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In Her Element: Elizabeth Chew, Founder of Liz Florals

In Her Element is a photo-series by Delegate featuring inspiring women in Singapore who excel in their various domains. For our latest issue, we met Elizabeth – the founder of Liz Florals – at Far East Orchid and Ji Mei Flower, where she gets fresh cut flowers for projects.

liz florals far east orchid

Elizabeth is a cheerful and creative florist with a keen eye for detail and aesthetics. She believes that one of the best ways to express love is through flowers, and enjoys bringing happiness and inspiration to her clients through her work.

She focuses on creating rustic, whimsical and romantic designs for weddings, special occasions and corporate events. Her numerous features in Her World Brides, The Wedding Scoop and Singapore Brides as well as having worked with various brands such as Clarins Singapore and Butterworks – Walk & Roll Studios, are testament to her expertise and reputation in the field.

Becoming a full-time florist had not always been on Elizabeth’s mind. Before she discovered her passion in floristry, her ambition was to be a clinical psychologist – “One initial challenge was coming to terms that years spent on studying and my academic degree has no direct relation with my job today.” However, being a psychology major helped in other ways including better communicating with her clients. Liz Florals first started out as a hobby, but Elizabeth gradually managed to make it into a business and decided to take a leap of faith to turn it into a full-time job.

She counts herself lucky to have family and friends who support her in her dreams, and attributes her success with Liz Florals to them. She recalls a project from 2019, “This was the first time we decorated the iconic Intercontinental staircase, and I did this up with my dear family. They’re the best team!”

“It was a small timeframe to build everything from scratch, and this was both stressful and exhilarating,” says Elizabeth about the Intercontinental staircase decor she did with her family in 2019. Photo credits: Annabel Law Productions

Describing herself as both a dreamer and a planner, Elizabeth loves making meaning out of her projects and works hard to achieve her goals. “I love creating something beautiful and meaningful for others”, she says. “Being happy comes from creating something I am proud of and which portrays both mine and my client’s vision.”

Apart from keeping herself updated with design trends, she also focuses her attention on her clients’ preferences and personalities to give them highly personalised, timeless floral arrangements.

“Every project is unique in its own way and that is the beauty of this job.”

With the diversity of clients and projects, Elizabeth notes that she will always feel the stress to deliver. However, she dives into her work with the mindset of trying to improve and go beyond her comfort zone, which motivates her into giving clients high quality floral pieces each time. As a florist, she reminds herself that she can never be ‘too prepared’ for any project, and to have confidence and trust in herself.

“I will have to take it to my stride and transform this stress into a positive motivation force to do better every time”

Although Elizabeth loves flowers and arranging them, she says that she never has a favourite flower or project – it changes with every new project she takes. Recalling what her floral teacher said when she was training at Nobleman School of Floral Design, “He told me he never had any favourites, because if so then he will always be focused on using his favourite flower and will never be able to try something new without a pre-existing bias.” This resonated with her and she strives to make every project she takes on to be her ‘new favourite’. “Only then will I be able to give my best every single time to my clients,” she says.

Elizabeth’s greatest influence is her mother, who also took up floral classes out of interest when she was younger. She reminisces about childhood times, being woken up by her mom on her birthday to have a flower crown put on her for photos. “[My mother] is someone I respect and admire because of how she thrives in every situation she is in. She puts in her best, is disciplined, and does effortful things effortlessly.” Elizabeth is also inspired by her mother’s creative input and opinions for her floral arrangements. She mentions that “through her, I get reminded of the value of working hard and smart, and being kind.”

And for selecting the freshest flowers, here are Elizabeth’s tips:

  • Sometimes it’s not about the petals, but the stems and leaves too. Try to ensure that the stems and leaves are not mouldy or mushy.
  • At the wholesale flower market, many flowers are sold in stalks of 10. Amongst the 10, there are usually 3-4 stalks that are less ideal than the rest in the same bundle. This is quite common, thus it’s important to cater for this when deciding on the quantities of flowers you need.

In her free time, Elizabeth loves movies – be it rewatching old movies or catching new ones. She also enjoys spending time with friends and family, and some alone time to recharge. “You can find me with a cup of coffee at a cafe on some off days, or indulging in hotpot!”, she says.

Elizabeth sees herself as ‘in her element’ when she is able to embrace the myriad of emotions that come with her job without judgement. “Being happy while doing flowers also comes with other emotions such as being under pressure, being motivated, and eventually being content and at peace,” she says. “To find one’s element, exploring different things that may interest you is very helpful! Consider putting yourself out there to try new projects and be mindful of how you feel when and after you do that project.”

One quote that Elizabeth lives by is:

“Live life, cherish your loved ones.”

Check out Liz Florals on Delegate for wedding flower packages, bridal flowers, personalised bouquets, flower subscriptions and collaborations!

Get a special rate for her 2020 Valentines Day bouquet designs here.

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