Interview with Carla Kayes

Carla Kayes Takeover


Photo by @jenna_photo

By now, you have probably realized that these Instagram takeovers are becoming a big thing with us! We have been having so much fun and can’t wait to continue finding more amazing clients to feature on our Instagram. This week, the lovely Carla Kayes of Southern California took over our page for three days, sharing some of her beautiful designs as well as some fun designer tips and tricks! Read below for a bit more from the designer herself, and make sure to follower her at Instagram @carlakayes!


To start off, why don’t you tell us how you ended up in the flower industry?

I’ve been in love with flowers since I can remember.  I grew up in central Ohio with parents who were avid gardeners. My mom had the most beautiful English herb & flower garden complete with used brick paths and a pergola, which my father made.  I joined the local 4H horticulture club and competed in the county fair.  I attended Ohio University and have a BFA in Graphic Design and Art History. I worked as a graphic designer for 7 years and was never happy with what I was doing.  Soon after I stopped working to be a stay at home mom (my oldest was 2 at the time) I had a wholesale dried flower company.  I loved getting up and driving into the LA market where I purchases flowers to dry.  Over the next 15 years I dabbled in floral design, working seasonally for local floral shops, while I was raising my girls, and doing flowers for friend’s weddings. Eight years ago, when my youngest was almost finished with high school, I decided to open up my own wedding & event floral design studio and work at it full time.  I love what I do and don’t mind schlepping around heavy buckets and the sweat & hustle that goes into wedding work.  I can never get enough of flowers and working with them!


How did your background in graphic design help you transition into flowers?

All components of design are also relevant and used in floral design: Color theory, texture, shape & composition.  And how all these elements come together to form an overall design that has great eye flow and interest.


How would you describe your design style?

Natural, organic lush garden inspired designs.  I am happy if my works looks like I went out to my garden to clip stems then arrange.



Carla Kayes Takeover

Photo by @allielindseyphotography


What trends do you see happening in wedding flowers right now?

Thankfully, as much as I love blush & peach, I’m seeing a return to bright, juicy color pallets for weddings. As well as wedding style, themes and tablescapes with modern & bohemian décor.



Carla Kayes Takeover

Photo by @suzijacobs


Okay, I won’t ask what your all time favorite flower is, because that’s a really hard question! Instead, which varieties are you really excited about this season or upcoming seasons?

I’m crazy about Dahlias and Garden Roses. Oh and right now I love Zinnias.  I’m looking forward to early spring with Ranunculus and Japanese Sweet Peas!



Carla Kayes Takeover

Photo by @dulcetweddings


Let’s talk tools. Favorite florist tool, and favorite social media app for marketing yourself?

I love my Pink handled Ohana Floral sheers.  They are the best clippers I’ve used.  The light pink handle helps me locate them in all the green trimmings that seem to accumulate everywhere I’m working.

Instagram is by far my favorite. I’ve found it to be a wonderful source of inspiration, and flower sourcing. It has also provided me with a wonderful creative community, locally and around the world.  And it’s so simple & easy!


What’s the most memorable or favorite event/shoot you’ve worked on?

The shoot I did last July at Temecula Creek Inn with Bryan Miller Photography. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but when I saw Bryan’s film images it was all so worth it!


Carla Kayes Takeover

Carla Kayes Takeover

Carla Kayes Takeover

Photos by @bryanmillerphoto 


What has your experience been like with Mayesh?

When I started my business 8 years ago, as soon as I had my permit, I set up an account at the Carlsbad market Mayesh.  Another florist highly recommended them.  And it’s been a great relationship!  There was a lot I didn’t know 8 years ago.  Cindy and Trudy, my reps, taught me so much along the way.  I am always finding a picture of a flower or foliage that I don’t know and they are always so great with flower ID, sourcing, availability and pricing information.  Oh and there was one time my cooler froze an entire wedding and Mayesh had everything I needed to redo it all in 2 hours (Plus it was a Saturday and they weren’t even open!)  They always have awesome product and I love going into the cooler to see what’s new. After all these years they are more like friends than business associates!


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

I was so eager to work that I would do any job for any price.  I wish I had focused more on developing my own style (not taking every job that came along that didn’t suit my style) and being firm with my pricing.  When you know your style, strengths and value, clients will value what you do.


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