By Daniela Degrassi
Flowers are always associated to happy times such as wedding celebrations. What a beautiful atmosphere they create! As much as we love them though, we know that they can considerably pump up wedding costs. Adding their short life span to the equation, to some it may feel like too expensive of an option.
At The Kind Bride, we love scouting smart multi-functional wedding resources that can be repurposed easily after the wedding. That’s why, when I spotted Bloom and Birch stand at Palo Alto Nordstrom a few weeks ago, I had to stop by their booth. Their company tag line said “real flowers that last over a year”.
Now, let me quickly rewind to my birthday last February, when a dear friend gifted me with a rose planted in some white sand in a pretty glass vase. My friend told me that rose would last for months without the need of water; I had never seen such a thing! Almost a year went by, and the rose still stands in all its beauty, on a console table by my front door.
You see why I got excited to realize that this method of conserving flowers could be applied to weddings! Still, I thought, would it be involving harmful chemicals? I had to reach out to Bloom and Birch founder Suzanne Summers with a few questions and she graciously answered all my questions.
Suzanne, when did you start the company?
I started the Company in February of this year. I started it for one inherent reason – to have each flower mean something. A personal experience inspired me to create this collection and I hope to impact lives through my brand. I consider my brand a “moments” company – in that each piece can be a true reminder of special times spent in your life, captured in a visual reminder that lasts!
Can you share what’s the personal story that ignited your inspiration for Bloom and Birch?
Flowers hold within them an emotion personal to each recipient. Flowers also have the ability to heal the soul- in my case after an emergency trip for my oldest son to Stanford Hospital for a very rare (and deadly) form of strep, they had the power to give me courage.
A dear friend sent me a gorgeous bouquet of roses with a note that simply said “don’t give up.” At that moment, it was the message I needed to move forward and have faith my boy would heal. Each night after he would fall asleep I would take a short walk only making it as far to Nordstrom ( just across the street). The Staff there was kind to me, they made me feel, for a second, my life wasn’t crumbling before me.
I recall saying my mantra over and over in my head “in one year from today I will be in a better place and this will be a distant memory.” Thanks to the amazing Team at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital , my son did heal. As we packed up and checked out of the hospital to go home I vowed one day I would give back in a big way to this amazing hospital and to children and families who might need their own message of kindness.
What a difference a year makes…
Bloom & Birch began with a dream, and the intent that each rose becomes your message of hope, love, friendship, memories and courage. The eco-friendly brand was launched at Nordstrom Palo Alto & Nordstrom Valley Fair, and today we are so proud to be donating to Stanford Children’s Health-Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. We are also pleased to be a donor of Junior Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) inspired by the courageous battle of a very dear friends little boy.
How inspiring Suzanne! Now into more technical questions… What makes your flowers last so long?
Our flowers are fresh cut from our farm in South America at the peak of their beauty. Immediately after they are cut they go through our “hydro- preservation” process. This is a chemical free process of preserving the bloom in it’s natural state, then the flower absorbs our proprietary plant-based, non-toxic and biodegradable hydration serum which is absorbed through the stem. From that point, they stay supple for a minimum of one year.
I personally have been working with these beauties for years as a hobby and still have some that are 3 years old! They will take on more of a “preserved” look after the 1-1.5 year time-frame.
Are roses the only flower you can preserve for one year?
We started the brand with roses because, to me, they symbolize special moments in your life. They are typically something used for “special occasions”, and “romance.” I often put the roses in hand-made reclaimed wood boxes which clients call a play on “leather and lace”, I found it makes the roses feel more like a jean jacket over a little black dress – it really appeals to mostly everyone. For what I call a “rustic-chic” wedding, it makes a truly elegant option as centerpieces you can re-use as decor for your home. We also offer filler flowers along with hydrangeas-which are brand new to the collection. We look forward to adding new blooms as we grow the collection!
How else can you use your roses at weddings?
We have sold quite a few “head-table” centerpieces from our Stanford Shopping center location. We also had a bride fall in love with our single rose in a birch vase which we call the “cupcake” item to be favors for her wedding. What is unique about this route as an option is you have a reminder of your special day because you can keep your flowers – the scent will take your back to the magic of your wedding too!
Suzanne, we love the versatility of Bloom and Birch wedding centerpieces and wedding table decorations repurposed as wedding favors… Can you also create bridal bouquets and boutonnieres?
As the company continues to expand we plan to hold a significant footprint within the wedding industry.
You currently ship to United States only, will you extend to other continents sometime in the future?
We are expanding everyday- so we aim to do that in the near future.
Suzanne concludes: Each and every piece at Bloom & Birch is inspired by matters of the heart. We hope to be part of your memories for all the moments of magic in your life.
Bloom and Birch loves weddings, but their services extend to other general events, staging, businesses and corporate branding.
A feminist and independent spirit since she could remember (her childhood heroines were Pippi Longstockings and Katharine Hepburn) Daniela Degrassi found her creative outlet as a lifestyle photographer, working mainly in Northern California where she lived for 15 years before moving back to her native Italy to continue to be her autistic sister’s primary caregiver. Vegan since 2014, she found a perfect way to carry her message of compassion while celebrating her love for the wedding industry launching The Kind Bride in February 2018.