Urban Orchid has provided stunning florals for several Something New Entertainment brides and grooms, over the years, but we first met Owner/Designer Brandon Sitler in person is association with the first ever Boutique Bridal Bazaar produced by Something White Bridal Boutique in January of 2012 at what was then the Dredger’s Union.
Brandon had this sort of mossy tree stump that looked like it had been pulled out of the pages of a Fairytale and incorporated in one of the centerpieces displayed in his “booth” space. Alongside the woodland fantasy display was an elegant one with crystals, a more simple/whimsical one with daisies, and one with a really clean look made of a range of multicolored pink roses. There was a LOT to look at, but the conclusion was a simple one: his style was versatile, but yet very consistent in its quality.
Since then, we’ve seen many different styles coming out of the Urban Orchid from romantic to modern and with a variety of different types of blooms, including unusual materials like cabbages!
Recently Jeff Zelmer has officially joined the Urban Orchid team full time, too, bringing a wealth of experience from the design and corporate management industries to the already thriving pair of shops.
Here’s a peek inside one of the shops, then… on to the interview!
Something New Entertainment’s Anna-Jeannine “DJ AJ9” Herman, Wedding Entertainment Dirctor®: What first interested you in floral design?
Urban Orchid’s Brandon Sitler: I think my interest started in my childhood. Growing up in the country I developed a great appreciation for nature – especially the beautiful flowers that grew wild where I lived. When I was a young adult I worked in catering and quickly found I had a knack for creating flower arrangements. Pretty soon I was doing all the flower arrangements for the country club where I worked.
DJ AJ9: How long have you been designing florals for weddings?
Urban Orchid: I have been designing wedding florals for 12 years – and since I opened Urban Orchid I’ve done over 300 weddings!
DJ AJ9: How would you describe your floral designs style?
Urban Orchid: Everything I do is custom-made based upon the Bride’s wishes. So I pride myself on my ability to design florals in all different styles, from English Garden to Ultra Modern. I really enjoy doing floral designs that have an organic feel but with an architectural flair. I am always working to get the perfect balance of color, shape and texture.
DJ AJ9: What do you enjoy most about being a floral designer?
Urban Orchid: The best part for me is the interaction with our fabulous customers. Every Bride has a new and interesting look for their wedding and I love figuring out the best way to make their wedding dreams come to life. So many of my past bride and grooms have become personal friends And once the relationship is established we are privileged to be there for all the important dates in their lives; the birthdays, the anniversaries and of course the baby showers!
DJ AJ9: What is the most important consideration couples should make when hiring a floral designer?
Urban Orchid: First of all make sure you feel comfortable with the Floral Designer you choose. You are going to be working with your Florist anywhere from 6 to 8 months so you want to make sure your personalities mesh well.
Also make sure your florist is someone who is willing to create your vision and not just try and steer you to a typical generic wedding look.
DJ AJ9: How can a couple get the biggest impact with their floral decor?
Urban Orchid: I recommend focusing on the Bridal Bouquet and Table Centerpieces first – these are the flowers you and your guests are going to see the most of during the day. Another way to get more impact is to work with a florist who has rental options for vases, candelabras, urns, etc. Using rental items allows you to put more of your budget into the flowers themselves.
DJ AJ9: What is the most interesting or challenging custom design you’ve ever done?
Urban Orchid: Every year we are asked to create elaborate floral designs for Pandemonium – the largest fundraiser of the year put on by Cleveland Public Theater. CPT is innovative and edgy in their performances and they want that same look in their flower arrangements. One year we created giant floral headpieces that were attached to gold female mannequin heads, which in turn, were placed atop 5 foot tall Birch tree trunks. It was kind of like balancing an egg on a pin – but we figured it out and they looked amazing (and stayed standing for the whole event)
DJ AJ9: What are some of your favorite new trends in floral design?
Urban Orchid: One of my favorite trends is the up-cycling movement coming into wedding floral design. At Urban Orchid we really believe in the importance of being Green. All of our store fixtures are built out of reclaimed materials – wood once used in a foreclosed home is now our beautiful countertop. Now we see the same environmental consciousness with our Brides. Old ladders, window frames, pill bottles, etc. are being used in new and creative ways to give a unique look to their wedding décor.
DJ AJ9: What do you look for in a great DJ and what are your DJ Pet Peeves?
Urban Orchid: It is important to have a DJ who is friendly and courteous and flexible. Setting up the wedding banquet in the allotted time frame can be very stressful. When the florist, caterer and DJ work together the process is a breeze. My personal pet peeve is a DJ that doesnt update their playlist. Music trends are constantly changing the DJ should keep on top of what is new and fun to dance to.
About Brandon Sitler: A decade of experience in the floral industry already behind him, owner/designer Brandon Sitler’s exquisite and unique creations have been admired all over Greater Cleveland and have won several awards including “Best Flowers” in Fox 8’s 2011 HOT LIST as well as “Best Florist” in Scene. In addition to weddings and day-to-day bouquets, Sitler’s designs have been displayed at notable local events such as Art Cares, Pandemonium, HRC Dinner and many more.
About Jeff Zelmer: Jeff received a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Akron and has over 20 years of experience in Design and Marketing. He has worked as Graphic Designer, Buyer, Category Manager, Art Director and Marketing Director for some of Cleveland’s largest companies – including 16 years with The American Greetings Corporation. ln 2014 he left Corporate America to join his partner Brandon Sitler in running Urban Orchid.
About Urban Orchid: Urban Orchid is an upscale floral shop located in Cleveland’s Ohio
City area and in historic Little Italy. Urban Orchid has also been called on to do floral work for many of Cleveland’stop corporations, including Lincoln Electric, Eaton Corporation, PNC Bank, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Browns Hospitality, Fleet Response and Charter One Bank among others. More than a flower shop, Urban Orchid carries products such as hand-crafted jewelry and vases among other exclusive creations designed by local artists.