Episode 552 (Part One): Teresa Rao of Belle Pétale designs with local flowers, floriography and French inspiration
April 6th, 2022
Today, I have two interviews and this is Part One. First up, a delightful mother-daughter design duo shares their story. Owner of Belle Pétale, a Seattle-based studio, Teresa Rao is an avid gardener and flower lover who in 2020 transitioned from a 16-year corporate training career to floristry. She has based her boutique design studio at home, where she can clip foliage and blooms from her garden while also parenting Priya, her eight-year-old daughter.
The studio name, Belle Pétale, comes from a childhood love of petals (Teresa and her sister were frequent flower girls for relatives’ weddings) and a passion for all things French. Teresa’s home interiors reflect her floral styling and a recent kitchen remodel was designed with her floral studio in mind. As it turns out, Teresa and Priya recently invited me to tea, so Priya and I could celebrate our shared birthday, February 28th. I asked them to design their signature floriography posies after tea. We had so much fun and I can’t wait for you to watch along.
Thank you so much for joining our conversation. And thank YOU to Teresa and Priya for sharing their mutual love of and talent for floriography! If you have a copy of Where We Bloom, the book we produced last year to showcase creative floral spaces owned by 37 Slow Flowers members, you saw Teresa in the pages, with photography by Missy Palacol.
In that chapter, she told me, “I want to make sure I’m supporting farmers who are growing domestic flowers. I always share where my bouquets are sourced and I use hashtags like #supportyourlocalflowerfarmers, drawing attention to the mission that my business is part of while educating my clients and the public about why it’s important.”
And now, with her new studio space at a neighboring property, Teresa will soon have a much-expanded Belle Petale cutting garden to help her keep things hyper-local.
Here’s some timely news! Coming up this Friday, April 8th, at 9 am Pacific-Noon Eastern, you can join the Slow Flowers Member Virtual Meet-Up on Zoom! Enjoy a Greenhouse Tour with our special guests, Chet & Kristy Anderson of The Fresh Herb Co.
For more than two decades, The Fresh Herb Co. has produced Colorado-grown flowers, plants and herbs for the region’s Whole Foods floral departments. Based in Longmont, Colorado, the 15-acre farm grows gorgeous sunflowers, elegant lilies and peonies, bodacious hanging baskets and bowls of fresh herbs that delight market shoppers each weekend.
Chet and Kristy Anderson are featured in The 50 Mile Bouquet, written 10 years ago by Debra Prinzing and still in print. We’ll visit this gifted flower-farming couple for a virtual greenhouse tour narrated by Chet, and enjoy a peek at their prolific early-season crops, including lilies galore, hanging baskets and culinary herb planters. Come with your greenhouse growing and marketing questions!
Thank You to our Sponsors
This show is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 880 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms. It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.
Thank you to our lead sponsor, returning for 2022, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $10 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.
Thank you to Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Formed in 1988, ASCFG was created to educate, unite, and support commercial cut flower growers. It mission is to help growers produce high-quality floral material, and to foster and promote the local availability of that product. Learn more at ascfg.org.
Thank you to Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-owned cooperative committed to providing the very best the Pacific Northwest has to offer in cut flowers, foliage and plants. The Growers Market’s mission is to foster a vibrant marketplace that sustains local flower farms and provides top-quality products and service to the local floral industry. Visit them at seattlewholesalegrowersmarket.com.
Thank you to Red Twig Farms. Based in Johnstown, Ohio, Red Twig Farms is a family-owned farm specializing in peonies, daffodils, tulips and branches, a popular peony-bouquet-by-mail program and their Spread the Hope Campaign where customers purchase 10 tulip stems for essential workers and others in their community. Learn more at redtwigfarms.com.
Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast is a member-supported endeavor, downloaded more than 834,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.
If you’re new to our weekly Show and our long-running Podcast, check out all of our resources at SlowFlowersSociety.com and consider making a donation to sustain Slow Flowers’ ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right at slowflowerspodcast.com.
I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Show & Podcast. The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem, one vase at a time.
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