Splendor of Eden | Floral Design
Today I'm sharing my interview with 27-year-old floral designer Brie Pflederer of Splendor of Eden. I discovered Brie's textural and garden-inspired florals through the Rising Tide Society. With my own adoration of flowers, I was drawn to her organic and varied arrangements. From peonies to poppies, jasmine to scabiosa, and our favorite: ranunculus, I've been so inspired (hello heart eyes emoji!) by Brie's work.
She and her husband moved to Chicago – a few months after we connected through the interwebs – this past December from Tremont, Illinois. (We found we actually have a number of mutual friends in common!) And on a gorgeous April afternoon, she invited me down to her Pilsen abode to document her design and prepare for a wedding that weekend.
Her friend Jhordan Ridd of @fromscratchboston joined in and also provided the most beautiful and delicious lemon poppyseed cake with vanilla bean icing and raspberry preserves that you'll see below. I'm still dreaming about it.
Suffice to say, the entire afternoon was a taste of Heaven for me. I'm so excited to finally share part of her beautiful heart and journey to here – in building her floral business and trusting God's providence along the way.
Without further adieu:
How did you get into floral design?
I majored in Horticulture at the University of Illinois, with an intention of doing Landscape Design. I took a floral design class on a whim in college just for fun and really ended up loving it. I never thought it would become my career, but knew right away I loved working with flowers. After the course a friend asked me to do her wedding for fun and I said yes, which was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! From there, business grew from friends, to friends of friends, to acquaintances, to people I’ve never met. After doing wedding florals on the side for three years, I started Splendor of Eden full-time in January of 2016!
What do you love most about floral design?
I love working with my hands and creating art in such a tangible way. To capture the splendor of a created bloom that will soon fade, highlighting it at its finest moment is a challenge and a thrill.
What is the story behind your business name Splendor of Eden?
My desire is to honor the true Creator of these elements in everything I do. The name of my business was inspired by a few verses in Matthew.
“Consider how the flowers of the field grow: They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was adorned like one of these.” - Matthew 6:28-29
The beauty of flowers constantly amaze me. They are evidence enough for me that our God loves and cares for us. The word Eden is defined as “a place of pristine or abundant natural beauty” and was the first ever garden created.
Can you speak into an experience that perhaps gave you the courage to begin your own business?
In 2015 I attended a workshop in Seattle, Washington while I was working as a wedding manager for another company. I wanted to do weddings full-time on my own, but didn't think it was possible and thought it was too risky. I met Steve of Sinclair & Moore, who is one of the most generous and inspiring individuals I’ve ever met. He has a keen attention to detail & really cared to invest in me at the workshop. I learned more than I thought possible and was so inspired to take the new information and apply it to my own business. Steve encouraged me right away to go into business on my own and gave me that extra push of confidence. His advice was priceless and attending the workshop provided some incredible opportunities for my career - it was worth every bit of the investment! This year I’m traveling to France with his team to do a wedding!
How did God bring you to Chicago?
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would move to Chicago. When I first got married, my husband and I dreamed of owning land and living in the country. I ALSO never dreamed I would be apart of a church plant in Chicago... but I'm so thankful that God's plan for my life was bigger than my own. About a year ago, a friend (and now our Pastor) asked my husband and I to pray about moving. We didn’t want to and thought it was impossible, but agreed to pray and ask God for clear direction. Through prayer & multiple words given to us, God completely changed our minds and gave us an incredible love for Chicago and the people of this church. Even through my business, God used influential people to speak the city of Chicago into the growth of my floral design. He has made it impossible to run from the call he has purposed my husband and I for this city. Through this whole process I've seen the true power of prayer & how God cares so personally for us.
What has been most challenging in moving your business here / or in general?
It’s been sad to leave the market that I built in Peoria, but I am thankful I can still travel back to the area easily! Another challenge is delivering and parking in Chicago - who knew it would have so many more steps than what I’m used to ;)
How has your faith influenced your business?
My faith has definitely been strengthened through my business. It was a huge step of faith to take the risk, but because Splendor of Eden was built and birthed in prayer I have already seen miracles and transformation in my own life because of it! Through the process of starting and running my business I have learned to rely on God and trust what he is doing. He continues to go before me and answer prayer after prayer!
“Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers. God isn’t offended by your biggest dreams or boldest prayers. He is offended by anything less. If your prayers aren’t impossible to you, they are insulting to God.” - Mark Batterson
What is your favorite flower? :) (ranunculus?)
As I said before, its always been ranunculus! However, poppies hold a close second.
If you made a bouquet of your current favorites, what would you include?
It would depend on the season, but since it is still spring - it would be LOTS OF ranunculus, peonies, hellebore and poppies with seasonal texture and greenery!
What about color palettes? Do you have a favorite, or does it change as you go?
There are sooo many good ones other there, but my favorites are often ones found in nature - like the sunset or a sky blue palette or even the tones found in the desert.
What do you love most about being in the flower and wedding industry?
It’s always changing and evolving and I have never done two weddings alike! Working with nature keeps me on my toes - and I wouldn't change it for the world. I also love the people. Being a part of a person’s wedding day is a big deal, and you get to see a very sweet time of someone’s life. Whats great is, oftentimes I become friends with my clients.
What would you like to change about it?
Well, I was going to say I would change the hours because working with fresh flowers means very long days leading up to the wedding, but really I think I work best under that pressure so maybe I wouldn't change it… ;).
You should know though, being a florist isn’t for the faint of heart - its manual labor most of the time and you can't be afraid to sweat.
What do you hope and aim for in your clients' experience?
I hope my clients’ personality is reflected in their flowers, while still reflecting my organic aesthetic. I hope they are a truly special detail of their day to look back on and remember fondly, something that evokes good emotion. I fully understand that there are more important things about a couple’s wedding day (like the fact that they are marrying the love of their life), but I love it when brides appreciate the beauty and intricacy of flowers and how much they can add to the day.
Who is your ideal client?
A bride who trusts my vision and can leave it in my hands. Someone who wants something unique and different, who doesn't want to follow the trend or copy a picture; but be the trendsetter.
What's something that might surprise people about you?
I used to want to be a veterinarian - but I’m VERY thankful that didn’t work out
What do you find most rewarding in your work?
When I see the fruits of my labor all put together and get to hand the bride her bouquet, she walks down the aisle with two things: 1) her father, AND 2) her bouquet. How special is that?? She really needs to love it.
Is there scripture that's been speaking to you lately? And why?
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” -Phillipians 4:7
I recently heard a pastor say, “To have peace beyond understanding, you have to be willing to give up your understanding.” It really has stuck with me the past few weeks and has challenged me to give up my own understanding and my own ideas of how my life should look and surrender to the truth of the Word. I don’t want to be so busy wishing for something that I miss what God is doing in the middle, right where I’m at.
Who and what are you inspired by?
My mom is a big inspiration to me. She first inspired my love of flowers and the outdoors watching her work in the garden growing up. She has always been good with color and design, which I think sparked a fire in me. Like I mentioned before, I’m also inspired by nature. Its movement and textures are unlike anything else. Perfectly imperfect with the most beautiful color palettes.
How has Chicago affected your lifestyle / perhaps changed your perspective and the way you approach work and life?
Chicago has made me face my fears of traffic – and truthfully it feels GOOD to have conquered that! It’s really not as bad as you think. I would also say our life here in Chicago is more fast-paced and on-the-go, which I’m loving. I never thought I’d be a city girl, but after tasting the food and having so much fun exploring, I’m not sure I could ever leave! Also different from where I grew up... I now can walk outside and hear so many different languages and see different cultures than my own. Diversity is a blessing!
How would you encourage readers in finding their own callings/pursuing work that is life-giving?
Seek the Father first.
“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart” - Psalms 37:4
Getting to where I am now was a process – a five year process!! And I wouldn’t have been ready fives years ago to be running my own business. So trust that God is in the waiting while you continue to chase your passion. Pray and ask for a door or opportunity to open up for your dream. With drive, hard work, and trusting in the Lord for provision, your passions can be your career – I am a living testimony of that!
You can see more of Brie's work on Insta.