Rosaprima’s Florist Spotlights are segments where incredible florists from around the world are recognized for their talents and provided a space where they may share their stories and insights. This segment proudly highlights the amazing Elle Crocker, a talented Seattle-based florist specializing in weddings and events. Her creations are full of awe and beauty, as are her story and insights.
What inspired you to become a floral designer?
I feel very fortunate that I have parents who helped shape my perspective and appreciation of nature. When I was a child, my mom would bring attention to the landscape with each changing season. We would talk about the brilliant colors of fall. She would point to the beauty and hope of flowering branches in spring, and we even found fascination in the shape and form of the bare trees in winter. My dad poured his heart into cultivating our vegetable gardens during the summer and showed me passion and dedication through his care and nurturing of the earth. They helped me to see nature as a gift to be grateful for. I have always been drawn to the arts, as many florists before me. I painted, sketched, and played the cello. I spent many years looking for a suitable medium to express myself creatively. Later in life, I finally recognized that which was with me all the time, flowers and all their beauty. I felt as if my lifelong search for that medium and expression led me to believe I could design with the very thing I loved all my life. Flowers are nature’s art, and it’s as if they had been waiting for me.
How would you define your florist style?
Flowers are simply beautiful. Using a paintbrush on a canvas, the painter captures the fleeting splendor of the flower as he sees it. The painting you create can outlive you just as a photo does. It will freeze forever for a moment of perfection. A floral designer takes something already perfect – brief as it may be – and shapes its beauty into a form that allows the viewer to see it through the designer’s eyes. The medium is perishable, and timing is crucial. It is my hope that all the ingredients I use get their moment to shine. Sometimes I will be inspired to design with a single flower for a minimal arrangement. And at other times, I will be inspired to create something lush and overflowing. My goal is to acknowledge my elements and honor them by bringing them more into the viewer’s sight. The wild stems, brilliant colors, textures, and heights all become the paintbrush in my hands. It is important to me that your eyes move through my entire design from the beginning to the end. That you are pleased by the subtle transitions and are inspired with a sense of calm. With all that being said, I hope that my style feels natural and as intentional as I feel when designing it.
How do flowers shape your perspective on the world around you?
After a challenging time in my life, flowers became a way to heal. It feels as if I can endlessly pour myself into what I am creating but, all the while, be filled up. I believe that this could be true for a lot of people. It is easy to see the flower in its glory and forget its journey to arrive there. Beginning with the spark of life in a tiny seed or the requirement to go through winter to bloom. What may appear to be destroyed or dead grows through dirt and deepens its roots. Fragile to the elements of wind and rain. The flower that survives, blooms. It becomes. And how beautiful it is to imagine this for ourselves! That each day we are “becoming.” Blooming. Flowers can help us to be aware of the world around us. We smell, study, care for, and design with them. We can connect with nature through this process, contemplate, and find joy outside of ourselves. I adore flowers for this reason. Looking at them, they can become our world. Even if just for a moment.
How have floral trends changed throughout time? (Main differences from earlier times in terms of colors, styles, etc.)
There are so many styles within floristry that it can be challenging to claim what exactly is trending. I have observed more people caring about sustainability, which has influenced the overall design of events. More than ever, you are seeing creatives drawing inspiration from nature, encouraging organic, loose, and whimsical designs. I also see many clients excited to create a memorable event for their guests rather than focusing on a timeless look for photographs. This allows color to play a significant role and enables florists to create art. Installations are gaining popularity. Instead of centerpieces being the primary focus like in the past, clients are hoping for a grand ceremonial arch, hanging flower chandeliers, or flower walls. Imagination and creativity are essential to modern floral design.
We love your work! Could you give us 3 tips to start making our own floral arrangements at home?
Thank you so much! I have found so much joy in designing with flowers and am in awe that I get to be in their presence and make a living. I believe many people would benefit from getting their hands in nature. My first bit of advice would be to encourage everyone to open their mind to what could be used for arranging. Grasses, greenery, branches, and berries. Often there are beautiful ingredients all around us. It can be a great way to practice and create very unique designs. One of the greatest tips I received when I started my education in floristry was paying attention to the color as I chose flowers. Perhaps you have a single flower with a yellow center and pink-tinged petals. Let this guide the palette you create for your arrangement. I would try to find elements with deeper shades of yellow or those with softer pinks that would help bring harmony and create a more impactful design. I also encourage people to try and create movement and dimension in their arrangements. You can achieve this by cutting stems at different lengths or having high and low sections to create negative space. This allows the eye to move through a piece with interest rather than figuring it out in one glance.
Which is your favorite RP Exclusive Variety?
Can I say all of them? Especially the Garden Roses? The uniqueness of each variety captures me with their luscious shape and petals. There are so many to love. I am also in awe of RP Moab. At first sight, she reminded me of the Caffe Latte rose with the bright pink guard petals. Once she opened, she had a large face with robust petals, colored an antique, warm mauve that would be a champion to help soften bright palettes. I loved getting to design with it.