Designer Inspired Holiday Home Decor

This year, we have been inspired by some of our favorite designers when it comes to decorating our homes for the holiday season!

{1} Mackenzie Childs: Incorporating this country chic home designer into your holidays will take lots of black & white in the form of checkered prints.  Think ribbons and ornaments in this print.   We recommend a bright red for an accent color!


{2} Betsy Johnson:  This holiday decor style is for the fun-loving decorators out there! To achieve a holiday home that Betsy herself would approve of, add lots of feathers! Put them in your centerpieces, or have them displayed on your Christmas tree! We also recommend bright & unique ornaments to tie this look all together.


{3} Kate Spade: Where playful meets sophistication will be your home this holiday season. Make your mantle Kate Spade inspired by adding bright colors to your holiday garland, like hot print, teal, or lime, and accenting with metallics like ornaments or candle votives. Use these decorations to surround a cheeky, festive graphic quote that will have all your guests smiling.



{4} Vera Wang: Elegant & simple decor is how we describe our Vera Wang Christmas. Lots of black & white decorations, with added in glamour, like a pearl garland.

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{5} Tommy Hilfiger: Go for a vintage, country theme with inspiration from Tommy. Imagine red plaid ribbons tied around the tree or balsam garland, and use antlers as accents when you can!


Talk About Shawn

This week the spotlight is on one of our Canandaigua team members.  Read on to learn more about Shawn, his appreciation for nature and more:
photo shawn
{1} What is your floral background?  I started working at Rockcastle Florist in the green houses on Gibson Street in 1996.  As we stopped growing and used the greenhouses less, I moved into the flower shop and started designing.

{2} How long have you worked at Rockcastle Florist?  I worked full time 1996-2001, part time from 2001-2010, and am now the Assistant Manager, full time since 2010.

{3} What is the most memorable order you have worked on at Rockcastle?  For me the Gill wedding in 2012 at Sonnenberg Gardens.  We designed 2 large spheres placed on silver pedestals that were really impressive.  You don’t get to work on pieces like that very often!

IMG_3260{4} What is your favorite flower?  Daffodil, I love the scent and it is one of the first flowers of spring!

{5} What inspires you in this Industry?  Nature, everywhere you go there are flowers and plants!  I really enjoy more natural materials and textures.  It is great to use all of these elements to create something beautiful for people to enjoy.

{6} Tell us a random fact about yourself.  I am an animal lover, especially interested in Birds!

Talk About Ismeta

This week we’re talking all about Ismeta Bandulj, Flower Buyer and Designer in the Rochester Location.


{1} What is your floral industry background?  I was born in Jugosburja (Bosnia) and worked as a Floral Designer there.

{2} How long have you worked at Rockcastle Florist?  I have worked at Rockcastle Florist for 15 years.  I applied here shortly after we moved to the USA and spoke very little English.  We kid at work that most of my English was learned here at the Shop.

{3} What is the most memorable order you have worked on at Rockcastle?  A young man once came to the shop with a Growers Box of 150 roses that he ordered on line.  He asked for a presentation bouquet with as many as we could manage.  I was able to design a bouquet with all 150.  It was very large and very heavy!

542435_4022863288200_1236014315_n{4} What are your favorite flowers?  Tulips, sunflowers, and calla lilies.

{5} What inspired you in this industry?  Working with beautiful flowers and making people happy with creative designs.

{6} Tell us a random fact about yourself.  I am a big dreamer and wish I could fly.

Talk About Lisa

This issue is all about Lisa, the Manager and Wedding Team Leader in our Canandaigua location.


{1} What is your floral industry background?  I started in the greenhouses of Stella in 1983 and quickly moved to the design room and sales.  Shortly after, I left the floral business and got other jobs.  Nevertheless, I ended up getting back into the industry, working at Cuddeback Florist in Canandaigua as a designer and sales coordinator in 1985.  After spending some time in this role, I moved up to manager and designer of Cuddeback’s Bloomfield location up until 1991.  In 1993 I took some time off to have a baby, and started at Rockcastle in 1994 as a part-time sales associate and designer.  I attended the Hixon School of Floral Design and moved into a full time designer and sales position.  Later on moving to assistant manager.  And for the last four years have been manager of the Rockcastle Florist Canandaguia Location.

