Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Vendor Spotlight: Anne Appleman, Sonoma Wedding Florist

Sonoma florist Anne Appleman has a wonderful history, starting with designing for corporate lobbies, of all places. Event work soon followed. She was living in a small apartment in San Francisco and designing out of the back of her '54 Chevy Suburban and business began to outgrow her surroundings. She moved to Sonoma with the hopes of establishing a name there, but continued to commute to pay the rent. She moved into her current space in Sonoma about 15 years ago. Reluctant to commit to retail, it seemed the only way to establish herself in a new place. She also saw her shop as a place where people could see and touch all of the amazing floral materials she has that are being produced locally and abroad. Her abilities in design increased tremendously as a result.

We asked Anne what she likes about designing for weddings. “I really like meeting brides. They're so excited and they usually have great ideas about what they want or how they want their big day to feel. Interpreting that and ‘getting it’ is a great feeling.” Anne says her ideas come from others, mostly. She looks at all kinds of things and in all kinds of places to see what other people are doing. Sometimes she copies design ideas and sometimes she improves on ones she’s seen. She explains that certain clients truly challenge her. For example, themes like cartoons or places are always a fun challenge for her. She also tells us her sales floor is great for inspiration: she can choose from a vast array of materials to create all kinds of wonderful designs on the spot.

What can you expect when working with Anne? “Once I've met with a bride and I've had the opportunity to think about their wedding and go through any swatches, photos of materials and designs, I invite them back to the shop to approve the designs. I don't like people to be surprised unless they want to be. I have the advantage of having a store full of flowers.” Essentially, you get a wonderful test run early on with Anne: she’ll pull a bouquet for you to see on the spot. And you get a veteran floral designer who’ll be by your side much like a friend throughout the planning and creative process. Anne is absolutely, positively Bridebound approved.

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