Stylist Petals Deas’s Flower Delivery Service Creates Arrangements You’ve Never Seen Before
The last-minute gifts, companions to your sorry and thank-you cards, smile inducers — flowers have many roles to play in our lives. And former fashion stylist, Petals Deas, decided to make the most of these roles.
We recently chatted with her about how she went from styling people to flowers. But given what her name is, it was just waiting to happen, right? Well, we found out.
1. Take us through your journey from fashion styling to flower styling.
I was a fashion stylist for many, many years and then I quit to study more. So, when my husband went to business school, I also went to Parsons School of Design and was out of the country for a while. I was back home for a few years and contemplating on whether to go back into fashion or do something in the lifestyle space. And I guess I zeroed in on the latter.
2. How did you come up with the idea of starting Velvet Ribbon?
I have always been into home décor and lifestyle. My home has fresh flowers at all times and often, when guests would visit, they would talk about the kinds of businesses I can do from home.
Somewhere around 2009-2010, I was doing up flowers — but that was more of a side gig, on a freelance basis. I finally decided to turn my passion into a professional endeavour and for that, I went to Jane Packer in London to do a course in floral styling.
After that, I had enough knowledge to start Velvet Ribbon and I chose February 14 as the day, because, well, it is special. It will stay with me for years to come.
3. What is it about your service that gives it a unique touch?
When I started styling, I knew that I wanted it to have a more modern look and feel. Hand bouquets are fantastic, but they don’t really last. So we give our flowers in boxes that are, in itself, a gift. You can use them as centrepieces or vases.
Taking flowers locally available in the market, and giving them cool, new touch is something I enjoy doing.
4. How different is styling people and styling flowers, in terms of the experience?
It is not really that different. You need to have an aesthetic sense to pull either off.
Just like you need to know which shoes and belt to match, picking out the right flowers to match your furniture is equally important.
But styling a home is definitely easier!
5. So what is a normal day in the life of a flower stylist like?
Since I have just started a month back, my mornings start with going to the market every day, to personally select all the flowers. The thing about flowers is that they are seasonal — there are many wild flowers that are easily available but not used enough. We purchase only fresh flowers and that is why we have the 24-hour prior booking condition, so as to give you the best of the lot.
Then I look at creating new combinations, something that local florists may not be able to do. I am often questioned of my bizarre combinations! So my team of 3 and I mix and match local flowers with those that come from Holland, South Africa, and other places.
At night I look at different references, just to get an understanding about what is working and what it isn’t.
6. What are the different arrangements you prepare and which one is your favourite?
I do a number of different arrangements every day and each one has been designed for a different purpose. There is this one that has only green and white flowers, which is something men prefer, more than women.
I personally love purple and blues, so I create many with these shades. Another thing that we do is a set that has just roses, in different sizes and colours.
My favourite ones are the Enchanted Forest that has hydrangeas, and Midnight In Paris that has purple flowers mixed with black ones.
7. What are the occasions that you cater to?
People prefer such arrangements for birthdays of course, but what is also slowly taking speed is the trend of sending flowers with wedding invitations. And people also like blue and pink flower arrangements for baby shower announcements. The feedback I’m receiving is that they want me to make these arrangements more personal by attaching balloons or some cute notes, so we’re working on that.
8. Tell us something more about your brand.
We deliver across Mumbai and all we need is a day’s notice for the arrangements. We are closed on Sundays but if it is something really special, we are happy to make exceptions. Our arrangements start from Rs 3,000 and they go up to Rs 7,500, depending on the kind you choose.
9. What are your future plans?
I am planning to launch other home accessories soon, under the same label, including candles, stationery, and so on. Also, in about 6 months, I plan to go back to fashion and start my own label, but that is still under wraps.
10. Since summer is here, any tips on how to take care of flowers in this heat?
Give them twice the water that you normally would; keep them away from direct sunlight; if you have a vase, then change the water every day, and preferably add cold water.
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