7 Things I’ve Learned In 7 Years of Floral Business

March 8, 2019

We’re celebrating 7 YEARS of business on March 9, 2019!! Wow, it’s amazing to me how it’s been this long! Over the years, I have learned a lot of things (more than seven, that’s for sure! It was hard to nail down my list)!  In honor of the celebration, these photos are also a little throwback from when my lovely friend Heather Cherie took some behind the scenes of me designing (in our kitchen at the time!) for a wedding backing in 2014. He Loves Me Flowers has come a long way and I’m so thankful to share these learning experiences and lessons with you.

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Seven Things I’ve Learned in Seven Years of Floral Business:

1. Just be you. There will be competition. There will be people who try to duplicate or heaven-forbid steal your work (trust me I know, I’ve been there). But in the end, no one can be YOU so be true to who you are, your passions, and your calling. Only YOU can be you.

2. Running a business is hard work! It takes a lot of grit, a lot of dedication, hours and hours of time, financial investment, experiments, and failures along the way. And then after all the time, work, (and money!) you’ve invested you may not feel like you’re nearly closer to where you want to be! That my friend can be discouraging! Starting a business is hard – I know – we’ve started five different businesses over the years. But the reward is so great and the refining process is even better! After seven years of hard work, I’m really happy to be where we are.

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3. Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not snap! :) But for real, being flexible is key in the floral world! It’s a rare occasion when a flower order comes in exactly how I ordered. Haha. There’s typically always something that has to be substituted, adjusted, or altered in some way, shape or form. That’s just the nature of working with fresh product. There are times when mother nature has her way and that specific flower I ordered, is just not available. Or there are times when wedding day setup doesn’t go as planned and we have to adjust, recalibrate and figure out plan B. When those things happen, staying flexible is key!

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4. Learn to say no. In order to get to where you want to go, you have to say no along the way to opportunities that don’t align with your passions and business goals. When I first started in the business, I took every opportunity that came my way. When you start you have to start somewhere and every opportunity is a good opportunity. But as your platform grows and your influence increases, it’s necessary to say no and decide on those specific things that you want to focus on. For me, this meant focusing on florals for weddings and events exclusively. That’s where my passion is!

 

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5. Be a lifelong learner. I love learning new things, that’s just how I’m wired. But when it comes to the floral world, there is always something new to learn. There are always new varieties of roses, new novelty blooms or cutting-edge dried and bleached products. It’s the nature of this industry; it’s always changing. But that’s what keeps this job exciting and fresh! I love the newness of products, trends, and styles. Continuously learning is essential to staying relevant.

6. You can have your dream flowers. Even if you have a small or tight budget, you can still have your dream flowers at least in your bridal bouquet! We may have to cut costs in table centerpieces or in the bridal party florals. That big floral arbor that you saw on Pinterest may not be able to be that elaborate or over-the-top, but we can still do something! I’ve learned that when my clients trust me, things always work out better in their favor and they end up absolutely loving and totally thrilled with the end result! So trust your florist, we’re here to help!

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7. Be kind, confident, and humble. In my first years of business, it took some time to get my business confidence built up. I was young, and I looked even younger. I remember meeting with potential clients and they would ask me how old I was — I think some thought I was in high school! lol! After 4 years in business, another vendor really made me feel inferior and acted as if I had never touched a flower in my life. I felt like this person had no faith in my skills, experience or business and here I was supposed to be working with them on this specific client’s event. I felt intimidated and so small. I felt like I had to prove myself to this vendor. So the event week came and I was so stressed out. It felt like I had a heavy weight on my shoulders which restricted me from designing my best work with joy, creativity, and passion. I remember thinking, “I could walk away from flowers and never touch one again if this is how this pressure, stress and ‘proving-to-be-somebody’ makes me feel.” But then, while I was arranging I had a God-moment. I felt like the Lord say, “Arrange for ME, design for ME.” And then this verse popped into my head, “Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people.” (Colossians 3:23 CSB). Tears streamed down from my face. From that moment forward, I designed to please God. I was designing this floral arrangement for Him. I was creating to give Him glory. I can’t begin to express to you the way my heart changed when my perspective switched. Instead of bitterness and this striving, I felt peace, joy, and creative freedom again. Well, the end of the story goes like this…everyone was extremely pleased with the florals and this vendor was blown away. They even stated that they wanted to work with me again. Haha. I have to admit, I didn’t reciprocate the feelings. Even though people may be unkind, unpleasant or heaven-forbid just plain mean, be kind back. It doesn’t do anybody any good to be unkind. Be confident in your God-given abilities and gifts and for goodness’ sake, stay humble.

