• Frank Manzano

The Melodies are Still There, We Just Have to Find Them: Part 2

In last week’s blog, we wanted to highlight some of the amazing things florists all over the country did to bring light to their respective communities. We spoke to Jason Vorse of Pollen Floral Works who created an amazing public installation in order to bring a little bit of hope and peace to the tight knit community of Castle Rock, Washington. This was only one of many acts of kindness that have occurred in the floral community within the past few weeks and it truly showed that there are still beautiful melodies to be found and shared in this strange time.

Now, with much of the country sheltering in place, it seems that the world is turning slower and slower. The days feel longer and the cabin fever is more than likely beginning to bubble at the surface. For some, the idea of more time at home is a dream come true, and for others, it is a difficult predicament to be in. I have come to learn that many florists continually feel the need to create, therefore almost certainly fall into the latter category rather than the former. This is not to mention that with coolers across the country being empty, fresh flowers may seem like a distant memory. This thought alone can be exhausting and troubling for the creative mind. As sad as all this may seem, it makes me all the more thankful to have spoken with Frankie Peltier, founder of Festive Couture Floral in St. Louis.

From the get go I knew Frankie was quite the character. I had to laugh when I texted him to see if he would be interested in an interview and his response was, “Sure. Im stuck at home lol.” Although, as we began our video conference, I could sense the slightest bit of restlessness in his demeanor, I was refreshed by his candor, honesty, and his resilient spirit. Being a major player in the luxury event planning community of St. Louis, I could hear the heartbreak in his voice when talking about the cancelled events that he and his team would no longer be carrying out. Despite all of this, there is one key thing I learned from Frankie, and that is to never let yourself stop creating.

After speaking a little about his background and business with Festive Couture, we quickly got on to the subject that drew me to Frankie in the first place, remaining creative without the immediate access to fresh product. Having seen some of the work he was doing with leftover supplies and dry product from his shop and home on Facebook, I was eager to discuss his design style as well as the source of his inspiration. “My husband laughs at me because I always have to keep my hands busy”, he said with a smile. It was clear that this was why Frankie saw his current situation as an opportunity to head to his studio and “dig through all the crap you’ve had for years”. After loading up his truck full of supplies he has kept himself busy by creating wire structures, wreaths for neighbors, as well as viewing his materials with a fresh perspective.

While I was so inspired by his ingenuity, I was also struck by one of the main reasons for his resilience, which was a love for his team. As many of the events they had scheduled for the future have been cancelled, much of the staff he employs have unfortunately been out of work. He has been using his at home designs as a way to keep his team involved, inspired, and engaged. This alone is a testament to the power of ingenuity, resilience, and the creative spirit. It also reminded me of how there is still so much strength in the floral community. Just as with Jason Vorse and the Castle Rock installation, florists have the ability to empower people and bring them closer to one another, even in the most difficult of times.

In closing, I hope the ingenuity and resilience displayed by Frankie Peltier inspires you as well as the entire creative community to persevere and find the melodies even though it seems like they are few and far between. Don't be afraid to experiment with new methods and maybe even challenge yourself to focus on another creative aspect of your life that might not be connected to the flower world. And lastly, don’t ever stop creating and don’t ever give up.

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