Did Leo’s acceptance speech at the Oscars get you thinking about the planet again? If so, you’re not alone. It definitely got us thinking about ways to reduce our global impact, particularly when it comes to events. While recent years have seen a major shift in consumer habits and corporate responsibility to support more local, sustainable options, there is still so much room for improvement in planning mindful events. For example, have you ever stopped to think about where the florals for your beautiful table centrepieces came from? Yes I’m talking about the ones with all the bright, exotic florals. Don’t worry, we hadn’t really thought about it either until we met this month’s Featured Supplier.
Introducing Rogue Florist, a new age floral company dedicated to redefining the way we think about beautiful arrangements. With the goal of shifting our focus away from imported exotic florals that require significant travel and carbon emissions before reaching our events, Rogue is committed to finding the beauty within our own backyard.
Read on for our interview with Kerri Pfeiffer, the owner and inspiration behind Rogue Florist…
Eventsage (ES): Tell us a bit about your company and what you specialize in.
Kerri Pfeifer (KP): I run a small floral company dedicated to the use of locally grown and foraged flowers. My aim is to bring focus to the beautiful product we have growing right here in Vancouver, and in doing so decrease the demand for imported flowers. I would say I specialize in a romantic and garden style of floral design, with a little wild and weediness to it. While I love to do florals for weddings, the types of events that I attract tend to be companies who value locavore culture and sustainability.
ES: How did you come up with the idea for the company and what inspired you to start the business?
KP: We started the business when I went on maternity leave, so I could keep flowers in my hands and still feel like myself while everything was changing so quickly in our lives. I’d been a florist for 5 years previously, and I just wanted to do something that was different (I had been in a European style shop before) and evocative, and take control of my own environmental footprint. There are a few great companies in the city (like Olla!) that really inspire me with their initiative and responsibility, and I definitely look up to her in that department.
ES: What’s the meaning behind the name Rogue Florist?
KP: I thought of it because we were foraging a lot, my husband and I, getting ready for our first pop up shop, which in itself is a bit of a roguish event. We like to keep it wild and weedy, so the name kind of just fit.
ES: What does it mean to forage your own florals?
KP: It basically means heading into nature in search of branches and other greenery to add into floral arrangements.
ES: In a city with tons of great florists to choose from, what sets you apart from others?
KP: I try to use wild and unexpected elements that surprise people. Using locally abundant flowers and foliage is a fun way to showcase the beauty all around us that people look right past in their environment. The style that I have cultivated is a blend of the garden style that’s become quite popular these days, with a good measure of restraint, as I had a traditional European design background before striking out on my own. I think that the American (and Canadian!) style has shifted to one that is very big and crazy, even erratic at times, and it’s not really my thing personally.
ES: Tell us a bit about your decision to partner with local stores and cafes to sell your florals rather than owning a storefront of your own.
KP: I always knew that I would not really want to open my own store. I feel that it’s easy, for me, to feel stagnant and uninspired when I am going to the same place every day. I often end up making the same bouquet basically, day in and day out. It keeps things interesting, trying different spaces and neighbourhoods out, and I can see how the neighbourhoods and markets react to my offering. Plus, it’s been great for networking!
ES: What are some of the pieces you love to create for events?
KP: I am really digging the new “installation” trends, with a lot of suspended flowers and greenery, and building archways and flower walls. I love doing sweet compote arrangements as much as the next florist, but it’s fun to break it up and do something different for a change.
ES: Tell us about the coolest corporate project you’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.
KP: I was flattered to be asked by Farmacie, the non-profit focused on raising money for local farms and other food-related charities, last year, to decorate their long table dinners. Using only hyper local and foraged flowers to create a tablescape that resonated with their patrons and also could easily be shifted to fit family style platters of food. It was fun and challenging and rewarding!
ES: What kinds of budgets can you work with?
KP: My minimum charge for an event is generally about $500, with some exceptions being in certain non-profit situations.
ES: Since we’re heading into spring and then wedding season, we’d love your expertise on upcoming trends in florals. What can we expect to see a lot of? Is there a particular style your clients seem to be gravitating towards?
KP: I’m definitely getting a lot of requests for the Pantone colours of the year (which I love!) Rose Quartz and Serenity, a smokey blue-lavender. I feel like people are starting to ask for flowers with a bit of restraint, a bit less wild and more controlled, which is great. We’re also getting a lot of requests for flower walls and backdrops for selfies, little photo stations for your guests to use, and that’s been fun as well.
ES: To wrap up… What’s next for Rogue Florist?
KP: Wedding season is getting into full swing, which is taking up a lot of my time and energy in the best way possible! I am also looking into offering a standing order service for restaurant and retail clients.