Let’s learn about it: The flower arrangement with Fleurish: Culture: Smile politely

There are livelihoods that seem to be wonderful to do day in and day out, and being a florist is one of them. Imagine being surrounded by beauty every day, while having a mission to make people happy. Sure, you’re still struggling with the fatigue and stress of owning a business, and you might run into a demanding customer or two along the way, but you rest easy knowing that with every purchase that comes out of the box. door is meant to show love. , compassion or friendship towards a person, or will make a space more beautiful. With that in mind, I set out to learn more about the floral world from a local expert, Sarah Compratt of Fleurish.

Fleurish, located on the corner of Walnut and Taylor in downtown Champaign, feels like a floral museum, and since Compratt was a major in art history, with an emphasis on Greek art, It’s not surprising. You certainly see this influence in the well-organized space. Everything is placed with purpose and intention, and invites you to take a closer look. Compratt was born and raised here, had a brief experience of discerning counterfeits and counterfeits in Los Angeles, but was drawn to the world of flowers and did not look back. Experiencing the lushness of California’s floral and plant life was a “showdown with the senses” after living in the Midwest. “Everywhere you go and look, it’s empowering, and I fell in love with it.” She brought grower relationships and knowledge of California grown flowers to her shop here in her hometown, and from the first few minutes of our conversation her passion for her work was evident. In his words, “Flowers are among the best things in life. People need flowers.

All kinds of customers find their way into Fleurish, and Compratt says most are quite laid back. They come in, say how much to spend, and let the experts do their magic. They try as much as they can to meet everyone’s wishes. At first it was all a ‘yes’, but Compratt learned that there had to be compromises, limits. Part of the reason is the fluctuating flower market.

At Fleurish, they are very picky about sourcing. Compratt explains that “everything is picked by hand. This is what we think is great this week. We are very much governed by the seasons and the weather. There are a lot of things that affect what ends up on the ground. She gave peonies as an example. It’s a flower that they usually have on hand for Mother’s Day, but due to the late cold this season they are rarer and it was just too expensive to store them.

Speaking of Mother’s Day, it’s obviously coming soon (this Sunday, in case you need a reminder), as is U of I graduation (check out these amazing graduation necklaces that are in the store this week). These two events make a busy week in Fleurish, even more so than Valentine’s Day. Fortunately, I celebrate the holidays with my mom a week before, which allows me to sneak in and learn the process of making a beautiful bouquet of flowers. I chose a price of $ 35, selected a softer palette for color selection, and ombre Compratt as she selected flowers and put the bouquet together. She credits her artistic knowledge for the fact that she has subconsciously trained her eye in balance, texture and color, which is evident when selecting flowers that complement and reinforce each other.

First, she checks the rods to make sure there aren’t any shaking. “Often people forget that flowers are alive. They see them more as an inanimate object. But with minimal care, the flowers will last. They want to live like anything else. She also adds greenery, which varies from day to day. They don’t charge extra for greenery. What you pay are the prices of the rods plus tax.

Compratt likes to start with the larger flowers. She then continues to turn and add flowers to keep the bouquet balanced, grouping the tulips together to make them stand out. The goal is to create a 360 bouquet, but always with a presentation facade.

The bouquet is finished with a simple white paper wrapper, tied with a raffia ribbon. They do not tie the rubber stems together, but the bouquet is laid loosely on the paper. A wet coffee filter is tucked around the bottom of the stems to keep them moist. They try to avoid using plastic water tubes if possible, an effort to reduce waste.

The final result ? A complex yet clean bouquet, with sweetness and a blend of traditional and unique components. It’s important to have both I think. Compratt stresses that “people love what’s new and different,” but it’s also hard to resist the familiar beauty of tulips and roses.

I might not be ready to embark on a career as a florist, but I certainly came away with a deeper appreciation for the emotional appeal of flowers. As Compratt says, “The story of flowers runs deep, it’s in our DNA. We all answer it. I’m asking someone who doesn’t like flowers.”

Fleurish is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Photos of Jess Hammie

Rosalie M. Dehner