Archive For The “Interview” Category

Beyond the ‘Gram: Interview with Blush Botanicals

Beyond the 'Gram with Shelley Anders: Interview Blush Botanicals

 

This month I am excited to share an interview I did over the summer with Alex Wise of Blush Botanicals. We have worked with this talented businesswoman and floralpreneur for several years and are always blown away by her stunning wedding and event work. She is gracious with her time and talents, always willing to mentor and share her knowledge with not only her staff but with up and coming new talent in the floral design industry. Respect is the word I hear most about her. “She is kind, thoughtful and generous and most of all she treats people with respect,” says Sara Eaton of Black Lotus Designs. In an industry that can be overrun with divas (especially for this caliber of upper echelon event companies) that is truly an indication of this lady’s character. Her work ethic and integrity are long admired and she is a pleasure to have as a client.

 

We had a passionate conversation about life, flowers, running a floral business in this current social media-driven flower climate and the challenges of being a new mom while working as a high-end wedding and event florist. Trying to find the perfect life/work balance is key and Alex is proving that you can do both and succeed in this hectic industry.

 

Beyond the 'Gram with Shelley Anders: Interview Blush Botanicals

 

 

SHELLEY: Hi Alex, first of all, congratulations to you and your husband on your new baby! I know this is a very exciting new chapter in your life.

 

ALEX: THANK YOU!  We are so over the moon about this little gremlin but it’s A TON OF WORK (as you know!)!!!

 

S: I definitely do! I don’t think anyone can ever prepare you for it. We are so happy for you by the way. So to start, I would like to start our conversation by asking you a few questions about yourself and your background.

 

Alex, tell us, what were your favorite subjects in school?  Did you see yourself as the artistic type or a future entrepreneur?

 

A: I loved any courses having to do with art such as drawing or sculpture and also loved finance/economics and accounting.  I know this is a weird mixture, but that is the way my mind works. I always envisioned myself running my own business, it is in my blood.  Both of my grandfathers were and my father is an entrepreneur and it is the mindset I was raised with. I couldn’t imagine working a corporate job or having a 9 to 5.

 

 

Beyond the 'Gram with Shelley Anders: Interview Blush Botanicals

Photo: @the_grovers 

 

 

S: Same, I think when art is your calling it’s impossible to work an office job!

 

Are you a native Californian? What other places have you lived?

 

A: No, I was born and raised in New York and honestly, always thought I’d move back.  I moved to San Diego with my family when I was about 15 years old. I also lived in Los Angeles while I attended USC.

 

S: What led you into the floral design industry? Were you always a wedding and event florist?

 

A: I got into the floral design industry very randomly and with no background.  I was working at Merrill Lynch out of college and really disliked it so I began searching for other things I could enjoy doing.  After helping a friend’s mother create florals for a party I was hooked! It was always important to me to be able to be financially independent and after creating a business plan and working out the finances, it became clear to me that it could be a really lucrative and fun path so I went for it!

 

S: From finances to flowers – love it! I think it’s wonderful that you had that strong financial background going in. I know it has probably been beneficial to you as a floral business owner. For many florists, this is not their strong suit.

 

A: I had always known I would start my own business in some capacity but would have never guessed it would be in floral design.  Every time I am creating a beautiful event I think… pinch me, I can’t believe I [get to] do this for a living! I studied finance with a minor in real estate investment so I really thought I’d be doing something in that arena, but the world works in mysterious ways!

 

S: It definitely sounds like you got bit by the flower bug! What year was Blush Botanicals founded?

 

A:  2009

 

S: I saw a recent Instagram post where you gave tips on entering the luxury wedding industry. You seemed to have cracked the code on this very exclusive and finite amount of high-end wedding business. Can you give our readers some pointers?

 

 

Beyond the 'Gram with Shelley Anders: Interview Blush Botanicals

Photo: @the_grovers 

 

 

A: I’m happy to give pointers!  I also have plans to launch an in-depth online course on this in the next year so look out for that as I’ll go into major detail on this process!  See below for a few pointers 🙂 :

 

KNOW YOURSELF. This entails doing major research on who you are and/or how you want to be portrayed.  What makes you unique and your brand different? What look do you want to put out there in the world and be known for? What venues would you like to work with?  What vendors would you like to work with? What colors and textures are you drawn to? Don’t be afraid to be different and not do exactly what everyone else is doing (if everyone else is doing a calligraphy logo, stay away from it so that you can be unique and can stand out and become known for something NEW!).

 

KNOW YOUR TARGET CLIENT. Research your target client and design your brand around her/him.  Give your client a name and a house and a look. How would he/she dress?  What type of car would he or she be driving? Get specific here and then be sure your brand is consistent with the client you are going after.

 

BRANDING is so important!  Invest in a logo and a website that fits your brand and your target client.  Be cognizant of colors and type fonts and never stray from what is true to your brand.

 

SPEND MONEY TO MAKE MONEY. You’ll need to invest in yourself and your brand if you are going to play in the luxury market.  Your website is the first thing your client will see, so invest in a beautiful website. Be sure your verbiage is completely consistent with your brand and must speak to the needs of your target client.  Invest in photoshoots that are true to the client that you want to attract and SPEND on them. You’ll have to spend enough to create something dramatic if you are hoping to attract a bride that wants drama for her big day.

 

ALIGN YOURSELF WITH THE RIGHT VENDORS. Find vendors you love and admire and align yourself with those vendors.  This can only be done once you know exactly who you are and have an established brand.  It only takes one perfect referral to take it to the next level!

 

PHOTOS PHOTOS PHOTOS!  If you are creating a wedding that you feel is perfect for your brand and your website and can’t wait to show it off, make sure you know and like the photographers work!  If you don’t get good photos then you may as well never have done the wedding. If you plan to do a spectacular job (obviously you do) and are worried about the photos, HIRE YOUR OWN PHOTOGRAPHER!  Don’t be afraid to spend a little bit of money here to get the perfect photos, it is worth it! Another important side note is to ONLY use professional imagery. Don’t showcase iPhone photos on your website!

 

 

Beyond the 'Gram with Shelley Anders: Interview Blush Botanicals

Photo: @bryanmillerphoto 

 

 

S: All excellent advice, thank you Alex. So what is your take away working with this level of brides and wedding planners?

 

A: Stay humble and create a flower family.  You can’t create this type of magic on your own, you will come to find that you rely heavily on your team and on the amazing vendors you align yourself with and it is important to remember that.  Your team should be your family and you should treat them accordingly. When it comes to wedding planners, find the ones that are the best fit for you and your personality. Don’t try to work with coordinators who make you feel bad or don’t treat you with respect or who take advantage of you, work with people who fan your flame and support you!

 

S: What’s the weirdest or most unusual request you have gotten from a client so far? How did you execute it?

 

A: Hmm… this is tough… I was a bit caught off guard a few years back when a client that we have never met (booked after a short phone call and lived in Arkansas) let me know that she wanted me to design her daughter’s wedding from the ground up and trusted me to make all of the design choices from start to finish (including color scheme) without needing to run anything past them or even meeting them in person.  I was nervous to get their vision right and to respect their budget wishes without having any sort of direction. This turned out to be one of my favorite weddings to date and one of the kindest, most gracious clients I have ever worked with. It really helped boost my confidence level as well in terms of making decisions for the client when they’d like me to.

 

S: Sounds like a dream client, we love those!

 

So what’s your favorite flower? Any you’re not a fan of? Any you refuse to work with? Favorite color palette?

 

A: My favorite flower changes from month to month!  If I had to name one right now it would be white clematis.  I love how dainty the stem is, the foliage and how it naturally drapes.  I am not a fan of birds of paradise. I refuse to work with poorly dyed flowers such as a blue orchid or something that is extremely artificial looking.  My favorite color palette is a neutral palette of creams, whites, and greens. I LOVE throwing in a hint of black when I can.

 

S: Well no surprise there, elegant neutral palettes seems to be your calling card. Would you say your design style has changed over the years?

 

A: My design style has changed immensely over the years.  I think as a designer, it takes years to fully find yourself and it edits slightly through the years.  I think initially, my style was literally to cater to whatever style walked in my doors. I don’t think my brand truly had an identity until I became more confident in my designs and in who I am.  I was initially very attracted to all things glamorous and now I am more attracted to studying nature and movement and introducing natural elements.

