lessons in flowers

Good morning friends!  Waking up today was like Christmas morning.  After fluttering my eyes open and stretching my arms out wide, I reached for the laptop and went to my email.  The Mayesh Design Starr Top Five Finalists have been announced…and I’m in!!


This is such a huge deal, its scary to put yourself out there like this, but I knew the risk is worth the reward.  I’m so excited to be in the top five and have a real shot at becoming the Mayesh Design Starr 2013!  The interview with Cindie went great last week, and ever since the brainstorming hasn’t stopped.  There is so much to talk about with you and I’m excited to start the conversation!

But first….

I need your vote!  The Design Starr is selected by voters, so please oh please support me! Here’s the link, select my name and submit your vote!

I’m Kim Starr Wise and I approve this message.


WOOHOO!!  Kim Starr Wise has moved on to the semi finals in the competition for the Mayesh Design Starr 2013!

We just found out about thirty minutes ago and the woohoo-ing and smiles haven’t stopped since!

We know the competition is steep but we feel really good about our chances.  It was challenging (in the best sense of the word) and so much fun to put our video together.  We’d love to keep them coming!

Here’s a look at our submission one more time:


We’ll be coming back to you later this month with (hopefully) some more good news and ways for you to support Kim by voting for her!


–Team KSW

Mayesh is an amazing wholesaler that supplies a huge chunk of the flowers that we work with.  In addition to supplying the industry, they’ve created a great community of designers, all vying to be the year’s Design Star.  I am now one of those contestants!

Last year the Birmingham based floral designer Mandy Majerik was selected as the Design Star, and each month we loved watching her videos for floral inspiration.  Her warm and friendly personality is what really kept us coming back.   She’s exactly the kind of gal we’d love to spend a long day in the studio with.

Below is my submission.  I decided to use the lesser-loved carnation, paired with hydrangeas and magnolia leaves to make a bouquet.  What can I say, I like an underdog.

I hope you like it!  Also, thank you to Amy and Tres Bien Photography for your help on this, I couldn’t have done it without you!

Yesterday we had a meeting with a special guy and really wanted to wow him, so of course we decided to bring a beautiful and fragrant arrangement, so he could remember Kim Starr Wise Floral Events long after our meeting adjourned.


  • three bunches of different flowers that will blend together in you arrangement (one focal flower, one foliage to make it leafy, and an intermediary flower that dances the line between focal and leafy)
  • vessel
  • floral cutters like these

Step by step:

  1. Cut the tips off of each of the stems that you’ll be working with.  (INSIDER TIP- Tulip grows even after you cut it, so cut those dudes a little shorter than you think you need to)
  2. Insert the base flower (your leafiest, in this case we used geranium), criss crossing the stems to create a sturdy base for the rest of your flowers.
  3. Add your intermediary flower (we used sedum) in the spaces left open by the angled base flowers.
  4. We thought our arrangement needed a bit more color, so we walked down the street and found some deeper red leaves to pull and inserted them in the arrangement.
  5. Time for your focal flower!  Since this is the piece de resistance, make sure to think about where you’re inserting these flowers, that they contribute to the full shape you are going for in your arrangement.  We used tulips because they have a great shape – we picked each tulip based on its stem and how it would curve to bring the eye to certain parts of the arrangement.
  6. Give a final zhuzh and voila!  Your arrangement is complete!


  • 3 boxes of boutonniere pins
  • 60 dyed blue stems of Dendrobium orchids
  • 4″ styrofoam ball
  • Glue dots
  • Water mister
  • Ribbon/pearl strand/mardi gras beads

Step by step:

1. Gather 6 Dendrob stems (approximately 6 stems per 4” styrofoam ball)

2. Deflower set Dendrobes (remove the pretty developed blooms)

3. Remove the mini stem from each bloom

4. Attach a handle to your ball (we used pearl strands affixed with glue dots and pins)

5. Get many pins ready (boutonniere pins in your preferred color)

6. Pin each individual bloom through the back of the throat onto the ball

7. Puzzle piece your Dendrobe blooms together, pinning each one, to cover the surface

8. Admire your flashy new pomander, and fill in any holes with extra blooms

9. Spray with crowning glory, or mist with water and enjoy!


Todays lesson:  Why stephanotis is expensive in a bouquet.

See the photos above?  When we order stephanotis we get a small plastic box filled with the blooms and no stem.  EACH bloom (and there are 25 to a box I believe) has to get a faux stem (wire added to the stem), and wrapped with corsage tape so that they can be used in your bouquet.  It takes a bit of time to prepare each bloom.

Now those brides who want crystals or white pearl head pins in the center of the stephanotis…  cha-ching!!!  (They don’t grow that way!)  So yes, more time and labor is involved in the production.  Keep in mind that stephanotis with Swarovski crystals is really stunning and makes an incredible impact, but don’t be shocked when you get your proposal and your bouquet is close to $300 or more, it’s the labor and the crystals/pins that jack up the price!