Flowers for Every Season, and for Many Reasons
Flowers for Every Season, and for Many ReasonsBy Jim Yuan Zhou Flowers are beautiful; it is also inspirational as to its aesthetic appeal. In 2004, Mr. Golf Srithamrong, from Thailand, founded Tantawan Bloom, Inc, a New York based high-end floral event company. Mr. Golf Srithamrong and his design team create custom and modern floral designs for weddings and special events. This winter, Asian Fusion had the pleasure to interview Mr. Golf as he shared his beautiful world of flowers with you, our readers.
AF: Can you tell us about yourself and Tantawan Bloom?
GS: I was born and raised in Thailand. When I was 26, I came to New York City and started exploring my interests. After graduating in floral design at the Continuing Education program of Parsons The New School for Design and also at the American Floral Art School in Chicago, I founded Tantawan Bloom, Inc. in 2004. Tantawan Bloom is a high-end floral event company, with a reputation for clean, modern designs.
AF: What inspired you to create Tantawan Bloom?
GS: I love flowers! After finishing my floral studies, I learned a lot about the event business and realized how it could be combined with florals. I knew that I could use my creativity with flowers in a way that would make event gatherings truly special.
AF: What is your signature style and Tantawan specialty? GS: The Tantawan specialty is modern, sleek, clean and elegant. My signature style typically features orchids, large trees, and an approach to florals that few have seen before.
AF: What has been your most memorable event? What made it so memorable?
GS: I would say that a wedding party we produced at the New York Public Library would be one of my favorite events. On that day, we arranged to have a part of Fifth Avenue closed to accommodate this spectacular event. The entire street was filled with party guests, many of whom were in traditional Indian attire; there was music and dancing in front of the famous Public Library building. The groom arrived riding a beautiful white horse. Our designs were executed flawlessly, and our bride and groom were astounded. It was one of the most memorable weddings I have ever done!
AF: How do different cultures influence you as a floral designer in New York?
GS: New York is filled with life, art and wonderful people from many different backgrounds. Every day I am inspired by what is around me. Our clientele are from nations and cultures from all over the world, which encourages me to create my designs from new perspectives all the time. It is truly a blessing to live in New York and have these opportunities as a designer.
AF: How do you change the floral style based on different locations or events?
GS: The designs I create must reflect the venue. For example, it would not be wise to produce an ultra modern design in a more traditional and classic venue: they would clash. The first meeting with the client is very important, because once they tell me their venue, I have a better understanding of what they are looking for.
AF: How do you decide which flowers to use for each event? Where do you draw your inspiration from when designing a bouquet?
GS: We usually use flowers related to the season, and when we meet our clients we decide which flowers to use that will reflect their vision. Clients will let us know their general style, which leads us to understand if the event will be modern, traditional, feminine, masculine, romantic, or otherwise.
After I meet with my clients and get to know them, I start the process of deciding how and what to create for them. This is when it seems that everything around me triggers my creativity and allows to me start designing a bouquet.
AF: Besides flowers, do you provide any other accessories?
GS: We offer rentals, linens, lighting, planning and entertainment. For some events we offer paper products and favors; we can plan and coordinate almost everything besides food.
AF: What are some of the challenges Tantawan Bloom faces in the industry today?
GS: Some challenges that we face are: a great deal of competition, the cost of florals has gone up substantially over the past 3 years, and weather. Weather in New York can be an issue because it is unpredictable. For example, last year we had a big snowstorm which prevented many of the flowers I had ordered from arriving. I was forced to look at other options to make the event happen.
AF: What do you believe sets your designs apart from other wedding floral designers?
GS: We constantly aspire to create designs that are different, that no one has seen before; floral sculptures that are in themselves art pieces.
AF: Describe what a busy month is like for you.
GS: A busy month for me consists of stress, non-stop thinking and creating, and many events in one month. A busy month is filled with problem solving, constant preparation for the next event, and some more stress.
AF: Where do you see yourself and Tantawan Bloom in 5 – 10 years?
GS: I see Tantawan Bloom expanding beyond the New
York City area and around the world in 5-10 years.
AF: Who has been the most famous celebrity or political figure that you have had the pleasure to work with?
GS: Recently we have had the pleasure to work with Diana Ross, and produced a stunning, beautiful wedding for her son Evan Ross and his wife Ashlee Simpson-Ross.
AF: What is your personal favorite when it comes to flowers? What do flowers mean to you?
GS: My personal favorite flower is the white phalaenopsis orchid! Flowers mean the world to me, each one has its own beauty and it opens your eyes to the wonder of what the world can offer.
AF: Can you share with our readers which Thai restaurant in NYC is your favorite, and why?
GS: Wandee Siam in Hell’s Kitchen is my guilty pleasure. Whenever I have a strenuous event I take a yellow cab straight there. Their food is so authentic it makes me feel like I am back home in Thailand, and that is a wonderful feeling.