Therese Lopez Florals
By Athena Raypold

A Papaya Tree and the Search for a Creative Calling

As a little girl in the Philippines, Therese Lopez, of Therese Lopez Florals, remembers scooping the seeds out of a papaya and planting them in her backyard amongst the guava trees and dendrobium orchids that covered the wall like a colourful blanket of blooms and cocoon-like buds. While she isn’t certain the papaya tree in that yard was the one she planted, as a child, she proudly claimed it as her own. After moving to Canada, Therese’s parents filled their house with tropical plants – perhaps an homage to their homeland – and their verdant home, lush with greenery, resembles a forest.

While flowers and plants have long been a constant in Therese’s life, it took her years to find her way toward starting Therese Lopez Florals, her true creative calling. Instead, she experimented with every handmade activity she could think of, starting with chicken wire ornaments and paper crafts as a child, and then moving on to scrapbooking, needle felting and cake decorating as an adult. Amidst her search for a hobby that came easily, one that spoke to her natural talents, Therese began a part time job at Bunches Flowers. She enjoyed the work but wasn’t initially passionate about it. “I did a lot of craft stuff before I found what I’m good at,” she says. “But I always went back to flowers.”

I’m working within your budget and, no matter what, it’s going to be perfect. - Therese Lopez, owner and florist
Therese Lopez Florals is owned by florist Therese Lopez, who has a strong passion for floral arrangements
Therese Lopez, Florist and Owner of Therese Lopez Florals. Photo by Clara Cecilia Photography
Therese Lopez Florals does floral bouquets for any budget, for events and weddings

A Passion Manifested

After receiving a diploma from NAIT and working as a medical laboratory technologist, Therese sought a hobby that fed her creative compulsions. Longing for an artistic outlet, it wasn’t until a friend told her she was going to arrange her own wedding flowers the night before her wedding that Therese’s talent finally gave her the nudge she needed. Terrified that her friend’s naiveté would result in wilted and disappointing wedding florals, Therese offered her services. While she knew how to work with the flowers from her four years at Bunches, where she would create corsages, boutonnieres and arrangements, she enhanced her knowledge by watching a lot of how-to videos on YouTube.

However, once Therese’s passion manifested, she couldn’t start Therese Lopez Florals fast enough. When books and online tutorials were no longer enough to slake her thirst for knowledge, she enrolled in Toronto’s Canadian Institute of Floral Design program. In fact, Therese often attends workshops and seminars to stay current with trends and demands of the industry. “I’m a florist. I’m a professional,” she says. “I constantly [self-educate]. I still take out books from the library, I look at flower books – because there’s so much mechanics behind the work.” In the coming year she is traveling to Annapolis for the Intrigued Experience floral design conference and wedding industry workshops, where she’ll challenge herself to expand her floral repertoire, allowing Therese Lopez Florals to offer a full range of services and designs for any wedding budget.

Therese Lopez Florals creates unique arrangements, such as wedding bouquets, for any budget
Photo by Chicks That Click Photography
Therese Lopez Florals creates floral arrangments for weddings, showers, parties, anniversaries and corporate events
Photo by Diamond Cake Photography

Striving for Perfection within any Budget

Therese Lopez Florals is an events floral company, creating arrangements for weddings, showers, parties, anniversaries and corporate events. And, for Therese, it’s all about the experience and the customer service. She isn’t a florist for the money, she’s a florist because it feeds her soul; it makes her ineffably happy. When she’s in her basement studio, working on an event’s florals, she will work until 4 am on a floral project. “Time passes, it’s relaxing,” she says. “You know when you love something it’s not work. When I deliver it the next day and the bride sees it, the gratitude is so rewarding, it’s validating.”

Arranging flowers has taught her a lot. “What you learn when you’re doing flowers,” says Therese, “is that it doesn’t matter what you want, it’s [about] what the client wants. I want [clients] to be happy, to be satisfied, to be relieved, to feel that they can trust me and that I’m going to deliver. I never over promise.” Therese does florals to stimulate her creative side, but her analytical, technical side makes her work perfect. Therese will stand in front of a mirror with a bouquet, assessing and inspecting it from every angle, ensuring that it’s the right shape. “Your bouquet won’t even have a spotty leaf in it,” she says. “I will see that and it’s going in the garbage. I’m working within your budget, and no matter what, it’s going to be perfect.”

Therese Lopez Florals creates stunning floral arrangements for events, such as weddings, within any budget range
Photo by Diamond Cake Photography
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