Local floral designers debut on Netflix The Big Flower Fight
By Manning Lee
Courtesy Clear Sky Images
Amid our shelter in place order, I took full advantage of sheltering in place...mostly in the place in front of my TV. I caught up on all the ‘important’ new Netflix shows watching some twice. I came to the same conclusions that every other binge watcher had…Carol Baskin definitely killed her husband.
In between binge watching shows on Netflix, I also did the other thing I’m really good at…Facebook! Scrolling through my newsfeed one day, I spotted my Facebook friend, Sarah Campbell-Angers’s status. Although we’d never met in person, I’ve watched Campbell-Angers’s career blossom from afar.
She’s a renowned wedding florist and has launched several of her own wedding businesses. Campbell-Angers, who lives in Caroline County, started Intrigue Design and Décor, in which she ran weddings and social events all up and down the East Coast. I’d seen her statuses over the years where she’d be on the news as a floral expert. She was always so cute, known for donning a floral apron as her trademark. She’s bubbly and full of energy. I’ve always been a fan. She’s like Martha Stewart, but only with pizazz! She’s exhausting to watch, yet vibrant and quite inspiring.
For the past several years I’ve observed her different Facebook statuses where she travels with her new business called Intrigue Teaches. Campbell-Angers and her Communications Director, Jordan Marx, travel from state to state now running workshops as well as running online classes training florists how to start, run and thrive in the upscale wedding florist industry.
I watched her live on Facebook, where she announced that she was a contestant on a new show called “The Big Flower Fight.” I thought, “A new Netflix series, plus it has someone I know!” I wasted no time tuning in and watching the entire season. It was an upbeat, intense, competitive, and creative outlet for florists, artists, landscaping designers, and photographers.
Each episode, the teams were challenged to create sculptures from different plant and floral materials. I watched Campbell-Angers and Marx. I loved them both so much and I became their biggest fans. I somehow managed to catch up with Campbell-Angers and her dynamic Communications Director/Partner, Jordan Marx, and spoke with them about their time on the show.
Top Left: Jordan Marx, Sarah’s Communications Director and partner in The Big Flower Fight. Top Right: Sarah Campbell-Angers models her personal line of floral aprons. Bottom: Sarah places the perfect finishing touches at a Chesapeake Bay Beach Club wedding.
Question: How did you get to be a contestant?
Campbell-Angers: One of the casting directors reached out to me via Instagram. But before I got the call, three other people that day told him that he needed to call me. I learned I needed a teammate. I started looking for a florist friend who would join me.
Marx: It was the middle of wedding season and it’s difficult to find florists who have three months off to film a TV show. Secondly, she was kind of stressed about, “OK if I get up and walk away from my business and I’m in the UK doing a TV show, who’s going to run the business?” I chimed in and I said, “you know, Sarah, if you brought me along with you we could still do business and also a TV show.” The problem with that is I had zero hands-on floral experience. The show producers loved the idea and they said, “Oh that could be fun.” They said, “You can bring her, and we’ll see what happens.”
Question: Did you work well together?
Campbell-Angers: I think we did. We had to change our dynamic up a little bit. In real life, we have a boss-employee dynamic and in the show we were more partners. I missed having a florist as a partner, but I really liked having someone who supported me the way Jordan did. She knew all the things I liked. She knew what I knew how to do. When it came to the dress challenge, Jordan knew instantly what materials I was going to want to work with without having to communicate.
Question: What were your favorite projects?
Marx: I love the storm it was very different. It was Sarah’s least favorite, but I loved the storm because it was one of the only designs that I actually felt like I knew what I was doing as someone who had no experience. The storm was the one I felt like we did a great job on and I knew what to do and that made me feel good.
Campbell-Angers: The reason I didn’t love the storm so much is because even though it was the one we won “Best in Bloom” for, it was a design that I could do in my sleep. The one that was more challenging to me was the one the judges did not like. It was the lemur in episode three. The reason I liked it so much was because when we walked into that challenge I had never touched potted grass. I didn’t know there were so many kinds of grasses. We just sat there and stared at the structure and talked with two other cast members to see what the heck we were going to do. We just started doing it and had no expectation. I thought we were going to go home because I had no clue what to do. When we completed it maybe it wasn’t perfect, but it was beautiful. It looked a little more like a cat than a lemur, but I’m OK with that.
Top: Contestants of The Great Flower Fight gather in front of the dome to receive instructions for the day’s challenge. Bottom: Jordan Marx and Sarah Campbell-Angers explain their floral design to the hosts and the resident judge of The Great Flower Fight
Question: When you’ve been working on a project, the clock is ticking, the experts come to speak with you. They start questioning what you’re doing in disapproval. Do you feel their disapproval? What does it feel like?
Campbell-Angers: We were under such pressure and already in the middle of our plan. We didn’t have time to change our work. So yeah, it was hard. There are a couple of times that I wish I could have listened to them.
Marx: There just wasn’t enough time to do what they were asking or there wasn’t enough product (flowers) or we didn’t have the right tools. These professional judges were looking at our structures from an outside perspective, not necessarily as a contestant. I think because there’s never been a show like this in the floral sculpting world that, sometimes, the connection between what was possible and what wasn’t possible wasn’t actually there.
Question: How has your floral designing improved since the show?
Campbell-Angers: I’m definitely changing the way that I look at plants. I’m not just thinking about flowers. Before I would only use flowers now in my installations. Now, I’m bringing in some living plants and I’m just thinking about my space differently. I think I learned a lot of new techniques and skills that we’re teaching in our workshops.
Marx: I don’t think it would be possible for Sarah’s installations to improve because, as far as making floral installations, she really is the queen of the game already.
Campbell-Angers and Marx undoubtedly enjoyed their three months on set. I’ll provide no spoilers in how they finished the competition. From a professional Netflix watcher sitting and watching from home, they did a fabulous job and made the Eastern Shore proud! It’s a great show and I recommend it for all viewers. Now, I think I’ll go back and watch it again!!