Brenda Monteiro finds a world of beauty in flowers. Founder and creative director of Fiore Dorato, with offices in Singapore and Dallas, the designer is taking her bold approach to floral design around the word.
Early in life, Monteiro discovered a love for "all things beautiful," she says. As a fashion design graduate from Singapore's Lasalle College of the Arts, "I thoroughly enjoyed juxtaposing colors, textures and materials," she explains.
But as time went on Monteiro, discovered that floral design gave her the same visual gratification as fashion design—"if not more," she says. Inspired by European floral designers, Monteiro headed to Holland to "learn from the best." And after Holland, "I traveled to places where I could experience floral artistry in action," she says, including such far-flung destinations as Paris, Belgium, San Francisco, New York, St. Louis, San Diego and Hong Kong.
She combined her practical experience with academic achievement. In 2000, she earned her master's in in floral design. In 2001, she joined the American Institute of Floral Designers as an AFID-certified designer.
Her studies persuaded her that her home country of Singapore was a place "ripe for floral artistry to bloom," she says. In 1996, she made this dream come true by opening her floral boutique--Fiore Dorato. Two years ago, she established a U.S. base, opening a Fiore Dorato outlet in Dallas when her husband's work brought him to Texas.
Today, Monteiro's company serves some 50 events per year with a staff of up to 20 employees. She has brought her talents to projects throughout the world, from Indonesia to China, London to Los Angeles.
Just two months ago, special event professionals from throughout world saw her team's work at The Special Event, held in Anaheim, Calif. The Fiore Dorato team created two installations at the show: a beautiful tabletop design dubbed "Glamour with Fuchsia" and an immersive environment, "The Merge Event," which interpreted high fashion through floral artistry. Attendees were treated to breathtaking floral renditions of hats, gowns, shoes and handbags, each set against stunning floral backdrops.
Monteiro's work has won awards far and wide, including multiple "Best of Singapore" honors, first place in Seattle's 2014 Northwest Flower and Garden Show, and the Silver-Gilt award at the 2014 Chelsea Flower Show.
It’s tough for Monteiro to single out a favorite project. "In these past 18 years, I’ve had the privilege of personally creating lavish floral designs for my wonderful clients and their special events," she says. "This includes an event with a prestigious list of 2,000 guests and dignitaries in the grandest of ballrooms."
Her favorite part of her work: "I enjoy merging ideas from various things that capture my attention and imagination," she says. "There is inspiration all around us! Architecture, art, fashion, music, nature, artistic people and places of travel."
To Monteiro, floral design is crucial to great event design. "To me, flowers are essential when creating an atmosphere masterpiece," she says. "I aspire to change the traditional mindsets many have--that flowers are only additional accessories--to that where people embrace flowers for their complete beauty and potential."
Fiore Dorato 48 Club St., Singapore 069425; +65 6538 7227; www.fioredorato.com.sg
• THAT'S WORTH IT "When I see a venue transformed into the bride's dream wedding, the instant, great satisfaction and fulfillment are priceless! That makes all events special. Our instant gratification comes with making our clients happy. I love the challenge to make each event unique and unforgettable in a very personal way."
• A WORST EVENT? NEVER! "What was my worst event? I never think of any 'worst' event. To me, every event has its challenges. To overcome them and turn it around is the greatest joy and an experience we learn from and move on!"
• ADVICE TO THE NEWBIES "Ask yourself if your passion for this outweighs the challenges that will come with the work. If you enjoy it, the quality of work and the fulfillment you derive from the events will be worth the time and effort you've put in; therein is your satisfaction in doing what you do."