Zita Elze forges a unique path in the world of floristry. She founded Zita Elze Flowers, her beautiful flower shop and event floristry business in London’s leafy Kew back in 2003 and the Zita Elze Design Academy in 2010.
Zita has pioneered the intricate art of Floral Embroidery, creating extraordinary gowns adorned with tiny fresh flowerheads, berries and foliage, and her spellbinding, emotive designs feature in magazines and books across the world.
Brazilian by birth, Zita arrived in the world of flowers by a circuitous route. A bookbinding course in Paris, a Garden Design course at Inchbald, Interior Design studies at KLC School of Design were clearly leading towards a creative career, but it was not until she enrolled on a short floristry course that Zita discovered her true vocation.
Zita designs from emotions, and encourages her students at the Design Academy to do the same.
When she buys flowers at New Covent Garden Flower Market, it is emotions that guide her purchases.
“I never come with a list,” explains Zita. “I buy things that talk to me. When I am working on a new project, I need to come to the Flower Market for exploration. I always find what I am looking for, especially outside (Foliage Row). I love foliage.”
When Zita brings students to the Flower Market, she instructs them to come with their moodboards, because the choice at the Flower Market is so overwhelming.
“Zest have beautiful flowers,” says Zita. “I buy most of my British flowers from Zest. I prefer to work with British because the flowers are not so precise. I love the softness of British. I am always looking for a softness and texture. Even when I am in Brazil, I am look for a softness in the flowers. I go to the woodlands to find what I need. I never use exotics.”
“Yes, I remember the first time I came to the Flower Market,” says Zita. “I came for a visit 13 years ago. I picked out all my flowers and wanted to buy with a cheque."
“I don’t know you”, the wholesaler said and refused my cheque! I had to go and find a cash machine. The Flower Market has changed a lot since.” Indeed, most wholesalers now accept credit cards!
“I used to come at 3am,” recalls Zita of her early years of buying at New Covent Garden Flower Market . “I need the most beautiful flowers, and someone told me that you have to come early to get the best flowers. Now I realise that I can come at 5.30 or 6am!”