As the winner of Canada’s third annual Maple Leaf Cup earlier this year, Paul Jaras earned his way to compete in the FTD World Cup in March 2019 representing the country. The host of Canada’s national competition, Heather de Kok AAF, AIFD, PFCI, described Paul’s three creations in the event as, “very architectural, very linear and a grand opening piece that was mind-blowing.”
The Maple Leaf Cup was held in Paul’s hometown of Edmonton, Alberta, so he found himself surrounded by many friends and family during the competition. That gave him a certain comfort level and enabled him to focus on completing the tasks with a “quiet mind and very little nerves.” Winning that event was a confidence booster for him as he went on to compete just a few months later in the Gateway to the America’s Cup in Orlando, Florida.
To prepare for the FTD World Cup taking place in Philadelphia, PA, Paul is working with his mentor and his competition assistant Brenna Quan. He is looking at and studying designs from around the world on social media. Beyond honing his design skills, Paul is practicing to “create a quiet mind and letting positive energy flow.” Paul describes his preparations for the international floral design competition as the most exciting learning experience of his career, thus far. “It’s giving me a reason to dream big and grow exponentially as a designer, artist and person. I just know it will lead to many better things to come!” Paul remarks.
"I have a sense of pride in knowing that Team Canada will be seen on the world stage”
He adds that he feels a great sense of support from people in and outside of the industry. “I have a sense of pride in knowing that Team Canada will be seen on the world stage,” says Paul. “I am most looking forward to the experience of meeting many new designers from around the world, seeing their work and learning from them.”
FTD is sponsoring Paul for the World Cup by underwriting his expenses as Canada’s representative. “This is an amazing, life-changing opportunity and a great honor to have FTD believe in me and support me on this journey,” Paul says. “They are helping and encouraging me through the entire process, and are always there to answer any questions I may have.”
A lifelong student of the arts, Paul’s studies began in Fine Art, Architecture and Interior Design. But floral design provided a way for him to be creative in another medium. He approached floral arranging as a way to “create sculpture with living things.” Paul experienced success in this industry early in his career, receiving the Teleflora Design Canada Award in 1990 and competing the following year at the Teleflora World Competition in Athens, Greece. Paul went on to compete in other national and international design competitions, where he received multiple awards and recognitions.
Photo Credit: Colin Gilliam
Paul currently provides contract design services and wedding/event decor through his company, Paul Jaras Floral Design. In tandem with his career as a florist, Paul has worked as a professional stylist alongside photographers for interior and lifestyle magazines including Canadian House & Home, Style at Home, Western Living and Avenue. Recently, Paul re-discovered his joy of painting and exhibited in group shows, coming full-circle from his early years as a student of the arts.
“Being creative for a living, and teaching and inspiring people through shows, is what keeps me passionate about my career and our industry,” Paul adds. “You could say that my motto is ‘always learning, growing and sharing — living a creative life with passion, where inspiration drives design.’”
Learn more about Paul and the other FTD World Cup competitors at www.FTDWorldCup2019.com.0