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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
All photos by Heather Cherie.
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.
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.
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!
Photography: Jordan Brittley
DIY Fresh Floral Centerpiece Class
March 22, 2017
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.
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.
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.
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!!
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!
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!!
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!
Meticulous Designers: Every Flower Cared For
April 25, 2016
For the events that we have the joy and honor of being a part of, we take great care and pride in each arrangement and flower. As meticulous designers, we make sure every blossom is just right — the balance and textures are blended perfectly — and that overall, your florals are outstanding.
Photos by Love, The Nelsons taken at the Trouvaille Workshop hosted by Hey Gorgeous Events
Modern Copper and Fuchsia Wedding Inspiration
February 11, 2016
A wintry Valentine’s day theme, this rich and romantic color scheme features copper tones with warm berry toned pinks and fuchsia. From Abby Mitchell Events, the planning and designing team, “Our inspiration truly came from the color palette. We wanted it to feel current but traditional, minimalistic but glamorous and just overall very pretty and feminine.”
For the florals, I was very strategic in choosing items that were romantic, elegant and timeless, but with fun and unexpected elements. The floral selection ranged from garden roses, ranunculus, stock, dianthus, berries and lots of rich green foliage. The organic style gave it that fun, relaxed twist. As seen on The Perfect Palette!
Kudos to the vendor team!
Photography: Kellie Michelle Photography // Planning/Design: Abby Mitchell Events // Venue: The Old Glass Place // Floral Design: He Loves Me Flowers // Rentals: Eventful Rental, Ellee’s Rental Boutique, SB Bon // Linens: Elegant Touch Linens // Cake: Charity Fent Cake Design // Makeup & Hair: Honey and Hive Salon // Bridal Gown: Ella Weiss Wedding Design
Icy Winter Blues: A Styled Bridal Session
January 28, 2016
From the team, “The inspiration for this styled shoot came from a desire to provide inspiration for winter brides who were in search of a fresh, lighthearted twist on your typical winter wedding.”
For the florals, we strategically picked fluffy white stock, blush-tinted peonies, along with navy blue privet berries, grey dusty miller and silver brunia berries to accomplish the frosted, blue-toned feel. We wrapped the stems in a silvery, grey ribbon while keeping the style of the bouquet very organic and natural to compliment the romantic and airy feeling of this stunning winter editorial.
Photography, Stationary, Venue and Makeup by Shea Brianne
Florals by He Loves Me Flowers
Hair Styling by Diamonds and Do’s
Fur Stole and Earrings by Forever 21
Dress by Allison Parris
Macarons by Elle’s Patisserie
As seen on The Perfect Palette.
Winter Love Editorial
March 10, 2015
We had the joy of collaborating with Jordan Brittley and Alli Pool on this lovely, warm and rich editorial project. From the cinnamon cider to winter berries and faux fur, this inspirational shoot is full of love, light and beauty. Featuring the mother of the bride, the cutest copper details and of course, custom florals containing peonies, ranunculi, O’Hare garden roses, fresh asparagus and blackberries. Yes, blackberries! As seen on Style Me Pretty.
Photography: Jordan Brittley / Planning: Alli Pool from Social Graces / Floral Design: He Loves Me Flowers / Cake: Dough a Dear Bakery / Invitation & Menu: Paperworld / Dress & Tux: Ella Weiss / Makeup Artist: Airbrush by Andy / Hair Design: Shannon Calvin
Gender Reveal Party for Jordan Brittley
February 25, 2015
We had the joy of designing a few arrangements for Jordan Brittley and her husband’s gender reveal party! The mini pancakes are the couples family tradition and the cute details are over the top adorable! Turns out the baby is a boy! Congratulations Jordan + Isaac! As seen on Style Me Pretty Living. Photos by Jordan Brittley.
Tyler + Marlana
Tyler & Marlana’s wedding was full of lovely details including vintage vases, gold accents, fresh peaches, and handmade items. The bridal bouquet was a delightful mix of pink peonies, peach and coral ranunculus, white larkspur, and peach mini carnations. ♥
Photography: D Coleman Photography // Wedding Coordinating: Abby Mitchell Events // Venue: Blackberry Creek Retreat // Floral Design: He Loves Me Flowers
Snowy Winter Engagement
January 5, 2015
Ever thought of incorporating a bouquet into your engagement sessions??! Well, you should because it’s absolutely lovely! The gracious Jordan Brittley surprised this adorable couple with one of our original bouquets for this snowy engagement session. As seen on Wedding Sparrow.
Photos by Jordan Brittley. Bouquet by He Loves Me Flowers.