Debra Prinzing

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SLOW FLOWERS Podcast: Meet Alicia Schwede, floral designer and editor of (Episode 118)

December 4th, 2013

Floral designer, educator, author-blogger and visionary, Alicia Schwede

Floral designer, educator, author-blogger and visionary, Alicia Schwede

FF-Profile-Pic-180x180If you’re at all active in the online universe, and if you’re a florist or simply passionate about good design, you probably already know about today’s talented guest, Alicia Schwede, creator of the popular FLIRTY FLEURS blog.  Alicia has more than a decade of floral design to her credit, beginning with her first wedding clients in the Bay Area, and later, her Denver-based studio Bella Fiori.  

In the past year, Alicia migrated from Colorado back to Northern California’s wine country, where she created the florals for many happy bridal parties this past wedding season. And now, due to life’s unexpected turns, she is here in the Pacific Northwest. 

The life of a studio designer is a lot like the life of a writer. You are pretty mobile, and you can take your talents with you when you relocate. That’s exactly what happened this fall, when Alicia followed her husband Chad for a work-related move. We met in person when she surprised me by showing up in a workshop I taught last month.  

Since then, we’ve had several great discussions about floral design and the state of the business. I’m excited to share our most recent conversation with you in today’s podcast. Learn more about Alicia, about her career as a floral designer, and what inspired her to launch, an online community for floral designers to gain ideas and inspiration from each other.  

A640In this podcast, we also discuss her beautiful book, Bella Bouquets, which is a compendium of more than 100 wedding bouquets, arranged by color theme, which is quite the perfect way to organize flowers. 

I was struck by this passage from the foreword to Bella Bouquets:

” . . . I still stop dead in my tracks when I spy a perfect peony, a gorgeous garden rose or the sweetest sweet pea at the market,” Alicia writes.  “I find great pleasure in sharing my love and affection toward flowers. This book, and the blog are just a few ways for me to share and connect with others while exploring the flower path ahead.”


To me, that flower path is right here, under our noses. It’s not on another continent, especially when locally-grown and seasonal botanicals are available to designers and flower lovers. A big believer in locally-grown blooms — and it’s no wonder, since she has many ties to California floral sources — Alicia shared four of her favorite American-grown arrangements for you to see here. “How funny is that?” she wrote in her email message accompanying these images. “Four bouquets representing three different states!” 

Anemones are grown by Stevens & Son in Arvada, CO (designed in CO)

Anemones are grown by Stevens & Son in Arvada, CO (designed in CO)


Tulips bouquet - all tulips and daffodils from Pike Place Market;  Washington grown (designed in WA)

Tulips bouquet – all tulips and daffodils from Pike Place Market;
Washington grown (designed in WA)


Bella Fiori Garden - from Alicia's garden, all of it!

Bella Fiori Garden – from Alicia’s garden, all of it!


 Bella Fiori Dahlias - mostly from Alicia's garden, Dahlias are CA grown (designed while in CA)

Bella Fiori Dahlias – mostly from Alicia’s garden, Dahlias are CA grown (designed while in CA)


If you're interested in learning more about Alicia and Flirtyfleurs, be sure to subscribe to her free 
newsletter. You'll also find details and registration information on Alicia's "Bridal Bouquet Workshop,"
which I'm hosting at my event space in Seattle's Pioneer Square on Feb. 1, 2014.

Thank you  for joining me in this episode of the SLOW FLOWERS Podcast with Debra Prinzing. Because of your support as a listener, there have been more than 3,500 downloads since July – and I thank you for taking the time to join to my conversations with flower farmers, florists and other notable floral experts.

If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto Itunes and posting a listener review.

Thank you, Alicia, for such inspiration! Until next week please join me in putting more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. 

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Hannah Holtgeerts. Learn more about her work at 

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3 Responses to “SLOW FLOWERS Podcast: Meet Alicia Schwede, floral designer and editor of (Episode 118)”

  1. Kasey Says:

    Another great interview Debra! I really appreciated hearing directly from Alicia, having been a follower of Flirtyfleurs for some time now. The podcast interview certainly provided me with a whole new dimension of what Alicia’s doing that I don’t think I picked up on from just the blog.

    Hearing your interviews really helps to authenticate the sense you have about those folks you only typically have a chance to know via an online social media platform. This podcast is truly a value to my week and industry knowledge.

    Keep up the great work.

  2. Debra Prinzing » Post » SLOW FLOWERS Podcast: Meet Holly Heider Chapple, a floral designer with deep roots in the garden and more! (Episode 123) Says:

    […] phone date. We realized our mutual connection is Alicia Schwede of Flirty Fleurs and Bella Fiore, a past guest on this podcast and a new transplant to the Pacific […]

  3. Debra Prinzing » Post » Episode 260: Blooming in Colorado with Robyn Rissman of BareRoot Flora and Alicia Schwede of Bella Fiori Floral Design and Flirty Fleurs Says:

    […] Listen to my December 2013 Podcast interview with Alicia here. […]

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