 

 

Beyond the 'Gram with Shelley Anders: Interview Blush Botanicals

Photo: @elysehallphotography 

 

Beyond the 'Gram with Shelley Anders: Interview Blush Botanicals

Photo: @the_grovers 

 

 

S: What trends do you see bride’s asking for in the coming next two years?

 

A: This is a tough question and we try not to get TOO trendy with our work and stay pretty timeless with a current spin, but I have come to find that fashion trends take about 2-3 years to translate into event trends.  If textures and patterns are being showcased along the fashion runways, chances are that in a few years, you’ll see those as major event trends.

 

 

Beyond the 'Gram with Shelley Anders: Interview Blush Botanicals

Photo: @bryanmillerphoto 

 

 

S: I understand Blush has a minimum for events? I know you have a sister company Parker & Posies that started as a way to handle some of the brides that wanted to work with your team but maybe weren’t quite in Blush’s minimum range. I think it’s a brilliant idea by the way. How has that decision worked for your brand?

 

A: Yes, Blush does have a minimum and we limit the number of events we take on per year. Starting Parker and Posies has truly been one of the best and most rewarding decisions I’ve made in business!  The decision was originally made because I was beginning to think about starting a family and needed to limit my involvement to a few events per year and also didn’t want to lose my amazing team with not having enough work to keep them busy, not to mention we were turning away a lot of beautiful events that we would have loved to be a part of at Blush but were already booked up with larger events and couldn’t take on more work.  The dream would not have been able to be a reality without the extremely hard work of my business partner, Brittany, who had no background in flowers when I met her. Over the years, she learned every aspect of our world through working for Blush and when I approached her about starting Parker and Posies she was as excited as I was! Together, we’ve worked to create a relatable brand that is truly “blooming” (see what I did there?).  It has been so rewarding to watch it grow and build a team out that is so incredible, thoughtful and hard working!

 

S: Do you have a Floral Crush right now. Any favs?  Or who inspired you early on?

 

A: Oh ya, I’ve got a ton!  Every time I go on Instagram I find a new one!  Mindy Rice is always impressing me with the way she takes the classic, garden look to a new level and my mind is always blown by White Lilac.

 

S: Both so good!

 

What’s your biggest floral pet peeve?  Things you don’t enjoy designing or trends you’re not a fan of.

 

A: My biggest BIGGEST pet peeve in floral is when a designer is attempting to make a piece look naturally dripping or cascading with blooms such as tulips or foliage and instead of naturally clustering them to drape on their own throughout the piece, they place them only in a single area, facing completely downward.  I am not sure if I am expressing this correctly but it always bothers my eyes. I know I’ve mentioned previously, but I try to stay away from being too trendy or to somehow blend trendy with classic. I may have a case of baby-brain right now but I can’t think of a single trend that I’m not a fan of (sorry!).

 

S: Do you enjoy destination weddings?  Any tips you would like to share? Any horror stories?

 

A: I have enjoyed destination events in the past!  I am sure I will enjoy them again, but for now, we are staying local in Southern California (LA, OC, SD) because I have a newborn baby. In terms of tips, I’d say organization is key and plan for travel time to be longer than anticipated so you’re not late. I’d also say PUT EVERYTHING IN WRITING. We had a large corporate event in Santa Barbara and the client said they’d be paying for our rooms and I forgot to enter this into my contract. When we arrived I called to see where our rooms were and she told me that they ran out of a budget and that we had to get our own rooms. This wasn’t the end of the world, but it was an unexpected expense and also put a bad taste in my mouth for the event setup.

 

S: Favorite location so far?

 

A: Locally, Cal a Vie – STUNNING!

 

 

Beyond the 'Gram with Shelley Anders: Interview Blush Botanicals

Venue: @calaviespa | Photo: @bryanmillerphoto 

 

 

S: How do you feel about hosting workshops? Do you enjoy collaborating with other florists?

 

A: I would love to host a workshop, I have taught many of the girls at our studio.  Collaborating with other florists gives me LIFE. I LOVE collaborating and I LOVE a team environment.  I’m all about empowering others.

 

S: If you weren’t doing this what other career do you see yourself having?

 

A: When I first started, I actually did wedding cakes and desserts as well as florals.  I quickly learned I couldn’t do both but if I had to do something else I’d probably want to do amazing wedding cakes.  I am obsessed with Ron Ben Israel, I got to meet him a few years back and nearly fainted.

 

S: I just learned how to make a homemade cake last year and this year attempted real french buttercream! I have a totally new appreciation for this art. I can see where it would be a superhuman feat to try and do both!

 

 

Beyond the 'Gram with Shelley Anders: Interview Blush Botanicals

Photo: @theyoungrens 

 

 

What advice would you give a newcomer to the floral industry just starting out? What would you tell your younger self?

 

A: It takes a really strong work ethic to be successful in this industry but DON’T BURN OUT.  Being organized is KEY. Learn when to say no and never take on too much, it only takes messing up once to get a bad reputation.

 

S: How has social media affected or influenced your business?

 

A: Hugely.  I think that nowadays all of my brides check us out on social media prior to meeting us and potentially even before looking at our website.  It is a major way that we show off our portfolio. Many times, brides will fall in love with our work on instagram and know that we are a good fit prior to meeting us.

 

S: Knife or snips?

 

A: KNIFE is LIFE

 

S: YES girl, preach!  I love to teach the proper use of a knife in my workshops. Speaking of which, what’s in your toolbox?

 

A: So much sticky clay!!!!!  🙂

 

S: Ok silly question time:  Do you like pickles? I am a fan of the famous Dave’s Sweet and Spicy bread and butter myself haha!

 

A: Uh… ya!  Who doesn’t like pickles?!  But I’ll keep it real – if I had to choose between a pickle and a cornichon, I’m going cornichon all day long.

 

S: Fancy AND  French, me likey! Well thank you so much Alex! Any final thoughts, opinions comments on the state of the industry etc…?

 

A: Love me some Mayesh!  The only issue I have with the industry currently is the whole crediting the artist thing on social media… but other than that, happy as a clam 😉

 

S: We love you too!  And we couldn’t agree more on this topic.  It all comes down to integrity and respect of your peer’s work.  It is so important to properly tag and give shout-outs to the original designer/artist/photographer. I don’t think people understand how important this is and how it harms the original creator when proper credit is not given. Hoping we will see less of this in the future.

 

Alex, thank you for your time and for all your insight and wisdom. We look forward to seeing your work on Instagram every week!

 

 


 

 

Here are some fun BTS photos I took when I visited Alex in her studio… the team was working away on an event! Scroll down for the finished event photos… it turned out STUNNING!

 

 

Beyond the 'Gram with Shelley Anders: Interview Blush Botanicals

 

Beyond the 'Gram with Shelley Anders: Interview Blush Botanicals

 

Beyond the 'Gram with Shelley Anders: Interview Blush Botanicals

 

Beyond the 'Gram with Shelley Anders: Interview Blush Botanicals

 

Beyond the 'Gram with Shelley Anders: Interview Blush Botanicals

 

 

 

And the finished event!

Gorgeous images by @the_grovers

 

Beyond the 'Gram with Shelley Anders: Interview Blush Botanicals

 

Beyond the 'Gram with Shelley Anders: Interview Blush Botanicals

 

Beyond the 'Gram with Shelley Anders: Interview Blush Botanicals

 

 

#beyondthegram , Beyond the 'Gram , Shelley Anders

Interiew: Summer Robbins Flowers

Mayesh Instagram Takeover Summer Robbins Interview

 

My favorite part of every Instagram takeover we do is the follow-up interview. The photos we see on our feed are always gorgeous, but getting to know the designer behind those beautiful images is it what makes each takeover so unique. Every interview I’ve done has been fun and insightful, but I’m not gonna lie, this lil lady has been one of my faves! Her energy and passion for this industry shines through, and I can’t guarantee you won’t want to be best friends with her by the end!

 

So without further ado, let’s learn a bit more about Summer Robbins of Summer Robbins Flowers!

 

 


 

 

So tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you found yourself in the flower industry!  

