Leopoldo’s floral career began by accident.
When he signed up for a basic floral design class, Leopoldo Gomez unknowingly launched a career in international design. Until fate intervened, flowers never held much interest for this professional caterer from Mexico City.
His catering business needed to create fresh flower centerpieces for their events. Someone had to take professional floral design classes. “I was the only one with the time to take the classes,” he says. “In the beginning, I really didn’t like working with the flowers, but I fell in love with them little by little.”
Earlier this year Leopoldo presented a floral design program for the Southwest AIFD Chapter. He shared the story of how he fell in love with flowers—and also found the love of his life!
Doing what he loves
Leopoldo explains that once he became knowledgeable in design, “I began presenting design programs for Smithers-Oasis Mexico and discovered my true passion in life. I learned that I love sharing my ideas with students and helping them to become their best.”
In 2016, he presented an AIFD stage program in Anaheim, California and was an instant a hit on the design circuit. Now “he’s everywhere!” says Smithers-Oasis North America Marketing Programs/Communication Manager Kelly Mace of the international designer.
“Water tubes, all the decorative wire and OASIS® Floral Adhesive are the OASIS products that I use most often,” says Leopoldo. “I love to create very intricate works and with these materials I can accomplish those jobs more easily and the designs have much more durability.”
Sharing his passion for flowers
While Leopoldo is a very talented presenter onstage, his audiences find him very approachable off stage as well.
“I love sharing with all the people that follow me on social media and at the different seminars, programs or events that I teach,” says Leopoldo. “It doesn’t matter for me whether it is a very basic or advanced question. I am always available for the people who want to learn more.”
Leopoldo opened a floral design school, Centro de Arte Floral, to enable him to teach the art of floristry to aspiring designers. He also owns the professional floral event and consulting company, Gomez Floral Design.
Leopoldo’s floral philosophy
“My personal floral philosophy is to be each day the best florist I can be,” says Leopoldo. “That means I must put all of my love and passion for the flowers into every detail of my work each day.”
“To be a florist is not only about to create beautiful arrangements. To be a florist means to create a whole experience for your clients and the right emotion for each place.”
Does he have a favorite flower for that task? “For me, it depends on the kind of emotion I want to create for the viewers,” says Leopoldo. “But if I need to choose something, I will say the simple wildflowers that nature gifts me with in the most generous way.”
Going back to his roots
Texture is an important element in Leopoldo’s work. “My use of textural materials is because of my roots,” he says. “In Mexico, all the artisans create their pieces in that way, and they are my biggest inspiration.”
Leopoldo is also inspired by life. “Just to open my eyes every day is an inspiration,” he says. He also finds meaning in history, nature, art, theory and the materials with which his hands work. He describes his style of design as “intricate, introspective, dancing flowers!”
A new love
While Leopoldo and his flowers were dancing across design stages in the U.S., fate intervened again, and he fell in love for the second time. His newfound love of flowers brought to him the love of his life.
“Without any doubt, the most memorable event of my travels happened to me at AIFD National Symposium. I met my future wife after that event,” Leopoldo says, speaking of Cindy Pham AIFD, who is a talented designer in her own right. “We had a very special connection that took us to a relationship and today we are fiancés.”
Along with Leopold’s story of success, he offers encouraging words of advice to others who are seeking a design path of their own. “My most important advice is that they should never give up. Always be yourself, and you can be a great florist.”
Do you have an inspiring story of flowers to share with our audience? Email me at email@example.com.
The Oasis Idea Weekly Blog on FloriologyInstitute.com is republished with permission and collaboration with Oasis Floral Products. The original blog can be found at: https://oasisfloralproducts.com/Ideas/floral-ideas/