MENDOCINO HERE WE COME

We are moving up north!

We are trilled to announce are we expanding to Mendocino, Sonoma and Lake County ! We are accepting weddings for 2018 in the Bay Area as well as up North for no additional travel fees. We will keep our studio in Oakland and we are opening a second studio in Willits, CA.

We are expanding for two reason, first we fall in love with Mendocino this summer. The quiet and laid back vibe is exactly what we need to get away from the hustle and bustle of SF and Oakland. The friendly people and the rad venues, equals a no brainer.  From Philo's Apple Farm to Ella's Farmhouse there is no better place to get married. We are so excited to work with vendors like Fern Foot, Lucille Lawrence and Holly Shankland. Second we are going to start farming our own flowers. 

Yes, we got our own farm! This winter we will be prepping our land to harvest are favorite flowers. We will be farming ranunculus, black tulips and so much more. We can't wait to watch our flowers grow from seeds to blooms and see them in the hands of our brides and grooms. 

Stayed tuned for all the new and exciting things!

Venue: Ella's Farmhouse (Mendocino Floral Design)

Photos: Holly Shankland

Looking to throw a Fiesta

Sometimes you just need to get some girlfriends and pals together for a fiesta. If you talk to anyone I know, they will tell you one thing about me, I love anything Mexican.

I took 3 months off a few years ago just to become a beach bum in Mexico. It was the best time of my life. Living outside of Sayulita, Nayarit was nothing but a dream. I would get up every morning take a few steps from my apartment to the beach and head off for a run and swim. After my morning exercise I would go back to my place make some coffee and breakfast. Oh, they have the best coconut cream for coffee. My best friend/roommate Sarah and Stella (her dog) would wake up and  meet in me in the kitchen to talk about what hidden beach or little town we were going to discover that day. We would pack our lunches and head out. After reading, sunbathing and swimming all day I would take another run, mediate and cook dinner. Sarah and I would watch the sunset on the beach or our rooftop with our rum and coke. We would talk about what wanted to do with our lives or dream about what we would buy on our trip if we had more than $10 a day to live. That was my happy place and I never talk like that. 

I started going to Mexico when I was only 5 years old. My grandparents lived in Mazatlan, Sinaloa and I would visit them at least once a year. My favorite memory is me hanging out on the beach in front of Chili Peppers. Chili Peppers became our family's go to restaurant. The owner had a son my age and we basically grew up together. I remember spending the Y2K New Years Eve at the Chili Peppers. They let me pour all of my own drinks behind the bar, even though I was only 15 (16 in 12 days). My grandmother was dancing on the table that night as well. Since both of my grandparents have past I have only been to Mazatlan once. I dream about it all the time. If I close my eyes I can remember the smell of the sheets in my room and I can hear the sound of the ocean from my window. 

By far Mexican food is my favorite food of all time. From the burrito trucks in Oakland to the home made carne papas in Mexico. Something about the spicy and salty flavors I can't control myself. But chips and salsa is my life. I could eat chips and salsa everyday. I am pretty sure I tried in High School when calories didn't matter. My step grandfather is Mexican and when I made him my pico de gallo he said he almost died. That was the best complement I have ever received. 

So, when I got an email from a few friends asking me to design some florals for a Mexican fiesta I said "YES". This was a no brainer for me. I'm pretty sure I have more Mexican accent decor in my house than most Mexican restaurants. 

The first flower that popped into my head was definitely bougainvillea. Sarah and I stayed in a neighborhood called bougainvillea when we were visiting Guadalajara. My second thought was straw flowers. Something about the colors and feel remind me of  the artisan of Mexico. I chose terra cotta vases because my grandmother only had them in her garden. In Mexico they have round/oval shapes, unlike our triangular terra cotta plant pots. The bright shades of pinks and yellow add a soft but fun touch to the cactus and cobalt blue glassware and accents.

