Wood Violet is an eco-friendly floral design studio located on North Ave at the edge of the historic Washington Heights neighborhood of Milwaukee. We specialize in green weddings and seasonal floral design workshops. We frequently design in styles that have been described as loose and natural, elegant garden, Victorian, lush and bountiful, rustic wildflower, and nontraditional. We are not a fans of rules or convention and our aesthetic reflects that.
...so where do you get your flowers?
There are quite a few professional flower farms in Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Some are smaller than an acre and some are 10 acres or more. Some are certified organic and some grow with sustainability in mind, using conventional methods on a limited basis. On any given week I might buy flowers from 2-10 different farms to fulfill my orders. Head on over to the grower tab for spotlights on the people who toil away to bring me the flowers that I bring to you.
We like to do our part to be kind to the earth. Tree huggers, can't help it, that's just who we are.
Green floral foam: We don't use it and never will. That stuff is not biodegradable and it contains formaldehyde. Word on the street is that there is a compostable and non-toxic product in the works. We would totally use that.
Vases, jars, buckets, etc. We try our best to reclaim and reuse as many supplies as possible from the buckets in our cooler to the vase that came with your granny's birthday flowers. Thrift shops, flea markets, and dumpster diving: it's all part of the job. That being said...we use a lot of vases and many of them are new. Whenever possible we like to purchase items that have recycled content, are recyclable themselves, and made in the USA. No one is perfect but we're trying.
Flowers: This is a big one and the one we are most passionate about. We use locally grown as much as possible, which is pretty much always if you are buying flowers from us April-November. During the rest of the year it can get a little tricky as the growing conditions in this part of the country make it difficult to produce flowers. But there are sticks, branches, greenery, dried flowers, and plants which are locally available all year from some really fantastic growers (full disclosure: I also run a small flower farm.) So in the winter we will supplement these lovely Wisconsin grown products with flowers and foliage from other parts of the country, usually the west coast or Florida. Most of the flowers sold in this country come from overseas and the vast majority are from South America (even in the summer!!). Why is this a problem? Aside from the carbon footprint associated with the shipping (yeah, I know California is far away too) there are some serious environmental and human rights issues with many of the flower farms in that part of the world. They're not all bad but I would rather support US farmers and the local economy.