current read: the happiness project – gretchen rubin
< word of the day: kismet – fate; destiny >
I am incredibly honoured to feature Cool Green & Shady this week! In my Wedding Coordination class, we were fortunate to have Amber come in to speak to us. I believe florals are important in any event, corporate or weddings, yet so underrated! Before the class, I was expecting a florist that was going to advertise their business and why they are better than everyone else. When Amber walked in, she was smiling ear to ear with an assorted arrangement of flowers she loved. Not only was she very humble and sweet but she was also transparent and never once tried to “sell us”. Her only intention was to teach us. I learned so much from her that night and by the end of the class, I was mentally booking her for all my future events.
“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.”
– Luther Burbank
Cool Green and Shady opened in 2002 and has since become of the best rated florists in Toronto. (Really, check their Google rating!) And there’s no doubt their success has been because of their awesome owner, Amber.
As I enter their store, there are beautiful arrangements and decor everywhere with the team busily preparing flowers. I am told it will be another busy weekend. The space is very warm and inviting. I am greeted by Joy and the team. Joy immediately gives me a tour of the store, answering any questions I had. I was astonished by the large variety of vases, ribbons and accents available.
I sat down with Amber and she gave me the full experience of what she would do during a client meeting. I showed her some pictures that I liked and she was able to recite every flower in those arrangements. She gave her expert advice when needed but never made the final decision or made me feel I was not in control. At the end of the meeting, she provided me a document highlighting the flowers discussed and a breakdown of the quote given. The experience was so simple and fun! That is what I believe a successful florist is all about.
B: You mentioned you knew you wanted to be a florist at a very young age. What inspired that?
A: When I was young I didn’t think about why I liked certain things or not, to be honest. 🙂 I just did… At the time I loved real estate and being creative with pretty things, so when I was having to select a place to do my grade 12 co-op, a flower shop seemed to fit. Innocence is nice like that, things are a bit more cut and dried, as they say!
B: What was the first flower arrangement you created?
A: I don’t remember what I made, but I remember being very stressed about doing it! I would have been making it ‘just for fun’, but I guess I have always taken the final result quite seriously!
B: What is the main difference you find creating arrangements for weddings versus corporate events?
A: Typically it’s colour! Weddings are allowed to be soft and pretty, and most of the corporate events we do the first request or note is that there will be a lot of men in attendance so they typically they want more bold designs.
B: How do you handle event planners that are unprofessional?
A: I never want to threaten our reputation so we stay very friendly, although firm. Then it is up to us if we accept another event with them in the future. We would never tell them that we don’t want to work with them, we would simply tell them the date is already booked, to remain polite.
B: What do you hope to see for florist in the future?
A: A greater appreciation for our art, and how labour intensive it is. With a greater appreciation maybe we could charge a bit more so florists salaries could be higher.
B: What advise do you have for any newcomers that want to join the events industry?
A: To offer to volunteer for a planner or florist that you respect so you can see in behind the scenes of multiple events. That way you can see if you truly love the industry and want to devote your evenings and weekends to it. 🙂
Cool, Green & Shady not only does wedding and corporate events but their store is open for daily business. So if you just want to pick up an arrangement just because, they can definitely assist you. May I suggest their “Beatrice” arrangement? 😉
Thank you again to Amber and her team for welcoming me with open arms!
Be sure to check out Cool Green & Shady for all of your event floral needs.
601 Kingston Road #105
Toronto, ON M4E 3Y2
Thank you for reading and happy planning!