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Philadelphia's most creative floral studio

Brides Magazine

We were so excited to see the new issue of Brides MagazineSullivan Owen designs are featured twice and our fun classes at Philadelphia Flower School are also featured!

I loved doing these designs for the gorgeous Hollywood Regency shoot. Love that cake!

One of our gorgeous centerpieces was featured with other Philadelphia vendors. Photo by Lorraine Daley.

Philadelphia Flower School was highlighted as a fun bachelorette idea. Check out our upcoming classes here.

Philadelphia Wedding

I really like my mail man Rick but I’ve had to restrain myself lately from hugging him and surely embarrassing both of us. He just keeps bringing awesome deliveries to the studio, like this sneak preview of the new Fall/Winter Philadelphia Wedding Magazine featuring one of my designs and lovely write up about me and the studio!

This icy design makes me long for cooler temps and will surely fire up flower cravings for those Anemones that won’t be available for months.

The new issue of Philadelphia Wedding will be out on Monday 7/25 and it’s a gorgeous and inspiring issue. The Poconos gown photo shoot is amazing (and kind of makes me wish I got married in Winter)and the Cakes feature- unbelievably beautiful-enough to make me wish I could eat gluten.  Congratulations to Editor Carrie Denny and her team on a fantastic issue and thank you for the lovely feature!

Around the Studio

It’s time again for another Around the Studio post! We’re coming off a few really busy weeks, here's a bit of what's been going on... This past weekend I participated in The Modern Bride event at Busybee and cohosted by Swig. The event featured carefully selected vendors in all aspects of the bridal industry and we were so happy to participate. I designed several pieces for the event but these two were by far the most popular with the brides who attended.  These earthy but edgy pieces would suit a variety of wedding styles.

We’ve had a ton of deliveries in the Philadelphia Metro area and the color stories ranged from cheerful and wild to simple and understated.  We work hard to find the most beautiful fresh flowers and unexpected details like this gorgeous blueberry branch and the results are happy clients and excellent reviews.

This week we are preparing for all of the weddings we have in the upcoming Fall season. Organizing vases, finalizing flower orders and all that glamorous stuff. Our ribbon drawers were getting out of control but fortunately I found this amazing antique apothecary cabinet recently and now it’s displaying some of the vast ribbon collection which is sure to continue to grow.

We hosted a really fun class at Philadelphia Flower School last week, you can read more about it here.

And finally I had a lunch meeting with an up & coming model and his mom Andrea , Puppy Potty Training Master and owner of Walkies, the best pet care service in Philly and South Jersey. Lasagna may be modeling for us sometime soon. Here he is giving me his best Blue Steel…

Flower Love Shoot

Crazy beautiful flowers in the studio these days so I had a love shoot with some of them before they were out the door on their way to happy clients!

Love My Job

I know everyone has those days where they dislike their jobs but I’m totally in love with my job today. Actually most days I love what I do but today was really fun and sort of summarizes why I love this business and why I am so proud of the work that we do.

Today definitely didn’t get off to a glamorous start by any stretch, I was up earlier than the sun to hit the market for flowers for an extra special delivery and for our Early Summer Centerpiece class tomorrow night.  It’s so worth the sleep deprivation when you can walk away with this:

Yup, that’s a new Striped Tree Peony and it’s ah-mazing! My entire flower selection today was inspired by our VIP delivery to Johnny Weir!  He’s only an Olympic athlete and a runway model who designs his own costumes with a completely unique sense of style. No pressure, right?

So, drawing inspiration from my favorite source (Fashion) I pulled together blooms that range from dark & sophisticated like the almost black Peony to the splashy Striped Peony to accent blooms that can only be described as Muppet-like. It was one of my favorite designs, EVER! It’s really the perfect blend of style and quirk that we love to do and it’s why a Sullivan Owendesign stands out from the crowd in Philadelphia much like Johnny.

