July 24, 2014

State of the Storefront

I got off the phone feeling the biggest sigh of relief I have felt in a while. My walk-in cooler was up and running. You might think it's crazy for someone to get so excited over a refrigerator so here's the story. When I first even thought about opening a store, my biggest deterrent was figuring out the logistics of sourcing and building such a big, but much needed monster. I knew it was going to be expensive so instead of going on that vacation to somewhere tropical and wonderful, I saved.

After a weekend of research we were able to find a second-hand cooler for a pretty dang good deal. And thanks to the sheer will of my good friend's dad and two trips, this beast was disassembled and transported from a pizza restaurant in Hollywood to my store. Oh and please note that since this cooler wasn't brand new... it was dirty and smelled so so bad. It took 3 days for my dear family to completely clean it. I was only able to participate in one cleaning day so I owe them a little bit short of everything, especially my mom.

And now it's fully assembled and ready to house many, many flowers (Huge thanks to the same friend's dad who was aforementioned and his accomplice). No longer will I have to be paranoid about waking up to find my centerpieces dead from the heat--not that this ever happened but in my nightmares it did. What a sense of security.

I'm also happy to report that my signage has been finalized and I picked up my business cards! Now I just have to get more furniture/move some furniture around/find knick knacks for decoration/pot some planters/pot orchids and succulents/pass inspection and I'll be set. This all doesn't seem too bad now that the cooler has a big check mark next to it :)

July 17, 2014

Vessel Haul

After getting some construction plans approved by the city, a big load was taken off of my mind. This development freed up a bit of extra time for me so I decided to take my family to the flower district one morning. While my mom and uncle strolled around and bought plants, I found these treasures!

It all started when I walked by one of my usual vase vendors. I noticed that she no longer carried an urn I had previously used for a mock-up for an upcoming wedding. After perusing new inventory I was able to find a similar one which I thought was even better than the original vase. So after confirming with the bride, I quickly made my purchase.   

But while searching for my replacement urn, I stumbled upon this beauty. I usually don't stock up on vessels that haven't been ordered for a wedding, but this one... I just couldn't resist. So I bought two cases.

I mean just look at that scalloped trim and textured detail. I was a goner.. I didn't stand a chance.. One glance and I was already reaching for my wallet.

The following piece of glassware was purchased on a different day, but I figured I'd mash these happenings into one cohesive post. Again, the scalloped trim drew me in. I figured this would sit pretty in the store so I adopted them. 

And that's about it! A somewhat reflective post about my obsession with all things scallop-y. Until next time :) 

July 11, 2014

How to Prepare for Your Floral Consultation

It's yet another stuffy California afternoon and I'm listening to Sam Smith while trying to think of what to put on this blog. I thought I'd change it up and make a little guide for how to prepare for your first meeting with your florist. So here it goes:

1) Know your likes and dislikes.
One thing I make sure to ask all my potential clients at the beginning of the meeting is if they have a flower that they just absolutely dislike. Kinda like how Madonna hates hydrangeas. If my client doesn't like something, I want to make sure I know what it is and underline it with three red lines in my notes. And of course you have the clients who love everything and the ones who have no preference, which is why I would also ask if they absolutely wanted a particular flower in certain arrangements. This way I have all my bases covered.
2) Pinterest and mood boards are always welcomed.
Pinterest is such a gift to the wedding industry. I particularly love it when a client says they "went crazy on Pinterest" because I think it gives me the best idea of what they're looking for on their wedding day. My only qualm towards this tool is the need to continue looking. Just like the advice given by Randy on Say Yes to the Dress, I think once you've found an aesthetic or style you really like, you should stop looking. Otherwise, I feel like the options become more overwhelming than helpful.

3) Provide a ballpark budget.
I know sometimes shopping for a wedding vendor can feel like a game of poker and everyone is afraid to show hand. But I don't think it needs to be like that. I find it very helpful when I know a client's budget because if my quote is over budget, I would be better equipped to make suggestions on how I can still create their vision without blowing the bank.