{2} How long have you worked at Rockcastle Florist?  It will be 20 years in 2014.

{3} What is the most memorable order you have worked on at Rockcastle?  A halo that we made for a beautiful little girl named Annalise.  She was battling a rare form of cancer and was the flower girl in a wedding.  While the other girls got their hair done the stylist said that Annalise didn’t have enough hair.  When that little girl put that halo on and hugged me, it was by far one of the most powerful moments in my life.  She said she was pretty.  A year later Annalise passed away.  Her aunt sent me a picture from the wedding of her smiling face.  It is at my computer still!

{4} What is your favorite flower?  Alstroemeria.  It comes in lots of great colors and it lasts for so long!

{5} What inspired you in this industry?  People inspire me!  Helping them express happiness or sadness.  Bringing smiles to peoples faces.  Sharing in their wedding.  All of it makes me want to do more and show people the real power of flowers!

{6} Tell us a random fact about yourself.  I collect everything frog!

Talk About Robin

Talk About Flowers is excited to be doing a Talk About employee series.  Each month we will feature a Rockcastle Florist employee to help you learn a little bit more about them and their floral history.  First up, from our Greece location, Robin!


{1} What is your floral industry background?  I attended Alfred State College to gain my Associates Degree in Floriculture Merchandizing.  I have been working in a floral shop since 1995.  During this time I have become an award winning designer, and have attended many floral conferences and exhibitions to keep up with the industry.

{2} How long have you worked at Rockcastle Florist?  12 years. 2 months.

{3} What is the most memorable order you have worked on at Rockcastle?  A funeral piece for a man that was an avid hunter and outdoorsman.  I have a personal connection to those interests and really understood what the family was look for even if they weren’t sure.

{4} What is your favorite flower?  To smell, freesia.  To garden, bachelor buttons or poppies.  To design with, hanging amaranthus.

{5} What inspired you in this industry?  Learning from other designers that push boundaries of traditional design and composition.  I love the calling of being resourceful and using unexpected elements.

{6} Tell us a random fact about yourself.  My family, my gardens, and my hobby farms are my happiness and muse.

Prom Design Challenge

In early March, Rockcastle Florist designers were challenged to create fashion forward, Prom 2013 looks.  Designers were encouraged to research the latest prom fashion trends to drive inspiration for their floral designs.  Designs were evaluated on many factors including: originality, use of color, cost effectiveness, time effectiveness, and teen input.  To select the winning designs our team brought in three high school students, from Odyssey, Olympia, and West Irondequoit, to score and select their favorite designs.  After all, these looks are aimed specifically for prom attendees.


As fashion trends change, so too do floral trends.  Looks are going outside the corsage and boutonnière box with designs like small bouquets and floral necklaces.  One of our High School judges, Jenna Curicio, fell in love with a small bouquet designed by Ismeta Bandulj.  “This bouquet is my favorite piece!  The color of the roses are so pretty and very trendy for this season,” Curicio said.  Prizes are awarded to the top highest scoring designers and all submissions are considered for this season’s prom offerings.


The white freesia corsage designed by Shawn in our Canandaigua location is a tribute to his love of nature. Hen feathers and pussy willow blooms accent this beautiful combination of freesia and botanical green ribbon.
prom 13 11Robin in our Greece location placed second in the competition with this vibrant mix of hot pink and lime green. Designers are encouraged to find inspiration in this Season’s Prom Fashions and here you see the gown that led to Robin’s designs. The lime feathers and decorative bead wire add exciting new touches for this Spring.
prom 13 5Ismeta will be the first to tell you that Prom designs are not her forte, but she totally “rocked” this fingertip bouquet of pink spray roses with 3-D ribbon accents. Originally from Bosnia, Ismeta also designs in the Greece location.
prom 13 7Last, but certainly not least we have the top scoring design by Jen who was inspired by this year’s popular color… turquoise. Alstromeria lilies accented with gems and 3-D ribbon; this classic design was a show stopper and the one design all 3 of our diverse teen judges agreed on with a high score! Jen has been creating beautiful arrangements in our Greece location for over 20 years!!

prom 13 10