Mobile flower-truck business pivots and profits during the pandemic.
Blue Ribbon Floral – Washington, D.C. Flower Truck
Ali Chrisler, Ph.D., owner of Blue Ribbon Floral in Washington, D.C., cut her teeth in the floral industry while hanging out in her mother’s flower shop as a child. A third-generation florist, Chrisler was preceded in the industry
by both her mother and grandmother, who were also
florists. Inspired by her heritage, Chrisler named her business
Blue Ribbon Floral, after her grandmother’s shop, Blue Ribbon Bouquets.
Despite her upbringing, Chrisler didn’t set out to have a career in the floral business. She earned a doctorate in Human Development and Family Studies and focused her career on research and evaluation.
After experiencing a miscarriage and the coinciding grief, Chrisler began looking for something to occupy her time and her mind. “I began researching the flower business and, specifically, mobile flower trucks, after hearing about one down south,” Chrisler recalls. She thought the concept would adapt well to the Washington D.C. area due to its climate and demographics, noting that the community is suited well for walking traffic, which is needed for a flower truck.
Layered Dress Trend
For brides on the hunt for a dress with some added flair but who don’t want the hassle of an extra-full skirt or long train, Brown says to look no further than a gown with a layered skirt. This style adds volume and dimension—without the weight—to a ball gown or A-line silhouette.
CeCe Designs and Events - Birmingham, Ala. @cecedesignsllc | Photography by Arden Upton
Layered Dress Bouquet
The layered dress selected has a very romantic feel, which led me to select a soft color palette that includes blush hues, mauves and whites. The textural varieties of flowers, specifically the powdery pink Cloni Success ‘Hanoi’ Italian Ranunculus and the Helleborus, complement the romantic layered feel of the gown. Each dress should represent the personality of the bride selecting it, and each bouquet should complement the stature of the bride and allow her to shine. —Owner CeCe Todd
These sleek dress alternatives are comfortable, figure flattering and totally of the moment, according to Brown. Bonus—it’s basically impossible to put on one of these tailored ensembles and not feel like a badass. For this year, all-over lace, detachable sleeves and shimmery fabric gives the classic white jumpsuit a modern update.
Blooms & Twine Floral Design – Portland, Ore. @bloomsandtwinefloral
Photography by Widman Photography
Every time a new bridal fashion style comes into popularity, I do a little happy dance. Many to-be-weds find that traditional formalwear offerings don’t mesh with their personal styles or gender presentations, so I absolutely adore this year’s stylish
jumpsuit options. This bouquet has nontraditional elements and styling, as well as a fun and whimsical ombré color progression. For jumpsuit wearers who want something other than bouquets, I’ve done floral belts, earrings, fascinators, hat pins and lapel pieces. The options are endless when you think creatively.
—Owner Katie Watkins
Cape Dress Trend
No veil? No problem. Brown says that not only do capes, or cape veils, offer the same benefits of traditional veils—visual interest, extra coverage and an optional train—but they’re also an effortless way to kick up a bride’s style a notch. Brides can go minimalist with a sheer cape or bring the drama with a beaded or printed one.
Lee Floral Design – Livonia, Mich. @leefloraldesign
Photography by Megan Jerndt Photography
I chose a modern/boho aesthetic for this bouquet. It features Anthurium, various rose varieties, sweet peas, Ranunculus and dried botanicals. The cape, adorned with embroidered stars and moons, has a soft celestial feel, so I chose sweet peas and Ranunculus to play into this softness while the dried palm spears and Anthurium create harsh lines to curate interest. I opted for a neutral color palette filled with blushes, taupes, whites and ivories, which allowed a creamy look and feel without competing with this cape and dress.
—Owner Brandi Higginbotham
Crêpe Dress Trend
Brown says this trend is for all the modern brides out there. Clean and unapologetically minimalist crêpe looks took over the runways this year. A silk, wool or synthetic fabric with a lightly crinkled, crimped, bumpy or grained appearance, crêpe is structured but also light enough to work for any season. Brown says for those wanting a more ornate look, a crêpe skirt or trousers balance out a heavily embellished bodice or sleeves.
