I first met Katie Noonan at a Florabundance Inspiration Design Days event, in fact it was at the 2013 inaugural Design Days! Upon meeting I promptly caught on that Katie has a quick wit and an incredible eye for floral design. Her work is consistently detailed, gorgeous, feminine and ethereal. I’m thrilled to have her join us on the blog today as part of our “fabulous florists” series!
Katie, can you share with us what is your favorite part of being a floral designer?
Being creative and working with beautiful flowers is always going to be what makes me excited to design. Recently with COVID, I learned how much I missed working with flowers on a regular schedule. When you are working events through all the seasons, you kind of get that nostalgic feeling when you get in flowers that you might not have seen since last Spring, like that prefect mock orange, or when Fall hits and all those autumn tones and foliages start arriving. It’s definitely been eye opening and made me very thankful that I get to work with beautiful flowers that are typically used for monumental moments in peoples life.
In a few words, describe your floral aesthetic:
I would say my aesthetic is a soft, romantic style with textural depth and attention to color combination. One thing, that anyone who has worked for me knows, is my ingredient list is never simple. I rarely, unless it’s intentional, have less that 6 types of botanicals in my designs, I feel this gives each arrangement or bouquet depth and interest.
What do you find is the hardest part of being a floral designer?
I think the most difficult part of the job is sourcing flowers, and by that I mean getting the exact flowers that I envision when designing each event. I don’t think there’s ever been a time when I’ve gotten exactly what I ordered and in perfect condition. We rely on a lot of different chains to get the right variety of flower, correct color, healthy blooms, and on time. We’re working with a live product, so it will always be a challenge, and you just have to have a back up plan, or a few back up plans.
What do you wish you had known earlier in your career?
To always charge your worth, set minimums and block off weekends. I’ve learned that you can get burnt out very quickly if you don’t see the value in what you design. Over many years of events, the most successful are the ones that didn’t hire me based on price point. The clients that know your style and trust you as the designer won’t question your value.
What’s the most valuable “lesson learned” you can share with us?
Always follow your gut, stick to what you do best. I think with the influence of social media some designers might feel lost or are chasing unrealistic dreams. Stay grounded to what you know, learn the mechanics, and stay true to your design style. Once I learned to focus on my design aesthetics and not try and recreate someone else’s work, is when I started to excel and be recognized for my own work.
Anything else you’d like to share with Flirty Fleurs followers?
I learned a few years ago, that as a creative, I should set aside time to design for myself. Whether it’s to learn a new technique, take a workshop, or just create something out of the leftover flowers, I never want to stop learning. This is an industry that is always changing with trends, new flowers, new techniques, so it’s important to always expand your skill set, be open-minded and be nice to your fellow florists!
Thank you so much, Katie, for joining us!
On where to find Katie here is her Contact Information:
Katie Noonan, AIFD, CFD