Q&A With New Orleans Florist

For as long as I can remember, my mother would tell me "you should be a floral designer." What a dream! I love flowers ...flowers of ALL kinds. I love making wreaths and arrangements. When I got married there were two very important things on my hierarchy list of I MUST HAVE THIS, probably higher up that my own gown: the stationery (of course) and the flowers!

The problem with my mother's suggestion that is my green thumb, well, it's not green. It's more of that olive green/brown where I get real excited about spring time visits to the nursery. I buy pretty coffee table books like The Cut Flower Garden, by Erin Benzakein, with sole intensions of having a cut flower garden one day (it's in my retirement plan).

As long as my sprinkler timer is set, we are good. If it's up to me to keep the pretty flowers thriving, well, let's just say I'm better at other things. Thankfully, there are New Orleans artisans like Sarah Perez Ekanger with Antigua Floral to rescue table-scapes and flourished scenes that make your eyes turn in to cartoon hearts.

I recently interviewed Sara and what a typical day looks like for this New Orleans floral designer! 

Kristen Soileau Photography

Kristen Soileau Photography

As a flower child at heart, it's only natural to be drawn to your floral design. Can you tell me more about how you begin work in your field? How long have you been in the floral design business? What's your background with floral design? 

Growing up my mother had a garden and we had so many plants and flowers around the house. Because of my mom, I fell in love plants!  When my husband and I moved to New Orleans as newly weds,  there was a flower shop around the corner from our place. At that flower shop, I learned so much much floral design and started freelancing around the city for about 4 years.  Fast forward to present day and Antigua Floral became a reality and is over a year old! Woo!

What does a typical day look like for Antigua Floral?  

It honestly depends on the day! Ha! From Monday -Tuesday its office life. Wed-Friday is going to the wholesaler, processing flowers and designing. Saturdays are meant for final touches and set ups. Then Sundays we sleep! 

What type of hosted event does your work primarily cater to? Moreover, what does Antigua Floral's ideal project look like? 

We do weddings, events and photoshoots, but primarily weddings. No matter what we do, we want people to walk into a space and smile when they see our florals. Flowers always makes a difference and I love making people smile! 

When you work, do you work alone, with company, to music? What's gives you motivation? 

We have a team of AMAZING  ladies! When we design, we range from listening to podcasts, listening to old school 90s rap and no matter what, we watch Ellen at 3pm. I feel most motivated when we see all of the florals and colors come together when designing. After all of the planning, it's an amazing feeling seeing all of the florals in person. 

Can you explain your process of design? ...whether for a client or personal use. How do you start?  

For a client, we hear what they are envisioning and we create a proposal for them based on that conversation including florals selection, colors and a description of each item. Once we have a set proposal and we are closer to their date, I will order the flowers and even go to the wholesaler myself to make sure we have a beautiful selection for their event. Then we will design and create floral arrangements based on the proposal making sure everything looks fresh and stunning! ( hope that I answered this one correctly!) 

Because we absolutely have to ask, what's your favorite floral?

Oh, it honestly changes almost every week! From Cafe Au Laits dahliahs, kiera garden roses to a classic white peony, they really do vary! Ha!

If you had to critique, what would you say the biggest eye sore in a floral arrangement? Is there a typical flower that's just considered a bad choice? Is there a design or arrangement concept that makes your nose cringe? Let's hear the do's and the dont's! 

I'm not too sure if there is a correct answer for this one. I would say that a "pet-peeve" would be when an arrangement looks tired. No matter the budget, you put your effort and creativity in each arrangements fulfilling your clients request. Flowers make people happy and every client should enjoy their arrangements. Also, I don't like baby's breath. :) 

What other creative areas do you spend your time on? Further, what other arts do you follow for personal or inspirational purposes? 

I really wish that I can say that I do other things! I do enjoy working out and I've been running lately. When I run, I feel like it clears up my mind and even get my best ideas after! True story! 

Kristen Soileau Photography

Kristen Soileau Photography

Katie Osgood Photography

Katie Osgood Photography

Sun + Life Photography

Sun + Life Photography

Sara's work has been featured on Borrowed and BlueExpertise,  Kate Osgood, Sun + Life, and 100 Layered Cake!

If you're in route to New Orleans to tie the knot, reach out to Sara and let her working hands do some magic for your big day!