Thursday, October 2, 2014

Vendor Spotlight - C&J Floral Design

I had the pleasure of meeting Corey of C&J Floral back when I helped with Elizabeth Henson Photos' promo video.  She created the incredibly beautiful bouquet that was used in the shoot.  Liz had sort of given Corey free range when designing it, just telling her what EHP's branding colors were...green & yellow.  The result was absolutely stunning.



I asked C&J to answer a few questions and introduce themselves to us.  Here's what they had to say.  :)

Tell us about your business.  How long have you been operating?:  Most people aren't aware of this, but C&J Floral Design is a mother-daughter team.  We started out getting certified at Botanical Gardens in 2012 and our love and knowledge for designing and caring for flowers grew.  At first we would just do small arrangements for friends or even just our own dining room tables.  But as the word got out that there was an actual talent behind our work, we were asked here and there to do small special events which over time grew into larger events and weddings.  Weddings are certainly my passion.  Just getting to go through the process with someone on such a special day is just amazing.  We usually leave our couples as friends and that's the biggest gift to us.

What areas do you serve?  We have been serving all of Hampton Roads for 2 1/2 years now. My family just bought some acreage out in Suffolk, so we have relocated which actually just helps us reach a larger area since my mom is in Virginia Beach.  We moved to Suffolk in late spring so now that we are more settled and have the space, I would love to start growing some of our own product.

What services do you offer?  We currently just do local deliveries, but we deliver anything from every day bouquets to all of life's most special events.  We also took on funerals last year after we got a contract with CHKD.  To be honest, at first they really got to me....I knew what the bouquet or spray was for.  But after a change of perspective, I saw it as my mission to make what they ordered to be the most beautiful we could provide because it was going to a funeral where maybe I could make it a little brighter for them or to give them something happy when they remember the person that passed.  Fact is, it's part of life and we live to try and embrace it all.

How would you describe your "style"?  Our style is very romantic.  We also grew up in upstate New York out in the country in an old farmhouse surrounded by mills, corn fields, and creeks.  So for me, I can't help but add that vintage and rustic flare.  It's what I like and I think it shines through in our work.  When working with a bride and groom, it's so important to match up style-wise.  Something to really look for and remember while searching for vendors.  I can do contemporary, but I find I don't have as much creative flare when putting arrangements together as I do when it is more my style choice.

What's the most memorable event you've ever worked?  Our last event wasn't even one that we did flowers for.  We were asked to help out a family who the husband has been fighting a certain type of terminal brain cancer.  The one thing they never had was a wedding.  So it was in the works to put something small together.  As word got out and other well known vendors got on board, it literally took off and was a dream wedding that any bride would be happy with.  It was located in Back Bay on the water and it was amazing to me to see all these high-end vendors take their time and skill and drop what they were doing for a family in need of an amazing memory.  Even though we didn't do the flowers that day {Palette of Petals did and they were AMAZING}, it reminded me of how many great people are in this industry and how I love working and growing beside them.

What are your favorite types of events to work?  Hands down, I LOVE to work weddings. There is something about meeting new people who may or may not have vision of their wedding day and I get to help them unfold their style and find what they are looking for.  We are such a small accent in the bid scheme of things and we are always giddy with excitement when a bride and groom to choose us to make their day beautiful.

Who are your favorite vendors/venues to work with/at?  I think every venue has it's charm but again, growing up in a place with antiques, old rundown everything, I tend to love the older buildings with character.  I was so sad to hear of the Chamberlin choosing not to have weddings anymore, but was happy to get a chance to have a hand full of events there.  I love the Hermitage Museum and the outskirt places like Clayhill.  My wish is to get a few weddings in Williamsburg.  I am always so envious of wedding pictures I see from the winery and in the colonial area.  We live in a huge area that, no matter where you are, you can find what you're looking for, from flashy to farmland.

Any advice for brides trying to choose a florist?  To all people searching for a floral vendor, I would recommend what I mentioned above.  Do your homework and find someone with your style.  Make sure you have visual info for them to also make sure that they feel confident they can give you the best service and that you're in the right place.  It's also fun to have that great connection with them.  On a regular wedding, we will meet our clients 3 or 4 times, if not more, depending what's needed and it's much more fun to have someone who is just as excited to talk about your wedding day as you are!

I'm so excited to be working with C&J Floral Design again on a special project this month!  I can't wait to see the incredible creativity they'll be bringing to the table.  Thanks so much for taking the time to introduce yourselves to us Corey!

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