Meet Daniel Ferreira, who is the co-owner and creative force behind Ecozest, located in the beautiful Garden Route town of Knysna.
How did it all begin?
It all started in my parents’ garden on our family farm in the Eastern Free State, my mother picking flowers and arranging them inside the house. In my last years at school I worked in a local florist owned by two wonderful floral artists. I studied fine arts, and a fellow student friend and her mom did flowers for weddings. After I completed my studies I went abroad to gain experience from other florists. I lived in London for four years and worked in a few different flower shops, including with a wonderful florist lady Jude Roberson. We did amazing jobs and worked in wonderful locations like the Tate Gallery, The Museum of Natural History and St Paul’s Cathedral. Covent Garden flower market was part of my weekly routine.
What inspires your creativity?
I am inspired by the medium I work with and looking at nature and how plants grow and change through the seasons, but mostly inspiration comes from within, tapping into one’s own creativity shaped by experience and observations and interpreting a specific brief with a fresh approach. I love art, design, hand craft, stylish and authentic creatives and the natural world; it all becomes part of one’s broader field of vision that nurtures one’s inspiration.
Define your style?
Our signature style is very natural, uncontrived, not forced, playful and uplifting. We apply these principles for very contemporary stylised work as well as natural floral-abundant work. We always try to honour the beauty and energy of the natural medium we work with.
Best winter flowers: proteas, cymbidium orchids, fynbos, chrysanthemums, banksias, pincushions.
What are your best Tips for selecting wedding flowers?
Brides should decide what flowers they love most and then research when they are most available based on the seasons.
One can then plan the wedding to be around that time of the year to make sure those flowers are available. One can have a beautiful late winter/early spring wedding with fynbos and all the proteas and pincushions blooming as they are not so easily available during the hot summer months.
Although a large variety of flowers are grown throughout all four seasons, some are very season-specific and will look at their best during that time.
Discuss possible alternatives with your florist that will last well and look good. Trust your florist, because if they are able to express their creativity then your wedding will benefit from their originality and flair.
How soon should you place your order?
Book your florist early to ensure you get a good end result. I don’t think there is a set rule as to the timing before your big day, but certainly the sooner the better.
Send Daniel an email today.
Interview by Gill Lewis