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All photos by Heather Cherie.

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Soft, Romantic Blue Tones – Shelby & Jared’s Real Wedding

February 28, 2019

Romantic blue tones are what make this wedding as peaceful and dreamy as it appears.

For Shelby’s wedding, we used a mix of white peonies, ranunculus, with soft blue delphinium, dusty miller, lavender, wheat and eucalyptus. It was the perfect bouquet for Shelby who radiates peace, calmness, and pure elegance.

Floral Design by He Loves Me Flowers. Photography by Cassidy Brooke at Haseltine Estate in Springfield, MO.

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Flowers Cost Money

February 13, 2019

Let’s be real – I love talking money! You may interpret that as “I love making money” or “I love to take your money” (haha!) but the honest truth is I’m actually saying “I love to talk money and figure out how I can best serve YOU.

So here is the basic fact: FLOWERS COST MONEY.

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Flowers cost me money. Some flowers cost A LOT more money compared to others, and some are extremely reasonable. But not only do the actual flower stems cost money; the supplies, design expertise, planning, labor, time, ribbons, vessels, workers, and possibly 100 other miscellaneous expenses cost money.

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When a client comes to me and says, “I have a budget of $2,000 and we are expecting 300 guests.” And then proceeds to show me photos of tall, large and full floral centerpieces in the reception venue, with garlands on every table, and a party of 10 bridesmaids, I have to be real with her. “Girlie, your bridal party flowers alone will take up at least 50% of your budget. Those gorgeous centerpiece photos are showcasing a floral budget of $8,000+.” So to best serve my client, I have to talk budget, be creative, and use my floral expertise to educate the client and also inspire them on what we CAN do. There are options — LOTS of options, so let’s talk about YOU and figure out what your specific needs are. We can make your wedding amazing and absolutely beautiful, but first, we have to talk about money to know where to start. I’m a professional florist, but I also consider myself a professional math cruncher, because let’s be real – there’s a lot of math that goes into this so let’s make this whole wedding floral thing work for you!

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Photography: Jordan Brittley

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Spring Centerpiece Class

March 5, 2018

In 2017 we co-hosted a Spring Flower Centerpiece Class with our friends Ana + Alex. We had such a wonderful time and are excited to announce that we’ll be hosting another workshop this spring on March 31 from 1-3pm at Sangha Studio. It was such a fun time together flowering, we just have to do it again! :)

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Last year for the workshop, I chose a soft color palette including white, champagne, blush pink, peach, buttercream yellow, lavender,  sage green, pink, orange and yellow.

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The spring flower selection that I chose was lovely and some are my all-time favorites! These special seasonal blooms were sweet peas, tulips, ranunculus. The other flowers I picked were stocks, carnations (standard and minis), mini roses, silver dollar eucalyptus, alstromeria, waxflower, lisianthus, and roses. Some were more expensive than others, but most are budget-friendly blooms and long-lasters. 

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I taught the attendees how to create a natural, organic centerpiece for their Easter table. It was such a joy to see these ladies create lovely floral centerpieces with the tools and techniques they learned that day! 

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This year my color choice and flower selection will be a little different, but so, SO good! We had a wonderful time last year and we hope you’ll grab a girlfriend and join in on the floral fun this year! Tickets are $50 each and include your very own floral centerpiece and container. But please bring your shears. :) Reserve your seat HERE!

