We had the pleasure of working with floral designer and stylist, Joanna Aitcheson, on our most recent lookbook shoot. I first met Joanna in the store as a customer and we became fast friends. A fairly new addition to the Hamilton scene, Joanna has already become a go-to for custom floral arrangements and had a busy Valentines day making lovely bouquets for some very lucky ladies (boys, remember her name for next year!). We asked her some questions about her beginnings, her inspirations, and what's next for her...
floral arrangement by Joanna Aitcheson
Q: How long have you lived in Hamilton?
A: We moved to Hamilton a year ago this April to share a home with some of our friends. We love it here! I do miss my community in Toronto but living in this city has given me more of a chance to chase after some of my dreams. I even have enough of a backyard to plant my own garden now!
Q: What sort of work are you available to do?
A: My business is very young so I'm open to a variety of work. I'm happy to have people contact me if they're interested in placing an order. I'll also be doing a limited number of arrangements around Mother's Day and other special occasions so I'll be sure to post that online. I'd love to start working on prop and food styling for photo shoots so I'll be exploring that a little more in the coming months.
Q: Give a brief history of your love of flowers.
A: There are so many expressions of art and design that I'm drawn to so it has always been a challenge for me to choose one thing to focus on. I ended up studying fashion design at Ryerson but I didn't really fit into that industry. It was extremely competitive and I'm a bit of a gentle soul. After school I spent a couple of years at some pretty uninspiring jobs and to keep my brain working I would read creative blogs. Many of the writers happened to be florists or stylists, people like Sarah Ryhanen
, Amy Merrick
and Nikole Herriott
. I found their work to be so exciting and inspiring and I wanted to try my hand at it. By some miracle I ended up working for and being mentored by the incredibly talented Lisa Collins
(owner of Sweet Woodruff in Toronto). I spent a year and a half learning from her before we moved away and I think that experience is what really developed my love for floral design.
floral arrangement by Amy Merrick
Q: What is your favourite flower and why?
A: That's a tough one! I like anything that's bursting with petals and has that soft romantic look. Ranunculus, Anemones, Hellebore and Spirea are always up there on my list but I think my absolute favourite will always be a bright orange-red Icelandic Poppy.
Q: What flowers were used in the GOTW Lookbook?
A: For the over-sized pin corsage I used a bouquet of off-white sweetheart roses. I combined some of those same white roses with a couple of white ranunculus to make the wrist corsage. And for the cute little hair piece I used a bouquet of soft yellow sweetheart roses.
Q: What inspires you?
A: So many things inspire me! Lately, I've been studying Dutch Still Lifes. The floral arrangements in these paintings are so stunning! I also look to other florists whose work I admire. I mentioned some of them in an earlier question but I would also add Sarah Winward
, Riley Messina
and Emily Thompson
. Inspiration is a tricky creature because it can easily turn into copying or can leave you dissatisfied with your own ideas so I try to be very careful and let my taste shine through in every piece.
the lovely Joanna Aitcheson
We loved working with Joanna and hope to collaborate more in the future! Find her on Twitter and Instagram @joannaaitcheson
Girl on the Wing