A few weeks ago at Dan & Erika’s wedding I had the pleasure of working with the beautiful silk blooms from Anika Steel at Prestige Flowers & Co. (formerly To Keep You Near). At first I didn’t even realise they weren’t real – they are really that good!
I was so impressed I contacted Anika for a bit of background on her business. Prestige Flowers & Co. is based in Melbourne, but can provide flowers to your wedding Australia wide.
Read on for all the info.
How long have you been in business and why silk flowers?
Prestige Flowers & Co. has been running for about four years now, I’ve been doing fresh flower arranging since I was 14, and moved to silk flowers when I realised their amazing quality. They are such better value, and we can work closely with Brides during the design process – she can approve photos of her bouquets before delivery, whereas fresh flowers need to be made on the day, and no one can guarantee exactly how they’ll look!
What sets your business apart?
Well, it’s exhausting for Brides to have to gather quotes for so many different things, and select which is right for her. I now offer flat rates for bouquets as the quoting time saved for both the Bride and I can be put towards designing her flowers, and is well worth it even though some bouquets will cost me a little more to make. Also, I’m releasing some exquisite bouquet ranges for hire over the next few months, so Brides will have the option of big, lavish bouquets for their wedding which would otherwise cost an arm and a leg to purchase. I decided to do this because it’s awful when Brides on a budget have to have cheap bouquets that look underwhelming in photos, and so far there’s been no middle ground.
Do you have any funny stories from your job?
Yes! Recently, Australia post took a little longer to deliver one of my Brides flowers than they should have, and it was closer to the wedding than we usually deliver. Worried that she’d be empty-handed for her wedding, I ran out and created a new bouquet package and sent the whole lot express at my own expense, and her first bouquets arrived the next day! It was a gorgeous package of big white bouquets with pastel pink and lilac roses throughout, so these are now the first package available in the hire range as our Bride was very gracious to ‘return to sender’!
What do you love about being a silk wedding flower specialist?
I love that I don’t have to worry about Brides having to keep putting their bouquets in water, water marks on dresses or her favourite blooms being unavailable at that time of year. I’m a perfectionist and knowing that a Brides flowers will look fabulous all day, is really important for me. Fresh flowers just aren’t good enough in most cases, and they usually look quite tired by the end of a wedding. I absolutely adore fresh flowers for at home in vases, but for a wedding they are just too risky. So many Brides message me after their weddings and say they are just to glad their bouquets are still lasting and they don’t have to throw their investment in the bin, so it’s wonderful knowing that something that now holds so many memories can be a treasured keepsake for my Brides.
What do you find challenging?
Wedding planning can be a stressful time for Brides and often, late payments do happen. Being a creative person I find I’m often too lenient in trying not to pressure the Bride because I want her experience with Prestige Flowers & Co. to be positive, when I myself am then falling short of income I have worked for. I’m re-assessing how to handle this and creating a clearer and easier system so that things are simple for my lovely Brides and myself so that everyone can enjoy the process.
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