We can’t wait to flower with you!

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DIY Fresh Floral Centerpiece Class

March 22, 2017

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What better way to celebrate the new spring season than by creating a gorgeous centerpiece for all the blooming spring florals?!

I am so excited to announce that I’m teaming up with lifestyle blogger, Ana Pierce and Sangha Studio, and will be teaching a hands-on floral workshop on Saturday, April 15. You’ll leave with a show-stopping centerpiece for your Easter buffet, and learn a few tools of the trade to use for your next floral arrangement, as well.

Tickets to the event will be $50 per person, which include a wide array of flowers (my favs!) such as roses, tulips, ranunculus, sweet peas and alstromeria. You’ll leave with your own centerpiece; all you need to bring is a pair of scissors or shears! Please register by April 4th to ensure your spot. Light snacks will be provided by host Alex Maurer of Sangha Studio.

For more information and to reserve your ticket, visit the Event Page.

All photography by Jordan Brittley.

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Real Wedding: Brody + Ashley

February 2, 2017

Brody + Ashley’s natural-inspired wedding was full of deep jewel-toned colors, organic textures, and geometric details. The flowers we used for the bridal bouquet were a mix of eucalyptus foliages, ranunculus, garden roses, thistle, dried yarrow, berries, waxflower and mini roses. ♥ The bride wanted the bridesmaids bouquets to be a simple mix of foliage with berries and wax flowers since their lace dresses were a combination of jewel-toned colors. It turned out quite lovely, don’t you think?

One of my favorites pieces from their wedding was the grand foliage installation that we created as a backdrop for their union ceremony. It was complimented on both sides by lovely, organic oversized posters, beautifully designed by the bride. Congrats on your marriage B+A, we loved being a part of your special day!

Photography: Andrew Edwards Photography // Floral Design: He Loves Me Flowers by Charity  // Paper Goods + Hanging Posters: the bride  // Venue: The Old Glass Place

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Real Wedding: Jesse + Brittany

January 10, 2017

This intimate, courtyard wedding at Big Cedar Lodge – Top of the Rock, had the most romantic colors, intricately detailed textures (that bridal gown!!), and the prettiest newlyweds! Beautiful photography by Ziegler Photography with florals by us – He Loves Me Flowers.

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Behind the Bouquet: Jordan Brittley Rebrand

July 27, 2016

My beautiful and sweet friend Jordan Brittley has been working hard these last few months on rebranding her photography business! I am so excited for her and so admire her heart behind all that she does and the great ways she shows genuine care and love for her clients! As she has been in the process of this rebrand, she asked me to make a bouquet as a part of her launch! It was a joy to be a part of this exciting new project and create a bouquet just for HER. I hope you enjoy the photos and the Q&A between Jordan and myself. Oh and stop by her new site and give her some love…she’s got it going on over there!

All images by Jordan Brittley. Brand Design by Creme Brands. Floral Design by He Loves Me Flowers.

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Jordan:  What were you listening to or doing while you created the bouquet?

Charity:  I was listening to instrumental acoustic guitar music from Pandora. (One of my favorite musicians is Tommy Emmanuel.) It’s upbeat enough to not put me to sleep but peaceful enough to not make me feel rushed or anxious. Honestly, It is refreshment to my soul! I have found that music with lyrics can be distracting while I design so instrumental music is the perfect compliment to a creative, artistic environment. It draws me into my creative, happy-place zone and causes me to feel free and unhindered while I create, which was especially important for this bouquet, because the main request that Jordan gave me was for the bouquet to feel “wild and free”. In order to accomplish that goal, I had to feel and be in an environment that was unhindered and undistracted.

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Jordan: What words would you use to describe the brand bouquet you created for me? What details of the bouquet would make you describe it that way?