Well this answer could get incredibly long-winded but I’ll try to keep it short.  😉 I’m Summer, and I own an event floral design studio in Bend, Oregon.  I’m Rich’s wife and Cedar & River’s mama.  Our family is rounded out by our fur puddle, the ultimate lap kitty TT, our 10 chickens, and 2 beta fish.  Black coffee & red wine are my drinks of choice and I could literally eat tacos every day.  I’m obsessed with music and business podcasts.  Book stores are my happy place.  Running is how I meditate.  And in an effort to be a true Bendite and to keep up with my family, I just learned how to ski this year, so wish me luck on the slopes.

Floral design is my second career and it took me over a decade in fashion design, DIYing my own wedding, a whole lot of vision boarding, a supportive husband, and eventually taking floral design classes to discover that flowers was truly where I was meant to be.

 

I love how much overlap there is between different creative fields. How did your background in fashion influence you as a floral designer?

My fashion background has influenced my floral business in every way.  Without all of those years in fashion honing my taste level, my eye for detail and design, developing my work ethic, learning to manage a team and to maximize workflow, as well as how to present and talk through ideas, my ability to best serve my clients confidently would probably have taken a whole lot longer to develop.  But given that I had a whole career beforehand, my floral business has grown steadily and organically since I went out on my own 3 1/2 years ago.

 

Mayesh Instagram Takeover Summer Robbins Interview

@paulbarnettphotography 

 

Tell us a bit about your experience at the FlowerSchool New York!

Where do I begin here?  A good friend of mine who is an event floral designer in Virginia recommended I take classes at FlowerSchool New York when I was starting to think that floral design might be a career option for me.  The school is right down the street from my old office, so it couldn’t have been more convenient.  The very first class I took there was a master class with Ariella Chezar, the queen of flowers, and I was totally hooked from that point on.  After a couple of months of floral classes, I signed up for their professional program and quit my job to pursue floral design full time with the goal of one day starting my own business.  I figured that I had spent 4 years at Parsons to study fashion design, so I owed myself at least 1 year to study floral design if this was to be my new career.  During that year I took every class that FlowerSchool New York offered.  I studied under Ariella, Lewis Miller, Emily Thompson, Christian Tortu, Shane Connelly, Oscar Mora, Remco Van Vliet, and Sullivan Owen, among others.  Then I apprenticed with Belle Fleur, Ariella, Polux Fleuriste, and Sullivan Owen.  I couldn’t have been more fortunate and I have so much appreciation for FlowerSchool NY and their amazing staff, alumni, and master florists.  I highly recommend the school to anyone serious about developing and honing their craft.

 

I absolutely adore Bend, OR, but it’s obviously a huge change from living in New York City for so long! Can you talk about how your surroundings have inspired your style – from the architecture of New York to the beautiful landscapes of Oregon?

Bend is the Wild West.  It couldn’t be more different than New York City, which is why we chose to live here.  Everything about our high desert landscape is endlessly inspiring to me with its dusty neutral color palette, dried grasses, juniper, desert sage, and tumbleweed on the East side of town and the ponderosa, lodgepoll pines, and manzanita on the West side.  I LOVE incorporating our native elements into my work so that I can honor this magical place.  If I was doing a wedding in Portland where it’s always raining and mossy, and ferny, and perma-green, I can guarantee that my work would look much different because the landscape is vastly different.

 

Mayesh Instagram Takeover Summer Robbins Interview

@gallivanphoto

 

Mayesh Instagram Takeover Summer Robbins Interview

@victoriacarlsonphoto

 

Even though Bend is experiencing a lot of growth at the moment, it still has that small town feel. What is the floral community like out there?

Yeah, Bend is big, but it feels small because we are kind of an island in the center of Oregon with Portland 3 1/2 hours Northwest over the Cascade Mountain Range and the next most populated town East is 2 hours away, so we are surrounded by wilderness.  The floral community is AWESOME and super supportive both here and statewide.  In Bend most of us are friends and we refer each other and help each other out.  In my experience flower people are generally an exceptional bunch, so I feel like that’s no surprise.

 

Mayesh Instagram Takeover Summer Robbins Interview

@amandaphotographic

 

So your studio is on the farm you live on (sigh)… do you grow any of your own flowers on the farm?

Hahaha!  We are trying to grow flowers.  Meaning my husband is trying to grow flowers.  It’s pretty tough here.  We’re in zone 6, and our farm is located at 3500 feet above sea level.  We get freezing temperatures at night sometimes in June or July.  The sun is also super intense, it’s arid, and the soil is volcanic.  My husband is in charge of the farm and his focus over the last 3 summers has been to amend the soil and experiment with different floral varieties.  Greenhouses may be in our future.

 

Aside from the flowers, I get the feeling that one of your favorite parts about this industry is the relationships and connections you form with each client. Can you tell us a little bit about that, and how you look to your clients for inspiration in their unique event?

I would agree with that 100%.  Client relationships and the connections we forge are the thing that I value above everything else in this business.  My goal is to serve our clients wholeheartedly, without ego, and with respect.  Every bride deserves to be wowed on her wedding day and exceeding her expectations is what gets me excited and keeps me inspired.  I think if you approach it that way, you can’t lose.

I’m certain we all get the same 20 or so Pinterest pins depending on the season, but I would go totally insane with boredom if I had to make the same thing every week, and most couples really would prefer something personalized over a knock off.  So instead of deciding to create those Pinterest floral ideas verbatim, I use them as a starting point.  Then I take those ideas and create a design direction unique to my client based on their story, things they love, their venue, their color palette, the season they’re getting married in, their budget, what they’re wearing, and the vibe of their wedding.  I get so excited and inspired by it all.

 

Mayesh Instagram Takeover Summer Robbins Interview

@dawn.charles

 

Alright… you knew it was coming! Favorite flower? I’ll allow a couple, because even I can’t choose just one 😉 

Well thank you for not making me choose just one favorite, because that would be impossible.  Sorry I can’t even nail it down to a couple because every season is so different.  So, will you allow me to go seasonally?

In the Spring I love all forms of fritillaria, anemones, ranunculus, and hellebore.
I’m all about berries, peonies, and scabiosa in the Summer months.
For Autumn, bring on the dahlias, nandina, rudbeckia, seed pods, and decorative grasses.
And lastly in Winter, peonies from overseas.
But throughout every season I am a rose-a-holic.  So, I guess in all honesty you could say they are my true favorites.

 

Mayesh Instagram Takeover Summer Robbins Interview

@gallivanphoto

 

What is one piece of advice you’d like to go back and tell yourself during your first year of designing? 

I would tell myself that all of the money spent, hard work, sacrifice, and time away from my babies will all be worth it because I end up building something that’s becoming pretty great.

 

@gallivanphoto

 

Mayesh’s 40th Anniversary Interview with CEO

Mayesh's 40th Anniversary interview

As I’m sure you know we have been celebrating our 40th Anniversary this month (if not, check out these posts).  I had the pleasure of sitting down with our CEO, Patrick Dahlson, to ask him a few questions about how Mayesh came to be the company it is today. I hope you take a few moments to walk down memory lane with us and enjoy the interview.

Do you have any special Mayesh moments from the past 40 years? Be sure to share them in the comments below.

Podcast & video:

Interview with Good Seed Floral

Good Seed Floral Design Mayesh Takeover

 

This week Good Seed Floral took over our Instagram feed & flooded it with beautiful images, but what really stuck out was their passion that shone through, not only for flowers but also for inspiring others by keeping it real and sharing their experiences — the good & the bad! Keep reading to learn even more about these two friends turned business partners and how Good Seed Floral came to be!

 


 

So tell us the story of Good Seed Floral… when & how did you both end up in the floral industry?

We feel like our story is so typical in the wedding floral industry! Basically we fell into it very organically- a lot of our close friends were getting married in 2012 (the year we graduated from college) and none of us had money for gifts/floral design so we ended up arranging the flowers for them! At first it was fun, but by the end of the summer we were obsessed and when one of the weddings was featured in Eugene Wedding Magazine we knew we had to go for it. Both of us have a background in art and finding a way to express that felt very natural.

 

What are your individual design styles, and how have you meshed them together to create the Good Seed aesthetic?

We are both drawn towards a garden, textural, wild/romantic style of design. And although our styles have both grown a lot in the past 6 years, we have stayed consistent with what we love. I would say Taylor brings more of the wild, textural side of our brand and I (Joanna) bring the more airy, romantic side. Together this is the epitome of our creative style!

