By Karen Billing Staff Writer
By Karen Billing
Two Torrey Pines graduates are enjoying making the bride’s big day more beautiful with their Sorrento Valley-based floral company Blush Botanicals.
Alex Wise and Brittany Cranmer, both Torrey Pines High School class of 2004 graduates, started Blush Botanicals in 2009 designing dream florals for an average of two weddings a week. They’ve found themselves booked through the end of 2011, not to mention an additional bouquet of corporate clients.
“At our age, starting when we were 23 and 25 now, we both look back and it’s just absolutely incredible that we get to do what we love, work with each other and make other people’s lives brighter,” Wise said. “It’s amazing we’ve achieved the amount of success we have, we never thought it was possible.”
The two best friends working alongside each other has worked out well. It helps that they love what they do, Cranmer said, but also that they have the same values, work ethic and personalities.
“We’re more like siblings,” Cranmer said. “We know each other so well we can tell each other in a glance what’s going on.”
“People always say we have our own language,” Wise said.
Wise, who grew up in Rancho Santa Fe, met Solana Beach native Cramner when they were freshmen at Torrey Pines High. They were close friends until college separated them and Wise went off to the University of Southern California and Cranmer to Sonoma State University, where she played lacrosse.
After graduating from college, the pair lived together and trudged home nightly from jobs they weren’t crazy about—Wise worked in finance and Cranmer in the health field.
The friends decided to take a huge leap, despite the bad economy, and headed off to floral design school in Los Angeles.
“The wedding industry is huge, especially in San Diego. I think people think of the floral industry as older but we put a new spin on it, young and urban,” Cranmer said.
“I think we really make connections with younger brides,” Wise said.
Blush’s first studio was in Little Italy, which they quickly outgrew. Their current Sorrento Valley location is three times the size and more centrally located.
Wise and Cranmer said that in the last three years they have learned a lot about the industry and gained invaluable experience — the first wedding they ever did, they were so nervous they arrived three hours early and couldn’t even get into the venue at the time.
While they used to do everything themselves, they now have a support staff to help.
Fridays are like the Monday of their workweek, gearing up for sometimes two to three weddings a weekend.
“Wedding weekends are a big rush for us,” Wise said.
Cranmer said they call the big day “game day,” a nod to her lacrosse-playing days.
They won’t book more than two weddings a night as one of them needs to be at the event. Weddings are a very physical and stressful gig — “I think people think it’s a little more glamorous than it is,” Wise said.
Their team has to be at the venue early to set up and get the bouquets in the bridal parties’ hands. They stay to transition from ceremony to reception and are often out until 1 a.m. making sure everything goes just perfectly.
One of the things they love about their job is seeing the look on the bride’s face when everything comes together.
Cranmer said Blush is known for its “tight” arrangements, not too much greenery and with a lot of texture. They can do sleek and classic, like eggplant calla lilies swept to the side atop a tall cylinder vase to romantic and sweet, like a bouquet with roses, succulents and berries that was recently featured in Exquisite Weddings magazine.
Cranmer said every event is exciting because every bride wants something different. They did a vintage look for a recent Santaluz wedding, with flowers and crystals dripping off chandeliers.
In May, Blush did the flowers for “Amazing Race” winners Meghan Rickey and Cheyne Whitney’s wedding at the Hard Rock Hotel downtown. The pair got a thrill when their flowers showed up on the pages of People Magazine.
In addition to weddings, Blush also handles corporate clients. They provide weekly arrangements for local restaurants and clubs and did 200 centerpieces for an event during this year’s NBA All Star Weekend in Los Angeles—a highlight was Bruno Mars rehearsing while they set up.
The pair figures that they started out young enough to see their business flower so much more before they start focusing on starting families. For now, Blush is their “baby” and they can’t wait to see what it might grow into.
To learn more about Blush Botanicals, visit www.blushbotanicals.com. Check them out on facebook at facebook.com/blushbotanicals.