This party was a dream come true. Studio DBI was phenomenal. I love her touch of churros. No party in Mexico is complete without some kind of sweet. Oh Na La created the coolest menus and fortune tellers. My lady Michaela for Michaela Joy Photography capture every detail with grace though she just got off a flight from France. We pulled off the fiesta of the year. 

Featured on Inspired By This

Inspiration for Days...

We are so excited our friend Dear Danger is getting married next month and we have the honor to design her flowers. The two are getting married at the Phoenix Hotel in SF which is the perfect place for a rock and roll groom to tie the knot to his fashionista bride. The venue is right on point with their home in Fresno, classic, retro, cool California. The groom's family runs a lemon farm and we want to add small touches of fruit leaves giving a little shout out to him and his family. Stay tuned for the real deal....

Jennifer + Scott

Jennifer and Scott were the lucky winners of an engagement Instagram giveaway! Tim and Michaela from Michaela Joy Photography capture the couple while they sipped on wine and walked through the beautiful vineyards of Liana Estates. The wonderful make-up artist Carrie Aldous of Napa kept Jennifer looking fresh all day long.

From disaster to FANTASTIC!

Simone + Mini

"After I mistakenly ordered flowers for the wrong day - Ash and Oak came through and in 2 hours I was getting married with the most beautiful bouquet ever in Muir woods. THANK YOU!" ~Simone

Simone a gorgeous bride married her beautiful partner on February 9th in Muir Woods. Simone and Mini live in New York city and choose to get married in the Bay Area where the two met.

Simone wanted a pageant style bouquet with dark green foliage and a few flowers to blend in with the surrounding forest. Unfortunately, it rained the day of and they enjoyed a small ceremony with a few close friends and parents.

They celebrated the weekend in Soma wine tasting and playing games in their Air BNB. These two know how to rock an intimate wedding!

Best of luck

xoxo

 

2017 Wedding Inspiration

Each year we try to envision what it going to be the next big thing in weddings. This year we really want to play with two new concepts. The first is the futuristic bride. She would wear block eye makeup, a structure dress, hair you can only find on the runway and her nails would be painted sliver. She wouldn't take sh*t from no one and her wedding would speak for itself.

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Our second concept is the complete opposite spectrum. This dream bride would be reliving the 70's but not like every boho wedding. This bride may have taken a few too many psychedelics and wants crazy neon colors, records and trippy prints.  This bride wants you to feel like you are at woodstock but on the tour bus. 

Elopement // Engagement //Anniversary // Vow Renewal

One of our favorite things to do is create one of kind bouquets for the smallest events. Most couples think a big wedding is important or at least they think the family thinks so. Why not, break away from all that drama and stress and ELOPE!

We will create you the stunning bouquet, floral crown and boutonniere you always wanted! You can even get crazy and let us "pimp your ride" with florals and foliage. Drive away from the beautiful City Hall to one of the best new hip restaurants in the city to celebrate the rest!

We will blow your mind, if you let us get funky and wild by styling your vow renewal with in all the best new trends. Maybe your first wedding was in the 90's or early 2000's and it was cool than but a little out dated now. We will take inspiration from you first wedding and add the prefect spin to your renewal!

Surprise your bride to be with the most unique wild bouquet to get her heart going than drop the question. Don't forget to bring the photographer too. You will want to catch these moment!

 

 

 

Our Wreath Workshop Success!

Last weekend we had 11 lovely ladies in our tiny shop in the festive mood. We hosted a wreath workshop and it was a success. Despite my sprained ankle everything was all I hoped and more. 

It was the perfect activity for any group of ladies or men celebrating a birthday, bridal party, shower or just a get together. Nine of the eleven ladies were celebrating one lucky birthday. It was one birthday to remember!                                                       

Our next workshop is December 3rd grab your ladies and gentlemen and come craft with us! Drink mimosa, coffee and eat pastries and celebrate!

