Colorful, outrageous, unique, and drop dead gorgeous, you can spot a bouquet from Lina Floral a mile away. Her unusual usage of flowers and color create inspiring arrangements making the ordinary twelve stems of roses seem like child's play. We took a minute to pick owner Wendy Melrose's brain about her career, inspiration, and the perks of being a floral designer. 

S: When did you know you wanted to be a floral designer?

WM: I did not set out to become a designer. I got my degree in English with the intention of becoming a teacher. I fell into designing when I did the floral for my sister and another friend's wedding. From there people started calling me and I started thinking I may have a viable business doing something I loved. 

S: Did you ever go to school to study floral designing?

WM: I am basically self taught, however, there is nothing like the creativity of European floral and in 2005 I took my top designers to Paris and we took a course taught by the masters of European floral. It was a fabulous experience and I still speak with some of my fellow students that are from all over the world. This Summer I am hoping to take a class in London for some new and exciting inspiration. 

S:Your bouquets are quite colorful and unique, what inspires you?

WM: Anything can inspire me, wonderful vessels, a walk in the park, a brightly colored shirt, or interiors of restaurants and houses. Truly you never know when an idea will pop into your head. 

 S: We’re lucky to live in Central California where flora seems to be overly abundant; do you always keep fresh flowers at home?

WM: We live in a fabulous area for flowers.  Our zone is so temperate we can grow just about anything. I will say my husband is the gardener in our family and I just enjoy the fruits of his labor. For the most part I rarely bring flowers home with me from our shop. If I want something fresh I love going into our yard and picking our lovely roses, hydrangea, lilac and hellebores.  He does try to grow peonies as well but there are little more temperamental and we have not mastered those yet but continue trying.

S: What is your favorite part of being a floral designer?

WM: I love creating. I love when someone is throwing a party and they are all excited about the food, the theme or the special person that it is for.  I usually get caught up with them and want to create a floral arrangement that will make it all that more special. Flowers really make people happy.  Even when we do flowers for some of life’s sadder moments, they bring a sense of peace and serenity.  They may also bring a sense of joyfulness that captures the person’s spirit.

S: What is your dream job or commission with flowers?

WM: Well, my dream job would be exactly what I am doing now except in Alsace or Germany.  But let’s face it if I actually achieve that I would rather not be working at all and just drinking wine with all my friends that would come and visit me.

S: What advice would you give someone who is interested in getting into the floral industry?

WM: This business like any other has ups and downs.  There are a lot of very early mornings 4am; there is a lot of schlepping and cleaning. There is also a certain amount of praying that the phone will ring and someone wants your flowers.  Having said all that there is such satisfaction in making people happy and working with lovely things. 

S: What is your favorite flower?

WM: Everyone says this but whatever season we are in I always think the flowers are my favorite.  I must say that if I really had to choose, spring flowers like lilac, tulips, ranunculus and garden roses are fabulous.  No surprise there since we are in Spring!

To contact or order your own beautiful arrangement from Lina floral call 831.421.0171 or visit her at www.linafloral.com