Judy Bourgeois, owner of Flora Fauna in North Yarmouth, Maine, shares her background and unique aesthetic about the events she loves designing in Maine.

L: Flora Fauna, R: Stacey Kane<br /><a href="http://www.emilieinc.com/" target="_blank">emilie inc. photography</a>

L&L: Tell us a little about you, your background and Flora Fauna.

FLORA FAUNA: Some of my earliest memories of growing up at Skyline Farm in Maine were beautiful white hydrangea bushes in the front of our house. I remember every year when they bloomed I would gather my two sisters and the neighbors (who had the only boy in the neighborhood) and we would stage beautiful weddings in our backyard. Chris or my cousin Joe would always be the groom and, dressed in my grandmother’s ballroom dancing gowns, we would prance about the backyard.

Maine was such a beautiful place to grow up and as a child I learned to love gardening as well as the coastline we sailed on every summer in Casco Bay. After settling down and marrying my high school sweetheart, I received a masters in Literacy and taught kindergarten for 10 years. Once I had my own children, two beautiful boys, I retired from teaching and I began Flora Fauna. Flora Fauna is a nod to my two favorite things in the world: flowers and animals (and I always love alliteration). We are a floral design studio specializing in weddings and events only. We do not have a retail shop, nor do we want one. We love focusing on those most special days in peoples’ lives and bringing their dreams to reality… one flower at a time!
Bouquet<br /><a href="http://www.emilieinc.com/" target="_blank">emilie inc. photography</a>

L&L: Describe the range of services that you offer.

FLORA FAUNA: Flora Fauna is a floral design studio. What that means is that we help our clients with the full design of their event including but not limited to: color selection, flowers, linens, rentals, soft seating areas, lighting, and other decor. We work on a very personal level with our clients to take their ideas and turn them into a cohesive design for their event. On the day of the event we are on site installing and executing the design. We take great care in every detail no matter how small to make sure that the event is everything the client wants and more. More than 95% of our work is weddings. Of the weddings we have booked this year, 90% of them have included linens, furniture, and other decor to their floral designs.

L: Audra Photography, R: Flora Fauna<br /><a href="http://www.emilieinc.com/" target="_blank">emilie inc. photography</a>

L&L: How far in advance do couples typically book with you? What is that process like?

FLORA FAUNA: Booking season for us is year round with the heaviest percentage of bookings occurring from November – March.  The holidays are always a busy time for booking with brides getting engaged and home or visiting Maine for the holidays. About 50% of our brides book us a year out from their wedding date. 40% book about 6-8 months before the wedding.

When a bride/client contacts us, we send out information via email: references and a pre-planning sheet to help organize their thoughts around their floral and decor needs. If possible we meet in person. This is where I share my work and talk about my company and process. This meeting is also done via email, Skype or phone calls as many of our clients are not from Maine. A client is then sent a contract to secure my services and save their date with a required minimal deposit.

Once I am booked with a client we begin the design process. This is where we visit the ceremony site and venue, the client shares their vision of the day and any inspirations that they want to incorporate into the design. We talk about their budget right from the beginning. This helps us save time and figure out the best design to fit into their budget. Most of the time we visit the site twice: once at the beginning and once again about a month before the wedding to go over final details. It is very important to us to build a personal relationship with our clients so that I can get to know their style and likes/dislikes. This builds trust and helps us to translate their style the day of the wedding.

About 60% of my clients book me without ever meeting me in person and a small amount of them I don’t meet in person until the day of the wedding.

Table setting<br /><a href="http://www.emilieinc.com/" target="_blank">emilie inc. photography</a>

L&L: How do most of your clients find you?

FLORA FAUNA: Living in Maine is amazing. The network of friends, family and colleagues is really unlike any other state. About 90% of our clients are referred to us from the wonderful vendors that we work with. Photographers, event planners and venues are the people sharing our name and recommending us.  We also get a lot of traffic on our blog as well as our website.  5% of our clients are referred to us by past brides. I love booking friends of our clients- sometimes we even meet them at the wedding as we are setting up or dropping off personal flowers.