 

Give FLOWERS not Pie

Every Thanksgiving I host my friends. I cook a vegan dinner that shocks most meat eaters. We eat all day and watch really bad Christmas movies. It's my favorite time of the year. 

Just one year I wish someone would bring me flowers. We always end up with a ton of pies and wine. I'm not complaining but it would be nice to have something new. I know it's because I am a florist but I would find it endearing. Maybe this year I will be surprised with a plant or flowers from my lovely guest. 
 

Don't forget to bring your host something beautiful. 

"The Better Life"

I have been living in the Bay Area for 6 years and 20 days and it has not been easy. I love San Francisco and Oakland but it's hard to survive. I started my journey in the bay waiting tables while I finished Fashion school. A few months in and I had to give up school to focus on work, so I afford my rent in the EAST BAY 

After many years of waiting tables I just couldn't fake another smile again. I was lost and soulless. I eventually realized I needed a creative outlet and floristry was calling my name. I soon started Ash + OAK while I continued to work a full time (40+ hour a week)job. I thought after two years of working in the service industry and doing florals I would be able to quit my day job and follow my passion. 

Well...... I was completely wrong. If you don't make a $100,000 a year or more you just can't survive. It all starts to get to you and you realize what is really important. All I want is to enjoy life and take it slower. But living here and being creative, working with your hands just doesn't exist. 

I have seen many of my friends try the same thing and most of they do not succeed. Many of them have left the bay in search of this "better life". To be honest most of them have found this better life in other cities such as Austin. Portland and New York. 

Why is our city so hard? I recently opened a store in the Tenderloin and I am face to face with the homeless every day. I take the time to chat with them or give them the snacks I keep at the store but it breaks my heart everyday knowing that this city just isn't looking out for anyone but it's self. 

This city thrives on drinking, eating out and anything app related. We have lost our souls to the Bay. You may find my soul deep in the water near Treasure Island or at least I hope. I spent many of my nights ubering from one bar to the next. Wasting what little money I have to fit in with my friends who made 3 or 4 times the amount I do. What did all those nights out get me? Nothing but more and more debt and a few great memories. 

I remember being in my early 20's and being better off. I lived in an amazing apartment in downtown Portland going to school and enjoying life. I had time to walk around and listening to music, time for hikes and time to sit and read a book (not an ipad). It's hard for me to believe I am 32 and can't sit and enjoy a $5 cup of coffee without feeling guilty. If it wasn't for credit cards I too would be homeless. 

I love my flower shop and what I do but I just don't think I am suppose to be here. I ponder how other florist do it. Our average income will never compare to the tech world or other profession is the bay. I would hate to leave my Bay Area family but I want a better life. 

A life where I can focus on my business and enjoy a backyard full of friends. A life where wondering outside was an options because my time was not so valuable. Where I could own my own house  and not worry about my rent control or making my landlord upset. A life that consist of art, taking classes and traveling. 

Why do we settle in SF?

 

Moments Like This......

Yes, I may look unhappy but I wasn't. I was one sleepy puppy. All that hard work and last minute stress was 100% worth it to see my dear friend Anna marry the love of her life. The cocktails next to the pool and the beach wind in our hair made this destination wedding one event I will never forget! We can't wait to go back!!!! 

Pietisserie, Ash + OAK and Arrow Art are celebrating Valentine's Day together!

This Valentine's Day, Pietisserie and Ash + OAK are celebrating birthdays! In celebration we have some very  special offers. Ash + OAK will have a pop-up shop in front of Pietisserie as they give out mini pie samples on Valentines day.  If you haven't made it over to Pietisserie yet, this is the perfect excuse. Their homemade pies are to die for and they are located just 1 block from lake Merritt. What better way to celebrate with a loved one then with pie, flowers and a picnic on the lake? We will have beautiful cards by Arrow Art, perfect for expressing your love and gratitude to that special someone. Want all this local, handmade goodness but can't make the trek? No worries! Simply have Ash + OAK delivery all three items to your door.