Kate in Bloom
By Elisabeth Katie Style
If I had only known Kate Lee Minelian when I got married … Here I was thinking that my white and pale pink arrangements for my Santa Barbara garden wedding were beautiful and unique (and they were), yet there is something so stunning, authentic and a little bohemian too about Kate’s. She is an amazing floral designer and her work is so artistic. She also makes succulent jewelry that I “thought” was a new trend, but is actually more of a recycled one. I was lucky enough to speak with her regarding her inspiration, vision and what sparks her creative fire. Not to mention, she is such a lovely person with endless enthusiasm. It is that same “soulfulness” that she puts into her work that produces such gorgeous designs. We also have a very popular musical artist in common, who makes us both quite “Happy,” and sparks her creative drive.
Kate was drawn to floral design through her mother, who she describes as a fantasticHer mother started gardening when she moved the family to England in the 70’s and became very passionate about it. After moving the family to Los Angeles, she became even more interested. Kate even described her mother as a “genius gardener.” After Kate’s mom passed away, she said she found herself drawn to gardening and actually became obsessed herself. I always love when an artist takes on a creative venture that was inspired by their parent and fully makes it their own (especially when that person is not with us anymore). It is also a wonderful way to keep that person close to us. That is what Kate did and she has fully made her floral designs and succulent jewelry her own unique collection.
Before she knew it, her friends were asking her to design for them, which turned into a landscape design business for ten years. She would take bowls of flowers from her cutting garden to her friends and, well, her floral design venture was in full bloom.
Since Kate also designs succulent jewelry as well (a big trend right now and how I first discovered her actually), I had to ask if she prefers making succulent jewelry over floral designing. She adores both and all her designs are made with love. She loves making the jewelry and designed her first ring was two years ago during a Francoise Weeks workshop. Kate explained, “No one was really doing a lot of them, but I had seen a photo and showed it to Francoise and the class ended up making floral rings that day.” Since then she has been making them a lot. Some are fresh flowers, some are succulents, and some are a combination. She also does “mermaid rings” with a mix of succulents, miniature shells and tiny bits of seaglass she has collected all over the world. It doesn’t end there. Kate also designs a lot of wristlets, necklaces and head wreaths. I myself am obsessed with her floral jewelry. She is partial to the round and thick small leaf, the way it mimics jewels or pearls. She also loves the wide and flat leaves because of the structure they can create, almost like a base for jewelry. She will use a rosette of something curly or in a contrasting color for dramatic effect, too and has an affinity for the greys and the burgundy’s. This combination makes well for colors, sustainability and eclectic textures.
Kate explained, “The thing about succulent jewelry is that it lasts so long, you can wear it around for a week and then—plant it!” Her plan is simple — Lay the pieces on soil, give it some moisture and watch what happens! Fresh flower jewelry doesn’t have the same sturdiness or longevity or rooting availability.
Although her passion for her jewelry is evident, she did explain that her flower arrangements are her life and said, “There is nothing I love more than gathering fresh and juicy stems and arranging them into beauty and sharing it with the world. There is honestly nothing that feels better!” Diana Marie Photography
She loves the entire creative process of meeting the bride and groom and getting a feel for their style, personalities and what will work for the wedding. She takes the time and consideration to meet with future bride and groom and really get a vibe for what they want. The pictures, both the floral jewelry and the floral arrangements, speak for themselves. Her work is amazing!!! I am always attracted to designers that have an “edge” or are non-conformist and Kate embodies that. She definitely makes getting married look good. Diana Marie Photography Diana Marie Photography
You can see more on facebook at Studio Kate Floral or her website: http://www.studiokatefloral.com