Created by TINA BARKLEY and KAREN MARSHALL (co-founders), Fleurs de Villes combines the love of flowers, local design talent, and bespoke, utterly unique displays, for experiential events like none other. They delight, entertain and inspire the communities in which they are placed.
Connecting with each city theylaunch in, Fleurs de Villes partners with top local florists, designers, growers and nurseries, to showcase that city’s world-class talent and create beautiful displays of art. These floral artists work with Fleurs de Villes to create engagement sharing these stunning works of art with the local communities.
This interview showcases the ‘behind the scenes’ story of Fleurs de Villes.
Tell us about Fleurs de Ville – How it got started and why?
Karen and I both have a passion for flowers but we are not florists – we are marketers and event professionals. We decided to marry what we know about business with our passion for flowers and hence Fleurs de Villes was born. We are building a global floral lifestyle and event brand. Over the last five years our name has become synonymous with engaging, floral luxury. We bring flowers to the people and pop up in public places in partnership with LOCAL florists. They are artistic. For most of the public, they have never seen floral artistry as they do in our shows.
Where was the very first event and why did you choose the venue?
Our very first show took place on our doorstep, in Victoria, British Columbia Canada – the flower capital of Canada. Our second show was in our hometown of Vancouver.
What were some of the challenges in the beginning?
All new businesses are challenging and for us, in the early days, probably understanding flowers, their potential, their lifespan, and communicating with florists was the biggest challenge in that we ourselves are not florists. The technical aspects and timing and logistics are something that we have honed over the years but our show looks very much the same as it did in those early days!
How do you choose venues for your events?
We choose beautiful, high traffic locations or quite frankly, the locations come to us! A Fleurs de Villes show needs the right central location so we can invite thousands to see it, it needs to be accessible, and ideally have a lovely setting, a luxury reputation, a cachet that when paired with FDV we are able to create a must-see experience in that city.
What has been the most inspiring / surprising thing to come out of your events?
The joy. The joy on peoples’ faces as they stop in their tracks at seeing something so spectacular. The joy of the florists who get to do something they don’t normally get to create – out of their comfort zone or beyond the bouquet. The joy we get from just interacting with the public and telling stories. Everyone has a flower story. It’s so satisfying!
Please share the locations of past Fleurs de Villes events?
Over the last 5 and a half years we have done 40 events in 18 cities from Vancouver to London, NY to Toronto, Tatton Park in the English countryside to Seattle. This year we will be in Australia and South Africa.
What’s coming next (can name a current event and/or upcoming)?
Our next show is in New York at Hudson Yards Oct. 8-17th.
What question would you like to answer that has not yet been asked?
Here are a few added tidbits!
Some of the creations for our shows take weeks to prepare and thousands and thousands of blooms. The preparation for the creations is usually quite short term as well as our florists need to wait to find out who their brand partner might be which is usually just a month before the show.
As with many small businesses this past year and a half, Fleurs de Villes is proud to help promote local florists wherever we go as they’ve all had a tough go with no events, weddings etc.
This year, we decided to add a cause to our journey…that of breast cancer research. During the pandemic, many charities lost their channels for fundraising. While our platform was able to still operate in various cities, we decided to help champion a cause that has been very close to so many, including many of our florists, our friends and family.
How can our readers connect with you?
Please follow us on instagram @fleursdevilles or on Facebook @fleursdevilles Our website is: www.fleursdevilles.com
Featured image: Amie Bone’s gorgeous mannequin on a swing from our Covent Garden Show in 2018