- Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Q&A with Julia Testa, Founder and Owner of Love and Philanthropy

Tell us about Love and Philanthropy.
LP Flowers are always customized to the clients needs. We don't offer packages for a reason - because we don't offer cookie cutter ideas. We believe that every bride has a different vision and its our job to make that come to life. Its also interesting to know that I only order fresh cut flowers from distributors that receive their inventory straight from the farms. This means, that every LP customer gets premium quality flowers direct from the farms in Holland, South America, and France - without the hefty luxury markup. Another fun fact about our products and services is that we provide philanthropic events with flower decor at a 50% discount. In addition, 10% of all sales are donated to a different non-profit charity each year.

Tell us what makes you different and what makes your services so different and unique.
The number one thing that makes our services so special and unique is that I am present and working at every consultation, set up, and breakdown. My customer service is unmatched. There are so many florists that have one person sell you an idea, and then they send work hands to set everything up. I think that if you are investing good money into your event for great decor, your florist should follow through and create the event hands-on. In this way I am very personal. On the day of your wedding you will be able to see me adding special details to your decor and making sure everything is perfect. Another personalized perk is that if you need to call me at midnight - I'll always pick up no matter what.

Explain to the couples why having a skilled and creative florist is essential and what they should look for.
Flowers and decor can get expensive. We all know that. You want people to notice the money you've spent and the details, thought, and time that was put into making your decor. You should look for someone who has the time to make your event perfect. If a florist has four weddings booked for that weekend - thats a bad sign. That's another great thing about LP Flowers. We only do a maximum of two weddings a weekend - and never on the same day.

Cloud Nove Events specialty is rustic chic events. What flowers would you use for that look?
When shooting for that rustic chic theme I believe that less is more in the flower department. Dahlias, Garden Roses (which are constantly mistaken for peony) Alium mini drumsticks, Veronica, Anemonies... oh, the list goes on and on. Its more about details with regard to material. The flowers should be delicate and not too tight.  And its about multiple small arrangements as opposed to one big one. I'd use different containers - maybe different types of glass, different shapes, as well as moss covered wooden containers. I would also incorporate some leather bound books stacked underneath the arrangements to give them a little height and a staggered look. Maybe I'd add some antique candle holders - in brass if the budget allowed.

If a couple is getting started planning their wedding, and they have no idea what they would like for florals, how do you recommend they get started?
Show me pictures! If a couple has no idea what they would like for florals I'd set them up with a couple books and have them tab things. They are usually limited right off the bat because of the date they chose - so at least they have a season to pick from. To narrow down the search further I'd ask them about the venue they picked, the existing decor, and the color palette they've dreamed up. All of these things make it easier to pick flowers for a client. Sometimes they have an idea of what they want but they have no idea what the flowers are - and that's why we are the experts. We figure it out! We also do a complimentary mockup to ensure that everyone is on the same page moving forward. During the mockup the client and I can pull flowers and add new ones if necessary.

Baby’s Breath – so three thousand and eight, or so two thousand and late?
I used to hate baby's breath. So much so that I didn't sell it. I think it got a bad rap because its very inexpensive. Although, with the growing popularity of garden/rustic themed events, I can't help but imagine (very) small hints of it. I think if you use it properly people would have to do a double take to realize what it is. Instead of traditionally using bunches of it in clusters, I'd use a small sprig here and there just to make it flirty. I'd also have to add that the flowers accompanying the baby's breath would have to be impressive. Or on the contrary, maybe use baby's breath alone in large amounts in a very interesting container.

***Enjoy 50% off your bridal bouquet when you book your wedding centerpiece designs with Love & Philanthropy Flowers and Events. And of course, 10% of profit will be donated to charity. www.lovephilanthropy.com (Offer expires January 1st, 2012)***

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