Event flowers<br /><a href="http://www.emilieinc.com/" target="_blank">emilie inc. photography</a>

L&L: Do most couples come to you with an idea of what they are looking for, or do you work together to create an event that best reflects their personality?

FLORA FAUNA: The design of an event is truly a reflection of the bride and groom’s vision for their day. My goal as an event designer is to listen and gleen any and all information about who they are as a couple, their personal style and the overall feel that they want to evoke the day of the wedding. I feel that one thing that sets us apart from other retail florists is that we have the time and are able to interpret our clients extremely well. Brides will come to us at various points in their design process from no ideas at all, to a full design board on foam core with photos, fabrics and Pantone color swatches. So when I first meet a client I begin where they are at and help them move forward to a complete design. I know I have done my job when I hear comments from friends and family members that the wedding looks just like the bride’s style.

Bouquet<br /><a href="http://www.emilieinc.com/" target="_blank">emilie inc. photography</a>

L&L: What is the most popular color trend you have seen for this season?

FLORA FAUNA: Colors are as varied as my clients are. One color that is present in about 80% of my weddings is silver/gray this year. I also had a bunch of purples in the spring. As summer goes on we have yellows, pinks and orange. I have a red wedding this fall. We do also get a lot of nautical/beach color schemes. I love when a client is open to new ideas and invites me to suggest different ideas. This August I have a daring bride doing a mix of rusty red, gray and brown.

Furniture rental<br /><a href="http://www.emilieinc.com/" target="_blank">emilie inc. photography</a>

L&L: What was the most memorable wedding you have worked and why?

FLORA FAUNA: I would have to say the most memorable were my two sisters’ weddings. All three of us had weddings that were as unique and different as we all are. My sister Sarah planned a surprise wedding in February. All our friends were invited to an ice skating party on a lake at a friend’s cabin. After guests arrived and were hanging around the bonfire, we surprised everyone with the wedding. I created a beautiful white bouquet finished with white fur for her. Watching her come around the cabin in her white fur coat and big Ugg boots was so breathtaking and not just because it was freezing cold! My other sister Debra sailed all her life and planned a wedding on the schooner that she worked on as a teenager in Camden. I created 75 ft. of floral garlands for the boat along with a bouquet of blue and white flowers that included hand made crystal flowers that took days to make. My husband played guitar and sang as we walked down the dock to her wedding ceremony, and then we sailed off into the sunset for a wedding cruise on the boat.

L&L: What do you love most about living and working in Maine?

FLORA FAUNA: I love living in Maine. I have lived here my whole life and still find new places to see and visit each and every year. Now that I have my own children I see all the old places through their new eyes. I also love that whereever you go people are friendly and you always see a familiar face. I couldn’t live without the ocean and the mountains. I also love how easy it is to be in business for yourself here. So much support from the community and friends/family!

L: Flora Fauna, R: emilie inc.<br /><a href="http://www.emilieinc.com/" target="_blank">emilie inc. photography</a>

L&L: What must-see places and eateries do you suggest people ‘from away’ check out while in Maine?

FLORA FAUNA: There are so many great things to do from the coastline to the mountains! There is an endless list activities and amazing food to be had. My favorite sushi is Food Factory Miyake first introduced to me from past wedding clients Kelsie and Rej.  Of course going out to Two Lights and grabbing a lobster at the Lobster Shack is a great adventure with beautiful scenery.  If you are traveling up the coast, a fun day hike is Mt. Battie in Camden with views of Penobscot Bay and Mt. Washington.

Table setting<br /><a href="http://www.emilieinc.com/" target="_blank">emilie inc. photography</a>

L&L: Thank you for giving us an inside peek into Flora Fauna. If readers want to get in touch with you to inquire about your availability, what is the best way for them to reach you?

FLORA FAUNA: I would love all the readers to check out our blog. Every week we update our blog with the past weekends’ weddings. You can email me at judy[at]florafaunaevents[dot]com or call at 207-650-3563. We are also on Facebook.

Posted in Vendors We Love

(0) COMMENTS Leave A Comment share the love

Comments are closed.