The order for Johnny was from his biggest fan in South Jersey since Johnny is in Philly at Macy’s Center City tonight for a fabulous style and shopping event. “B” wasn’t sure she could make the trip to Philly and wanted Johnny to know how much he means to her. “B” was such a pleasure to work with and her enthusiasm and support for Johnny really inspired me to design something spectacular. “B” gave me complete freedom to design and that is a testament to the excellent design work that we do and the outstanding client service we offer, the two pillars of Sullivan Owen floral & event design.

Of course, you don’t have to be a celeb to get beautiful flowers from us! Check out these other gorgeous orders we did today inspired by Johnny’s design each with their own little twists.

Around the Studio

Busy times but I’m popping by with another Around the Studio post to share what’s been going on.

First up is a sneak peek at our bride Kerri’s bouquet from her wedding on 5/29. Our bridal bouquets get their own supersized version of our signature faux bois packaging that our delivery clients love so much. I also included a note of congratulations on our custom stationary. Kerri looked truly stunning and the wedding was a smashing success, I can’t wait to see the photos! Wait till you see the bridesmaid's bouquets...

The studio is feeling quite tropical this week (no central AC) so we’ve got these gorgeous Protea & Saracena hangin’ in the window, they don’t mind the soaring temps.

We came back from the holiday weekend to a flurry of orders. At Sullivan Owen we really pride ourselves on being able to design for any sentiment in a tasteful and beautiful way no matter the occasion.

And finally, our pal and sometime intern Sammi graduated with a BFA from University of Delaware this weekend so T.O. and I went to check out her amazing paintings. Sammi has an amazing eye for color and her series of fish and plastics were the highlight of the graduate show in my humble opinion.

Live Nude Peony!

Forgive my cheeky title but I couldn’t resist and I’m just going to say it… these Peony are the most beautiful color ever! They don’t look real, we had a sweet couple in today for a bridal consult and they thought they were fake. Seriously stunning and 100 percent real.  I paired these beauties with a darker peach Garden Rose, a touch of Seeded Eucalyptus and some amazing ‘Royal Purple’ Cotinus from the Pacific Northwest in a 150 year old copper tea kettle.  I had a little love shoot with them this afternoon.

The rest of this week we’ll be prepping for a Gatsby Glam wedding that is this weekend also in shades of peach.  While this particular Peony won’t be making an appearance other varieties of Peony, Garden Rose and Ranunculus will be there and are sure to be looking good.

This photo was a little underexposed but I think it's beautiful and couldn't make myself correct it

Brooklyn Bride

Our studio is featured onBrooklyn Bride today!  Brooklyn Bride is an amazing resource for modern wedding inspiration. They feature weddings, engagement shoots, great products, fabulous vendors and inspiration boards for couples looking for that modern Brooklyn vibe when designing their big day. We love reading the blog so we're super excited to be on it today! Check it out here...

Friday

Despite the wacky weather this was a pretty great day at the studio.  We gave away free flowers to one of our lucky Facebook fans, Stacy.

We’ll be doing more contests soon so if you haven’t Liked us on Facebook, you really should. It’s the only way to find out about the awesome prizes.  The next prize is a free class at our Philadelphia Flower School.  I just posted the new schedule for this summer here.  The classes are going to be so much fun I don’t want to wait for them but such is the nature of flowers, sometimes it’s just not the season.

I’ll leave you with these pics from outside the Comcast Center, these are the most amazing Giant Allium I have ever seen.

Around the Studio

It’s been so busy around the studio we have lots of stuff to share.

We have some really gorgeous flowers in the studio this week, we had several orders over the weekend and today we just finished a series of corporate thank you gifts heading out tomorrow.  Our white and green palette is still going strong but with the addition of some really lovely ivory shades and tons of great texture from lime green coxcomb, that’s the brain looking one along with nigella, single petal spray roses and big fat tree peony.

