Last weekend I had the pleasure of spending a blissful 8 hours learning floral design at Mila Design in Chicago!
Located in the Ukranian Village neighborhood, Mila Design creates beautiful, one-of-a-kind floral designs for weddings and other special events. But even if you aren’t planning any of those, you can still enjoy the beauty of Mila Design at one of their many floral design lessons.
The classes are available to anyone, from aspiring floral professionals to brides-to-be and just regular people wanting to learn more about flower arrangement. Taught by Tatiana Chelekhova, a master floral designer with more than 20 years of experience, the classes cover techniques on how to buy the best flowers, how to process flowers for maximum floral life, and how to create various arrangements.
At my particular class, we started by processing a basket full of flowers from the flower market. We dethorned the roses, and I attempted to learn the proper way to cut flowers with a knife. Next my fellow students and I collaborated on a giant flower design, the kind that might cost you $300 or so at florist. We reused those same flowers to make two bridal bouquets, as well as a decorative garland and a pretty flower bracelet. Before each design, we were shown photos of the design and given a brief lesson on pertinent floral design techniques and history We were able to take home a few of our arrangements.
Other class sessions vary in terms of the types of arrangements created. The class for brides-to-be who want DIY wedding flowers also features a tea party for brides and their bridal parties. Referring to these bridal events, Chelekhova said, “Somehow we have created some type of club.”
Many people return to Mila for more than one class, though Chelekhova states that students are able to work as floral professionals after just one class. She stays in touch with her students and sends them newsletters with new tips and trends in the floral industry. Her students are also given access to a nearby wholesale flower market open only to professionals, so they can purchase flowers and supplies to practice their skills.
The classes at Mila are small and informal, yet professional and informative. One of the best parts of the class was when we all gathered at a small table around our beautiful arrangement and chatted over our brown-bag lunches. After lunch Chelekhova made us all coffee and we resumed our lessons with mugs in hand.
I enjoyed my time at Mila Design and plan to return. I highly recommend Mila for anybody who wants to add a little beauty and color to their lives.