Florist spotlight is a segment on Rose Stories dedicated to highlighting the work of floral designers and artists who outdo themselves every day by creating works of art with Rosaprima roses.
This month’s florist spotlight presents Pennsylvania -based & self-taught floral designer Marcy Almoney.
Tell us about your passion for floral design. How has it helped you through difficult times?
I grew up in the country surrounded by animals and nature. We had barns and fields with a stream. I loved to be outside all the time, no matter the weather. As I grew up, I fell in love with nature even more and more, spending most of my time outside. I remember playing in our stream and studying plant life, moss and sticks.
When I got older, while I was studying to become a nurse, I never quite got over my love for the outdoors and plants. I became an avid gardener making it my own therapy. A little later in life I put nursing aside during my second pregnancy and decided to open a market stand, selling fresh flowers as a side job. I fell in love with flowers and customers could sense it. They loved anticipating what I would bring every week. They started asking if I did weddings. I wasn’t quite sure of the process but I had worked in catering at one time and sort of understood the process. I asked if they would be patient with me, we could figure it out together.
So, without even intending it, I landed in the wedding world. I really like the format of creating unique floral arrangements for each individual client. I began studying styles, digging into books to learn more about trends and about the flowers I was using, and took design classes when I could. I’ve been designing flowers for about 20 years.
My passion for flowers developed into the business I have now. Who would have thought that my side job would accidentally create a whole other world for myself? A world where I could be in constant contact with nature.
What can I say about flowers? I just love how it makes me feel, and how it makes other people feel, when you walk into the room with a bouquet of flowers, people just light up. Flowers help everyone through difficult times. The gift of flowers just makes people happy.
Tell us a bit about Foster’s Flower Shop today.
Before the pandemic, the business was going to go back to its event floral design roots. We closed the retail shop making it a design studio. We were just going to focus on florals for events, but events quickly were canceled with the pandemic and we worked on the mass rescheduling of events. Some people changing dates 4-5 times. We officially closed the studio space and now currently work from a private studio.
During the pandemic we did do deliveries. We had Mother’s Day and Easter, and people couldn’t be together so they sent flowers. People love sending flowers as gestures of love and this becomes even more real when being forced apart, or isolated. The flower game was crazy, we couldn’t get flowers fast enough. The cards we were writing were heartbreaking; people wanted to stay near but were forced to stay afar.
Then, the situation finally became better and our focus shifted to micro weddings. Small, intimate gatherings were back and people were overjoyed. In need of beauty and celebrations.
Nowadays, events are coming back full swing, and we couldn’t be happier or busier. I created a small networking group with my other florist friends and we help one another out. Freelancing when we are overworked and need help. We’ve even helped deliver one another’s weddings. I definitely believe in community over competition.
Tell us about your relationship with Rosaprima.
I am a huge Rosaprima fan! I genuinely think it is a superior rose. The packaging and product is always immaculate and spectacular. I always ask for Rosaprima for my wedding orders and I love that there is a lot of care behind the roses and production from Rosaprima. With my sweet friend Carmel, from Mt. Lebanon Floral, we laugh about asking specifically for Rosaprima roses while putting in our orders too… we both are very picky and we just love having the best. We weren’t really sure if other designers do this (ask specifically for a grower) but when it comes to roses, Rosaprima simply offers the highest quality roses.
What can you tell us about the benefits of having flowers in life? How have they impacted yours?
I cannot imagine not having flowers in my life. Being a nurse, flowers make me feel good. I love their color, texture, and scent. I probably have 50 thousand images of flowers on my phone and am completely drawn to them.
During the pandemic, people were sad and in need of attention. Flowers were a real highlight to a lot of people, the sender and the recipient. Flowers help with mental health and well-being.
Did you know? Our shop is named after my son. I named him Foster because we foster positivity and creativity and love. We foster good humanities. I thought it was the perfect name for our shop because the word foster alone, is who we are! Our business is popular because we transmit our love and passion through our work.
When you visited us at Foster’s Flower Shop, you saw us working with our many buckets and roses all on display. We did not have a back part because we wanted people to see us working. Clients would sometimes be passing by and just stop to watch us work. I think it is also mood-lifting and relaxing for them to see the process behind creating floral designs. The only conundrum is that sometimes clients would ask if they could buy the designs we’re working on. They’re usually for weddings and not for immediate sale!
The thing is that people love flowers because they make them feel good. It is really the bottom line for me.
What inspires you to create such beautiful designs?
It’s hard to describe exactly what or where it comes from. Flowers have a texture and form that kind of speaks to you. I try to figure out their language, the movement, texture, what naturally goes together. Mother Nature makes beautiful combinations, I try to emulate that look. Naturally making things come together. The outdoors is definitely one of my inspirations. When I am kayaking, I look at how trees and ferns naturally grow. When gardening, I learned that sometimes things don’t necessarily need to line up or look perfectly symmetrical. I like to translate this into my designs.
I don’t really know all of the elements of design from the aspect of an art degree, but I instinctively know how to work on designs that are aesthetically pleasing; naturality is necessary for floral designs. To look seamlessly beautiful. I don’t always focus on what’s trending, because at Foster’s we always want to give trends a twist and go beyond what is popular at the moment, incorporating certain elements that we like but working under our philosophy always.
Tell us about your latest projects with Rosaprima. What did you like the most about each variety, do you have a favorite one?
Soul is new and I haven’t used it much but I definitely will. I love it because of its creamy color and large size!
RP Aspen is my go-to. It is a great performer. It doesn’t bruise easily and also looks great. You can also get two different looks out of it. Its natural look or reflex it to open it and give it its second look full and ruffled. Its a great reflexer.
I am also very excited about Dark X-Pression – I am amazed by its color and look. I generally love garden roses!
Thank you, Marcy, for an insight into your work and mind as a floral designer! We are absolute fans of your work and vision, and we can’t wait for our upcoming projects and collaborations.