Two weeks ago, Classic Party Rentals (one of the country's largest event rental companies) contacted me and asked if I wanted to sponsor an arrangement for their Open House. What an honor! Yes! I was thrilled and couldn't pass up the opportunity. This industry-only event occurs only every two years, and is basically a huge party and showcase of the the San Francisco Bay Area's best event vendors.

They sent over this board of all their in-house items that they were featuring in my vignette:

A little something San Francisco Giants inspired! Well, not officially, but I couldn't help but imagine the table was set for a Giant's World Series celebration. Fun! However, weddings are  my specialty- so the color scheme was a bit more dramatic than I was used to. Not to mention, I'm just more inclined to soft and romantic colors. So here I was, faced with a little challenge. Forced to step out of my comfort zone. Not only was this the first time I'd be participating in the event- It was my first time ever attending it. 

This is the classic case of rookie designer thrown into the big league. Did I mention that the vignettes next to me featured floral designers that have been in the industry for decades and have tons of experience under their belt? Ahhh! Ok so my knees were buckling and I had no clue what I was going to do. I did what I normally do when faced with the unexpected- smile, act professional, and do my best.

It's a totally different experience to design something that will be viewed and critiqued by other professionals as opposed to a client. Clients tend to pick the more practical arrangements - they want ones that allow you to see the person across the table, the ones that allow for conversation, and the ones that won't break the bank. These were my first baby steps into a big and bold industry. I decided to play it safe with something simple. There were countless ideas running through my head, but a modern round arrangement seemed like the most practical option for me. I figured making a quiet entrance was better than something extravagant that people could misinterpret. 

My arrangement for the black and orange vignette featured ranunculus, roses, calla lily, and ti leaves set within a white glass vase:

The arrangement and table set-up:

"Celebrity" sighting! One of my favorite and most inspiring SF floral designers- Nancy Liu Chin, was right next door to my table. She got the red and black vignette. I adore you Nancy! She's even sweeter in person. Here we are during the morning set-up:

There is a constant learning process involved when you're a designer. It never stops. That's something I've learned working for a handful of the best. You can't be a designer if you think you know everything. There's always something new to discover everyday. When you realize mistakes, accept them, understand how you fell short, and strive to improve - it will take you to the top. Also, part of the job entails working with what you've got and learning to innovate - not imitate. 

Lessons I learned through this:
1. Ask lots of questions.
2. Research, research, research.
3. There are applications where the most practical route isn't the best, in this case- I could have gone a bit bolder since it wasn't a real-world application. While I was pleased with my arrangement, there were so many ways I could have improved. I told my friend Laurel from ESLA Events that I felt like everyone went Haute Couture and I did Ready-to-wear. Maybe that's just my style, or maybe I need to learn how to take bigger risks.

It was really an amazing opportunity, and all super fun! I met a lot of professionals and had a blast with my designer friends. Can't wait for the next one!