“You should never listen to the flowers. Just see them and smell their aroma”, Antoine de Saint-Exupery wrote in “The Little Prince” envisaging the creation of a world of beauty, harmony and hope.
The story of Christos Moudouris begins from his family flower-shop in Thessaloniki and it gets to the most celebrated flower shops of New York. A success story that introduced us to the enchanting art of flower binding. I remember spending my hours among the flowers ever since I was a little child! In the afternoons, after school, at the weekends and, mostly, on holidays, I was in the flower-shop, I started by cleaning the flowers, delivering the orders in the neighbourhood and even before I realised it I was found in weddings! Later, I started following seminars and I thought that was what I wanted to do. Today, I work in the flower-shop I grew up. A Greek, classical, family business.
I have, also, studied graphistics in “Akto art and design” in Thessaloniki. I started the flower-binding seminars at the same time with my studies. The seminars have been going on until today. My interests, beyond the flowers, are the walks in town, the cinema, the trips.Whenever I create I always have a plan in my mind or a rough plan on a piece of paper. Self-creation comes to that point where the initial plan isn’t affected.
The reason I worked in Manhattan, USA, was my continuous participation, in the last 10-11 years, in the happenings of the flower-binding (seminars, show-offs, contests). It started as a joke, it got serious later and there I was in New York! It was a fascinating experience. I left the standard situation behind and I was found in Manhattan, working for the best hotels like the Gramercy Park and Park Lane Hotel for first-rate companies, like Macy’s and for some of the most famous people like Victoria Beckham, Mariah Carey and Aretha Franklin.
In the US I saw excellent working conditions, superior to one’s expectations. The amounts are by far different. A huge client list and very high demands. Moreover, technically, the differences between New York and Thessaloniki are enormous. I had to adjust my European minimalistic style to that of more extravagance in America. On a personal level everything was different. I met people from every corner of the world with a totally different culture. It was an amazing experience.
Recognisability for a florist-composer is to be thrilled with what he does! Let’s not forget it’s a profession, that requires your presence constantly 12 hours a day, 365 days a year! It’s important for someone to find time for his/her personal and social life. Beyond that point the dreams are many. Anyone would appreciate the world’s recognition.
To offer flowers only, when you “have to” is a commonplace. However, it’s the most gentle thing. They play a crucial role to the cheerful mood of people!
It’s a competitive profession. The one who knows stands out! From the time the flower goes to the hand of the florist until it reaches the hand of the client in an excellent condition. Of determining importance is the personal style of every composition, that has to “betray” its own creator.
The peoples of Central Europe, with the Netherlands on the first range, have developed a culture around the flower. The same stands for Asia with Japan, which invented the art of ikebana. If I were to choose my favourite flower, I’d choose craspedia. I adore the distinct shape, the one and only yellow colour and its velvet touch! Not only do I converse with flowers, I stroke, take care, feed them with the best foods! In return, they pay me back, by giving their best selves!
In today’s Greece, the tendency is that, with a few materials, thus a low budget, we create unique designs with lots of imagination and personal effort! I don’t confine myself to stereotypes. Every situation is different. There are tendencies determined by time and place.
The choice of flowers reflects the client’s psychology to a degree. It’s easily perceived, if we notice that in the great joy, the majority selects colourful flowers with different shapes and touches, like tulips, windflowers and the tropical heliconia, banksia, strelitzia. Of course, there are occasions where their choices are limited to one colour, oriental lilies, roses and chrysanthemus.
In a few words
A journey is… the best way to spend your money!
A flower that reminds of Greece… olive.
The most beautiful gardens in the world… Versailles in France.
Destination – an aesthetic model… Tokyo.
Memory from my trips… the blizzard in New York.
The best comment for my flower compositions… “It’s the most ravishing composition I’ve seen in my life”.
The Soul of Greece… the new generation.
A custom relevant with the flowers I love… the carnations at bouzoukia (laughing). I like seeing young children offering flowers to their beloved ones.
Info: Paradise Flowers, 28th Oktomvriou 70 str, Evosmos, Thessaloniki.
Attention-Translation: Olga Syntrivanis