We have been photographing weddings in this area for over a decade, and I have had the pleasure to meet so many great people who work alongside of us in the industry. Sometimes, it might just be a “hello” in passing on a wedding day, or seeing someone briefly at around town. I realized that I might know the work of a wedding planner, florist, or the distinctive flavor of a caterer, but I didn’t really know the people behind the scenes. So, I’ve started reaching out to some of our amazing local vendors in the area, and have begun photographing and interviewing them. I’d like to give potential brides a great behind-the-scenes look at the wedding professionals in the area, and the amazing work that they do. I recently had the amazing opportunity to sit down with Krista Flora Dunbar an amazing floral designer in Chattanooga.
How would you describe yourself (and/or your business)?
I am a very visual person and have always been passionate about all things creative whether writing, art, photography, interior design, etc. I have such respect for those in all these different fields and more and I stay fascinated by how these creative endeavors surround us in every way in our day to day. I would describe my business style as carefree yet controlled, often mimicking nature, and versatile to fit many needs.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Lush | Natural | Evolving!
What sets you apart from your competition?
I actually find myself admiring much of the “competition”. There is so much talent around! Still, I am always trying to improve in as many ways I can by learning more about the industry, floral knowledge (it’s endless!), and trends while maintaining and molding my own style. I try to meet the clients where they are, make them feel like they are in good hands, and try to make things as seamless as possible as they have so many other moving parts to figure out at the same time. I want to have each arrangement, event, or wedding meet the clients needs, personalities, and sensibilities and from there try to make things personalized and exceed expectations, of course!
How long have you been in business?
Field + Flora is 1.5 years old, however I have been in the floral business for 6 years. After college I worked in advertising with small local businesses where I gained so much knowledge of the hard work and passion it takes to own and run a small business. After a long obsession with flowers I made a shift into working for a 4th generation florist, which I thought would be a short term indulgence. This turned into a passion I couldn’t shake. Through working with such an established company I gained so much design experience as well as the ins and outs of the administrative, ordering, and customer service aspects of the field. I am grateful for all the experiences that have lent themselves to me finally taking a leap into owning my own company.
What do you love most about Chattanooga?
Chattanooga is the perfect mix of an urban environment, scenic and natural landscapes, culture, and all with a small town feel socially where relationships and connections are concerned. Having lived here just over 10 years I have seen it grow and flourish and I am grateful to have seen the transformation myself to appreciate it even more!
What inspires you?
It’s not hard to constantly be inspired in this field! I stay awestruck by the way the earth unfolds and incredibly produces the mediums I get to use! I may get to use my eye for color, my sense of textures that work well together, and assemble the flow and shape of the end design, but so often it is the flowers that speak for themselves! Colors whether in a painting or even a piece of fashion may move me. In the age of social media it is so amazing to be able to keep up with other incredible designers and floral movements all around the world and that’s an incredible inspiration!
What is your favorite part of a wedding? (or your job?)
Most people don’t realize how much work goes into the process before ever getting the finished product. Unpacking and cutting in flowers, cleaning dirty buckets, foliage and stems everywhere you look, striving for gentle transportation, setting up, taking down, it can be overwhelming! But once I am hands on designing I am on cloud nine. Seeing the finished product and the customers reaction is priceless and so satisfying! The thing about flowers is that their offering is usually an expression of some great emotional experience, whether that be a wedding, inspiring a smile during a happy occasion, expressing love, or offering peace in the hard times. Getting to be a part of these important times in a person’s life is so gratifying.
Do you have any advice you would like to give engaged couples?
Don’t let the planning process overwhelm you to the point of not savoring the point of it all. Have an idea of what you are looking for where flowers are concerned but don’t get too caught up with pinterest or grand magazine spreads as often these are styled shoots and some of the grand things you see may be less realistic than you imagine. Trust your florist to take your preferences and make them fit your budget and vision appropriately.
Field + Flora Design Co.