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From handicrafts to flowers: How this designer blossomed to become the florist of the stars

By Adam Laurena Published Apr 12, 2022 12:00 pm

Joel Lopez had a thriving career as a handicraft designer in bustling Hong Kong for 10 years. But in 2011, he decided to come home to Manila, change careers and pursue his childhood dream.

“I wanted to be a florist like my father. He inspired me to be a good florist,” Joel looks back. “I also wanted to be with my family because I worked so long abroad.”

Joel started working as an in-house florist and events decorator. For seven years, his career in floral arrangement flourished which, for him, was easy since he had observed how his father worked when he was young.

Using his design experience, Joel had the knack for conceptualizing bouquets and choosing the right colors. But he wanted to elevate his passion for floral architecture. 

“I still had a lot to learn so I did self-study and attended seminars about arranging flowers. I also took advice from my father,” he relates. “I learned a lot because I worked all by myself to save as much as I could until I could afford to pay for extra florists and assistants.”

Since then, Joel’s floral business has caught the eye of VIPs, including those from Forbes Park, Dasmariñas Village, Valle Verde, Urdaneta Village, Ayala Alabang Village, and more. And later on he started catering to huge events, such as the APEC CEO Summit at the Ayala Triangle in 2015, the birthday bash of the late President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III in Malacañang, and the Bergamo Fashion Show.

In 2019, Joel opened his first flower shop in Montalban, Rizal. He considers this as the biggest break in his career.

His floral designs has since caught the attention of local celebrities like showbiz couple Kim Chiu and Xian Lim and Kapuso host Kim Atienza. 

Other than talent, Joel has learned that this job requires perseverance, diligence, creativity, and patience.

Asked what's next for him in his career, Joel shares he plans to start his own events place in Montalban and expand his flower shop in Sampaloc.

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