Charity: The words I would use to describe your bouquet would be….wild. free. beautiful. unhindered. organic. joy-filled. cheerful. natural. I used quite a lot of foliage which created nice movement for your bouquet. The foliage also acts as a structure, or base, for the flowers. Then I incorporated classic blooms like peonies and stock which made the bouquet very feminine and beautiful. Then I added in flowers like ranunculus and scabiosa which have a lovely whimsical and freely flowing touch. I also used berries, fresh lavender and hanging amaranthus for additional organic texture, color, and unhindered movement. It’s honestly one of my favorite bouquets to date!!

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Jordan: What’s your favorite style of floral design? What makes you love that style so much?

Charity: I really love the natural, organic floral design style. :) I love it because it’s always a little challenging to create bouquets this way. They are more difficult than the all-round structured bouquets, and I like a good challenge. I also enjoy designing natural/organic bouquets because I feel that there is more creative freedom and discretion that is given to me as the designer and where there is freedom then there is beauty. It’s rewarding!

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Bouquet Breakdown: Elegant + Colorful Springfield Wedding

May 7, 2016

I am over the moon excited to be featured on Style Me Pretty with this romantic, timeless and absolutely stunning bridal bouquet from Jaelyn’s wedding! It was a joy to design and I have to say that the photograph, captured wonderfully by Jordan Brittley, just made this bouquet look it’s absolute best!!

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Elegant + Colorful Springfield Wedding

  • 5 stems of Red “Matador” Garden Roses
  • 7 stems of “Quicksand” Roses
  • 3 stems of Red Ranunculus
  • 7 stems of White Stock
  • 6 stems of Deep Red Hypericum Berries
  • 3 stems of White Veronica
  • 4 stems of Italian Ruscus
  • 5 stems of Silver Dollar Eucalyptus

From He Loves Me Flowers… My personal floral design philosophy is that every single flower arranged in a bouquet should have a purpose. Each floral ingredient should either “shine”, compliment, fill, add texture or add movement.  All the elements should blend together harmoniously, creating a floral masterpiece, while at the same time accentuating the bride’s personality and the overall wedding celebration. 

When creating the wedding floral vision, I always ask the bride the color scheme, the style and the overall atmosphere for her wedding. As the floral designer, my goal is to create florals that fit, compliment and bring out the best in the overall event and individual person. About 90% of the time a bride doesn’t know what kind of flowers she wants (and she should not have to!) so that’s where I come in. Based on the season of her wedding, her colors, style, atmosphere, etc. I suggest floral options that I feel would be a good fit for her personality and wedding. Based on my suggestions and her feedback, I figure out what she loves! So together we come up with a beautiful mix of custom florals. 

Jaelyn’s vision for her wedding was a perfect blend of elegance, romance, and class. Her colors were crimson red and champagne with touches of white and fresh foliage. I knew she loved greenery and loose, natural, flowing bouquets with texture. For starters, we chose garden roses and ranunculus (they are one of the secrets to making a bouquet look romantically spectacular!!) and I also wanted to incorporate the quicksand roses to tie in her champagne color. I accomplished the various texture elements by adding in stock, berries, veronica and two different kinds of foliage. The texture gives a bouquet personality and genuine uniqueness, while the organic foliage gives the bouquet movement and refreshment.  The beautiful thing about Jaelyn and her family was that they trusted me completely. They gave me the keys to creative freedom which I know from experience makes all the difference and as a result, culminated in a stunning, timeless bouquet!

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Real Wedding: Zach + Courtney

April 28, 2016

Zach + Courtney’s spring wedding was lovely and showcased the prettiest shades of peach, blush pink, and soft foliage. We used a mix of silver dollar eucalyptus (the bride’s favorite!) with dusty miller to tie in the maids’ misty blue dresses. The soft color palette was perfect for their March wedding at downtown Springfield’s historic modern venue, The Veridian. Congratulations on your marriage Z+C! All photography by the talented Elise Abigail. Floral Design by He Loves Me Flowers.

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