flowers + reading
We’re honored to introduce you to Courtlynn Byargeon, owner of Lovelily Flowers, in today’s post. Recently, we had the opportunity to collaborate with Courtlynn and OshunPouch to give you a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the possibilities of using this new tool in the creative process. Enjoy!
It’s a novel Expandable Floral Pouch mechanic. A sustainable solution for floral arrangements that’s derived from 100% Natural Components, and is the newest alternative to single use plastic floral foam. OshunPouch’s components are environmentally friendly, bio-degradable and compostable. (from https://oshunpouch.com. Accessed 2/22/22)
Hello! I’m Courtlynn!
Being a wedding and event floral designer means that installations are a big part of my weekly routine. I’ve become good friends with chicken wire, water tubes, memorial spikes, and moss. We’ve all heard about how terrible flower foam is for the environment, but sometimes if I’m being honest, I’ve felt like I had limited options in the past. As the industry is pushing toward sustainability, we’re seeing new tools come on the market and I’m excited about the possibilities of using OshunPouch in my business.
From my personal experience, the OshunPouch seems to be a good substitute if you find working with flower foam helpful in some circumstances. It soaks relatively quickly and holds water in a vase for several days. I found that it barely drips during installation, and I like that it’s malleable enough to stuff inside a vessel. The pouch made my installation time more efficient because I didn’t have to water tube each flower. With the help of the pouch, flowers stayed exactly where I put them making it easy to create pretty depth and texture in my designs.
I couldn’t wait to use the OshunPouch for an installation. When thinking about this new tool, I found myself so excited that our creative industry is always changing. In this installation, I had fun showcasing other necessary tools to do our job, while highlighting a new one.
Chicken wire ($1.00)
10 zip-ties ($1.00)
2 OshunPouches ($10.50)
2 bunches amaranthus ($20.00)
15 stems anemone ($21.00)
10 stems champagne rose ($12.00)
8 stems golden mustard rose ($28.00)
1 bunch golden mini mums ($8.00)
2 bunches eucalyptus ($22.00)
1 bunch true blue eucalyptus ($11.00)
2 stems of smilax (approx. 1/10 of a bale/box) ($30.00)
Estimated Wholesale Cost: $155.50 (then add your current mark up)
The first step in using the OshunPouch is to poke 5-7 holes on each side of the pouch. The packaging comes with a little poking tool. It will be fully soaked and ready to use in about 5-7 minutes. It seems that the longer you let it soak, the more it will absorb; so, I let mine soak for a little over 10 minutes.
Once the pouch is hydrated, it’s ready to use. For the installation, I decided it would be best to loosely wrap the pouch in chicken wire. This way, I knew that my flowers would have a sturdy base to be tangled in. Plus, I was able to attach the chicken wire to a nail on the wooden background. I’m not completely sure that the chicken wire was necessary, but I would typically wrap flower foam in it, so I felt like it couldn’t hurt.
Most of my stems poked beautifully through the pouch’s film covering. I did find that softer/fleshy stems such as daffodils were a little bit harder to poke through the film. For these more delicate stems, I used the poking tool to first create an opening, then the flowers poked in a bit easier.
Continue to fill in holes of the design; being sure to cover all of your mechanics. The chicken wire helped to tangle little pieces of smilax through, so I would not have to make further holes in the pouch.
The OshunPouch worked like a dream for an installation, but how about a vase? The cost is something to consider for smaller arrangements versus larger installation pieces, but there are some instances that I think the pouch is definitely worth it. I have a couple of vessels in my inventory with shallow bowls, making it impossible to keep the water in the vessel in the delivery van! If you have a long drive to the venue and want to ensure that your pieces will stay hydrated, this is a great idea! If you are a long time foam user, and love the way foam keeps your flowers exactly where you put them, I think you will enjoy the OshunPouch. Designing this arrangement with the pouch helped my flowers stay in place, ultimately saving me time!
1 bunch eucalyptus stuartiana ($11.00)
5 stems browning sweet pea ($9.00)
1 Tall stems spirea ($5.50)
3 stems ranunculus ($3.60)
3 stems of stock ($2.85)
½ bunch golden mini mums ($4.00)
2 stems spray lisianthus ($3.00)
3 champagne roses ($3.60)
3 golden mustard roses ($11.97)
3 daffodils ($3.60)
1 Oshun Pouch ($5.25)
Estimated Wholesale Cost: $63.37 + container cost (then add your current mark up)
I repeated the same steps for prepping the pouch from above, but this time, I actually let my pouch soak inside the vase. It soaked into the shape of the vase, making it nice and snug. This way, I did not have to chicken wire the vase before designing.
I started first by adding my greenery and textural pieces around the base to create some structure so that the pouch wouldn’t move from side to side. Once I got these pieces where I wanted, I began to design as I typically would, first adding foliage then base flowers, and finally little dancing flowers to finish off the piece.
Once the arrangement was finished, I went ahead and filled the vase with water. I made the arrangement the day before my event, and the extra water in the vase assured that the flowers would stay hydrated in case a stem poked outside the pouch’s film. I poured out the water before packing it in the van, and made sure to add more water when we arrived at the venue. Worked like a charm!
You can buy a ‘Party Pack’ of OshunPouches from New Age Floral. The cost is $42.00 for 8 pouches; making each pouch $5.25. From my perspective, I think taking time to consider how to work this pricing into your designs would be a time saver in the long run. Maybe it’s switching out 2-3 garden roses for standard reflexed? Or maybe it’s adding a little bit more foliage and fewer luxe blooms? Regardless, I loved working with the OshunPouch and can’t wait to use it for future projects!
Have specific questions about how Courtlynn used the OshunPouch? Feel free to leave a comment below!
Tutorial images courtesy of Courtlynn Byargeon
If you enjoyed today’s blog post, you might also enjoy How to Create a Deconstructed Hydrangea Arch.
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