Jessica Logan Designs – New York City, N.Y. @jessica.logan.designs
Photography courtesy of Jessica Logan Designs
Crêpe Dress Bouquet
I absolutely love a modern bride who chooses a minimalist crêpe gown. This type of bride is looking for an architectural bouquet with a clean and airy design. When designing minimally, I like to keep the bouquet to only three or four types of flowers and focus only on flowers, with no foliage.
This gives each individual flower a moment to shine and creates that perfect minimal and airy look. For this bouquet, I chose yellow sweet peas as a base, orange ‘Charlotte’ Japanese Ranunculus as the star flowers, yellow ‘Morocco Melilla’ Japanese Ranunculus and white ‘Geranium’ Narcissus with orange cups. —Jessica Logan
Short Dress Trend
For COVID brides planning a “minimony,” Zoom wedding or elope- ment—or just looking for a good excuse to show off a killer pair of shoes—this bridal trend is ideal, according to Brown. Even if a bride opts for a long gown for the ceremony, a short dress can be perfect for a lively reception or other wedding-related events like a rehearsal dinner, bridal shower or day-after post-wedding brunch.
Rosaspina Floral & Event Design - Montclair N.J. rosaspinafloral.com | @rosaspinafloral Photography by Diana and Korey Photo and Film
Short Dress Bouquet
Short dresses are fun and free spirited, so for them, I created this smaller-scale, wildflower-inspired bouquet. It is abundant with texture for a look that is carefree yet elegant. The compact design won’t overpower a shorter dress, and the tailored style of this bouquet is free spirited yet sophisticated, thanks to lush premium blooms paired with usually more loosely gathered wildflowers.
The sunflowers are bright and fun, and they evoke a warm summer vibe that goes perfectly with any short dress style. Its vibrant and playful combination of unique and contrasting florals packs a punch, despite its small size.
—Owner Lindsey L. Vandevier
Subtle Sparkle Trend
While glitz is nothing new in wedding gowns, Brown says that the bridal fashion runways this season were all about understated shimmer in the form of glitter tulle and tonal sequins and beading versus over-the- top metallic bling of seasons past. Perfect for evening nuptials, she says this trend adds an ethereal touch to any silhouette.
Eden’s Echo Floral Design & Event Styling San Antonio, Texas | @edensecho Photography by Monica Roberts Photography
Subtle Sparkle Bouquet
Subtle sparkle in a gown begs for subtle shine in a bouquet. A heavily bejeweled bouquet would clash with any soft glitter
or subdued sequins seen in a lot of hot new gown designs for 2021. I love the holographic Anthurium trend, and this over-the-top modern fantasy bouquet has just enough to add a touch of shine to complement a gown featuring subtle sparkle. —Owner Erin McLarty
COVID UPSETS THE APPLE CART
Chrisler started her business with a soft launch, for
friends and family, in 2019. She then opened on a larger scale to the public in January 2020, only to have COVID-19 hit two months later.
“As everyone can relate to, COVID completely threw me for a loop,” Chrisler shares. “Everything I had on the books was canceled. I was at a complete loss for a while.”
In time, Chrisler was able to pivot her business from pop-ups and larger events to contactless flower delivery. A friend then shared one of Chrisler’s social media posts to a local community social media page. Word spread about her business, and it has grown from there.
Next, Chrisler received an invitation to teach floral design classes at several apartment communities under the same ownership. Residents sign up for the classes in advance, and she provides all the supplies needed. Projects have included making bouquets, wreaths and more.
“I had a connection with the event manager [of the apartment complexes], which was helpful, and because one company owns multiple complexes, it’s been wonderful for me,” Chrisler explains. She describes much of what has been created during the pandemic as “blessings in disguise.”
“I never would’ve predicted any of this, but I’m so grateful.”
Another door opened for Chrisler during the pandemic: quarantine weddings. These nuptial couples typically approach her a month—or even a week—prior to their weddings.
“They’re usually looking for a bouquet and boutonnière and maybe a centerpiece,” Chrisler notes. “My brand and price point fit quarantine weddings, but I strive to make each couple feel like a million bucks because their wedding is happening during a pandemic and they’ve had to change many of their plans. My style is all about bringing each couple’s vision to life.”
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