1. Tell us about your business! What is the history and background? How big is your team and how long have you been operating?
My name is Anna Canales and I am one of the lead designers with Thistle and Plume, a boutique wedding and events florist located in the Avondale neighborhood of Chicago. We are a small, woman owned business operated by three women: owner Grace Koh, our other co-lead designer Sabrina Severens, and myself. We all previously worked together and are not only coworkers, but also good friends.
Grace is a creative entrepreneur with a background in fashion design, and has been working with floral for the past decade in both San Francisco and Chicago. She has a passion for people and celebrating life’s special events. She started Thistle and Plume in 2018, and Sabrina and I joined the team in 2019. This will be our third wedding season. In addition to our core design team, we bring on additional freelance staff to help with set-ups and breakdowns during our busy season.
3. How many events have you done with City Hall and what did you love about these events?
We designed three events at City Hall last year and we look forward to more in the future! We love the open layout of City Hall with the large, gorgeous windows and thoughtful architectural details. We also love the floral mural. It’s a great, versatile color palette which can be used to inspire events of any season.
One of our favorite events with City Hall was Ani and Connor’s October 2019 wedding. It was a beautiful, luxurious event with greenery dripping from the ceiling, a lush staircase treatment, modern elevated centerpieces, and a statement ceremony arch. There were so many beautiful details involved in their wedding and it came together so perfectly with all the vendor teams involved. In addition to this wedding, we have also done a few corporate events that turned out really great. We love coming up with creative ways to meet our clients’ needs in the space, while working closely with the lovely City Hall staff to execute these events.
4. How much does seasonality play into your industry? Any tips for winter brides or brides on a budget? Any trends you see in the industry that you are obsessed with?!
Seasonality is huge for the floral industry and there are many variables involved when working with natural products. We love to embrace the best blooms that each growing season has to offer and support as many local and American-grown farms as possible. Even when we are limited due to geographic seasonality, our suppliers have established relationships with growers all over the world.
5. What tips do you have for brides when planning from a seasonal standpoint?
There are many great floral options for brides of all seasons! My biggest tip for brides is to find a color palette they love and work with a florist they trust. A talented florist will have the knowledge and ability to understand your style and translate your vision no matter the time of year. Although they may not be able to get every flower, your florist will be able to recommend alternatives that you will love.
Particularly with COVID-19, we are thinking forward to new trends. We know that weddings and events may need to be scaled back for a while but we also know that these events will become more special than ever when they return.
5. How has your team/business been impacted by COVID-19? What are you doing to strengthen your business and build a sense of support and community?
Along with the entire Chicago event industry, we have been sheltering in place since mid March. Everyone’s health and safety is our top priority at this time. We have also made helping our community a priority during this time. We have been busy sewing masks and have already donated several hundred masks to healthcare workers and other individuals who need them. We had limited access to floral for a while, but now that we are able to design again safely, we are working on a fundraising project to donate bouquets for frontline healthcare workers at Rush hospital.
6. Anything else you would like to share during these trying times?
Now more than ever, I am so thankful for our clients and fellow vendor friends. I am in a unique situation as a 2020 bride myself, planning during this pandemic for my own November wedding. I understand what our clients are going through right now, and it is heartbreaking to have to re-imagine a dream event you have spent months or years planning, for reasons out of your control. It is hard for everyone, both clients and vendors, during an already hard time. Personally, I have been blown away by the kindness and professionalism of others. Our community of Chicago vendors is working together and supporting each other like never before, and our clients have been amazing and supportive as well. I hope we continue to communicate honestly and frequently.
To connect more with Anna and work with Thistle and Plume for your future event please email firstname.lastname@example.org