Photographs and interview by Angela Karen
Name: Suzanne Martenson
Hometown: Fort Payne, AL
Occupation: Event stylist and floral designer
As a floral designer, you have adopted other hats such as wedding designer and holiday designer. Where does someone with your expertise go for inspiration or new ideas?
In a world filled with Pinterest and Instagram, there are many inspirations all around us, but, I find most of mine at the local nursery full of gorgeous plants, a junk store full of all kinds of treasures, or the farm I was raised on. God provides me with inspiration daily with the beauty he surrounds us with. If you look close enough, even a weed can make a floral arrangement beautiful.
Could you tell us what prompted you to become a floral designer?
As a child, I loved gardening with my father and helping my grandmother in her flower garden. I loved creating flower arrangements to put in the house. To this day, I always keep fresh flowers in my own home as an adult. They simply make me happy.
What are your favorite flowers?
My favorite flowers are personal to me, not necessarily ones that I work with on a daily basis. I love daffodils, mostly because there are thousands on the farm back home; their sweet smell reminds me that spring has arrived. I also love dahlias; they are dear to my heart because of a local grower who lost his battle with cancer last year. His love for this flower will always stay with me, as well as his kind spirit. These are both native flowers to this region, so I can have them in my own back yard.
What’s something that your friends or clients would be surprised to learn about you?
I just finished working on wrist corsages and boutonnieres for a local dance. I love making each one unique and styled around the date’s dress. I often meet with brides; it’s such a joy to hear each story and to help plan the day that she has dreamed of as a child.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to improve their flower arranging skills?
There has been a lot of interest for floral design classes. So my thought is what better way to have a fun girls’ night out than to learn simple design techniques that you can use in your own home? I am planning to begin classes this spring for groups of five to seven.
Connect with Suzanne Martenson by calling (205)997-5189 or visit her website, stems-styles.com.