Belle Petale – French Euro Boutique-Style Floral Business
by Marie Jones
We’re excited to introduce you to Teresa Rao and her fabulous floral boutique business – “Belle Petale.”
Belle Petale presents an amazing floral marketplace that offers a wonderful array of handiwork. From exquisite floral arrangements to in-studio workshops, there is something for everyone to enjoy from this French Euro boutique-style company.
Looking at Teresa’s background, one can see how she has created such a splendid and unique ambiance. She grew up locally and enjoyed visiting her grandparents in Mexico. When there, her palette for delicious fresh food and gardening was fostered. She has always loved flowers and remembers her family having a garden with flowers, foliage, and herbs.
Fast forward to college and career: with her bilingual background, Teresa studied French and earned a BA in International Business. Her background components created the perfect opportunity to work with companies internationally. After working in the corporate world for over 15 years, she felt drawn to embark on her own business journey.
Teresa describes herself as an old soul, loving European architecture, the Rococo era, and Jane Austin (all contributing to her own personal style and a love of romantic French style.) She and her husband had originally planned to visit France in 2020 but, due to the pandemic, could not go. Interestingly, she started her floral business that August, and this home-based Euro boutique-style marketplace has been the perfect fit for her.
Teresa uses flowers that she has air-dried in many of her arrangements.
Belle Petale is a member of the Slow Flowers Society and was featured in their special publication and on their podcast. She is featured on this episode, “Slow Flowers Podcast.”
This national organization was founded by Debra Prinzing. They are committed to sustainable practices and using local, seasonal products. Teresa is a “seasonal gardener florist,” meaning she first starts as local as possible (which is her yard or a grower within a few miles of her.) Next, she uses what is available from Washington flower growers and will also support California farmers. If she still can’t find what’s needed, she will branch out further to use what is domestically grown. During the local growing season, up to eighty percent of what she personally grows goes into her arrangements. It’s nice to note that she uses eco-friendly and biodegradable materials. She also takes measures to lessen carbon footprints in all aspects of her practices.
Many of the flowers that Teresa grows find their way into her fresh bouquets.
In 2020 and 2021, Teresa enjoyed participating in various markets and popups around town. Doing so introduced and drew in customers to her company. She has done weddings, participated in numerous events in the Puget Sound region, and specialized in custom work for clients. She offers “language of flowers” bouquets to invoke the meaning of the flowers used into the occasion. Along with such a work is a personal tag telling the meanings of the contained flowers. Another special service includes using unique and vintage vases and containers from her private collection for arrangements. Teresa is always on the lookout for such items and loves using recycled items, which allows the money spent to go into the flowers while implementing another earth-friendly measure.
A piece from Teresa’s collection is being used as a vase.
The future looks very bright at Belle Petale. Teresa has moved into her new studio and will offer various events at this site. The outside spaces are up-and-coming and will be an integral part of this amazing and retreatlike experience. In addition to the beautiful floral services available, there will be workshops and gatherings (including a Marie Antoinette workshop), a children’s event, a flower bar, and bridal shower hosting.
A peek into the studio.
Please keep Belle Petale in mind for your upcoming spring events such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, graduations, birthdays, bridal, and baby showers. Added to the Mother’s Day floral offerings will be the availability of unique French soaps and lotions.
Here are a couple of upcoming events Teresa will be involved in:
• First will be BAM in Bloom – May 4-7th, 11 am to 5 pm. This will feature 10 local florists’ works that will be paired and displayed beside artworks found in the museum.
• Teresa will participate in a Mother’s Day’s French Market at Paper Delights, located on 152nd Street in Burien. This will be on Saturday, May 13th, from 10 am to 4 pm.
Teresa’s warm and welcoming hospitality is truly inviting! To look at her fantastic work and learn more about her, check out her Instagram or Belle Petale Facebook page.
Thank you, Teresa, for your wonderful and gracious hospitality!