Friday, March 20, 2009

snap and chat with Semia

Although we've worked with Semia quite a few times a we've never actually met the lady behind the fantastic florals... she always seems to elude us. I got a brief glimpse of her in February at Karalyn and Erik's wedding... but not enough to satisfy my curiosity, so naturally a snap and chat was in order... Hey, wait a minute! Maybe she's trying to hide from us?!

How cute is this photo? Here's our first impression of Semia as she welcomes us into her store...

TA- DA! That's more like it!

Semia opened her shop in North Providence a few years ago... and they are constantly cooking up beautiful arrangements....

...and bouquets. Semia is REALLY busy, because she's a hard worker for one- and secondly the brides are insane for her because her work really stands out. It's young, and fresh, and sweet - just like Semia herself.

How would Semia define her style? "More is more! Abundant is my philosophy!"

I asked Semia if she felt brides were hesitant to try funkier designs... "It really depends on the bride, but I like to surprise people! For instance, when I did Karalyn's wedding I found something that I REALLY wanted to add to her table arrangements (the hanging crystals).

I called her and said, I've found this thing.. it's you, I know it's you... you have to have it! And, she trusted me.. and she LOVED it!"

It's that kind of inspiration, with a little bit of innovation and edge that sets Semia apart!

Semia adds..."I get two kinds of brides basically, the really edgy funky brides who aren't afraid and want things like black feathers in their bouquet- and then also the English garden traditional bride who wants her florals to look really rich. The best part is when someone really trusts you and doesn't need to know every color and shape, but they know what they generally want and want me to run with it! That's my favorite kind of bride."

Of course every bride wants to know that her florist is using the freshest flowers...

It doesn't get much fresher than growing them yourself does it? Semia's parents own a farm- and Semia has grown a cutting garden there since she was a teenager. Now, Semia's mom has taken over to help her- and in the summer they grow Dahlias, Sunlowers, and Peonies to name a few... as well as herbs which all make their way into Semia's creations.

Talk about a personal touch!

Semia's favorite season for flowers? Spring! "I love the flowering branches and lilac, peony and hydrangea!"

I think Trish had the best question of the chat... where does the name Semia (Se-mee-ah) come from?

"It's a family name actually. It's Lebanese, from my father's side. It's a tradition in my father's family that if your first child is a girl, you name her Semia. There are quite a few Semia's in my family!"

And what does the name mean?

"It means a jewel or a treasure."


Semia was a bride herself last year. Everyone was wowed by the beautiful photos of all her amazing flowers which appeared in the latest issue of Southern New England Weddings (pick up a copy!) I was curious about her experiences being on both sides of the bouquet!

"It took a week of solid designing to to it all. It was a labor of love- I wanted to work here every day leading up to the wedding. My fiancee kept asking me to please go easy... but I just said, you are going to lose this one hon! "

"I got engaged in January- and we set our date for May- so my wedding was planned in 5 months! I wanted a spring wedding and it was really important to me to use key pieces from my mother's yard. I used a vase of dogwood branches and a vase of white lilac to bring in a touch of home. I was picking flowers in my mother's yard two days before the wedding."

"Every table at my reception was different, they didn't have to fit a formula. I told my staff- this is what I want... and they just ran with it... and I got to be surprised!"

"I actually got to set up for 2 or 3 hours and then went right from the Glen Manor to my rehearsal! It was everything that I wanted. We filled every square inch, but if I could have added more floral I would! It was a dream come true."

So what's in store for Semia this year? Just working hard... and making the world a more beautiful place it seems... Trish and I are just so glad we finally got to sit down with Semia and make a new friend. She's a lot like us... passionate about her craft and serious about being a good business woman out in the world. It's reassuring to chat with her and realize that even though our product may be different our principals and practices are really similar.

The last thing I asked Semia was, what is the latest trend for brides? What are we going to be seeing out there?"

"Diamonds are the new shells!" she says laughing. (Semia introduced those fun over sized fake diamonds sprinkled over tables at the reception-see photo above).

Spoken like a true jewel!

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