddings and special events. Our business flourished and we designed florals for Indianapolis 500 events, professional athletes, non-profit events, a former V.P. of the U.S. and lots and lots of weddings. I designed florals on cherry picks 30 ft in the air, a moving horse and carriage, and at the back of a moving truck. I lit luminaries in the black of night, outside of chapels so that brides have a lit pathway; I collected rental items at midnight at the zoo with monkeys screeching and lions roaring into the night; and I flew to Maine to help design wedding florals at one of the best country clubs overlooking the Atlantic ocean. The list goes on and on and on; and the memories are unforgettable.
We moved back to California and I pursued my love of classical art.
On days I am not in the studio, I teach art classes in elementary schools throughCLASS: Community Liaison for Art in Schools. When I give a child a handful of wet clay for the first time, then teach them to make a pinch pot, the connection is so fulfilling. When a child proudly shows off their artwork to their teacher and family, that gesture is touching. But, when a child asks me to talk to their parents about getting art supplies for home, I feel as though I hit a home run!
I missed the floral business. I missed the interpersonal relationship I have with brides and customers. I missed being a small part of their wedding dream and making their vision become a reality. I am so very happy to get back to my roots in California and renew my passion for floral art.
According to the Sogetsu Ikebana, plants are beautiful as they are. But, with people's help, they can be arranged in an effective style, a form of art, to be even more appreciated. In a very simplistic form, the art of floral design has a philosophy which brightens, colors and gives life to our environment. In our living environment where more and more artificial and inorganic substances are being used, flowers bring peace of mind to us.
Working with flowers is peaceful. The floral design studio is my haven.
Flowers in a wedding represent beauty, love and life.
Being given the opportunity to design florals for a very special moment is a gift.
Susan A. Kelleher