It's a flower power packed day here on Stilettogal - we're taking a walk in the flip flops of Flour LA (and Flour LA Jr.)'s fabulous founder Carly Cylinder! Located in LA with many jaunts to NYC in between, Flour LA is determined to rock your world with flowers and Carly provides floral arrangements for every kind of event under the sun. I got to chat with her today about the floral industry, how she came up with the name of her company, and what her favorite flowers are.
Hillary Gadsby: Your business is named Flour which at first glance looks like a better fit for a bakery than a floral company – how did you pick out the name and what inspired you to get your start as a florist?
Carly Cylinder: I agree about the name, but now I'm stuck with it! I worked at a florist in Los Angeles that was both a restaurant and florist (I wanted to work as a server, but they stuck me with the flowers because I had worked as a sales girl at another florist). I knew I wanted to open a retail place like that because it had my two favorite things-- food and flowers. The original name was Sugar Magnolia after the Grateful Dead song, however I soon discovered that there's a ton of florists with that same name. My roommate (who is now a copywriter) at the time came up with Flour keeping it super clean. But then I started out of our apartment, and the business expanded as a floral design business only. The LA part came after I incorporated because the domain is flourla.com so people called it Flour LA. I have never had a retail store, only a studio, but would still like to open it one day, maybe after my book comes out in 2015.
HG: What is your approach to designing arrangements for events?
CC: It's all about the client. I always will give a few options, one more traditional and then a few out-of-the-box. I'm really into theme arrangements, which is what Flour LA has become known for. I have a lot of great designers now, so I'm very open to other suggestions, although my LA lead designer would probably disagree with that statement! We work very, very quickly so we can handle large-scale events now, which allows me to get more creative. Many of my clients are fashion lines, so they tend to like seasonal type arrangements that relate to whatever season they're promoting.
HG: Have there been any major challenges you’ve had to overcome in business?
CC: Where do I begin! Ultimately, if you started the business, you feel very, very attached to it. I've learned to make business decisions based on the betterment of the business versus a rash, emotional decision that comes from being so attached. So now I try to distance myself a bit, and really look at things through an objective eye.
CC: Flip-flops! I'm very low maintenance and move quickly. I chose comfort over looks, which I need to work on! My "work" clothes consist of a variety of leggings, tanks, and hoodies. And at heart, I'm a hippie Venice chick, so that's the ultimate shoe for beach days.
HG: What are some of the hottest trends in floral arrangements right now? (And what’s your favorite flower?)
CC: My favorite flowers are sweet peas. The trends are pretty stagnate in regards to weddings-- still rustic, blushes, barnyards and banners. As far as events, I think we're always trying to top each other. Who can be more innovative, modern, incorporate non-florals, etc. I constantly am seeing amazing designs that push the envelope and find it really exciting.
In New York City? Check out some of the design classes Carly is holding! (Located at the Flower District on 28th St. and 7th Ave.)
Next Private Classes Available Oct 23rd - Nov 15th. To schedule a class email email@example.com Classes run about 3 hours and include flowers, vases, tools and all supplies. For morning classes, flower mart tour will be included. Each private is $250 and includes everything. We will go over specifics to you, along with advanced techniques. You'll learn A LOT about floral design and the business.
Next Group Classes Available No group classes scheduled for NYC. To schedule a group private class for friends, family, or a party, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the date and group size. Group rates apply based on group size.