Kiana from Tulipina Design is one of my favorite florists and huge inspiration of mine ...
Once in a while I get the opportunity to meet various people I'm a fan of and quite honestly, through these experiences, I've learned to avoid meeting people I admire because more times than not I end up disappointed. This era of getting to know people over social media leads to the realization that a lot of people are just not authentic, they are genius at self promotion and marketing but in person they can be a little lack-luster. Well -
The Tulipina workshop definitely did not disappoint, Kiana is sweet, authentic, and very real. Her talent and eye for tone and texture are the real deal.
I had initially contacted Tulipina Design to assist with the workshop that was held at Hedley & Bennett's production warehouse/office in Los Angeles. My intention with offering to assist was really that I just wanted to hang out with Kiana, I wanted to get to know her as a person, and understand how she works. She welcomed the help for day one of set up and encouraged me to still partake in the workshop the following day.
The first day of helping with set up was like Christmas, box after box of amazing flowers and foliage. We unwrapped, fresh cut, and processed each bunch of product that was delivered and with each bunch we ooh-ed and ahh-ed. Zinnias, poppies, peonies, parrot tulips, garden roses, on and on - just so much beauty! All in tones of pink, peach, white, and coral. Seeing the display of flowers come together was stunning! Another assistant, Kiana, and I all went out to a gorgeous lunch and had a lovely conversation about flowers, running businesses, travel, and future plans.
The next day was the workshop and we got to work. Kiana started with basic logistics of how she starts her centerpieces. I learned how to use a floral frog which, somehow in almost 15 years of designing, I had never used before. It seriously changed how I make my arrangements now. I've always used oasis or tape to secure florals in low vessels. I hate using tape so avoid that at all costs. Oasis foam is wonderful but you always have to use vases that are not clear to avoid seeing the foam inside and there's more waste when using Oasis. Now, with floral frogs, I can use my favorite clear crystal urns and the frogs slowly disappear from sight as flowers are added. The frogs are reusable so that takes care of the extra waste!
Additional workshop topics covered bouquet making and wreath installations - another new favorite of mine. Once each student was finished with our various projects we walked our finished products over to the photo area where the amazing Jose Villa photographed our work.
Throughout the day Kiana answered any and all questions open and honestly. She never hesitated to share information the students were seeking and encouraged conversation and partnerships between attendees.
After the workshop concluded, we cleaned up and got the studio back in order. Kiana let me take home some of the extra product that I used for the art class I volunteer at the following day. We ended our day with a delicious dinner and lively conversation over tacos and margaritas with another Los Angeles based floral designer she knows.
I left the whole experience with new friends, connections, inspiration, and new excitement for my own work and the direction I want to take BLOOMS. Thank you Kiana and all involved for such an amazing experience.