Vancouver

Fleuriste: Kelly Dunbar, Botany and Bloom

By
Lisa Tant
Rainbow wreath created by Botany and Bloom, Fleurs de Villes Noël Vancouver 2020
Kelly Dunbar, Botany and Bloom

Welcome to Fleuriste, a regular feature that’s an inspiring chat with one of our celebrated global florists. The second in our series is the charming Kelly Dunbar of Botany and Bloom in Vancouver. Her modern bride mannequin won the Fan Favourite Award at our 2018 Metrotown at Metropolis show in Vancouver, and her installations at our Vancouver Noël 2020 show were breathtaking crowd-pleasers.

 

WHEN DID YOU FIRST DISCOVER YOUR LOVE FOR FLOWERS?

From as long as I can recall, I have loved flowers! I had a daisy tattooed on me the day I turned 16. After starting a career in event design, I immediately realized my only desire was to work with flowers. I'm a bit of a late bloomer to the world of floral design but passionate to spend the rest of my life pursuing my dream.


IF YOU WERE A FLOWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

I would have to go with a tulip - pretty reserved and discreet but bound to find some obscure direction to open up in.


WHAT IS THE MOST MEANINGFUL ARRANGEMENT YOU HAVE CREATED?

So much emotion goes into design, especially with florals, and the occasions they are created for. The most meaningful was a request by a groom to have his wedding floral order revamped to honour the passing of his fiancé. She loved wildflowers so we incorporated her favourite stems - Sunflowers, Rudbeckia and Lavender - into the arrangement. 

 

WHAT IS YOUR TOP FLORAL TIP FOR OUR FLEURS DE VILLES GUESTS?

Enjoy the art and each designer's expression of their work. Creating with flowers is magical but it has its limitations and challenges. Each flower, leaf or petal has been carefully chosen for its unique elements.

WHO INSPIRES YOU FROM THE WORLDS OF ART, FASHION, ENTERTAINMENT OR DESIGN?

In the floral and botanical world, the creators of Looseleaf and Tulipina are a huge inspiration. The art and movement of Frida Kahlo is a constant reminder to be true to my path and values. Music is also profoundly influential as it fuels my work and keeps the designs flowing. You’ll hear Hip Hop when we need to pick up the pace, otherwise Country and Indie music maintains a calm creative state.


HOW DO YOU INCORPORATE FLOWERS INTO YOUR PERSONAL STYLE – FASHION AND/OR HOME?

Flowers are everywhere from my clothes to my jewelry to the walls in my home. Plants and florals play a major role in my interior design as they impact my mood and creative headspace.


WHAT IS YOUR IDEA OF THE PERFECT FLOWER ARRANGEMENT TO RECEIVE?

I am happy to receive a low floral design that I can enjoy in different areas of my home. I like bright colours, intense fragrance and the whimsical stems of poppies and butterfly ranunculus.

 

IS THERE AN OUTSTANDING FLOWER THAT HAS PLAYED A ROLE IN KEY MOMENTS OF YOUR LIFE?

Sweetpeas go back to my childhood and the love of gardening that my Grandmas passed on. The fragrance is nostalgic and I try to incorporate them into my designs when I can. 


WHAT SCENT DO YOU WEAR? USE IN YOUR HOME?

I wear Essential Rose Oil everyday, I love it. When I go out it's only Gucci Bloom.


Welcome to Fleuriste, a regular feature that’s an inspiring chat with one of our celebrated global florists. The second in our series is the charming Kelly Dunbar of Botany and Bloom in Vancouver. Her modern bride mannequin won the Fan Favourite Award at our 2018 Metrotown at Metropolis show in Vancouver, and her installations at our Vancouver Noël 2020 show were breathtaking crowd-pleasers.

 

WHEN DID YOU FIRST DISCOVER YOUR LOVE FOR FLOWERS?

From as long as I can recall, I have loved flowers! I had a daisy tattooed on me the day I turned 16. After starting a career in event design, I immediately realized my only desire was to work with flowers. I'm a bit of a late bloomer to the world of floral design but passionate to spend the rest of my life pursuing my dream.


IF YOU WERE A FLOWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

I would have to go with a tulip - pretty reserved and discreet but bound to find some obscure direction to open up in.


WHAT IS THE MOST MEANINGFUL ARRANGEMENT YOU HAVE CREATED?

So much emotion goes into design, especially with florals, and the occasions they are created for. The most meaningful was a request by a groom to have his wedding floral order revamped to honour the passing of his fiancé. She loved wildflowers so we incorporated her favourite stems - Sunflowers, Rudbeckia and Lavender - into the arrangement. 

 

WHAT IS YOUR TOP FLORAL TIP FOR OUR FLEURS DE VILLES GUESTS?

Enjoy the art and each designer's expression of their work. Creating with flowers is magical but it has its limitations and challenges. Each flower, leaf or petal has been carefully chosen for its unique elements.

Rainbow wreath created by Botany and Bloom, Fleurs de Villes Noël Vancouver 2020
Kelly Dunbar, Botany and Bloom

WHO INSPIRES YOU FROM THE WORLDS OF ART, FASHION, ENTERTAINMENT OR DESIGN?

In the floral and botanical world, the creators of Looseleaf and Tulipina are a huge inspiration. The art and movement of Frida Kahlo is a constant reminder to be true to my path and values. Music is also profoundly influential as it fuels my work and keeps the designs flowing. You’ll hear Hip Hop when we need to pick up the pace, otherwise Country and Indie music maintains a calm creative state.


HOW DO YOU INCORPORATE FLOWERS INTO YOUR PERSONAL STYLE – FASHION AND/OR HOME?

Flowers are everywhere from my clothes to my jewelry to the walls in my home. Plants and florals play a major role in my interior design as they impact my mood and creative headspace.


WHAT IS YOUR IDEA OF THE PERFECT FLOWER ARRANGEMENT TO RECEIVE?

I am happy to receive a low floral design that I can enjoy in different areas of my home. I like bright colours, intense fragrance and the whimsical stems of poppies and butterfly ranunculus.

 

IS THERE AN OUTSTANDING FLOWER THAT HAS PLAYED A ROLE IN KEY MOMENTS OF YOUR LIFE?

Sweetpeas go back to my childhood and the love of gardening that my Grandmas passed on. The fragrance is nostalgic and I try to incorporate them into my designs when I can. 


WHAT SCENT DO YOU WEAR? USE IN YOUR HOME?

I wear Essential Rose Oil everyday, I love it. When I go out it's only Gucci Bloom.


A NOTE FROM FLEURS DE VILLES:

“Kelly’s modern bride mannequin, created for The Face Shop at our 2018 Metrotown at Metropolis show in Vancouver, won the Fan Favourite Award. The choker-style hypericum berry collar joined her halter top, complete with a pattern of berries within the astrantia flowers. Her skirt was full of “pleats” of Quicksand roses and Viper carnations. The colour scheme was so current - taupes with a hint of green, sandy roses and carnations - creating that not-quite-white wedding dress that any millennial would surely covet! The bouquet was peonies and lilacs - a nod to the May timeframe of the show. Her headpiece? Peonies and pieris. Such a stunner!"

Tina Barkley, Co-Founder, Fleurs de Villes

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