 

Good Seed Floral Design Mayesh Takeover

 

Tell us what it’s like to work together! What are some of the challenges you face having a business partner in a creative industry, as well as your favorite parts about it?

Taylor and I were friends before the business started and we have found it to be the biggest blessing to own a business together! It’s fun to celebrate victories with someone we truly care about- beyond the business and see how it’s impacting our families + futures together. It’s amazing to know that even if Good Seed went away, we would still have that. Being 100% honest and transparent is the biggest thing we have to remember. It’s easy to let little things build up and create bitterness, but as soon as we’re honest (over a bottle of tequila most of the time haha) everything is better. It’s honestly a lot like a marriage in that way! We also have to make sure we make time to just be “friends” because it’s so easy to let our business always come first.

 

Good Seed Floral Design Mayesh Takeover

 

Your Portland-based studio also takes weddings in Austin, TX. How did that come about, and what is it like offering your services in two different states?

So we started doing weddings in both Austin and Portland about two years ago- one half of Good Seed (Josie) moved down there after her husband got a job and started networking + marketing to brides. We don’t take as many weddings down there, but since the seasons are so different it’s great to be able to get more November- April weddings if we want! Basically Josie lives down there for half of the year, then she and her husband come up to Oregon for the summer wedding season here! We are thankful to have friends in Austin who let us use their studio. It’s been so fun to do weddings in both places and experience the different cultures of each area!

 

We all know being in the wedding industry isn’t easy, but there’s always that something for each of us that keeps us in. What keeps you going and motived to live that flower hustlin’ life every day?

Ah! So many things! I feel like we have to have these things at the front of our business in order to keep our love for what we do alive for sure. First, our couples! Investing in our couple’s stories and their love for each other + being able to be a part of that is so so amazing. We are both so passionate about marriage and the beautiful picture of commitment that it is. There’s nothing better than getting to reflect that in our designs. Second, collaborating with other creatives! This feeds our souls and is one of the best parts of the industry in our opinion. Community is super important to us! The third thing that keeps us going is the ability to pass on our love of floral design + the confidence to express oneself creatively. Teaching is a recent passion, but it’s amazing to see our students thrive and gain confidence.

 

Good Seed Floral Design Mayesh Takeover

Good Seed Floral Design Mayesh Takeover

 

Let’s talk tools – favorite florist tool, and favorite app you use in your business, be it social media or business organization? Instagram counts (ha!) but if there’s anything else you’re using we’d love to hear about it!

Our favorite florist tool that we discovered recently is a rose stripper that saves us SO much time!! Stripping roses is pretty much the worst so when we discovered this we were so excited. It’s called the Hinged Stem Stripper and I know you can get them online! Another favorite are these clippers we get on Amazon called Sakagen Hand Creation Flower Scissors. They are the cutest and soooooo sharp. For business organization, we literally could not do anything without Honeybook. It SAVED us this year!

 

You recently hosted the first Floral Gathering which we posted about, and I absolutely love the collaborative nature of the industry right now… it wasn’t always that way! Can you speak to the floral community in Portland, and why you decided to host that event?

Yes!! The Portland flower community is seriously the best. We are each other’s biggest cheerleaders. I know when we’re having a rough day + say something about it we will have so much advice/encouragement/love pouring in. And from people who get it, which means so much more. Having that from the people around us who are supposed to be our “competition” is incredible. We wanted to reflect that with a day of creativity and design (and good food!). Together with Brier and Ivy we got to bring together so many amazing florists and create just for ourselves. And then we got to relax and enjoy it. It was the most beautiful, refreshing day.

 

Good Seed Floral Design Mayesh Takeover

 

Alright, you knew it was coming! Favorite flowers?

HA! The hardest question. It’s always rotating depending on what’s inspiring us, but right now it’s spring flowers like Spirea, foxglove, iris and Japanese anemone. They are so lush and romantic, but also fun and textural which is our jam!

 

What trends are you seeing start to emerge in the world of floral design right now? And are you a fan of said trends?

Right now, we’re seeing a lot of color trends for next year- mainly rust reds and copper. Which we LOVE! We had a good amount of weddings in the last year or two with neutrals and burgundy and while we love those colors, it’s nice to push ourselves creatively with different palettes. Working with flowers is a lot like painting to us.

 

Good Seed Floral Design Mayesh Takeover

 

What is one piece of advice you’d go back and tell yourselves during your first year as floral designers?

“Take yourselves seriously!” I think we struggled with feeling confident and like we were “real” florists in the beginning because we were self-taught. We looked around and felt like everyone else had it together but us. And while we had a lot to learn, we’ve realized that no one has it all together! We are all on a journey and giving yourself credit, even in the beginning, for being an artist and honoring that is so important in the creative industry. You have something that no one else has! Be open and humble, but have confidence in yourself + know your worth.

 

Good Seed Floral Design Mayesh Takeover

Good Seed Floral Design Mayesh Takeover

Good Seed Floral Design Mayesh Takeover

 

Thank you so much for having us on your blog!! We are honored to have this opportunity.

 

www.goodseedfloral.co

 

@goodseedfloral

 

hello@goodseedfloral.co

 

 

Mornings with Mayesh: Florists to the Field

Mornings with Mayesh: Florists to the Field

Watch the replay of our LIVE show, Mornings with Mayesh, as we answering your flower questions with my flower friends, Dave Tagge, Ryan O’Neil from Curate – formerly Stemcounter, and Jodi Duncan from SocialJodi. We covered some of Dave’s favorite flowers that are available now, how to handle accounting for your floral business, easy wrist corsage techniques, paying for ads on social media, and reposting other people’s images on your social media pages.

Also, we interviewed our special guests, Greg Campbell and Erick New, co-owners of Garden District, about their brand new book, Florists To The Field.

 

Here is the podcast replay:

SHOW NOTES
PART I

 

FLOWER QUESTIONS

WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE WORLD OF FLOWERS?:

  • Latest flower 411
  • Dave showing some of his favorite flowers that are available right now

 

FLOWER DESIGN

  • From Claire: I am new at Floral arranging. I started a little more than two years ago. The most difficult for me has been making wrist corsages. It’s agony for me. Yet it looks so easy when I watch others do it. Do you have a simple way to make a wrist corsage? The most difficult of it is attaching the flowers to the wristband.

FLOWER BUSINESS

  • From Tarrah: What do successful shops do for accounting?  Being an artist, primarily, accounting is not my strong suit; and I’m sure that problem is common among shop owners.  Especially for smaller shops where the owner may be designing some or most of the time.
    • Ryan O’Neil from Curate gave advice on how to think about and handle accounting for florists.

MARKETING NEWS

  • From Jen: I would love to hear what social media platforms florists are paying to be on. Facebook boosting, ads, etc, Instagram, and google. What kind of monthly budget makes sense. What’s recommended? Do florists do their own social media or use a company?
  • From Jaclyn: What is best practice for reposting someone else’s images from Instagram? I noticed y’all do so on the company IG; do y’all comment and ask permission, etc?

 

Part II

SPECIAL GUEST – GREG CAMPBELL & ERICK NEW

Garden District co-owners Greg Campbell and Erick New

Garden District co-owners Greg Campbell and Erick New have a partnership of boundless creativity with an anything-can-be-done attitude, and they have navigated the vibrant labyrinth of floriculture together for 25 years.

The florists operate in tandem as architect and engineer, exchanging roles as needed. Greg is the architect—a persistent, alert perfectionist—while Erick is the engineer—a methodical strategist always prepping for the next step.

Be it a skyscraping installation or an unobtrusive centerpiece, they weave flowers and greenery into textural structures that bring people together for every imaginable occasion.

Their most recent project was publishing their new book, Florists to the Field, and I’m very excited to have them on chat all about it.

Welcome, Greg and Erick!

Before we dive into the excitement of the book, can you tell us a little bit about yourselves and how you both ended up in the flower industry?

  • We both fell into the industry as young men- I don’t think either of us would say “florist” as our profession if asked in High School. We were lucky enough to have been hired by a gentleman named John Hoover who revolutionized the floral market in our area

How did Garden District come to be? And how did you come up with that name? (I love it, by the way!)

