We’d like to introduce you to Kelly Shore of Petals By the Shore. Susie first met Kelly at a bridal show, when she walked by a booth filled with the most stunning arrangements she’d ever seen. Since then, both of us have had the pleasure to work with Kelly and have found out that she is just as sweet and kind and sincere as can be, a complete breath of fresh air, and truly a friend. We’re so excited to be working with her a little more closely over the coming year… read on to find out more!
What inspired you to get into floral design?
Kelly was born with a love for nature, especially flowers. Even as a child, when it was her job to set the table, she always added flowers :-) During college, she took a job cleaning buckets for small campus flower shop. Kelly watched her boss from afar and noted her techniques. So, she began to push the bounds of her job description and started taking over design jobs. Not surprisingly, Kelly’s boss liked what she did and had her begin helping with weddings. Soon Kelly began freelancing for other designers. As her work went out, more and more were impressed and Kelly’s network grew. After a few years, friends, family, co-workers who had watched her creativity and skills expand, encouraged her to start her own business. But in a small college town in the middle of Illinois, Kelly couldn’t see how to make it a profitable career. It remained a dream, but one perhaps she could pursue “when she was 50.” Finally, when Kelly moved to Maryland with her husband Joe, and found out she was pregnant with her son Jackson, she thought maybe it was time to try a new life. A lot of brides are going to be so happy she did!
What is your favorite part of the design process?
Kelly’s not happy until she’s holding the final product, the realization of her vision. The vase is like her canvas and flowers are her muse, and she has to “sketch” a bit with the flowers. She says she just lets the flowers do what they want. For Kelly, that means more than letting them twist and turn in their natural direction. Instead, Kelly says that flowers tap into so many emotions for her and her clients, and she lets the flowers express those emotions. As she arranges, she begins thinking about how a bride wants to feel when they walk into their ceremony and reception and plays with the flowers until the feeling is right.
What are five words describing yourself and your company?
What are some things a bride should find out about a floral designer before hiring them?
Is a floral designer willing to listen to the bride? In other words, is the designer going to be happy when she accomplishes HER vision or the bride’s vision?
A bride must also pick a designer who is willing to be honest about flower costs and who is knowledgeable enough about flowers to bring together a budget and vision so neither is compromised.
A bride should also look carefully at a designer’s portfolio and reviews to make sure that the designer is committed to only high quality products. Kelly examines everything that arrives from the wholesaler
It also a good idea to ask for a mock-up bouquet. The cost of $150-$300 will ensure that the designer and bride share a vision.
Is there any situation where you would advise a bride not to hire a floral designer?
Kelly is uniquely positioned to answer this question because many of her first clients were friends and family that she rescued from DIY. Ultimately, they were thrilled to pay Kelly to apply her expertise to their desperate situations. As Kelly explains, flowers are a highly perishable product. If they arrive opened… well, they’re already too far in bloom to look optimal on the wedding day. A professional designer has coolers and facilities to keep flowers fresh and knows how to time their ordering, delivery, and design to ensure that the flowers are at the height of their beauty during the critical hours of a ceremony and reception.
Also, floral designing is hard, dirty labor. It’s not grabbing a bunch of flowers together and putting them in a vase. To make the flowers last and look their most beautiful, there’s the work of cleaning stems, stripping leaves, and plunging the flowers into proper solutions. All of these tasks, done at the last minute, are unlikely to make a bride feel her most beautiful on her wedding day.
Kelly’s advice – and I found her completely convincing – is to spend the money on a professional designer so you can *enjoy* your wedding day, rather than fretting over unopened buds or wilting blooms and trying to get grime out from under your fingernails.
Has there been any job/award that you’re particularly proud of?
Kelly was overcome by emotion after her very first wedding as Petals By the Shore. It had been a dream for 12 years, but one she didn’t believe she could follow. To deliver a product with her own name on it was a very rewarding moment. She was proud to book 20+ weddings her very first year in business.
Fill in the blank: “I just love working with a bride that… “
“…Is passionate about wedding floral décor and trusts me to interpret her vision.”
Where do you go for inspiration?
Any flower arranging tips we can share:
WELL, just stay tuned!!! Because Kelly has agreed to work with us to do a monthly feature on Flower Arranging 101!!!!! Becky in particular loooooves flowers and gardens, but her arrangements either look stiff or squished, and they seem to start dying within just a day or two. We have so much to learn and share from Kelly over the next few months!! Can’t wait!