Catching up with Tina Barkley of Fleurs De Villes

Flirty Fleurs Floral Dress at Fleurs de Villes

Flirty Fleurs Floral Dress at Fleurs de Villes

Alicia’s design for Fleurs de Villes – named Anastasia

Alicia: Hi Tina, I was thrilled to be part of Fleurs de Villes when it came to Seattle for the Northwest Flower & Garden Show, it was an amazing experience to push myself creatively while being part of the floral design community here in the city. I would love to share with Flirty Fleurs readers more about Fleurs de Villes!

Can you share with us how you and Karen dreamed up organizing this event?

Tina: Karen and I started Fleurs de Villes off the sides of our desks after Karen had been at the Chelsea Flowers Show in London and I had been trying to start a grassroots Flower Market in Vancouver. Ironically at the same time, one of Karen’s clients (a shopping mall) was looking for something experiential to bring to their shoppers and Karen pitched them an idea that resulted in the first two Fleurs shows in Vancouver and Victoria. Our shows today look almost identical to the way we first launched.

Alicia: How many events have you hosted and what cities have you visited so far? How do you choose locations for these exhibits?

Tina: It’s funny to think I’ve officially lost count! We have done at least over 25 shows with so many more to come. We are contacted regularly but potential hosts but we also have some of our own concepts in mind that we go out and pitch. We are working on variations of our mannequin show as well that will expand the breadth of what we do. It’s a continually creative process.

Alicia: How do you select the florists who participate? And how do florists get involved?

Tina: We always start in a city by looking at magazines, instagram, listings and then doing a deep dive into florists websites and social media feeds. Finally, we issue an “invitation to create” to a database of florists we feel would be able to execute the mechanics as well as the creative flare.

Alicia: Why do you feel most florists want to participate?

Tina: That’s easy! Florists love the ability to work outside the box. In every city we go to, florists thank us for bringing them this opportunity to do something wild and crazy. Something that challenges them as well as gives them a brand new way to show off their talent and get wonderful content for their own promotion. As a bonus, most love meeting and working with other florists who are usually “competitors” but in a much more collegial way.

Alicia: What do you see as the goal of hosting Fleurs de Villes?

Tina: We always approach our shows the same way: Flowes Make Us Happy is our tag line and we describe our goal as bringing flowers to the people. Flowers really are happiness and they transcend language, culture, age, you name it. Many people don’t get to experience a luxury installation such as Fleurs de Villes in their “neighborhood”. Usually a show like ours is a private event, corporate or socially exclusive. We love that we can bring these shows to the masses and support local florists. At a time when many people buy their flowers in a grocery store, it’s so important to showcase this very special art form.

Alicia: Since the inception of this idea what has been the most interesting trend or general observation you have noticed in the floral industry?

Tina: I would say the most intriguing has been the use of less floral foam and the ingenious ways florists have created water supplies for the mannequins. Related to that are the ways that florists are using all natural materials in a way that allow for the construction and the augment with the fresh flowers to ensure that wow affect. Secondarily, I’ve never seen a comeback like the one for baby’s breath and pampas grass…holy cow!

Alicia: I can only imagine you and Karen have overheard some awesome comments by visitors to Fleurs de Villes – could you share a few with us?

Tina: One of our favorite things to do is to “work the show” and stand around during it to chat with visitors and have the chance to hear the amazing compliments. We have had people FaceTiming family thousands of miles away to show them the exhibit, we’ve had families come with professional photographers to have their portrait done. I’m just waiting for an engagement!

Alicia: Thank you so much, Tina, for joining us here on Flirty Fleurs! I look forward to seeing where Fleurs De Villes goes next and the mannequin designs the floral designers will dream up!

The designs below are from the Fleurs de Villes Show in Seattle, Washington. It was a wonderful experience to be part of our floral design community here in Seattle and I throughoughly enjoyed seeing the mannequins the other florists came up with!

Catch up with Fleurs de Villes on INSTAGRAM and their WEBSITE

Smashing Petals and Ondine at Fleurs de Villes

Keita of Smashing Petals              |              Hannah of Ondine

fleurs de villes floral design show in seattle - Maura of Casablanca Floral | Courtney of Fena Flowers - flower dresses on mannequins

Maura of Casablanca Floral              |              Courtney of Fena Flowers

Lana of Seattle Floral Design | A Natural Design

Lana of Seattle Floral Design              |              Holly of A Natural Design

Tammy & Team of LORA Bloom              |              Leah Erickson

Fleurs De Villes Seattle - Annika of hazel landscapes + flowers | Coree of Zupan's Markets

Annika of hazel landscapes + flowers            |        Coree of Zupan’s Markets

Fleurs de Villes in Seattle Washington - TJ of Garden Party | Kara of Apotheca | Melissa of Terra Bella

TJ of Garden Party                   |         Kara of Apotheca Design         |         Melissa of Terra Bella

Fleurs de Villes Seattle Washington - Tobey Nelson Events | Tiare Floral Design

Tobey Nelson Events                |                Tiare Floral Design