By Terri Clark
The first thing you notice about Donna Hutton is her style. As I approached her Kitsilano house and studio I had no expectations at all, but from the moment I was warmly welcomed into her stunningly designed home I knew that her floral achievements were but the tip of the iceberg in her closet of capabilities. She in short is multi-talented with seemingly limitless energy for all tasteful things in the art of better home living. Her diminutive town house is so well set-up, marrying indoors and out, that the line of demarcation has been nearly erased.
But I digress. This story is supposed to be about the Vancouver Rose Festival and Donna’s part in that much anticipated event this coming June. Donna Hutton, along with Hillary Miles and Maureen Sullivan, completes the troika of high floral achievers who will help create a stunning showcase for 24 florists who will in turn design show-stopper arrangements using primarily, you guessed it, roses.
I asked Donna how her love of flower arranging grew into a prominent Vancouver business in tandem with a full-time job as a Canadian Pacific Flight Attendant. She smiled and said, “It started over a glass of champagne.” That was years ago when she was just finishing up a night of celebrating at the highly acclaimed Bishop’s restaurant. She casually remarked on the standard of the flowers (could be better) and John, the owner, took her up on her offer to do something different. The rest as they say, is history, and out of that exposure grew her own storefront business on Broadway in 1996 followed by over a decade in retail.
Last year Donna turned another page in the chapter of her business prowess and decided to work from her charming home studio while adding second dimension - interior design. She is happy to have turned things down a notch but still creates amazing arrangements for long-time customers and all the people who come to her via the good words of others.
Her new web site at www.donnahuttonstyle.com whets the taste buds on the many talents of Donna Hutton.
Her favourite rose story involves her sister who once assisted her in the flower shop. One day she was casually “blue-skying” how nice it would be to have her own rose garden to pick from for special events. Two weeks later her sister nervously admitted that the previous weekend she and her husband had dug up a substantial area of their back garden and installed numerous roses, just for her picking. Donna was overwhelmed and impressed to have her dream turned into a speedy reality. “Now that is a wonderful sister,” she smiled. One wonders if they might have been imbibing in champagne at the time.