This week on The Journal we are speaking with Sylvia Abraham of Bella Botanica – Wedding, Event & Editorial Floral Designer. Sylvia has the ability and experience to lead her talented team to bring original concepts to life by creating stunning florals for luxury weddings and events, both in Ireland and internationally.
1. Tell us why you love what you do for a living, particularly working in the wedding industry?
I love working with florals as they are a piece of art in themselves – This passion led me to set up my florist company Bella Botanica. Every bloom is so unique, and I have the privilege of creating floral designs that will bring joy to a couple and their guests on their wedding day. I chose to work in the wedding industry because I love being part of one of the most special days for a couple. It is so heartwarming to be in a venue where there is so much love for two people; the happiness within the room is tangible. I also love the camaraderie between wedding vendors we connect with on the lead up to the wedding and on the day itself.
2. What floral trends do you think will be popular for 2023 weddings? Are there any trends you adore?
I think the trend for modern designs that focus heavily on different textured florals with minimal, if no foliage at all, will still be a big hit this year. I do not usually follow trends; I am inspired to create designs that reflect the tastes of the couples I work with and enhance the spaces they are celebrating their weddings in. I love creating impactful moments with florals. And my favourite style is inspired by Dutch Masters.
3. What is your career ‘pinch me’ moment that really stands out in your mind? A moment you are proud of, that highlighted your passion for what you do.
On the wedding front, a big highlight for me was to work with Waterlily Weddings a few years ago on a beautiful three-day wedding, merging American and Indian cultures together in such a gorgeous way. We came across some challenges with the weather, but we all pulled together to make it happen as one big team. I am proud that I opened the only Flower School in Ireland to teach wedding floral design, without the use of floral foam and to bring the students to assist on a real wedding set-up. It gives me so much joy to have a positive impact on someone’s business and confidence. I have also created online workshops, which I love. Both can be accessed through my website: www.bellabotanicaflowers.com
4. What are your goals and aspirations? What advice would you give to others interested in pursuing a career in Floristry?
My goals change as I evolve but one goal that I have had in the back of my mind is to create my own line of floral design textiles for homeware, so who knows! Oh, and if I could create an amazing runway of florals for Dior… that would be a dream come true! To those who are interested in floristry as a career, I would say invest in some amazing sustainable workshops with people you admire. At the start of your journey, offer to assist other designers at their weddings to gain more experience. One of the most important things is to have confidence in yourself, your pricing, and your design abilities. Couples will resonate with different vendors for many varied reasons, so never take rejection personally; it clears the path for the right couples to approach you, that value your unique designs and ethos. And one word of advice is to always offer a helping hand to other wedding vendors if needed on the day, we are all trying to create the most beautiful experience for each couple.
5. Your passion for sustainability is very admirable; tell us why using non-foam floral alternatives is important to you and why you thrive to ensure your business is as environmentally friendly as possible.
Thank you, using sustainable mechanics to design without floral foam is so important to me. As floral designers, we must take responsibility and action for the things we can control that negatively impact our environment. In my opinion, we should not be using a substance that is full of toxic chemicals and stays in our landfill and waters for years to come. It does take some time and patience to adapt to using different mechanics for designing but it is so worth it. I’m proud that Bella Botanica is a sustainably led business, and hope to continue to pave the way moving forward through educating others emerging in the industry.
Photography : Michelle Prunty & Gareth Mc Gaughey Photography