  • Our original location was in an area of town called Central Gardens and we were close to another neighborhood named Chickasaw Gardens. Combine this with our affection for New Orleans and we came up with Garden District.

Last question before we get to the book because we can’t interview a florist without asking… favorite flowers?

  • Greg-muscari; Erick- lily of the valley

Okay so… why now? What inspired you two to take on creating and publishing Florists to the Fields?

  • it all started with us planning a photo shoot at a relatively new flower farmer we know in Mississippi. She was flush with flowers during the hot days of summer when the demand was low. We had a free weekend so we suggested a photo shoot to promote the farm’s bounty. While discussing how we would decorate the barn, our friend, the caterer Elizabeth Heiskell suggested having a dinner in the venue and turning this into an actual event. The ticket sales ended up benefiting the grower and we are proud to report that the farmer is in her third year of production. We were then approached by Southerly Media about the possibility of a book which would chronicle our visits to farms that provide products for our shop and create events at each facility using only their product. The farms determined how to use the party-one a fundraiser, another a surprise birthday party for the matriarch, another a “thank you” for clients. 18 months later, 12 farms in our area, across the country and afar, and we have the book!

Florists to the Field

Who is your intended audience, and what do you hope they gain from reading your book?

  • We are hoping the book appeals to a range of individuals. There is the person that gravitates to books with images of pretty flowers. There is also the customer that is interested in entertaining. Since each chapter tells the story of each farm- the history, their production, the owners- we feel the book would be of interest to others in our industry. Since these operations are a vital part of the 25-year history of Garden District, we hope the book could be helpful to other floral companies.

Tell us about the different people you collaborated with to write this book and your experience with them?

  • Our publisher, Southerly Media- we could not have done this without their guidance. Our writer, Christian Owen, whose words brought each chapter together.  We can’t say enough about our principal photographer, Sarah Bell. We did not have the luxury of shooting in a controlled environment like a studio. We were in fields, barns, sheds, in the rain, sun, cold and Sarah not only endured sometimes less than ideal situations but produced gorgeous images.

What was your favorite part of the whole process?

  • Connecting with the farms. In this day and age of emails, electronic billing, FedEx, et it is nice to interact with these people we have developed relationships with over the years.

Garden District co-owners Greg Campbell and Erick New - authors of Florists to the Field

I heard you have an exciting event that you are part of happening in September – do you want to tell us a little more about the event and what you guys have planned for it?

 

Where can everyone find out more about you and your book?

 You can grab your own copy of the book by following this link: http://bit.ly/FTTFOrder

 

 

If you think of new questions for our next show, you can post them in the comments here or use the contact form to send them to Yvonne.

Be sure to mark your calendar for June 12th at 10 am EST for the next Mornings with Mayesh – see you soon!

 

Mornings with Mayesh: Mood Boards & Debra Prinzing

Mornings with Mayesh

During Part I of this episode of Mornings with Mayesh, I demonstrated our custom Canva mood board templates that we created just for you. I review a very basic overview on how to update the templates with your business logo, inspiration text, images, and flower pictures. This easy to use app is great because you just need to upload your picture files or use the built-in stock photos. Another favorite tool that you can use to grab images, figure out color hex codes, and more, is SnagIt and I will give you a brief overview of how to use it.

To save a copy of the three inspiration boards to your own Canva account, click here.

For the second half of the show (Part II), our special guest, Debra Prinzing of SLOW Flowers, joined us. Watch or listen to learn more about Slow Flowers, American Flowers Week, the Slow Flower Summit and so much more. If you are interested in flower farming or just want to understand more about our the evolution of our industry, then you don’t want to miss this in-depth conversation.

 

Here is the podcast replay for Part II of the show. Part I is so visual that a podcast would not have made sense.

 

 

 

SHOW NOTES

 

PART I: MOOD BOARDS & INSPIRATION BOARDS

  • Demo Canva mood boards.https://www.canva.com/mayesh
    • NOTE: I realized after the live demo that you cannot use our design as a template directly from Canva, so I created live links for you to use and create a copy of the templates to your Canva account. Please visit the following link to get the links emailed to you: http://info.mayesh.com/mood-boards
  • We recently just published 3 mood board templates created specifically for you and your floral business.
  • These mood boards/inspiration boards/vision boards are perfect for planning flowers for weddings, corporate events, baby showers and everything else in between.
  • Another tool that my team loves, SnagIt

PART II: SPECIAL GUEST – DEBRA PRINZING

Today, we have a special and talented guest, Debra Prinzing. You may know Debra, as she is the creator of SlowFlowers.com, which is a free directory that helps consumers find florists, designers, studios and farms that supply American grown flowers. But did you know that she is also an award-winning author and speaker? Debra has written 10 books, contributes to many top publications, and is a wonderful speaker as you will soon see and someone that inspires me in my own floral career!

Here is her favorite quote is from Beverley Nichols, “…surely, if you are privileged to own a plot of earth, it is your duty, both to God and man, to make it beautiful.”

  1. Do you want me to start by telling everyone about what is SLOW FLOWERS?
  2. How did you become so obsessed about local, seasonal and sustainable flowers in the first place?
  3. What have you seen in terms of changing consumer attitudes about local and American grown flowers?
  4. What have you seen in terms in terms of changing focus on product sourcing among florists, retailers, wedding/event designers?
  5. What kind of metrics back up these conclusions?
  6. You’ve published an annual Slow Flowers forecast each January for the past four years. How do you track trends and/or predictions that influence the Slow Flowers community?
  7. Are you looking for suggestions? How can people share their ideas/predictions with you?
  8. You produce a lot of content — from your podcast and blog to print and digital stories for Florists’ Review. Tell us about your floral journalism? What gets you excited about writing or interviewing someone for a story?
  9. You have two big events coming up in late June. Tell us about American Flowers Week first — what is it and how can people get involved?
  10. What are you most excited about with this year’s American Flowers Week?
  11. Last year you started the Slow Flowers SUMMIT — tell us what that is?
  12. Who are some of your guests — and what’s got you excited about the event?
  13. How can people get involved in Slow Flowers? Where can they plug in?
  14.  Are you a floral designer yourself?
  15. Tell me something that you are obsessed with right now that is floral related?

Where can we go to find out more information about Slow Flowers and your other projects that you have going on? http://www.debraprinzing.com/

 

if you think of new questions for our next show, you can post them in the comments here or use the contact form to send them to Yvonne.

Be sure to mark your calendar for May 29th at 10 am EST for the next Mornings with Mayesh featuring special guests, Greg Campbell and Erick New, co-owners of Garden District who traveled to specialty farms throughout the U.S. and abroad to create, Florists to the Field, a stunning coffee table book that was recently published.

MDS Workshop Vendor Feature: Adorn

MDS Workshop Vendor Feature Adorn

 

With just two weeks left until our Mayesh Design Star Charleston workshop, we wanted to give a little shout out to one of our vendors, Adorn, who will be proving beautiful silk ribbon for all of the attendees’ bouquets. Here’s a little background on the Hawaii-based company:

 

 


 

 

Adorn is a handmade textile and fine art line founded by floral designer Mandy Grace and artist Nichola Moss. Their debut raw-edge silk ribbon collection was born out of an innocent curiosity. As a painter, Nichola had recently explored using silk scarves as her medium. Mandy was working in her flower studio alongside her mother-in-law and noticed an ethereal piece of silk stretched across an artist canvas. She asked Nichola if she had ever considered dying silk. The pair thought, let’s try.

 

Adorn merges art and nature, offering beautifully simple and organic adornment for wedding flowers and décor.  As a florist by trade, prepping wedding bouquets, Mandy found a continual five yard run of ribbon yields the least amount of waste. Each shade is dyed by hand, giving the ribbon a soft look and feel. The color variations contain subtle differences in tone, making every spool of ribbon unique.

 

Adorn now offers nearly 40 gorgeous shades of silk ribbon and a collection of gauze runners made of 100% natural fibers in eight soft hues to drape across a wooden farmhouse table at a dinner party at home or intimate celebration in nature. In 2017, Adorn debuted their line of textured wooden styling boards to satisfy the need for beautifully moody photo backdrops in the fine art film community.

 

Made locally in Hawaii.

