These aren’t real? These are wood? You make these? Can I keep them forever? These are questions I am asked almost any time I introduce someone to sola flowers. When I go to bridal shows I answer them so many times I feel like I am on repeat and at lunch start to feel sorry for the other vendors around me. They probably know the answers to my questions as well as I do by the end of the day. Since I’m asked these so often, I figured they were perfect questions to blog about. So here we go.
These aren’t real? These are wood?
I am going to answer these together. No and kind of. No, they are not real flowers and they also aren’t technically made out of wood, even though most refer to them as wood. Sheets of sola are made from the root of the cassava plant, also known as yuca, (not the cactus with two c’s) or manioc. Cassava is a long brown tubular root that often has shiny skin. You’ve probably seen it in the grocery store, it’s usually by the potatoes. Besides making flowers the cassava plant is also an awesome source of carbohydrates, it can be eaten like a potato, or is often dehydrated into a tapioca powder, those little balls in your tapioca pudding are dried cassava. It’s grown easily in warm climates and used all over the world as a major food source in desserts and breads. It’s actually the 4th largest staple in the world and is highly sustainable.
You make these?
Some of them! I have lux flowers that I make. There are other flowers, like the new beauty rose that are easier for me to purchase raw in bulk. I still fluff, shape and paint these flowers. Then there are my babies, my big bold flowers and my sweet delicate beauties that I create from the stamen up. These flowers cost a bit more but make a bouquet truly unique.
Can I keep them forever?
This will be my most ambiguous answer and one I usually just say, “For a very long time, yes. Forever? I’m not sure, I haven’t lived forever.” The truth is I know flowers themselves last for over 30 years, that I have seen with my own eyes. They may last longer but I personally know of ones that are 30 years old and are raw. I can only assume that using paint and glycerin further preserves them, so I am saying 50 years at least but it could be longer, I’ll let you know in 30 years. I use plastic, silk and preserved fillers. The preserved fillers should last about 30 years and then will start looking kind of sad. They will still be there, but they won’t be as spunky as they were when they were younger. When is all and said and done, you should be able to carry your bouquet on your 50th wedding anniversary.
So, there you go. My most asked questions. Do you have any for me?