We had the good fortune of connecting with Irina Pizzurro and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Irina, what inspires you?
When it comes to my florals, I am often take inspiration from the nature I see around me. Colors, textures, shapes, of the plants growing in my yard, down the street, or across town… really wherever I happen to be. I feel like often people expect florals to be perfect – either the perfect shade or shape but I find inspiration in the imperfect. Like leaves that are changing with the season, branches that have just the right shape for the project, or grasses and dried weeds. I forage a lot. When I sit down to work on a concept for a client, I draw inspiration from all the photos and concepts they bring me. Sometimes it’s a lot, sometimes it isn’t. I always find though, there are common elements in each photo. This helps form a true vision. People get embarrassed sometimes to share their Pinterest or photo document because they think it’s all over the place or a mess, but to me, it’s like a puzzle to figuring out someone’s true aesthetic.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My love for florals started over a decade ago. No one in my family (to my knowledge) had ever been a florist or had a true interest to work with flowers. So I was fortunate to learn a lot of what I know with hands on experience. In the beginning it was a lot of grunt work, learning flower names, making arrangements, corsages, and boutonnieres. About 4 years in took some classes at a local community college in Austin to learn the things I hadn’t yet done. A lot of funeral work, business practices, wedding practices, etc. It helped me shift gears in my career and got me thinking about doing it on my own. I started freelancing a lot as well. There is so much information out there that you can learn by working with others. There isn’t just one set way to do something. And everyone has such different styles that I think you almost need to work with others so you can curate and develop what works best for you and your business. In late 2019, I decided to make a living doing florals. It was really hard and stressful for the first few months. When Covid hit I took a job at a local floral wholesaler because events, weddings, and teaching opportunities had stopped completely and I didn’t have a shop front to rely on. I think that now, this really sets me apart from the rest of those who do events, styled shoots, and weddings because I have an in on what product is out there. It’s taught me a lot about seasonality, farms, where product it sourced, etc. I can use a lot of this as a selling point to a client. It’s helped me stay grounded when concepting ideas in regards to pricing structures and business practices. I’ve always tried to remain transparent about processes; I like to educate the client if their interested as well as design them something beautiful. Throughout it all, I have always remained humble and honest. I think a lot of people value that. Also I’ve always remained flexible in this business and am willing to accept change. As new generations start buying flowers and getting married, they’re going to want something new and fresh. You have to keep up.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m probably pretty low key, haha. It’s also hard to eat my way through Dallas being gluten free but we would definitely grab breakfast at Company Cafe off Greenville making sure to save room for a macaron at Joy. We would go vintage shopping at Dolly Python, Curiosities, Curious Garden, and Benny Jack’s. We would grab a slice of pie at Humble Pie on Garland. We would also definitely take a few days to go to the Dallas Arboretum, Perot, and Dallas Aquarium. We would check out the Nasher and Museum of Art. We would eat our way through the farmer’s market and then go see some local music down in Deep Ellum. Some other places we would definitely eat – Pie Tap, Jimmy’s Italian Food Store, El Fenix, Rodeo Goat. And of course being in Texas means eating BBQ – so Lockhart BBQ, Smokey John’s off Mockingbird, Slow bone, or Off the Bone – get my pick. And to make sure we were properly caffeinated I am a fan of Cultivar Coffee, Noble Coyote, White Rock Coffee, and La La Land.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so many to Thank!! First of course, to my Husband. He is incredibly supportive (often the arm you see in bouquet shots) and has helped me to get Iris & Iree from an idea to a business. To all the florists I have worked with in the past, from Florida to Texas. Everyone who I have worked with has always taught me something new – whether that is how to perfect European handheld bouquets to designing with unique color combinations to getting me to design in outside of my comfort zone. My friend Kendall Meyers (Kendall Nicole Studios). She is so encouraging and an amazing friend. Kendall and I have worked together so much over the past few years and she has really helped me see how photographers look at florals and pay attention to the details. And where it all started – Mariah R., the floral manager at a store I worked at 13 years ago. She taught me everything she knew – good and bad.
Kendall Nicole Studios Ivory Darling Photography