Hope this helps! :)

{Photography by Cindy L. Huang}

July 9, 2014

Recent Happenings

How is it already July? I feel like I always go on an impromptu hiatus only to bombard this blog with news whenever I come back. Well, here it comes.. I got a storefront .. and I left my full-time desk job. I can now finally commit all my time and energy to this non-human baby of mine.
I know, I too am still coping with this reality. I've always worked at my nine-to-fives thinking "I wonder how life will be like once I have my own store.." And now, BAM I'm in it. For the past couple of weeks I've filed for a DBA, picked up furniture, cleaned a walk-in cooler and walked through San Gabriel's city hall enough for them to say "Oh hey it's them again." Hahah.

But even though I'm stressed out and worried, a little tiny voice in the back of my head does say that this was the right path to take. And I cannot thank my friends and family enough for being so supportive and helpful. I know I keep telling you guys thank you, but thank you <3

And as an ending note, I want to express how much I want to blog more so with these words, I will hold myself accountable. Prepare for stories of my daily struggles (believe me there will be a lot..) and posts of my latest projects. Until next time! :)

April 15, 2014

Bloglovin' & More

Just wanted to take a beat to announce that our Bloglovin' is live and kickin'! If you're up for some floral eye candy and what I do in between gigs then gravitate your cursor towards the blue "Follow" button on my page ;)

I would also like to point out my brand spanking new header! Many, many thanks to my friend Jason Tien Le for providing me with an abstract succulent graphic and my graphic designer, Prairie P. for playing with it to create my logo and more importantly business cards. Once those are printed and delivered I can't wait to share them here with you folks. Until then, have a great day!

April 14, 2014

Steve & Jackie

The moment Steve and Jackie signed me for their wedding, my first thought was "How am I going to transport this?" Their wedding was by far the largest one I had been commissioned for in all of my budding career. I had my trusty SUV at my disposal but there were a lot of logistics to figure out -- the biggest being thirteen large ball-like centerpieces. I'm not gonna lie -- a couple sleepless nights ensued.

After two days of production, the big day arrived and thanks to some paranoia infused planning, this delivery ended up being one of the most flawless my team and I had ever executed. Much appreciation is in order for my friends and their large cars because it took a whopping three vehicles to transfer this bad boy. I mean everything could have fit into two but when presented with the option to stack my ball centerpieces, I chose not to in hopes of avoiding as much on-site touch up as possible. Set-up proceeded to be hiccup-free and before I knew it the day was done. I hope you enjoy these photos below as much as I enjoyed making each piece for this event. Much congrats to the newlyweds :)

Reception Venue: Palladio Banquet Hall
Photography: Eric Kieu Photography

March 18, 2014

Flea Market Fun

I never knew such a wonderful place as the Rose Bowl Flea Market existed until a client of mine (Janet & Jeff) asked for me to shop with them for their wedding. That first time, I felt like I almost gave myself an epileptic seizure from looking around at everything so fast. The place was so big and had so much stuff, I just had to take it all in.

After that day, I made a mental bookmark to search exactly there for vessels and special pieces if I ever had another vintage themed wedding. But of course there was also the added bonus of getting to shop for myself as well. After a recent trip on a much needed day off, I was very excited to blog about it here. I hope you enjoy and check it out yourself :)

Someone was selling air plants. I was quite a fan of her geometric stands.

I wanted this book shelf. But since I couldn't afford it, I took a picture instead.

Blast from the past: medicine edition.

Loved the ivy pattern on this lantern.

Pretty trinkets galore.

Crafting supply heaven.

And lastly yours truly. I ended up buying one of the most anti-vintage items there -- this cart. I've been wanting one since forever for all of my mini flower market runs. Very happy to say that I've finally acquired one. I also found a pretty handbag and ring but didn't have a chance to photograph them. But don't worry, I'm sure they'll pop up in future posts because I'll be using them a lot! Until next time, stay tuned for a post about my recent visit to one of my favorite venues: Descanso Gardens. Coming soon to a computer or mobile device near you! :)