If you’ve ever have a chance to chat with
Thaddeus Servantez, AIFD, CFD, owner of
Westminster Flowers & Gifts in the Denver, Colo.
suburb of Westminster, and a Main Stage Presenter at the American Institute of Floral Designers’ (AIFD) 2020 Symposium “Vision” in Chicago (July 2-7), you will quickly realize that he is a born artist. A trained professional dancer who has worked with the iconic Radio City Rockettes, this creative child prodigy’s foundation began at age five, when he was taught by his grandmother to cook, crochet and bake. By the ripe old age of 9, he was decorating wedding cakes, taught himself to create fresh floral designs for his culinary art pieces and was a certified wedding cake designer at 12 years of age. During his teens, he created his aunts’ wedding flowers and brother’s friends’ prom corsages, which he made from taped floral wires spray painted to create decorative wire prior to Smithers-Oasis’ line of decorative wires hitting the market. Eventually hanging
up his dancing shoes, he settled full time into the floral industry and has been experimenting with different media creating floral masterpieces
now for 34 years.
What are your sources of creative inspiration, and how do things completely unrelated to floral design inspire your work?
With my background in theater, I learned that you can make anything happen on stage, especially with the right mechanics. With all forms of art, we see the same mechanics at work. When the curtain goes up, I see the simple things on stage and then am immediately inspired by something
I see that is translatable to flowers. I really am inspired when I watch theatrical ballets or other performances. I can watch people run across the stage, and I get all these wonderful ideas. I see the talent and hone in on the natural talent that was given to me. With the theater, everything is make-believe. This I bring into the floral industry. We start with an empty container and build the scenery.
How regularly do you go on a quest for creative inspiration and rejuvenation, and is it spontaneous and organic or planned?
Everything is spontaneous and organic. In the shop, we do not have a lot of walk-in clientele. I create when I have the opportunity. When there is down time, I will make something for myself. I also encourage my employees to do the same. I don’t micromanage, and I trust their creativity. We also do cool things with the vignettes in the shop, which are more creative expressions and are planned out. It all stems back to the previous owner of the shop, for whom I worked. She would let me do whatever I wanted. She challenged me to be creative and prove to her that it was salable.