Early in the pandemic, as weddings and other events were halted, local floral and event company Amanda Vidmar Design had to pivot. With no wedding reception tabletops to design, partners Amanda Frances Vidmar and Mikenzie Francis Salvucci began making individual flower deliveries—and they loved it. So much so that they decided to open a floral shop in the heart of Cole Valley. Like their event design business, the joyful new shop—called Francis & Frances—offers fresh, quality blooms from local growers and organic farmers. Visitors can also purchase handmade ceramics from local artists, as well as bath and body products—many from businesses owned by women and people of color.
As you started delivering flowers, what did you enjoy most? Amanda Frances Vidmar: Being able to see everybody’s love notes. Notes of compassion, happy birthdays and I love you’s brought us a lot of joy amongst all the craziness.
What are you most excited to bring to the neighborhood? AFD: We’re in Cole Valley, which is super cute. It’s really family oriented. We would love to show the community a farm-to-table method of floral design. We appreciate a lot of the organic flower movements and really want to make that important here too. We’d like to educate as well, whether through classes or wreath workshops.
How would you describe your aesthetic? AFD: We’re hoping to bring a cohesive design style, as well as something a bit more vibrant. The floral community can get really neutral, and we’re interested in bringing something that’s a little bolder and more fun. We ran with a style that Mikenzie and I are calling “Groovy.” We sent our designer a playlist to listen to—it was all from the ’60s and ’70s—and she found some groovy fonts.
What are your favorite winter blooms? Mikenzie Francis Salvucci: My favorite is the hellebore. It’s kind of underrated because it’s not super colorful and playful. It’s just a flower I’ve always loved. AFD: It’s actually tattooed on my arm—daphne. She blooms in late February and can grow through frost, so it’s a super-resilient plant. It’s not the most beautiful of all time, but it smells so intoxicating—somewhere between fresh rose and Froot Loops. It’s got such a short season, two weeks maybe, so it has an ephemeral quality.