Last week I met with the ladies of Two Little Birds Planning just to get to know each other. If you are in need of Wedding planning and coordination, check them out.

We also got our fabulous new energy efficient walk in cooler, of course it’s already loaded up with blooms for this week. It’s so big, we might have staff meetings in there during the summer.

This weekend we had a little team outing to the Art Star Craft Bazaar, an annual event for artists and crafters down at Penn’s Landing. Despite the rain, it was a great time and I picked up several pieces for the studio.

I bought three photos from James Singewald, his photos are simply stunning. He takes photos of Philadelphia and Baltimore.  I loved his work and hope to get more.  I love Philadelphia and any art associated with the city. I plan on hanging these 3 together.

I bought two pieces from Mikel Robinson. His mixed media pieces were pretty popular while I was at his booth and I was happy to get these two pieces.

I also bought this fun print from local favorites Two Paperdolls. They do fabulous work especially with wedding invitations suites so check them out.  With my love for Philly I couldn’t resist this beautiful take on the Love sculpture in Love Park.

Flossie the Flamingo

Today a very exciting package arrived!

Flossie the Flamingo made it safely to the studio via First Class UPS accommodations.  I know, I know,  I can feel the question forming already. What on earth is that and why are you excited about it? Read on for the exciting life and times of Flossie the Flamingo…

Flossie was commissioned by a co-worker of my fatherBob Sullivan back in 1979. The artist was an unknown duck decoy maker in Vermont. Upon her arrival at the offices of Geer Dubois in Midtown Manhattan her new owner was less than pleased with her citing her unusual proportions. Fortunately my father sensed something special and Flossie joined him as co-creative director while they crafted advertising campaigns for Mercedes-Benz and Barnes & Noble. They shared a 45th floor office overlooking the United Nations.  It was in that office at age 3 that I met Flossie and I’ve loved her ever since.

Eager for new challenges Flossie and my father moved on to Ogilvy & Mather on 5th Avenue, Flossie particularly liked working on General Foods! That was followed by the sweet years at D’Arcy-Macmanus on Madison Avenue working on Milky Way, Mars Bar and Twix but big changes were afoot with Advertising in the 80's.  Flossie says it wasn't exactly an episode of Mad Men.

My father and Flossie moved to Houston where she became a housebird for many years choosing to work on her various charitable causes. She has thoroughly enjoyed the warmer climate and has spent many years in Houston and Dallas.

Now Flossie will live at my studio. She’s a true family heirloom and a great piece of American Folk Art. Be sure to say hi to her when you stop by the studio.

You can see more of my father's work here at sullivanstudio.com

Here's a great site that helped us recycle those first class packing peanuts.

Around the Studio

We’ve been super busy working on a wide variety of projects from a modern photo shoot to a Gatsby glam wedding in just a few short weeks.  Here’s some random shots from around the studio…

Gorgeous pink blooms in vintage bottles on our consult table

Salmon Godetia, this got delivered by accident and I really enjoyed working with it

Amazing Japanese Sweet Pea, smells heavenly

A big juicy design for a lucky new momma from Free People

While going through photos from the last few weeks, I found my husband T.O. had snuck a few pics of our cats with my camera. No, the cats are not at the studio but I know this will make T.O. smile.

The Studio Before & After

Years ago I lived on the 3rd floor of 510 Bainbridge St. in an awesome loft apartment and the first floor was an art gallery and workspace for a local artist.  It was spare and rarely open to the public and I’m not ashamed to admit that I coveted the space.  I always wanted it for something, I just didn’t know what.

Fast forward a few years and the space became available just at the exact same time I was beginning to look for a floral studio space. I think it was meant to be.  Here’s how we transformed it from a law office to the serene workspace that we love. "After" photos by Lorraine Daley

The exterior was transformed by a new front door, brushed steel hardware and several coats of Behr exterior paint in Platinum Gray. I loved painting outside, I did it on one of those super warm days in February and the whole neighborhood came by to chat, peek at the studio and introduce themselves. It's nice having such great neighbors.

