Hip To Be Square by Mandy Majerik

Behind the Scenes with Contest Winners Mandy and Dodie!

Hey uBloomers, I know you all want the scoop on our contest winners – SO, here is an EXCLUSIVE, behind the scenes, mini-interview with both Mandy Majerik and Dodie Sy talking a little bit about their winning designs!

Hip To Be Square by Mandy Majerik

Hip To Be Square by Mandy Majerik

Capturing the Grand Prize with her incredible “Hip to be Square” design, Mandy used Design Master Color sprays in Olive Bright and Basil to cover a paper Hydrangea frame that she decorated with swirls of mini purple callas – anchored on each corner by green cymbidium orchids.

Dodie Sy's Modern European Garden Hedge

Dodie Sy's Modern European Garden Hedge

The fabulous “Modern European Garden Hedge” entry that Dodie designed was the favorite of the uBloom Community and chosen as the People’s Choice Winner for it’s clean, organic, parallel presentation of floral materials and his use of Design Master Color sprays in Walnut Wood Tone, Ivory and Saffron.

Read what Mandy and Dodie told me about creating their designs and winning the Design Master Contest…

What inspired you to create your winning design?

Dodie: I’m in love with the design aesthetics of European Designers, how they integrate raw natural elements into their designs and still make it look very modern without looking sterile. I have lots of left over Large Curly Willow bottoms, my assistants always wonder why I save these things! So, I thought, why not create something I can re-use over and over again!

Mandy: I was working on ideas for a local fundraising Gala and they had requested something low with lots of candlelight, but wanted my creative and artistic design to be evident in their centerpieces. I began with the base of the hydrangea square, added some floral movement and came up with an end result that was a very cost effective and time efficient.

Talk a little about the color and floral material choices you made for your design.

Dodie: Tight color schemes, I feel, are more pleasing to the eyes and it creates much more of an impact than a jumbled mix of colors. The glass test tubes I used and painted so that it looks like tree sapling and the curly willows I painted white so that it mimics the look of white Birch.

Mandy: I have always had an affair with mini calla lilies. They are one of my favorite flowers to work with because of their ability and willingness to be limber and manipulated. I am always conjuring up designs that include them showing the remarkable movement. The square paper hydrangea base is so versatile to use for event work. I find myself coming up with new ways to use my inventory and so thus Hip to be Square was born.

How is your personal style reflected in your design?

Dodie: My personal style is Natural Modern. This means I adore modern structures and shapes along with organic materials. My studio is always filled to the brim with natural materials like dried mushrooms, moss, branches etc. I just love the way they make me feel!
Mandy: Most of my event work has a very distinctive, artistic flair. I try to get the most impact out of incorporating rental items and using floral accent to provide that fresh element as well as give the design movement and color. There are a few things in my fresh flower cooler that you will always find….mini calla lilies, green cymbidium orchids and lily grass. All or at least one of these three elements are incorporated in my designs simply for the artistic freedom they provide to me as a designer.

What was the hardest/best part of making your design?

Dodie: The hardest part is always coming up with an original art piece idea. If I think of something I always sketch it out on my “Inspiration Book” and reference back to it from time to time. The best part was using some “scrap” materials I have scattered all over my studio!

Mandy: The hardest part is placing and pinning in the mini calla lilies making sure that they are not hovering over or too close to the open flames of the votives.

What feelings and emotions did you want to invoke with your piece?

Dodie: I always make sure that all my designs have a strong organic feeling to them. Spring was my main inspiration.

All of my designs draw the interest of men. I believe it is the architectural quality of line and repetition that make my designs so appealing. When florals peak the interest and comment of men at an event, you know you are giving people something to talk about! I want people to view florals as more of an art form and to realize that sometimes simplistic designs can produce the most impact.

Did you listen to any particular music or song for inspiration while designing?

Dodie: Just whatever is playing on the radio. Probably country…believe it or not! But, I tend to be “in the zone” when I’m designing.

Mandy: Is this the point in which I should refer to my Huey Lewis dedication? (smile) Although his hit song, “Hip to be Square” was the perfect name for this centerpiece, it was not what was spinning at the time. I always have a disc playing in the shop and I believe that afternoon you could hear the sounds of Miles Davis.

What did you do with OR what will you do with your winning design?

Dodie: I used it for one of my weekly corporate displays. It’s actually sitting on my design table right now waiting to be re-designed with fresh flowers and then delivered to another corporate clients lobby. The branches is still white but I changed the water tubes to clear ones since I didn’t want to over power the blush pink Cymbidium Orchids I’m using this week :o)

Mandy: Now, it will always be referenced as the “Grand Prize Winning Design” but I will incorporate that idea into other events. I will l probably change the content of the center of the square replacing the candles with something different such as cut carnation stems, sand, bean, wood chips, etc. The possibilities are endless!

Were you surprised that you won? What did you think/do when you found out?

Dodie: Oh yeah! I almost passed out to see how many voted! After I found out I posted the blog link on my Facebook page and my two Blogs.

Mandy: Of course I was surprised when I won! uBloom is full of very talented individuals and I was thrilled that the judging panel could see the true concept of originality, marketing ability and simplistic nature of my design. I received an email from J announcing that I was the winner and of course the first thing I had to do was call my mother, the second generation in my family floral business. After that I had to wait for it to be announced to the public and it has been a wonderful whirlwind of Congrats and comments ever since!