- Sam Kean
- Yidan Li and her floral creations
WHO SHE IS
There’s no better combination than culture, talent and creativity. As a matter of fact, Yidan Li does it perfectly through her love of making traditional “tori” nylon flowers. Starting her own business, Flowers of Spring, couldn’t have been a more perfect fit for Li, who before the shop opened possessed 25 boxes of nylon fabric and a humble eagerness to share her gifts of flower making and arranging. “I liked flowers all my life. In my city there are a lot of flowers many different kinds,” explains Li, who moved from China to Canada in 2005.
WHAT SHE DOES
Depending on the type of flower being made, the process can be different each time. To start, Li uses plastic rings that range from size one to eight. “For different flowers you use different ring sizes,” she says. “The bigger the size the more petals the flower will have.” Once she carefully crafts the petals she attaches the stem and, depending on the flower, the leaves. For the most part, everything made in Li’s boutique is one of a kind—sort of like the real thing.
WHERE SHE DOES IT
You’ll find Li waiting with open arms at her bright Bedford Highway boutique, Flowers of Spring, which opened in September. Not only does she sell flowers and bouquets, but teaches her craft as well. Li holds classes there Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 2:30pm or 7:30 to 9pm. But register early as this hands-on, personalized class serves only six students at a time.
Li’s husband and business partner, Russ Gaudet, jokes about franchising, but in the meantime patrons can kick back, drink Chinese tea and enjoy the art of making (or buying) nylon flowers. In the past two months the class has been well received by the public and therapeutic for students who participate. “People who come here have fun, because you are using your hands and mind,” says Li. As this newborn business continues to blossom, watch for more from one of Halifax’s most unique crafters.
Flowers of Spring
1149 Bedford Highway