For Valentine’s DayLet your imagination run wild with Blømeko
For Valentine’s Day, common custom usually means buying flowers.
Always a great idea, but flowers are perishable, and you may shy away from offering candy or chocolates – even though they’re “so sweet” as Jacques Brel famously sang so long ago.
The location exudes creativity and the storefront window, through floral arrangements, ornaments, and dried flowers decorating the flower bar, is simply eye-catching.
As you may have already guessed, Blømeko is a dried flower boutique that offers workshops to learn how to make bouquets, crowns, and all sorts of objects using flowers stabilized and dried through a special process that freezes them in time.
Clara Meurisse, the boutique’s founder, selects them with care and attributes great importance to their origin to limit her carbon footprint and to support French growers: “70% of the flowers come from France and Italy, 20% from Spain, and 10% from Holland. Our goal is to work with flower farms around Lake Annecy as well as throughout the rest of France. We commit to keeping all orders within Europe, since that makes most sense,” she explains.
© Aude Schalk
Blømeko, Clara’s idea, started in 2020. The name forms a contraction between two Swedish words (“Blomma,” which means flower, and “Ekologisk”).
“I spent most of my childhood in Sweden, and went to school at the French-Swedish high school in Stockholm. I feel connected to Swedish culture, where nature and the great outdoors play a significant role. In terms of education, personal development is highly emphasized,” Clara explains, “by offering creative workshops in addition to selling dried flowers, Blømeko forms a blend of the values that are important to me.”
As her thirtieth birthday approached, and after having earned a university degree in mechanical engineering and starting a career that just did not fit, Clara decided to take a step back to explore her options. She recognized a need to reconnect with herself and with the simple pleasure of creating things.
Floral art proved to be her calling, and after several internships working for florists she decided to launch Blømeko.
“When people attend my workshops they often say that, ‘I don’t know how to work with my hands.’ Most have never really been taught and lack confidence in their abilities. By simply letting go of their preconceived notions and focusing on the present moment, each one of them discovers their innate capacity to succeed and develop their artistic side. I find it fulfilling to be able to guide them through this process of exploration and discovery,” Clara explains.
The workshops have proved an overwhelming success, and to such an extent that Clara has hired several new recruits, all changing careers just like her.
There is France, who worked in the pharmaceutical industry; Justine, a former lawyer; Marion, who worked in merchandising; and Charlotte, who use to be a nurse. All of them, like Clara, needed to find greater meaning in their work.
Business is flourishing, yet Clara is by no means resting on her laurels, as she plans to open a second boutique in downtown Annecy. In addition to dried flowers, house plants will take center stage. The concept, however, will remain unchanged: the new store will hold workshops and display pieces made by local artisans.
A typical workshop
Workshops start by learning all about the shop, the flowers, and their origin.
Then participants get their hands dirty so to speak, choosing colors, shapes, and different types of flowers. Guided by their own personal inspiration them as well as advice from the day’s instructor, they choose the elements that will make up their floral arrangement. After making their selection, participants make their way to the back of the showroom where everyone takes a seat around a wooden table.
Using scissors, pliers, and iron wire, they get to work and their creations little by little take shape. Faces begin to light up as hidden artistic talents, often unexpected, surface.
© Aude Schalk
Everyone shares ideas and helps each other out. The workshops ends with what the Swedish call “Fika,” a social custom that involvestaking the time to share a coffee with colleagues at the end of a workday or after an extracurricular activity. A fantastic approach that sums up the mindset at Blømeko workshops: a warm and friendly atmosphere where everyone takes the time to appreciate the little things in life.
25 avenue du Parmelan – ANNECY
Tel. +33 (0)9 81 37 05 13
- © @melstudiophoto
Journalist: Aude Pollet-Thiollier
Translation: Darin Reisman