By Crystal Harrell
Flowers have been a longstanding way to commemorate a celebration, brighten up a room with inviting colors, or simply to add a natural, beautiful touch to someone’s day. One local florist is making her mark in the Coachella Valley one petal at a time.
SA Floral & Designs was created back in 2011. The main florist, Sandy Santiago, initially had taken a floral design course in high school, and with the encouragement of her husband, she wanted to continue the art form by creating floral arrangements of her own. The couple decided to create a business, and SA stands for their first name initial.
“I have been creating floral arrangements since I was 17… I love art and I enrolled in this floral design program while in my senior year of high school because I found it interesting to be able to create different designs with flowers, it’s a way of expressing my art through flowers,” said Santiago.
Not only does SA Floral & Designs provide fresh floral arrangements for any occasion, but the business also adds a touch of personalization to their orders such as engraved vases, champagne glass, groomsmen and bridesmaid’s personalized gift sets, and customized wood work. They also rent photo booths. This demonstrates SA Floral & Designs to cater to a little bit of everything, not just flowers.
Sandy Santiago works with different types of flowers and colors. The arrangements entirely depend on what the client wants and is looking for in the design. It is Santiago’s priority to help their visions come to live.
“The expressions I get from clients and how happy they are with my work, makes me want to continue and create more beautiful designs for them. That’s why we decided to add a touch of personalization to our work,” explained Santiago.
Santiago would like to expand SA Floral & Designs one day, as her primary goal and hope is to broaden her business in the future.
“My favorite part of this business is not only I get to show my creativity, but I get to work along my family. They help me out with orders. I’m the main florist, but I also take care of the online orders and some of the customized orders we get. I have all my siblings and mom that live here in the Coachella Valley. They show support for my business and enjoy seeing all of our work,” said Santiago.
Santiago has three children—one boy who is nine and two teen daughters that help her with the business—as well as her husband. Her mother-in-law has also helped Santiago tremendously with the support of SA Floral & Designs.
The process of creating a flower arrangement depends on the colors or flower types. Santiago starts with the greenery, then adds the main flowers to the vase, after she has finished with the main focal point of the flowers. She then adds filler flowers to the arrangement. Sometimes, Santiago makes adjustments to the flowers if she doesn’t like what she is seeing and rearranges them.
Like many local businesses, SA Floral & Designs has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Santiago had to postpone some of her prescheduled events, but thankfully, business recently started picking back up with the addition of drive-by parties. Santiago has also started getting a lot more customized work orders.
If you would like to see more of Santiago’s work, you can follow her on Instagram- @sa_floral_designs or Facebook at S.Afloraldesign.