Flowers 101: Alethea Harampolis + Jill Rizzo of Studio Choo
This Spring, the ladies of Studio Choo will be selling stems and sharing floral advice at the Pop-Up Flower Shop at west elm Emeryville. We asked Alethea and Jill to share some florist tips with Front & Main — from their favorite budget-friendly stems to expert advice on containers and vessels. Check it out!
What is your favorite inexpensive stem/filler to use in your designs?
Local sweet peas just started this week and we love using the curly tendrils to bulk up an arrangement but still have an airy feel.
What is your favorite splurge stem?
We wish we could have lily of the valley by the bucketful! Unfortunately there is a very short time window here in Northern California where it is even remotely affordable.
What tool would you recommend to a novice florist? What is the best bang-for-your-buck tool that will transform your floral skills?
A very sharp and strong pair of clippers! Especially now during flowering branch season — a nice clean and quick cut makes everything easier.
What is your favorite shape vessel/vase/container to work with?
We love working with lots of different types of containers — we have a soft spot for vintage sugar bowls and creamers though. We have a new test tube vase that is a big hit — simple, rustic, and really easy to use.
What is your #1 flower or floral arranging tip?
Go natural. Use the natural arc of a stem to your advantage rather than cramming it into position.
What’s hot in your market? What flower/floral trend is everyone asking about in the Bay Area?
We are getting more wedding requests for large, romantic, and lush arrangements — from table centerpieces to big beautiful flower crowns (quite a nice change for us from the ever popular mason jars!). In the shop — mixed succulent plantings and terrariums are still really popular.