Something I get asked a lot is if I always wanted to work with flowers. The answer is no. As a child, I wanted to work with animals as a veterinarian. And in college, I wanted to save the world by working in the health field in developing countries. And so now I have a BS in Public Health and a minor in Nonprofit Management with a large love of animals through my choice to practice a vegetarian diet.
Although I value my formal education, it didn't sit quite right by the end of the four years I spent at college. During college, I worked as a fine dining server and sommelier and absolutely loved that work environment. The hustling, the selling, the beautiful artistry of the dishes I would serve. It was lovely and lively. I think this is why I love event design so much. Wedding and event days are sprinkled with a similar flow. Organized chaos, one would say.
So that mixed in with this love of the botanical world got me started in flowers. It was unexpected and random how flowers came into my life. I continued working nights at the ski resort and had my days free. I soon caught wind through a friend that there was an opening at a flower shop during the day time. I could fill the position with my schedule and honestly flowers intrigued me. (I mean, in all honesty, who doesn't love flowers?)
So there I was working the front desk of a very traditional, wire service flower shop. I wasn't a designer yet, and so wasn't technically allowed to create anything for sale yet, but boredom got the best of me and I started playing around with the blooms. And it flowed. The designing flowed so naturally to me it's like I was always meant to be a floral designer.
And so with a little more practice and confidence, I started designing on my free time. I invested the time and money to discover and develop my design voice and just knew I had to start a business of my own. Once I made the decision to start Lilly and Iris in 2013, there really was no looking back. And time and time again the universe has confirmed my decision.
I like to say that I didn't find flowers but flowers found me. And I'm so glad they did.