Making Memories

Personalization is among the hottest 2019 prom trends

Customization is in, and unique, personality-driven floral designs will be among the top choices this spring for prom season according to Emily Campen, an expert on prom trends and arrangements.

Emily is the owner of the Flower Pot and Betty’s Florist in Knoxville, Tennessee, and she expects to be very busy this spring, helping to accessorize high school girls and boys for their big nights. With 20 high schools in the surrounding area where her shops are located, and a solid customer base she draws from including 10 schools that are near her two shops, Emily typically receives many orders throughout the prom season. She expects the prom rush of 2019 to be more of the same.

“Our customers are fun!” she says. “They are excited for a big, special night and are ready to have the time of their lives! They have been pouring over Instagram and Pinterest and they come in with some creative ideas. We love seeing their thoughts turn into reality.”

The ideas continue to trend toward personalization. Customers are expected to be looking for unique, expressive designs again this year as they did last year.

“We have seen more and more prom goers want something that expresses their unique personality,” Emily says. “They want something customized for their colors and preferences and ideas. They don’t have much interest in ordering a ‘traditional’ corsage or boutonniere.”

As tastes evolve, and in keeping with the personal touch that is currently popular among prom-goers, Emily forecasts a significant change this year: the boys will play a more active role in choosing floral designs for their proms. She states that flowers aren’t just for females in gowns anymore, and one of the biggest trends in 2019 will be the popularity among boys regarding a specific type of floral creation to be worn on the pocket of a jacket.

“We have seen a lot of gentlemen who are accenting their formal wear with silk or even floral pocket squares,” Emily says. “I think they like the idea of a colorful accent that doesn’t need to be pinned on, and yet is very unique and speaks to their style.”

Emily also suggests that there are likely to be customers looking for simpler prom accessories, some with even less flowers…with more emphasis on other varieties of botanicals.

“Incorporating succulents and airplants is growing in popularity, along with amping up the texture and depth of the designs with foliage and dried accents,” Emily says. “I enjoy incorporating different elements into designs and challenging myself to look around the shop and see something in a new light and incorporate those into a design.”

The Flower Pot has been in Knoxville since 1972. Emily bought her stores from her sister in 2015. With each passing year, Emily has found that her customers, even those in high school, get more sophisticated and savvy.

“We see students getting ready for prom beginning in early spring,” she says. “The school system helps them stagger the dates of their events so there may be a few that are on the same weekend, but not all of them at once. During the week of prom we see a lot of customers coming in to order and they will bring samples of ribbon or fabric from a dress or other piece of clothing they want to accent.

“We spend the week before and event making the structures for boutonnieres and corsages like wristlets or other accessories that can be made ahead of time,” Emily says. “We have used everything from Oasis flat wire to hot glue in a fondant mold to create foundations for prom accessories.”