In this industry, we are surrounded by creatives, and wedding vendors never cease to wow us with the beauty they create. They inspire us day in and ay out, so we love getting to pick their brains and find out, in turn, what inspires them. Today, we are excited to chat with the talented, Ally Rahal of Visually Creative. She’s not only a floral designer and stylist, but also a collector, curator, nature lover, and a giant inspiration. When embarking on a rebrand, she got together with some other creatives in the realm and created this stunning vintage wedding inspiration that showcases her in her element. Ally’s romantic and elegant designs shine in this shoot and we know you will love it, almost as much as you love hearing her story.
Let’s go back to the beginning! What was your first job and what did you learn there?
Well actually my first job was a paperboy (girl), I think I was 12 years old. It was a hard job for very little money, but I tell you, I developed killer leg muscles!
My most memorable first retail job was working in the haberdashery section of a small retail shop. I cut fabric to length for customers and assisted in the sales on homewares and decorator products. This job helped me forge my love for trinkets and home décor. I worked every single shift they gave me, stayed back for overtime on many occasions, and saved enough money for my first overseas trip to the USA.
From this job, I learned that if I worked hard and was determined in my role I can take myself anywhere.
What sparked your love for florals? How did you decide to go into floral design?
Flowers were always in my life, from the day I was born. I grew up in the country where my family ran and owned a farm. My Grandparents on my mother’s side had green thumbs and they were both professional gardeners. Their love of nature was embedded within me. As I grew older, I spent many hours with my mother in the garden, teaching me so much about nature.
I only entered the industry once a friend saw something in me that I did not. She took a leap of faith to decorate her wedding and I’ve never looked back.
Ok, this shoot with Olea & Fig is absolutely beautiful!! Tell us a little about the inspiration!
Any excuse to get a bunch of creative people together to create magic = dream team.
Well, after about 6 months of thinking of rebranding, I came to a point where I realized I wasn’t capturing my dream clients. One very good friend of mine was my voice of reason, and gave me the push I needed. So, I rang Amelia (the photographer), had a little cry of helplessness, and then started to build this rebrand idea.
Olea & Fig really gave me clarity and asked all the right questions to get the juices flowing. I then realized I needed to go back to the roots of my own European heritage. It was important that the images speak about me, how I work, what inspires me, represent my style and the hundreds of beautiful trinkets I’ve been collecting for 25 years. As a creative person, I really don’t enjoy being in front of the camera, but this team just made it so comfortable.
Do you have a favorite vignette or detail?
I’d have to say a grouping of mixed glass votives, bud vases with large headed blooms and a few old vintage books. Sucker for vintage pieces.
What’s your favorite part of working in this industry?
The friendships that I’ve forged with some amazingly, super talented women.
The chance to create a masterpiece for each and every client. I love the faith & trust they instill in me and the reaction they have once they receive their personal flowers, or walk into the wedding reception.
Walk us through a typical day in the studio! What does your routine look like?
Early start to be at market for 5am. I am not a morning person, but every single time I go, I am giddy with excitement. There is something about the market that makes my heart full and happy.
After years of visiting the market I have developed a special bond with my growers. I see these hard working people sometimes more than my family. The appreciation of what our growers go through to bring these amazing pieces to the market every day is nothing short of a miracle. The market can be quite intense, as there are hundreds of florists picking up their orders to get back to their stores/studios as quickly as possible. Even during the haste of the morning market rush, it’s so important for me to take a moment to talk to my growers, even if it’s the most simplest of words. To avoid disappointment, I preorder my flowers. I also carefully select special one-off pieces that will beautifully compliment the bouquet or make a stunning feature on the bridal table. This attention to detail is what’s important.
Then it’s back to the studio to prep all the flowers for the next day’s event.
Where do you turn to for inspiration?
Art (painting, sculpture, photography), galleries, museums, Botanical Brouhaha Podcast, fellow florists. I regularly talk with a floral friend of mine, and we are always bouncing ideas of one another. We are always inspired by each other even though our styles are quite different.
Favorite Flower: That’s really unfair to ask a florist what their favorite flower is. There are so many favorites! Hellebores, Bearded Iris & Old fashion garden roses.
Most Recent Read: I very rarely find time to read with running a business and a 2 year old, I love listening to podcasts. My favorite: Botanical Brouhaha. Every person they interview inspires me.
Coffee Order: Strong Flat White
Words to Live By: There is always a reason to smile: Find it.