 


 

 

MDS Workshop Vendor Feature Adorn

MDS Workshop Vendor Feature Adorn

MDS Workshop Vendor Feature Adorn

MDS Workshop Vendor Feature Adorn

MDS Workshop Vendor Feature Adorn

MDS Workshop Vendor Feature Adorn

MDS Workshop Vendor Feature Adorn

MDS Workshop vendor feature Adorn

Photo by @joelserrato

 


 

Our Charleston workshop is now sold out, but if you’re in the Seattle, Santa Barbara or Salt Lake areas, be sure to check out the details and save your seat to join us on tour!

 

 

Interview with Holly Chapple

 

If you haven’t heard the news yet, we’re so excited to announce that Holly Chapple will be joining us in Quito next year for our Mayesh Design Star International Experience! With twenty-five years of experience, Holly is a wealth of knowledge from both a design and business standpoint, and we can’t wait to share that knowledge with all of our attendees.

 

We caught up with Holly to ask her a few questions about herself and her journey in the industry!

 

 


 

 

Let’s start off simple – tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you got started in the flower industry? (Or maybe that’s not such simple question!)

I am a floral and event designer in Leesburg, Virginia, I am a mom of seven and run my business from home so that I can tend to the things happening in our family and at our house.  My parents owned and operated a garden center/produce market all of my life. We grew much of the product we sold. My father taught me how to make garlands, centerpieces, wreaths, and kissing balls so that I could help with the designing during holiday periods.  As kids, we spent our summers on the back of a truck selling produce or in the fields growing mums. When I married my husband and I landed on a property full of lilac, viburnum, peony, and hydrangea. Designing was a natural progression for me and it became the way I would support my family.

 

 

You have become so much more than a floral designer… can you talk about The Chapel Designers and what inspired you to start this network of floral designers?

This was a result of social media, I had been blogging daily for my blog, The Full Bouquet. This was 9.5 years ago, at the time very few designers were using this forum. Other small businesses began bonding with our studio because we were facing the same issues. Chapel Designers grew organically and out of need.  Today this organization brings so much support to its members, its all about a community of like-minded professionals but now we are family!!

 

 

Your husband is a big part of your business now too! How is it working so closely together? 

This quite frankly is often very hard. Evan is very black and white, the world of design is not. He tries so hard to bring balance and continuity to our team, but as all designers know at any moment an order can come in and we are all of a sudden up to our eyeballs in chaos; obviously, procurement of stems also causes chaos and lack of balance. However, his need for balance and organization makes so much of our company run beautifully. Evan handles the financials and the payroll thank goodness, but explaining to him why I had to source a precious out-of-season stem is not easy. Evan is also very much into growing and building, therefore his role of taking care of the farm is essential. He loves to enhance and advance the property. Since the farm is our greatest investment it really needs a fabulous caretaker.

 

 

What is your design philosophy? 

I love designs that are loose and airy, that shows a wide range of textures and colors. Full and lush!! For a great example, be sure to check out my Mayesh Pull Challenge!

 

 

Photo by Katie Stoops

 

How about business?

In it to win it. It’s important to me that the business is always moving forward. I know that as long as I am in business I need to keep advancing. I am always thinking of new revenue streams, this is one of my strongest business skills.

 

You have your hands in a lot of different facets of the industry, but what is the one part about it that brings you the most joy?

The love of flowers and people. It has become very clear to me that I love people as much as I love flowers.

 

I know choosing just one favorite flower is tough, but can you do it?? And if not, what are your favorite varieties right now?

NO chance, but Lilac will always be special to me as I started selling bouquets of lilac from my garden.

 

What wisdom would you impart upon any newcomers in the industry, just starting out in a small studio or shop?

This is a career for those that can’t help themselves, for those that are passionate about flowers. This is not a job for someone that thinks flowering is easy or fun. Most people do not realize the amount of physical or manual work involved.

 

What are you most looking forward to about our time in Quito, Ecuador?

Seeing the flowers and meeting new friends. FLOWERS & PEOPLE

 

Hope Flower Farm 

 

Interview with Plenty of Petals

Mayesh Takeover Plenty of Petals

 

 

This week we had the pleasure of having Kasia Mikulska of Plenty of Petals take over our Instagram feed, and she filled it with beautiful images of her favorite bouquets. Not only is Kasia a super talented designer, she is also the sweetest soul and I always enjoy working with her. So let’s get to know a little bit about the designer behind all of those bouquets…

 

 


 

 

Hey lady! So thrilled that we finally found time for you to do a takeover with us! Let’s dive right in… can you tell us a little about yourself and how you found yourself in the flower industry?

Thanks for having me! Let’s see.. it really happened organically because I was searching for it, trying to decide what to do with my life. You know, trying to find that “one thing” you’re supposed to be doing. I usually say that I did “art things” in college. Meaning, I dipped my toe in interior design and graphic design and I just really didn’t love either one of them. I really wanted to do something creative, but I just didn’t know what it was. The idea of graphic design, or interior design sounded fun (and I still love designing my house and making it a beautiful space!) but I just don’t think I would have enjoyed doing it for a living. The very first time I did flowers was for a friend’s birthday party. I just remember that it was fun and that people really enjoyed and raved about the flowers. That sparked a business idea and Plenty of Petals was born. The first year or so I really didn’t know what I was doing, but I was doing it! I worked at a family friend’s flower shop for a couple of months, and worked on starting my own business. I took every job I could and started doing friend’s weddings. I definitely had humble beginnings – doing flowers our of my kitchen sink, and making a big mess. All the knowledge I had when I was starting Plenty of Petals came from my mama. When I was little, she would take me on walks and point out flowers and tell me their names (she would also make me flower crowns by tying clovers or dandy lions together – because she’s pretty much the cutest!). Everything I learned I learned the hard way, which now, I’m really thankful for. I didn’t use any short cuts. Quickly Plenty of Petals because what it is today – a small boutique floral studio that focuses on weddings and events. I wanted to create a life-enriching business. I didn’t want my business to take over my life.

 

Mayesh Takeover Plenty of Petals

 

You’re kind of known for your beautiful lush bridal bouquets… why are they your favorite things to design (if they still are)?

I think I’ve always been perfecting my bouquet game because our studio focuses on weddings, and the bridal is most important floral piece for a wedding. It’s not an easy piece to create, because you’re making it in hand, flowers move, and don’t always do what you want them to or stay where you want them to. I always knew I wanted my bouquets to feel and look light and airy, and have a lot of depth and volume. I’ve changed my technique over the years, and feel like I’ll always be tweaking it and finding new ways of arranging.

 

Mayesh Takeover Plenty of Petals

Photo by @_mikeradford

Mayesh Takeover Plenty of PetalsPhoto by @spostophoto

 

How would you describe your design style or philosophy? 

If I were to use one adjective to describe the style and aesthetic – it would be feminine. I can’t help it – I’m a girly girl and I think that’s always shown in my designs. I try to have a very effortless and natural look to everything that I do. I never want it to feel forced, heavy or tight.

 

Mayesh Takeover Plenty of Petals

Photo by @spostophoto

 

Besides the obvious “romantic garden style” style (which I don’t think is going away anytime soon, phew!) what other wedding and floral trends are you noticing?

A lot of arrangements that are very floral and color heavy, with minimal or very little foliage, or “greenery” that’s colorful and that plays a big part of the color palette. Arrangements and bouquets with lots of super fun textures, and interesting elements, like dried grasses, aged ferns, and other unique elements. I’m also seeing arrangements, hanging and floor installations that are so wildly fun in shape and scale – it’s so exciting and inspiring to see!

 

Mayesh Takeover Plenty of Petals

Photo by @josevilla

Photo by @spostophoto

 

The Carlsbad/San Diego floral community seems like such a positive and collaborative group of young female designers! Can you expand on that a little, and how you all work together to support each other and lift up the design community?

I’m so grateful for the little flower community we have created. It’s so nice to be able to bounce ideas off of each other, share information/tips, and support each other. I always want to come from a place of abundance – there’s enough projects to go around, and I’m happy to see my friends do amazing things. That’s the kind of energy and community I want to be a part of. I want to be their supporter and cheerleader. I don’t see us as competing against each other – we all have our own different talents, and unique styles. It’s funny because I can usually look at a photo of a bouquet or centerpieces and I can tell who’s work it is – I’m like, “that’s my friend. I’m so proud!” These flowers babes are my real life friends and I feel so lucky to know them.

