Florist Robin Weir excells in unique designs
Wild, earthy, natural. Creative and beautiful. That’s how the award-winning floral designs of ROBIN WEIR owner of Wild By Nature in Southport can be described.
Weir wasn’t always a floral designer. Her craft bloomed over 32 years.
A transplant from Connecticut, Weir says, “Flower designing came to me through the back door.” She was selling office furniture. As a hobby, she was experimenting with a pottery wheel.
“Most of my work had misformed tops or heavy bottoms, so I began putting dried and silk flowers in them. Surprisingly, people loved them and wanted to buy them,” she says.
Seeing a business opportunity, Weir started selling her arrangements at craft shows on weekends. As she tired of her role as a furniture manufacturing representative, she took a job with a florist as a delivery person. Her love of flowers blossomed, and after she moved to North Carolina with her sister, Weir opened Wild By Nature in 2014 on Howe Street.
Weir’s designs are stunningly artistic. She says, “I’m not a cookie-cutter florist. I love doing different and unique designs. When I named my shop, I was thinking about what I love to do and that’s not a normal design. I’m truly wild by nature and so is my work.”
Weir learned her trade by working with other floral designers.
“I had great mentors and I traveled to Texas and Oklahoma to study with them.” It paid off. She took first and second place in 2005 and 2006 in the Northeast Floral Designer of the Year awards in New England followed by representing Connecticut at the national competition.
In 2007, Weir was certified by the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD), an accredited association with about 1400 members worldwide. Membership does not come easily, requiring several tests followed by maintaining credentials through ongoing education.
“The four-hour test in Washington, DC was grueling,” she recalls. It required designing and assembling five floral arrangements in four hours without instructions: a bridesmaid bouquet, flowers to wear, a sympathy casket spray, a surprise package, and flowers for a hospital. Her work was graded on design principles: texture, form, color, balance, and proportion.
During the past year, Weir has been working on a self-study course which will culminate in Belgium this month with a week-long series of hands-on classes in principles of design and techniques using natural elements. Before returning home, she will take the exam for her European Master Certification from the European Floral Design.
Weir says flowers are a huge gift to the world.
“I wish we all took more time to appreciate their beauty. Flowers represent emotions – joy, sorrow, love, kindness, friendship. Nothing else that I know of does that. People are touched by flowers, the smell, the memory,” she says.
Weir intentionally includes scented flowers in every bridal bouquet to elicit memories when the bride smells that flower again.
Weir is constantly learning about new styles and flowers. Recently, she has been creating wall art from dried and artificial flowers and textures like wool, fiber, and metal. While she believes these pieces are beautiful by themselves, she is incorporating glass water tubes to add fresh flowers to change the look of the art.
Weir adheres to her favorite quotation by Buddha: If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly our whole lives would change.
“I look at flowers like the Japanese artist who photographs flowers as they degrade to show the beauty of every aspect of life. You may be more beautiful in your 30’s, but there is beauty in our aging and maturity,” she says. “There is a story to tell about our wrinkles. Watch how a flower comes alive from bud stage to full bloom. I feel so blessed every day.”
To view more of photographer John Muuss’s work, click here.
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