If you ever are in a position to paint about 6,000 square feet of walls, floor and ceiling I recommend a serious amount of swatching.  I personally believe there is no limit to swatches. After all,  that is a lot of wall to look at if you end up regretting the color.

We ended up going with Martha Stewart Living paint in Dolphin from The Home Depot.  The color is like a shadow gray and I love the tones as the light changes in the studio throughout the day.  The short walls are painted in a fabulous faux bois by Adriene, one of the designers here at Sullivan Owen but that is another post for another day.

Before view towards the front of the studio

After view toward the front of the studio

I love antiquing and repurposing vintage furniture. I looked high and low for a HUGE bookcase or library shelving unit to emphasize the 10 foot ceilings. After months of searching, I finally found one at an antique market a long way away from Philadelphia. It is an old General Store cabinet from the 50’s and looks a bit homemade.  This piece is so heavy but fortunately it’s in two pieces, it still took four of us to move it.  Two of the original shelves were missing so we removed the rest to make it look uniform and hold some our event vase collection. We left it the green color it was painted when found.

I love this view, I’m so inspired when I look at it.  We meet with our brides and event clients right in front of the cabinet and they love it too!

We own tons of vintage pieces and all are available for rent for your event.

This buffet was another find from a junk shop.  A little paint and some new hardware from Anthropologie and it’s now our kitchen area.

The mirrors above the buffet are made from vintage copper sheeting removed from a building that was demolished in NYC.

This owl cookie jar only holds vegan gluten free cookies and treats from our pals at Sweet Freedom Bakery.  We especially love the coconut macaroons with chocolate ganache but honestly everything is delicious.

This is the typewriter desk where we hand type all our cards for our delivery clients.  We get so many compliments on our cards and packaging.  Our typewriter is an Olivetti Valentine from the 60’s.

By far the biggest change in the studio space was removing the partition walls that were put up by the previous tenant. This is the middle “room” of the studio which is now my office.

My desk is another junk shop find refinished in white crackle over black.  We did try to strip this down to the original finish as I love distressed wood finishes but that is a post for another day…

My pretty desk accessories

This is the back room, a very big space with crazy textured concrete walls with about 100 coats of paint on it. We added #101 and the flat finish paint really helps camouflage the wild texture.

My love for the giant 3 compartment sink knows no bounds, it makes scrubbing buckets more fun. At least for me!

This vintage work table holds the flowers while we’re working during the day.

If you made it this far, thanks for sticking with this super long post!  I’m so proud of the studio and HUGE thanks to Adriene, Sammi, April, Mark, Mike, Stan, Luke, Ed, Ed Jr. and of course T.O. for all their hard work and support.

It is such an unbelievable experience to being doing a job that I love so much in a place that feels like home. I’m grateful every day that we have such an amazing space to create in.

"After" photos by Lorraine Daley

OMG!

This past Friday we received an order from... (drumroll please)

Martha Stewart and Kevin Sharkey!

Martha and Kevin sent flowers to a dear friend of theirs out in the Main Line and they chose our studio!

I did a simple and chic arrangement, not using too many different blooms in a leaf lined vase.  It was such a great honor and their friend loved both the flowers and Martha and Kevin's sweet gesture.

Thanks Martha and Kevin!

photo courtesy of www.marthastewart.com

Around the Studio

We've been busy around the studio, besides some truly gorgeous flowers to send out this week there is tons of decorating to finish up. While I would love to share some sneak peeks, I have a whole studio tour series of blog posts that will be rolling out in the next few weeks. So instead, I'm sharing some of the flowers that I decided to keep around the studio this week.

This last pic is what I call the "spare parts vase", it's where the flowers that don't make into a final design go if they're cut to the wrong length, broken stems that are too short, I hate to throw anything away. I think it looked really beautiful today.