diy

LISTENING

When I started Ash + Oak I had no idea what I was doing. I briefly looked over the flower department at a co-op in my early 20's. So when I started Ash + Oak 5 years ago, I used my customer service skills to grow my business. For today's tip, I am writing about asking questions and listening. 

I take pride in any work I do and as a result, I take every job I have very seriously. When I was in the restaurant industry, I was always one of the best servers. I'm not tooting my own horn, but I was damn good.  One day I had a guest explain to me why they loved me. It was eye-opening. They felt I truly listened to their wants and needs. I read their body language, predicted most of their wants and listened to each individual at the table. If you have ever eaten out, you usually ask the server what the most popular item is. Most servers will list off a few of their favorites or the house special, well I asked questions about the guest. I would find out if the guest had food allergies, what they loved and hated to eat at home. Once I asked enough questions and listened to their answers, I would narrow down what they would love. 

I took this same concept and brought it to the floral world. I ask clients what they loved about other weddings they attended, what the couple or close relatives were allergic to and what means the most to them. I love to bring in elements that tell a story about the couple through flowers or accent decor.

Last year, our favorite wedding was for a groom that was in a band and the bride who owns a vintage clothing store. They live on a lemon farm in a beautiful mid-century modern home in Fresno. We used a combination of mid-century vases, stardust gold decor pieces, and records as table accents. We had a calligrapher design the welcome sign on a guitar. Every guest that walked into the venue mentioned they felt as if they walked into the couples house but better. Asking the right questions and listening (truly listening) to the answers will deliver the best results. 

Danger + Devon's wedding was featured in the New York Times. Visit to view their love story.

CORSAGE TIPS

Thanks to Passion Sue Flowers we have revamped the world of corsages. They are more comfortable and stylish than your high school corsage. Trust me the moms and grandmothers are so impressed. They rave on and on about them. 

Tip number one: Use Oasis Floral Glue. I have tried every type but the Oasis brand is the best!!!

Tip number two: Adorn the flowers the night before but attach them right before your done for the evening. Use flat flowers such as ranunculus, cosmos, hellebore, and silver brunia.  

Tip number three: Double check them first thing in the morning and glue the loose pieces.

Tip number four: Keep them from falling over during delivery. We keep them together and use tissue paper to support them. 

Tip number five: Attach a cute name tag!

Photography by: Jess Rankin, Holly Shankland

FLORAL TIP

Our biggest secret is forging. We love to forge through the woods, neighborhood and abandon parking lots. You find the best stuff and unusual things you can't find at the market.  Smokebush is one of our favorite foliage to use and it's bloomin all over the East Bay. You may notice we use a lot of dried foliage as well, 90% of the dried foliage is from forging while we are taking long road trips. My boyfriend hates when I stop and forge in the middle of the highway.  Not only is he worried about my safety, which is sweet but our car is constantly filled with dead leaves and dirt. That's the price my loved one has to pay. #floristlife 

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Established 2014 in Oakland, California