 

Can you answer the age-old question… all-time favorite flower? I’ll allow a couple, because even I can’t choose just one 😉

I’m gonna heave to pick a few – lilac, lily of the valley, and sweet peas. Basically, spring flowers that smell really really good! I grew up in Poland, where big lilac trees grew everywhere. My grandma had a huge yard with so much lily of the valley she didn’t know what to do with it. All of those flowers remind me of a childhood when I spend all day playing outside, climbing trees, and digging in the dirt. That’s what makes me the most excited – is seeing flowers growing naturally! Also, I don’t really ever have flowers at my house, but when I do it’s usually just a simple bunch of tulips, or a bundle of one thing that I stick in a glass jar or vase!

 

Mayesh Takeover Plenty of Petals

 

What is one piece of advice you’d like to go back and tell yourself during your first year of designing? 

Just to relax and be a little kinder to myself! I’m definitely a perfectionist and tend to be critical of my work. When I relax and allow everything to flow, it all seems to come into place. Most answers reveal themselves through doing, not thinking – and I wish in the beginning stages I just got my hands on more flowers and gave myself permission to explore – to play and have fun. The creative process is not always the easiest. I’ve always been so interested and curious about the creative process of others – I just find it so fascinating. I’ve met designers that are very confident in their work, and some that are very hard on themselves, so when I’m in a funk I just try to take a deep breath, let go and remember how thankful I am to have this beautiful job!

 

Mayesh Takeover Plenty of Petals

 

If you love Kasia as much as we do, be sure to follow Plenty of Petals Instagram for all the floral goodness!

 

Mornings with Mayesh: March 2018

Mornings with Mayesh March 2018 with Jodi Duncan

We covered some great topics during March’s Mornings with Mayesh show. During Part I, Dave and I talk about some of the amazing products that are available now and answered your flower questions. The discussion included: reviewing some regular roses that are similar to garden roses, ideas for good corsage/boutonniere flowers, thoughts on hardgood investments for budding businesses, sources for large containers, how to attract luxury brides, ads in Instagram Stories, and Youtube updates.

For the second half of the show (Part II), Jodi Duncan, of Jodi Duncan Designs and Socialjodi, joined me to chat about her thoughts on social media with a focus on how to get started, content ideas, and what social platforms you need to make sure you are utilizing. Enjoy and keep on scrolling down for the show notes.

 

Here is the podcast replays – Part I and Part II:


 

PART I

 

FLOWER QUESTIONS

 

    • From Gaye: What are your favorite “regular” roses that open up nicely to look similar to the expensive garden roses?  Any tricks of the trade when substituting? I know at the end of the day, there ARE no substitutes really!!
      • Hi Gaye, Great question! Actually yes, you can create this look with just about any nice standard rose that has a high petal count and opens nicely. I demonstrate a technique in my workshops on how to do this and I can show you guys here too. The standard white rose Polo opens up really nicely like a garden rose and so does Playa Blanca. Shimmer is another favorite of mine. The trick is to get your roses opening up ahead of time and gently use your fingers to relax them more.Also removing the center petals and exposing the filament, anther and seed grains gives that illusion as well. This is an excellent trick for wedding and event work and yes the roses will hold up.
        Polo Rose

        Polo Rose

        Shimmer Rose

        Shimmer Rose

        Playa Blanca Rose

        Playa Blanca Rose

        Peach Finesse Rose

        Peach Finesse Rose

         

    • What is exciting in the world of flowers?
      • http://www.mayesh.com/flower-411-march-2018/
      • When we think spring, we usually envision pastels and girly colors but there are so many cool spring flowers in the on-trend muted tones available now.
      • Butterfly ranunculus are gaining huge popularity. It is unique in having a having a lower petal count than the typical varieties we know. A more open aperture reveals the dark center and can somewhat resemble an anemone though come in a much larger range of bright and muted colors. Their petals are slightly reflective giving them a silky shimmer.
      • Tulips are always a spring favorite. I remember their little leaves poking out from the snow at the end of winter in Indiana and looking forward to warmer weather. Their fragrance always brings me back to my childhood in my mother’s garden. This variety is a Dutch grown black parrot. I love the dark moody aubergine tone and the scalloped texture of the petals.
      • My next superstars of spring season are the Fritillaria: I have 3 uniquely different varieties to show you, all imported from Holland via the Aalsmeer auction…
        • First is Fritillaria Meleagris. This varieties latin name is derived from Dicebox & spotted Guinea fowl and It is native to Europe. They have dainty little bell-shaped flowers born on short stems perfect for tucking into bridal work or short bud vases.
        • Second is Fritillaria Persica. This variety is native to Persia thus the latin Persica. It comes in shades of purple to greenish brown and this variety is fairly hardy.
        • The third variety is Fritillaria Imperialis also known as the skunk lily due to its pungent aroma. It is said that planting these in your garden will repel moles and mice. Folklore around this plant says that they were growing near Christ’s crucifixion and to this day still hang their heads in sorrow.
      • Check out these giant kale varieties grown in California. This giant cruciferous rosette is related to the cabbage family and loves this time of year for the cool nights and warm sunny days. It’s even kinda cool when they bolt out and get this oblong shape.
      • Peach Lisianthus from Japan… words just cannot do justice to this baby…
      • Lisianthus is native to the Southwest United States through Mexico to South America and is commonly known as Prairie Gentian.
      • Not a typical spring flower, I just wanted to share this moody, muted carnation variety called copper extasis
      • Last item comes to us from Chile. These blackberries add the perfect amount of texture and are cut at a young green stage to maximize vase life. This finger-friendly variety is thornless and has long sturdy stems for your designs.

 

FLOWER DESIGN

  • From Gaye: What are good flowers to use for corsages and boutonnières that will last a long time out of water, other than the usual suspects of spray roses, eryngium, waxflower, etc? I was surprised to see bracelets and bouts made with ranunculus and just wonder if there are some favorite “soft” flowers that last a long time out of water.  I like to make them up a day ahead…I loved the dog collar Kaylee made from sweet peas, that would be a beautiful crown. I’m guessing that would need to be made the morning of the event?
    • Almost any flower can be wired and made into a corsage true. As we know some flowers hold up better than others. Ranuncs actually are great for corsage work because of their high petal count and timeless garden look. Hellebores, nigella blooms, scabiosa blooms, blushing bride protea, strawflower, hyacinth and nerine blooms are all great and more unusual softer looking alternatives. Delicate flowers like sweet peas need to be definitely made the day of and spritzed with a floral sealer like Crowning Glory or similar. It essentially keeps the flower from transpiring as quickly. Most flowers hold up about 2 hours out of the water. You can get almost 7 with a product like Crowning Glory. If you want to see how this product works check out a post done Alicia of Flirty Fleurs. Alicia did a test on some notoriously difficult flowers out of the water and the results are impressive. It’s an OG product that has been around for years and I think every florist should learn how to utilize. Oasis brand makes a Foliage spray sealer as well.

 

