Andrea Wright is kind of a wonder to behold. I sat quietly while she created a beautiful [and quite large] floral arrangement; she worked fast and efficiently, without hesitation, all the while wielding a deadly knife with alarming precision [to cut and trim flowers/stems, of course]. It was a fascinating process to see from start to finish. It's not often that we get to witness an artist in the midst of his or her creative process. Our part typically comes after, when we can gaze at the end result of something made behind the scenes. That mystery is certainly intriguing, but it's also pretty inspiring to see the raw talent -- in action -- for yourself.
Andrea and her boyfriend Paul [a.k.a brains behind the operation, according to Andrea] recently opened Bloesem Flowerlab at 11 East 400 South. It's a quaint, bright little space in the middle of a strip of concrete jungle, and it's as much a gallery as it is a floral design shop. 'Bloesem' is simply the Dutch word for blossom, and with Andrea's heritage being such, the use of the word for a flower shop is kind of a two-fer. Our favorite part? Andrea offers workshops at Bloesem, which is phenomenal. Where there's an artist willing to teach and share their talent while helping the community [see below], we see a rare and worthwhile breed. Read on for more on this lab of love...
Tell me a bit about yourself. Why floral design? Growing up, my grandfather and my dad both had landscape design businesses, so I believe my love for flowers and design began watching them at work. I started working with flowers at Bloomingsales in SLC when I was in high school. While at the U of U, I spent summers in Sun Valley, Idaho as a floral designer for Sun Valley Company special events, when I wasn’t doing landscape design work. I graduated with an English degree from the University of Utah and went on to hold communications and event positions in Washington, DC. I eventually circled back to the design world via my event planning days, working closely with a popular floral designer in the DC area, Marianne Raub. I learned a great deal from Marianne and I’m happy to share my years of experience and what I learned from her and others with my Salt Lake City friends.
How would you describe your aesthetic? I consider my aesthetic to be modern, lush, and textural, but there are several basic elements of traditional design that are a part of my arrangements.
What's your design philosophy? I love experimenting with unique color combinations, no fillers and the freshest flowers & splashes of rare product make the best arrangements!
What would you do if you owned SLC? If I owned SLC my main goals would be: 1) Find ways to lessen the impact of pollution and the winter inversion, 2) Work hard to preserve the historical, beautiful architecture found in our city, 3) Give every child the opportunity to learn how to ski [no work on powder days!], and 4) Make wine available in the grocery stores.
What do you love most about our city? I love the recreation in Salt Lake. There is an abundance of natural beauty and endless ways to enjoy it! Also, some of the most creatively talented people I have met in my life are from SLC. The arts community is unique and inspiring.
What is your favorite flower? Many people ask me this question and I am always stumped! Of course, I love all flowers for different reasons and my favorite task is to combine all the textures into special creations. But, if I had to choose a huge vessel full of one flower it would be filled with Peonies!
Who or what is your biggest design inspiration? Nature is my biggest design inspiration. I love mimicking how elements would occur in nature in my arrangements.
What makes your floral business different from the other local shops? I think there are a lot of great floral designers in SL. Our shop is so new it will be interesting to see what sets us apart, outside of our unique designs. Workshops will be an important part of our future, as well as, affordable, elegant flower design.
What drives you? I am driven the most by the WONDERFUL people close to me. They make every day worth trying harder for!
What are your goals for the future? I would love to see the lab grow into a place for people to come to be inspired and learn to create and express themselves through design. I’m a big fan of workshops (we’ve already hosted two!) and I hope to build our workshops into something that will benefit many. I plan to host free workshops for unemployed individuals who are interested in learning a skill and also as a form of therapy.
Bloesem Flowerlab | 11 East 400 South, SLC | 801.359.2019