Carole Sullivan knows how to make an event beautiful. She’s been the mastermind behind the flowers for the Ball of Roses for the past decade as well as the Poinsettia Ball, making everything from bouquets for the girls to arrangements to décor for the event space on a theme the chairperson selects. But most of her work with Lagniappe Designs is focused on weddings. “It’s a great challenge,” she says. “I love to put things together and to meet brides. It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s a lot of fun.” She’s worked out of a storefront in Crestline Village for more than a decade—the perfect location to keep her near her home but keep her work separate from her home, a change up from her early days when she worked out of her house.
How did you get into the flower business?
My sons were all in college at the same time, and I wanted to do something. So I started working for someone who was doing flowers. A friend of mine’s daughter was getting married and I did the flowers for her wedding, and people started asking me to do their flowers. That’s how it started, just word of mouth. I never dreamt I’d be in this business at all, but I love it. That was about 25 years ago.
Where did your name come from?
It means “something a little extra,” it’s a French Cajun colloquialism. I had another business with another partner. We did wicker baskets with hard bows and ruffles and it was called Lagniappe Incorporated. I kept the name since I already had accounts at market.
What takes a floral arrangement from good looking to great looking?
Color plays a big part in it, and the types of flowers and greenery. The more textures you have, the more interesting it is. One massive arrangement of one flower is always pretty too. Most brides want an ivory and white with a touch of peach or pink, but next weekend we are doing one that’s all bright colors. That will be fun because we haven’t done one like that in a while.
What trends are you seeing lately?
Brides want a little more loose than tight bouquets. There is more interest in flowers with textures, and succulents and ferns can give it more green. Pinterest plays a big part now. Before you would come up with your own ideas and see if the bride would like to go in that direction, but now brides bring me a lot of pictures from Pinterest and they want something similar to that.
What are your favorite fall flowers?
Dalias, Coxcomb, things like that. Brides like textured berries and fall leaves. You can do green berries or black berries (not the fruit but black berries), and different pods. It’s a beautiful time of year, and often they get married at outside venues like Swann Lake.