Who doesn’t like flowers? They cheer us, they brighten our days, they make any celebration a spectacular event.
By Benoit Duverneuil
For entrepreneur Véronique Touboul, flower arrangement is both an art and a science. Her approach to floristry combines a unique vision and innovative techniques with her passion for biology and floriography (language of flowers) to produce unique creations.
FLORISTRY AS AN ART
Flowers have played a role in all civilizations since the beginning of recorded history and Flower Arrangement is an ancient art. In the beginning Buddhist saints taught their students the art of flower arrangement in their monasteries. This art developed with the development of culture. Nearly 5,000 years ago, ancient Egypt was flourishing in the fertile valley of the Nile River in North Africa. Egyptians celebrated their blossoming culture with an explosion of artistic expression and inventions. It was discovered through wall and tomb decorations and artefacts mainly, that ancient Egyptians, particularly the Royals made extensive use out of flower, fruit and foliage arrangements styled in baskets and vases.
Just like every other art form, floral arrangement is constantly evolving. Both traditional and line mass arrangements continue to be important in modern design and decoration. Flower arranging has come a long way from the early periods. Thanks to the thousands of flower hybrids and growing techniques, flowers that used to be only available in season are now available all year round. Materials like Floral Foam, shaping wire, and individual water phials provide unlimited ways to create beautiful floral arrangements that can last longer than ever before.
Floral arranging is an art; however there are techniques to help a floral designer create a beautiful arrangement of flowers. Principles of design include proportion and scale, balance, rhythm, focal points and unity. These guidelines encompasses all types of design elements such as color, lines, form, shape, space, texture and pattern. Veronique Touboul excels in creating free form figure and complex recreation of existing living forms or objects.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND FLORISTRY
Florists like Veronique know all about arranging a variety of flowers, but they do more than put pretty flowers into a nice vase. First of all finding the best blooms is a real challenge. Over time she became an expert at understanding critical factors that influence vase life, transportation issues, relationship between markets and production systems, pest and disease management, cold-tolerant and cold-sensitive flowers… and more.
The study of botany and horticulture is not mandatory but it is a real plus for those who are trying to push the boundaries of flower arrangement. Botany is the branch of biology that deals with plants. It involves the study of the structure and properties of plant life, including flowers and trees. Also included are plant classification including the names of cut flowers and foliage and the study of the interactions of flowers with their physical environment.
Overall, flower biology acquaints us with many common characteristics of flowers, such as where they are grown, seasonality, blooming characteristics, fragrances and personality, as well as any nutritional and medicinal values they might offer. In today’s days florists like Veronique could be considered as modern-day scientists as they constantly experiment with breeding techniques used for getting desirable cut-flower traits.
The main purpose of flower arrangement is to beautify the environment. Flowers have a positive impact on physical and mental health. The study of biology and societal impacts leads into flower colors and bouquet compatibility. If in the past each type of flowers could have many different meanings to the point that people actually carried around dictionaries filled with the meanings assigned to certain flowers and plants, flower arrangement is now less codified but more emotional. According to behavioral studies, flowers are a powerful positive emotion inducer. They have positive effects on the brain; they elevate mood, reduce stress, and even help people to heal faster through color, scent, and symbolism.
VERONIQUE TOUBOUL, AWARD-WINNING FLORIST
Veronique, originally from Saint-Brieuc, a small French town, has been a successful entrepreneur for the last decades, and has been revolutionizing floral design techniques with her company since it opened.
Her journey with flowers started when she was still 10 years old. Her grandmother owned a property with a large garden in the countryside of Brittany where she always took care of many flowers and plants. Veronique would assist her during weekends and school holidays. Her passion and the love she has for flower designs was contagious.
After successfully managing her first business in France, Veronique was looking for an innovative way to combine her entrepreneurship skills and her passion for floristry. “I wanted an easy way to bring flowers to the public. I always had this dream of having a small studio where I could create something unique with flowers.”
Once she started her new life in the U.S. she rapidly graduated from the Yola Guz School of Floral Designs (Miami, Florida) where her efforts were also recognized by an Award for Best Entrepreneur. In 2017 she obtained a professional certificate of floral design from the AIFD (American Institute of Floral Designers) and she was listed on the Top 20 best Floral Designers in Miami by Expertise. Finally, this year, in Washington D.C. she was inducted as an accredited member of the AIFD.
Founded in 2013 in Miami, French Floral Designs began relocating to a larger facility in North Miami Beach this month and business is blooming. Launched with Veronique’s personal savings and investor visa, French Floral Designs is now one of the fastest growing small businesses in the area.
“We offer bespoke and attention-to-detail floral experiences. We don’t offer just flower arrangement services – our designs tell stories. My clients are curious clients who love beautiful pieces and don’t compromise on quality. With our custom designs and streamlined operations, we have returning clients who select us as their one-stop luxury floral design supplier for their corporate events, seasonal decor, and special occasion celebrations.”
Over the years Veronique have had the opportunity to create designs for everything from large lavish occasions to small intimate affairs.
She has been able to impose her style in an overcrowded market while establishing long-term partnership with discerning clients. “I always wanted to start a business and do something good in the world,” says Veronique. If you want to succeed in this vertical, you will need to have a grasp on running a business and, most important, a personality that can inspire clients”.