Turning Flowers Into Art

NOTE: Next Thursday, Kris will be teaching how to make dog flower crowns on the North Patio as part of our Summer Patio Parties series. Dogs are welcome!

From the breathtaking arrangements in front of our buildings, to the sweet succulents in the Café, to the gorgeous fresh flowers in the Market, all of our amazing floral designs spring from the creative mind of Kris Colwell, Ginger and Baker’s in-house floral designer.

“I’ve been a florist all my life,” said Kris. “Starting way back when I was a kid getting in trouble for picking the neighbors flowers.”

Over the years, Kris has taken that love of flowers to the highest level. She owned her own shop here in Fort Collins (The Flower Company at Campus West) for many years, then worked with a Denver design studio doing high end weddings in Vail and Beaver Creek for several years. In 2004, she was the first Northern Colorado floral designer inducted into the American Institute of Floral Designer’s International Group, one of just 1100 members worldwide.

To become a member, Kris passed both a demanding written test and a design challenge. “There were about a hundred of us in this huge ballroom in St. Louis,” Kris said. “We were all given flowers and asked to design an arrangement. The only sound in the room came from people picking up and putting down their clippers. It was intense.”

“It was something I aspired to that my whole career, not a lot of designers go after it,” Kris said. “It opened up such another world for me. I’ve met floral designers and learned techniques from all over the world.”

Kris joined the Ginger and Baker team early on. “When I met Ginger she shared her vision of the place,” Kris said. “The idea of doing floral design in a different atmosphere really appealed to me. I especially love doing events, every one is unique and I enjoy working with customers to bring their vision to life.”

 

Kris is also excited about working with area farms. “It’s been great to get to know local growers and see their excitement,” she said. “I bring what knowledge I have and they share theirs. It’s creating opportunities to partner and grow new varieties and work with flowers that have just been picked. Plus it helps sustain small, individual growers. It’s like farm to table, but farm to vase.”

This love of community informs Kris’s work in many ways. “I love flowers because there’s a personal connection, flowers create special feelings at a lot of life’s special moments, I’m creating wedding flowers for the children of brides whose weddings I did years ago. It’s multi generational and it’s great to be part of their histories, not many industries are like that.”