FLOWER BUSINESS

  • From Sarah: Started my business for 4 months. Work out of my home. Do you think it is worth investing in a lot of hard goods? rentals and have a wide variety. Obviously close to my style?
    • Hi Sarah, Congrats on your new business! I would start slowly and build up your inventory based on your needs right now. I would also create a business plan and decide who your bride is what kind of market you are in first.Do you want to get into props and rentals as part of your business? Remember everything you buy for one wedding needs to make sense for future weddings or events. Props like Large urns, stands or columns which are usually a safe bet are things you can feel confident to invest in and know you will probably use repeatedly. Often centerpiece containers can vary bride to bride so you either can decide on 2 or 3 styles that you offer and leave it at that( a wide variety is not necessary) or you can end up amassing a collection of vessels you may only use once or twice. I think it’s best to begin curating your look and stay conservative initially. As a side note: It’s also a plus if you can sell the container with the design too. So many people like to take the florals home after an event.It’s often a challenge for florists at the end of the evening to get their containers back without destroying the flowers. This is why it’s always a good idea to use a liner that you can lift out of the original rental during strike.
  • From Gaye: What are good sources for large containers to be used for ceremonies? Statement pieces that don’t break the bank?
    • Hi Gaye, This has always been challenging for florists. You need something that looks elegant and weathered but not too heavy, waterproof with a deep enough bowl to hold the proper sized mache container that doesn’t cost a bazillion dollars. There are many companies that make urns and the trick is finding the perfect ones. Besides our usual wholesale floral suppliers like San Diego Wholesale or Floral Supply Syndicate my go to’s has always been Lowes or Home Depot for large outdoor garden urns. These are usually very sturdy are made out of faux stone material and are waterproof.  Ballard Designs, Pottery Barn and any home decor company Like Park Hill Collection (one of my favorite companies) as well.
  • From Rebecca: I’d love to get more higher-end bride’s who are not on such a budget. Any tips?
    • Hi Rebecca, What I am hearing is that you would like to attract higher-end brides.  There is an old saying “ Wealth attracts Wealth”  If you want to appeal to this kind of bride then that is the kind of business you need to be projecting. Are you yourself High-end? How have you curated your brand? What kind of work does your portfolio show? A lot of DYI or low budget weddings are not going to bowl over potential high-end clients.What is your minimum? Do you say yes and take every wedding that comes your way? Learning to say no to the wrong work for you is saying yes to the work you want. Target your focus to working with vendors who only work with high-end brides themselves. You will have to work hard to break into these types of circles. You have to think like the wealthy think.  It’s possible you may have to rebrand yourself and overhaul the look or work you are currently doing.Burn this word into your brain: Luxury. There is nothing cheap or budget-friendly about it. And another thing to remember, this is a very small part of the overall wedding market so you have to really have to take a laser focus to your approach here and make sure that you become the Luxury Vendor these brides want to talk to.  Make sure this is actually want you want, because working in this upper echelon of the bridal market is a whole different world.

 

MARKETING NEWS

  • Ads in Instagram Stories
    • https://business.instagram.com/blog/creating-compelling-ads-in-stories/
    • I’ve been stressing the importance of utilizing IG Stories and their latest biz blog post had some very interesting tidbits.
      • “As more than 300 million active Instagram accounts around the world watch and create Stories every day,2 Instagram Stories is becoming an increasingly powerful way for brands to stand out and inspire action.”
    • Quote from OpenTable: “Our Instagram Stories campaigns have proven to be some of our highest ROI campaigns to date, while also driving a significant volume of reservations. This ad format not only delivers performance but also effectively engages our best customers with crave-worthy content.”
  • Youtube adds new live streaming tools and features.
    • https://youtube-creators.googleblog.com/2018/02/updates-to-youtube-live-streaming.html
    • when you watch the replay later, the comments replay as well in conjunction so that you feel like you are watching live.
    • Youtube offers a live auto-captioning to live videos.
    • Adding new metrics –
      • unique viewers – can take a look at this number vs. how many subscribers you have, which videos that you have posted that your current unique videos are into and then keep on hitting hard there.

So I don’t have time for other questions today because I am bringing on our special guest. 

 

 

Part II

 
Ok, it is time for our special guest, Jodi Duncan, of SocialJodi. Welcome Jodi!
 

SPECIAL GUEST – JODI DUNCAN

 

  • Before we get started, tell us a bit about yourself.
    • I’ve been hanging around flowers since I was seven. So that’s 40 years…more than 3/4 of my life! I have way too much I still want to do and there are way too many people that I still want to help. Creativity is my oxygen. That process has given me longevity & passion that is sustainable. I think with the integration of AI and VR, the touchy/feely side of artesian creativity will be more important than ever. I am super intuitive & curious. I am also easily bored. In the past year, I got bored telling my own story (which is what every entrepreneur really does whether they recognize it or not….) and after the success with helping my Design Master account achieve some of their goals, it became clear I was pretty good at it.  I developed Socialjodi as a social media consulting agency to scale my ability to help other people with social media because it’s not going away. It’s going to get bigger and more important. I’m a practitioner. I’m doing it. I have case studies and things I have learned and applied that have gotten powerful results. I have accounts ranging from huge corporations to not for profits to small startups. I’m not just somebody that signed up for a few webinars and decided to start teaching this, although I do love a good webinar! I am in the trenches. I’m not removed from the process. I’m living it too. We are doing a live webinar on my Socialjodi facebook page at the end of the month where we are going to explore these things, so you can check us out there for more info.
  • Question from Jessica: I would like to hear from other floral artists on their favorite way to capture their work. I have a nice digital camera with DSLR but I feel like my images don’t capture my designs well and soI’m constantly trying to get the professional’s images hoping they were able to capture it.
  • What advice do you have for our viewers who want to get started in social media but aren’t sure where to start?  
    • JUST START. Don’t overthink it.  Get people to know, like and trust you. If you can’t create content because you think you have nothing to say (a LIE) then just document others content, and give them credit. If you don’t have confidence in your ability to DO, then DOCUMENT. Ask permission to use their content and give them credit. Social media is SOCIAL. People make the mistake of thinking is technical. IT IS NOT. I’d rather train your spunky 70-year-old meemaw on social media than your 27-year-old tech genius. Tech people are usually not very socially intuitive. Give me the person with the best personality…they will be your best person for your social media.  Social media is not a tech function. It’s a marketing function. People who misunderstand this make a huge mistake. It drives me ABSOLUTELY CRAZY. And it is shockingly common.
  • Do you think that all content that is shared by a business needs to be professionally created?
    • Depends on the content. If it is graphic design, fonts, logos than YES.  If it’s not, it at least needs to LOOK like it was professionally created.  There are lots of apps that make that possible. Weird design, blurry graphics and comic sans fonts are NOT ok. Bad design that is hard to read and has too much info, weird clip art, and no focal emphasis is a mess. It’s hard to overlook bad design in an industry that is aesthetically based. And there is no excuse for it.

      For video, there is a place for the polished and the precious. But keep in mind that society today understands reality TV. And most understand Snapchat. It’s not either or, but both. And if you can only do one, do the raw, shot from your phone.  Unless its just horrible, viewers will look past the imperfections. Engagement is more important than perfection. If you can tell a good story, your audience will love you no matter what.
  • Speaking of content – besides sharing pictures of finished work, which is probably the #1 piece of content that is easy for florists to create & share – what other content ideas do you think could work well? For example, what would be good video subject matter for florists to produce?
    • Cooler tours are awesome. Shop tours. Venue tours. Just quick videos on your phone. The quicker the better.  Goldfish have a 7-second attention span. Humans are 6 seconds. Keep it brief. Facebook LOVES video content that originated on their platform.

      The Mayesh rack pulls are perfect example of behind the scenes and telling a story. Or…how about pulling together elements of a tablescape? Walk them through the process…boxes arriving, piles of stems from processing, 24 hours of hydration. Behind the scenes. Transparency. The stuff that is white noise to us is fascinating to others. We are blinded to the magic of what we do. We take it for granted.
  • What social media platforms do you think is most important to florists?
    • Instagram, Facebook. Pinterest. BUT for the record, I think they are all important…it’s like asking me which child is my favorite.  It depends on the long game, of where you want to go, who you want to influence, where you are on the spectrum of social media. Beginners need to focus on Instagram & Facebook. People who have a good grasp on those 3 and are engaging consistently seriously need to look into youtube and podcasts and livestream. Instagram is HOT HOT HOT.
  • What social media platform do you think isn’t too important now, but will be important in a few years?
    • Podcasts. It’s time arbitrage. You can listen while driving, cooking, taking a shower, working out.  It’s efficient. It makes you smarter. It’s a win-win. If you aren’t listening to podcasts & subscribed to them, you should be. There are some brilliant people putting out amazing content. Go learn. It is an investment in yourself. Never stop learning.
  • Not related to flowers, what are you obsessed with right this minute?
    • Spring. Because I want to landscape my yard & finish the final stage of our construction/renovation project.  I want my yard to look like a dreamscape on the prairie. We have several acres with a large pond. I am beyond ready to get in the dirt and plant and groom and turn it into a sanctuary. I want to plant a few things to cut from along the way! Dahlias, peonies, hydrangea, cool foliages and branches too.
  • Find out more about Socialjodi at www.socialjodi.com!

 

 

If you think of new questions, you can post them in the comments here or use the contact form to send them to Yvonne. 

Be sure to mark you calendar for April 10th at 10 am EST.

Go Top