We collaborate with our clients to bring all types of botanicals into a space. This ranges from making table-top arrangements for parties to executing large photo-ready installations for corporate events, weddings, and more! We also offer subscription flowers for residential & business accounts.
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
This is a question I get asked very often!
I kind of “fell into” flowers. I moved to Detroit when I was 20 years old, to fix up a gorgeous, yet dilapidated house. I needed to fill my time between working on this house, so I took a part-time gig selling flowers and funeral arrangements in a family-owned flower shop. It was not glamorous. But, the owners taught me a lot about quality control and how to keep arrangements fresh. Also, they were meticulous about pricing and inventory, which, when you work with perishable materials with high waste, is crucial to stay on top of.
When I moved to Oakland, I got a job as a floral designer at a startup in San Francisco. It had a small team, fast growth, and a really exciting atmosphere. I worked my butt off and ultimately became the design manager of this innovative brand, managing a team of ~25 designers. I developed the products, ordered tens of thousands of dollars worth of flowers each week directly from local farmers, trained the staff, set a production quota, and SO MUCH MORE. It was kind of like running a flower factory, if you can imagine it. When I started there in 2012, there were around 14 employees at this company. By the time I left just a few years later, there were over a hundred employees! This experience was invaluable to me, and I’m so grateful for everything I learned there.
When I left this company, I moved back home to Los Angeles and started freelancing with really significant designers working out of SF and LA. This allowed to me to see the behind-the-scenes of producing large scale events and working with high-profile clients.
Eventually, I took all this real-world education and started Still Carnations. It just felt like the right time to pursue my lifelong dream of being my own boss!
How do you stand out in your field?
My work ethic and the unique range of experience I’ve had in the floral industry.
I think some folks starting off in flowers underestimate the amount of work it takes. You really have to put in your dues! Not only is it physically laborious, but it’s often crazy early and long hours with small margins. It takes a very specific type of person with a certain stick-to-itness that can take this from being a hobby to a full fledged business.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
Right now, we’re prepping for a wedding in Topanga for this weekend. The clients are such lovely people and the bride made her own cement pots that we’ll be using for some of the plant decor!
It’s a busy weekend for us with weekly residential orders, small events, and a wedding in one! I’m super grateful for the word-of-mouth business we have been getting from friends and family.
WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?
My style is soft and warm, full yet edited. I take inspiration from both sculptural NYC floral designers as well as the cloud-softness South Korean designers bring to their florals. Every project is also influenced by seasonality, as well as environmental factors like the weather outside that day.
WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?
I wish I had time and resource to work with different mediums. I’m currently designing a mini clothing collection influenced by my floral work with my best friend Ezra, who owns a local clothing manufacturing company here in LA. Another thing I’d love to learn more about is herbalism & the magical properties of products I work with on a daily basis!
WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?
Because I work alone a lot, I often forget to budget time to take photos of my designs. I always end up kicking myself after, because I would love to take the business away from being just word-of-mouth, and start attracting clients based on images of previous work. All the beautiful work not photographed feels like such a waste!
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
Balance sheets! Also, fill and empty buckets of water, process roses, and take stickers off vases.
LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?
I would tell myself to ask as many questions as possible at every point.
IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
I would love to get into making floral build-outs for music videos, fashion editorials, and live performances! Also would love to make connections with more event planners and content producers.
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.
An ideal client has a budget in mind with a sense of what they want and a willingness to let us do what we do best!
WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE?
Since SC is pretty new, we try to work with all types of budgets, especially for creative projects we are excited about!
We offer phone / email consultations and custom estimates for orders and events.There are a lot of factors at play when it comes to cost of floral designs. Specific varieties of flowers and fullness of the designs, as well as delivery / labor costs can all affect the total.
For example, a local wedding with around 150 guests can start at around $2,500 for very light decor, with larger installations / specifications adding to the cost exponentially. That’s factoring in alter / ceremony decor, reception centerpieces, personal flowers (bouquets and boutonnieres) and all of the other design elements that pull everything together, as well as the staff to deliver and set it up.
HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
Email is a perfect way to reach out! Helpful info to include: date, location, budget, and people count (if it is an event).
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
Unfollow your direct competition!
This member profile was originally published in 2018.