Some people spy a field of flowers and think it’s pretty, while others can envision gorgeous floral wreaths and head pieces that dazzle. If you’re the type that scrolls through florists on Instagram or plans fab centerpieces just for fun, you might consider a career as a floral designer. In this week’s installment of our How to Quit Your Day Job series, we chat with Amy Marella and Allyson Arons, the co-founders of Fleurish, a design-it-yourself floral studio, about how they turned their love of flowers into a flourishing company.
Meet the Floral Pros: Amy Marella and Allyson Arons
Amy and Allyson met while working in the music industry as advertising directors and spent 20 years developing a solid business relationship. In 1999, Amy opened The Hidden Garden, her first floral company, which she launched out of her apartment. Sixteen years later, The Hidden Garden arranges flowers for companies such as DreamWorks Animation, Tiffany & Co. and Dry Bar, along with a list of celebrity clients. When Amy decided she wanted to launch a hands-on floral experience, she teamed up with Allyson to launch Fleurish.
1. Set boundaries with nay-sayers. When you’re starting out, everyone you know will have an opinion and share their unsolicited advice. It can be easy to be overwhelmed, but Amy and Allyson suggest, “following your instincts and create your own path. Stay true to yourself.” Listen to industry peeps you respect, but don’t feel the need to honor every suggestion tossed your way from well-meaning friends and family.
2. Accept your journey as an entrepreneur. One of the best things about being your own boss is setting your own schedule, but with this freedom comes the realization that you’ll often be working harder and longer hours than your standard nine-to-five gig. “You have to build that into your mindset and accept this as part of the journey,” say Amy and Allyson.
3. Incorporate fun into your company. Amy and Allyson purposefully wanted to create a welcoming studio atmosphere at Fleurish, so that anyone wanting to learn flower arranging could come and join in on the creativity. Customers can enroll in an in-person floral design class at one of two Los Angeles locations, or purchase a curated FleurKit that allows anyone to try their hand at arrangements. “Designing it yourself as a whole is a lifestyle behavior. We wanted to incorporate that fun and creative experience into every aspect of Fleurish,” say Amy and Allyson.
4. Use the best elements. For a business dependent on something as seasonal as flowers, selecting the best quality materials will only help solidify your brand as a trusted name in the industry. At Fleurish, Amy chooses the freshest flowers for the nine seasonal kits. “She wanted to make sure that the DIY experience did not look or feel cheap,” says Allyson.
5. Be curious. When issues arise in your biz (and they will!), instead of blaming yourself, Amy and Allyson suggest that you investigate the problem and “find new solutions to solve it.” When issues arise at Fleurish, Amy and Allyson call it a “case scenario” and evaluate the situation, get objective feedback, refine their processes and evolve from the experience.
Perfect Your Skills
1. Amy’s Floral Design Class ($150/class): Join the co-founder of Fleurish and learn how to create beautiful floral designs with an expert. If you’re starting out, try the Beginner Basics series. For more advanced flower skills, opt for the Intermediate Level.
2. Brit + Co Paper Flowers Online Class ($19): Craft beautiful peonies and dahlias from crepe paper for a DIY wedding or dressing up your dining table. Instructor Jessica Pezalla shows you how to create a stunning paper flower backdrop for your next shindig.
3. Flirty Fleurs Magazine ($20): Snag a copy of this print mag for inspiration and design ideas. The gals behind the Flirty Fleurs blog share their secrets for making a flower crown, glam shots of bridal bouquets and the power of the #FarmerFlorist movement, plus much more.
What’s your dream career? Tweet us @britandco to let us know, and we could feature it in the next column!
(Photos via Jessica Elizabeth Photographers and Anna Delores Photography)