Do you ever wonder what flower people do when they're not working in their shops or studios designing weddings and events for their beloved clients? Well, I'll tell you. They're taking workshops all over the world meeting other flower people, and learning new technique from their floral design heroes. At this point any slightly talented floral designer who's been in business for a year and has a gazillion Instagram followers is offering a workshop of some kind because floral workshops are a massive trend right now. Floral designer Ariella Chezar is a legend though. She's been in business for 2 decades and has the portfolio, experience, technique, grace, and generosity of heart and spirit that all of her fans (myself included) aspire to one day possess. Her workshops sell out within a day or two and always attract the most amazingly talented students from all over the world.
The very first floral design class I ever took was with Ariella at FlowerSchool New York. I was the only non-professional in the class, and frankly was in a little over my head, but she was lovely and gracious and spent just as much time with me as she did the other students, humbly signing my copy of her out-of-print book Flowers for the Table. I was hooked and continued to take every class I could with her after that. Somehow, she remembered me from one over-crowded class to the next and at some point I was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to apprentice with her on a number of her stunning weddings around the city. And when I say "apprentice", I mean that I was one of her schleppers paid in experience and honored with her behind-the-scenes of some of the most gorgeous weddings in New York.
Last April, she hosted one of her famous 3 day workshops in New Jersey's horse country at a breathtaking venue called Jardin de Buis. I attempted to register for the workshop as a paying attendee, and was pleasantly surprised when she asked me to assist her instead. I couldn't believe my luck!!! I joined a team of super talented floral designers from around the country who she'd also asked to assist her: Jennifer Haf of Bloom Floral, Cynthia of Oleander Floral, Colie Collen of Flower Scout, and floral design freelancer Mia Kim. It was a life-changing experience being surrounded by such a beautiful group of floral professionals from around the world. An experience where life long friendships were made while inexplicable beauty was created. After 2 days of intensive work learning Ariella's signature floral techniques, we spent the final day creating a breathtaking dinner party tablescape that she designed for all of us to enjoy. It was heaven and the perfect end to a few magical days.
What a magical experience. I so cannot wait for the next time I get to participate in one of her workshops... Until then Ariella's second book The Flower Workshop was just released a couple of weeks ago and IT IS AMAZING! I highly recommend it if you love flowers, are interested in learning about how to arrange flowers, or just like to look at pretty pictures. :) She's also featured in Martha Stewart Living this month.
Until next time.
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