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Week 187 - V3 Floral

For the 187th week of "7 QUESTION SUNDAY" we shine the spotlight on another influential individual from the PNW. Sara Koelsch is the owner of V3 Floral an event florist creating beauty for all events and special holidays.

4EVRGRN: Hey, SK! Tell us a little about yourselves.

SK: I am an event florist in Enumclaw, WA. I'm married, and we have a 12-year old son. I have worked in most areas of the floral industry- grocery, funeral, lots of flower shops, high-end events, and in the wholesale supply chain. I'm currently running my own business, V3 FLORAL Co. My floral career highlight was being a lead event designer at the MGM Grand and the Bellagio resorts in Vegas for several years. Las Vegas is a flower town! 

I love encouraging people to bring fresh flowers into their spaces. In our hectic lives, flowers help us slow down and appreciate the present moment. Flowers are special, they express and convey emotions when we don't have the words. I've lived in Utah, California, Nevada, and now Washington State.

I take special orders. I have lots of openings on my calendar for wedding flowers in 2023.

1) What is your favorite flower native to the PNW?

SK: I love many flowers that grow in the PNW it's hard it pick one favorite- I absolutely love bearded iris that grow in this area. They are such a unique shape, and there are so many dramatic colors.

Also, peonies are right up there as a fave. Peonies are big, bold color bombs that just knock your socks off. Peonies are commercially grown in Israel, Chile, and Holland, but the ones grown here in Washington State are the absolute best, by a mile.

2) For people who haven’t ordered flowers before, what should they know?

SK: If someone has never ordered flowers before, they should know that they make a great gift! And flowers are for EVERYONE- every person loves the thoughtful gift of beautiful flowers, so don't worry about whether or not it's an appropriate gift. Trust me on this. Flowers are great for calendar and "Hallmark" holidays, sympathy, thank you's, celebration, congratulations, and also for no reason at all! If you haven't ordered flowers before, have the following in mind when you reach out to a florist: your budget, the occasion, and the recipient's environment- where will the flowers BE? Will they be in a busy work desk? Get something compact. A dinner table centerpiece? Ask for something low, beautiful on all sides, and elegant. Does the recipient already own a million vases? Give them a wrapped bouquet of seasonal blooms! 

3) How did you get into floral design?

SK: I got into floral design as a preteen. My family went to a classic old church, with lots of carved wood and stained glass windows. My mom volunteered a lot at our church and decided to be the church florist- she had no formal floral training, she was a school teacher. But she appointed herself the church florist- and started making arrangements for the altar and church weddings. I think she probably paid for a lot of the church flowers herself! I helped her with the dirty work- filling buckets of water, carrying bundles of flowers and branches from the car, sweeping. Eventually I helped make arrangements.

After high school I didn't know what I wanted to do- I was a receptionist, I tried to be a realtor. Then I decided to go to floral design school, and I got several certificates of design. One class that my school offered was industry training. I learned there are many, many paths a person can take in the floral industry- it's not just about working in a flower shop. This industry is huge, with many opportunities.

4) Favorite place in the PNW to go see flowers?

SK: The best place to see flowers in the Pacific Northwest is the Butchart Gardens in Victoria B.C. it's an amazing wonderland of colorful flowers and blossoming trees. In the US, I also recommend Mount Vernon area tulip farms, like Roozengaarde, go soon! This is tulip season!

5) Why is it so beneficial to buy flowers from local florists vs big national brands?

SK: It's beneficial to buy flowers from local florists and local flower farms. It helps keep dollars in our local economy when you support a small, family-owned business. Also, florists have access to much better quality flowers than the grocery stores do. Florists buy smaller batches from reputable wholesalers, floral brokers, and quality farms. The grocery chains sell flowers for cheap, which they buy extra cheap, from super-mass producing international farms. The grocery chains have a lot more purchasing power compared to a small floral company. So they buy higher bulk quantities for all their supermarkets and get the lowest price. Grocery chains can afford to fill multiple planes and trucks. Your neighborhood florist cannot do this, they buy only enough to fill their floral cooler, and sell based on local demand. Also, grocery department flowers are considered a "loss leader", meaning a store will have a special on flowers to get you in the door, and they might not make a profit at all from the flowers. When you come to the store for the cheap flowers and you also buy food, alcohol, and other items where there is a profit, then the store sees that as a win, to get you in the door, spending money.

6) Favorite local product?

SK: My favorite local Floral product is flowers from my neighbors' farms- check out Petals and Posies flower farm, and Sweet Briar flower farm- both are in Enumclaw, on Instagram.

Non-floral local product favorite: I also have to rave about Mason's Cheesecakes. Have you tried them? They are beyond amazing! He is truly a cheesecake artist. Chef Mason has perfected his flavors over many years. Look him up for his next farmers market spot.

7) What is something anyone who visits the PNW should do or see?

SK: Anyone who visits the PNW should visit Crystal Mountain and ride the gondola to the top. The mountain scenery is so breathtaking. The abundant nature is incredible. Standing on the scenic view platforms surrounded by trees, you take in epic views in a kind of expansive silence. I think everyone should experience it.

Find Sara and V3 Floral on:

Facebook: Sara Koelsch

Business page: v3 Floral

Instagram: @sekoelsch


Website: www.v3floral.com

Email: v3floral@gmail.com