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  • By The Editors

How To Arrange Flowers For Winter

We interviewed Stacie Gibo, Florist and Creative Director of the LA based floral company Stems by Sanae. Stacie gives us her take on winter flowers.

What flowers work well for Winter?

I love Winter florals but I’m far from a traditionalist (for example, only using red and greens). I often go with florals that have a more whimsical feel, looking crisp while having a warm familiar fragrance (pine and cinnamon to name a few).

How do Winter bouquets differ from Summer or Fall?

I love including untraditional stems like eucalyptus mixed with pine in my Winter bouquets, giving them a fresh effect. Adding large ribbons or some sparkle really help tell a holiday story. Winter florals can also help in making your house feel cozy by adding fragrances like pine or cinnamon. Summer bouquets on the other hand should feel vibrant and pop with color. Adding King Proteas as a focal point and layering in beautiful ginger or local tuberose makes for a fun summer centerpiece show stopper.

What are the flowers you used in your December Bouquet?

Peonies, Toffee roses, blush garden roses, and always Akasha Eucalyptus mix!

How do you start your bouquets? Where do you begin?

It really all starts at the Flower Mart. I take a full inventory of what’s available, taking note of anything that captures my attention while I wander. I also walk the floor and really pay attention to what other people are getting excited about. I feel like that often gives me inspiration and opens me up to try new mixes that I may not originally had in mind. From there, I make my selections and head to my workspace (aka my backyard), and then...the real work begins. For any arrangement, you MUST clean the florals, give them a fresh cut (diagonally) and then a soak in cold water. Pro tip, let the florals sit in water for a few hours to bloom even more!

Finally, it’s time to get started…but first you need a playlist! I always have “mood” music on, it helps me dance and really enjoy the process while I’m working. I think so much of what we do is based on being in the right head space. From there, I build my inventory roadmap by laying out the florals I plan to use on a table. When starting the bouquet, you should start in the middle and work your way out. I always start with a larger floral to get a strong, sturdy middle and a focal point. I feel that works the best and gives me a guide of where the supporting florals can go so the entire arrangement feels balanced. Once you have a well-balanced bouquet, look at it from every angle to make sure it looks good. When you look at it and smile, it’s time to wire it all together. Honestly, this may take a few tries but it makes all the difference!

Where do you buy your flowers?

Los Angeles Flower Mart. Always look at your local flower mart and really get to know the people who you are buying from. If I have time, I’ll often chat with the florists and learn where they get their florals from and how they think their current selection is. They are such honest and hardworking people, it really is so great talking with them and learning what they know!

What's your favorite flower?

Dahlias! I love how they look and all the variations they come in. Peonies are a close second!

How do you take orders?

Right now, I’m taking orders through my @StemsbySanae Instagram account. The goal is to have a full e-commerce site available in 2021.

Do you only work locally, or can you deliver?

I deliver to local LA areas currently. I’ve traveled as far as Malibu for my clients, so long as it's coordinated around my current work schedule.

What do you want people to know about Stems By Sanae?

This whole thing started when a family friend asked me to help with some floral arrangements for her mom’s bridal shower. After watching a few YouTube videos, we both fell in LOVE with making florals from that point on. We called ourselves Petal Pushers! I loved the name and it represented the fun spirit we both shared for music, pop-culture, and, most of all, florals. My friend, Patricia even started an extension business Petal & Paperie, which is now flourishing on Etsy! Her passion for all things beauty, stationery, and gifts shine through in her work.

Over the years, I’ve taken on smaller projects here and there, whatever I can fit in with my full-time work schedule. Pre-pandemic it was really challenging to make it all work. I was only able to take on a few projects here and there when I had the time, but it wasn’t enough. I had a vision of what I wanted to do but was never able to dedicate enough time to fully execute it on the level I would have wanted.

Fast forward to 2020 and COVID is upon us….staying at home made me realize I needed to capitalize on this time to really get my business off the ground! No more excuses. I set my intentions for what I wanted to accomplish and have been setting out a plan to work towards them. I changed the name because I wanted a fresh start, and give this new brand a chance to really showcase my abilities. I also wanted to personalize the brand so it would hold me accountable for making sure the brand succeeds. I’m still working a full-time job, but now I make Stems by Sanae a priority and dedicate part of my day (everyday) to my business. Whether it’s learning new techniques, posting on social media, getting my e-commerce site live, organizing upcoming orders, or following up on inquiries…it’s bringing me so much joy and a sense of accomplishment. I say this to also help inspire anyone else who thinks they don’t have time to try something new or take on a new venture. You can!

What are your future plans for Stems by Sanae?

I’d like to become accessible to more people – meaning expand! I’m starting small, but have aspirations to grow this into a business on its own, allowing me to spread smiles through florals. My long term plan is to really give back to my community in any way possible. As of now, I’m thinking once I’m able to expand my business, I’d love to hire people in my local community to be part of this brand. One way I’m hoping to make an impact is by partnering with Homeboy Industries to expand their vast community support with a floral division! I’ve always believed in the work that organization does and the jobs they support to men and women in our communities and would be honored to be part of that.

Any Q&A's you usually get from new customers?

How can you get in touch with me? Right now through DM on Instagram. The e-commerce site is in the works for 2021!

Pricing? Medium bouquets start at $65+, Large bouquets are $85+. Prices will increase depending on the florals used. All bouquets come wrapped and include ribbon, and a note (if wanted).

Arrangements start at $120. The price will increase depending on the florals used and vase selection.

Do you deliver? YES! Happy to work out a delivery for you (needs to be flexible with current work schedule). Delivery is $10 in a 10-mile radius of central LA, and an additional $10 for every additional 10 miles.

Questions I’d advise any customer to be prepared to answer:

  • What type of florals are you looking to order? Bouquet or Arrangement (includes a vase).

  • Do you have any specific florals, styles, and colors in mind? I’ll often refer to my IG for visuals.

  • What is the occasion? And anything special you can share? Gives me an idea of who the recipient is and gives me a chance to add a personal touch where I can.

  • Can I include a note? YES!

  • Any instructions pertaining to delivery? (IE. Is this an apartment, parking, dogs, etc.)

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