We sat down with Joanna Bernardini of Snapdragon Florals to learn about what brought her to become a floral design
Can you tell us a little bit about the moment you realized you wanted to do floral design?
Probably like most artists, you sorta fall into something. Growing up, I knew I wanted to do something related to art. I contemplated culinary school but ended up studying interior design. Quickly I realized I needed something more tangible. My event planning classes at the Kemmons Wilson School led me to wedding planning which brought me to floral design. Now that I think about it, floral design brings all of those other passions together.
How did you learn your necessary skills?
I realized too late in college to take any design classes or transfer somewhere with a program so I worked with some independent florists and local flower shops for 3 years. In 2018, I spent 2 months working for AESME studio in London.
Are there specific opportunities or challenges that focused your career?
Initially I never planned on starting my own business. I just couldn't find a style of design that felt authentic to me. There were a lot more traditional or contemporary designers when I started Snapdragon. I think that's changed since then so the new challenge has been to fine tune and individualize my style.
Who do you consider as your most influential mentor?
Do you have a favorite flower or plant?
I'd say Tulip for everyday and Frittilaria for special events.
How do you measure success in your work?
My hope is to show Beauty. All I can do is steward the gifts I have been given.
What artist inspires you the most?
So many! I love Monet because I'm into lilypads. Maggie Russell is my local favorite - quirky and pensive
As a kid what did you see yourself doing as a career?
Haha I thought being a vet or a nurse. Quickly learned science wasn't my strongsuit.
What told you ‘this is the life for me’? (and when)
I think when I was England. I knew I liked designing before but while I was with Aesme, I just felt at home. Flowers or rather Beauty was a way of life, not just a project or a job.
What compromises have you had to make in order to succeed? Has it been worth all of your effort?
Weddings means working weekends. I also work out of my home which means it's constantly messy. I really enjoy what I do but it's challenging to know when to hustle and when to be off, especially since my home
is a blurred line of work and pleasure.
What do you love about being a creative in Memphis?
Memphis may not have the most beautiful flowers in the country but there's such a huge community of creatives! I have found so many friends that I seek advice, encouragement, and inspiration from. Arrow Creative has help connect me with others.
Joanna Bernardini started Snapdragon Floral after working for Aesme Studio in London. She draws inspiration from her travels, books like the Narnia series, her favorite movies - anything Jane Austen - and from her daily walks with her dog Desperado. She's currently feeling the 1970's vibe with its familiar mustard yellow, burnt orange, and mushrooms 🍄
Join Joanna's Galentine's Day Floral Arrangement class