Sybil Sylvester, owner of Wildflower Designs, has been creating breathtaking floral creations for home delivery, special occasions, gala events, parties and weddings for more than two decades. Her signature style has earned her a place among the nation’s top floral designers. With Wildflower School and Wildflower on the Road, Sybil educates other floral enthusiasts, garden clubs and businesses, whether they be complete beginners or more advanced designers. Her creativity and effervescent flair are as apparent in her artful arrangements as they are in her radiant personality!
What brought you to Birmingham?
Both of my parents were born and raised in Birmingham. Following WWII, Daddy worked in Baton Rouge, LA, and I was born there. I attended LSU elementary for first grade, and we moved to Birmingham when I was 6. I started second grade at Crestline school. I’ve always considered Birmingham my home, but I love my Louisiana connections!
Tell us about your work.
I love doing what I do. I feel so grateful to be able to help people plan and produce important celebrations in their life — on a small or grand scale. It is never about me, but always about them and finding the right way to show their personality and project the correct feelings through their event. This results in each project being new and different for me — a completely new and fresh creative process — which is my fuel to get it all done. Since I closed my shop and am working from home, I believe that there might be a question about what I actually do these days! I still do everything that I have always done, which means individual arrangements hand-chosen and made by me with love and delivered to the happy recipient; weekly, bi-weekly or monthly arrangements, which I produce and deliver personally; traveling and speaking and doing floral demonstrations; small, specially crafted and carefully planned parties; event and party planning services; weddings, large and tiny; gala events; teaching small flower-arranging classes; and an occasional gig on a luxury cruise ship teaching flower arranging on the high seas. You think of it, and I’ll do my best to help you get your dream!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
“Can’t” never could do nothin’.
What advice would you give to others?
You can do it!
What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
Great music and a great glass of wine. Make it one step better and put me on my front porch looking at the view across the golf course, or in the mountains or anywhere near running or moving water!
What’s your favorite thing to do on a Saturday night?
Get with good friends, and we all cook dinner together.
What’s your favorite local restaurant?
And your favorite vacation spot?
Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur, CA.
What are you listening to these days?
My husband, Bill, creates music mixes for me — I am a lucky girl! So yesterday I was listening to a Jazz mix that included Astrud Gilberto singing “Agua de Beber,” Ben Sidran and “The Glory of Love,” The Concord All Stars with “I Love Being Here With You,” Lee Ritenour with “Isn’t She Lovely” and many more. Today I was on to dance tunes that included Calvin Harris “Ready for the Weekend,” Cobra Starship “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades,” Daft Punk “Get Lucky,” Empire of the Sun “Alive,” Dur Dur D’Etre Bebe “Dur Dur D’Etre Bebe.” I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. Maybe SOCA tunes!
What books are you reading?
What celebrity’s closet would you most like to have?
Comedian Rachel Feinstein. Love her style!
What fashion item would you never be caught dead wearing?
What is your “must-have” purchase for Spring 2014?
I really want a fun Art Print piece, and anything by Proenza Schouler.
Do you have any personality quirks or irrational fears?
You got me with this one! Although I appear very outgoing, I am actually very shy and uncertain in social situations.
If your house was on fire, what’s the one nonliving thing you would grab?
My dining room table, but I can’t lift it! So I am going to save my grandchildren’s “go-to” toys, so some things are familiar for them when they come to stay in our new place.
Name three things you can’t live without, excluding friends, family and God.
My pets, Bogie and Gabby, my daily protein smoothie and anything from Santa Maria Novella.
Thanks for sharing, Sybil! And a huge thank you to Beth Hontzas for today’s fabulous photos!