I'm sitting here in Carroll Gardens (by far one of my fav place I've lived here in NYC, but Williamsburg is a close toss up), going through what will be the last 20 recipes to go in The Flower Chef, looking over images, weeding them out, and seeing which will make the cut. I'm on my second cup of coffee, and my Italian flatmate is working on her computer in the next room, getting ready for her photography show. I'm saving 10 spots for innovations from now until the manuscript is due. In fact, we have a "Beach Gothic" Photoshoot coming up next month in Malibu, and by accident I discovered a new trick during one of our events a couple weeks ago! I know the event designer Stacey is apprehensive about the bouquet I'm making for it, noting that the test experiments looked "interesting", but in my mind I know how it will look and am really excited about it. This is why I get paid the big bucks;) Kidding!
I know I have mentioned this a million times before but I just cannot get over what a year it's been. Those close to me know the journey, and WOW! When I think back to New Year's 2013, geez, I could've never imagined closing the year in such a wonderful way. I have one of my dear friends in from Hong Kong, and my good friend Tara from MakeUp Therapy is coming in on NYE. We're hitting up the city for a fun night out! Dance, dance, dance!
I've been working around the clock on the book (in between more projects than I care to list), and it's kind of like the process of selling it. The amount of work seems daunting, overwhelming, but you keep chipping away, and then one day you look at the progress you've made, and say to yourself, Well it wasn't as hard as I thought, and I'm so close to the finish line, I can't believe it! I'm very proud of the content. I taught my last two group classes at Brooklyn Brainery yesterday (both sold out!), and when people ask for more details on what I've taught or something else, I cannot wait until I can say, Here read this book! The biggest challenge has been keeping the recipes, tone, and focus of the book on what it is meant to do, which is teach the average person floral design using grocery store flowers that they can make in their kitchen, using my tricks-of-the-trade. I've veered slightly towards more challenging designs, and then think, would people actually make this? There's a few in there that may be a bit more unrealistic, but since this book is for people that want to be florists too, I think it's important to know the skills behind those designs, for future use.
I recently gave a talk to a NFTE school in Chelsea, where the kids comes in from all over, mainly the Bronx. If you look at the pic on my Instagram, I kind of resemble Michelle Pfiefer in Dangerous Minds. They were so great, and full of compliments (Damn! You look goooood for thirty! OOooooh I love your eyebrows!!!! Cute shirt Carly!!!!:) It was really special to talk with the 9th graders about businesses, their dreams, and hear what makes them tick (mainly being my friend on Instagram in turns out). It was really a joy to get to talk to them, and something I will continue to do for the rest of my life. I've realized that what inspires me and keeps me going is inspiring others to keep on going. I think we can be surrounded with skepticism, cynicism, and not shoot high enough. There's a brilliant article I read about how much pain you're willing to go through in order to achieve the equal amount of happiness. For instance, the struggle in business may be high, be the rewards are equally high once you attain a certain level. Finding real love will require a lot of pain, pain that some would rather not go through and instead settle for something that's ultimately unfulfilling because the fear of pain or loneliness is too high, too much of a risk. Here's the article by Mark Manson, and one of the most amazing articles I've read that really explains how we're built and makes sense of the madness that us entrepreneurs, creators, visionaries, put ourselves through! I know it resonated with my brother Matt, who struggled a lot when he first moved to NYC and a couple years later, is thriving as a freelance photographer, digital tech, and lighting assistant.
It's been such a wonderful experience living close to Matt. We're going to do an early-bird dinner on New Years Eve, and we're all just such old souls, it's a lot of fun. Turkey dinner at 5pm, please!
Some things in the pipeline include working with national brands on endorsements (!!!!) and commercials, selling my show Dug Up or a DIY that will air as webisodes, creating apparel for Patricia Field, and finishing a screenplay that I do on the side. Every time I write it, it feels like meeting up with an old friend, and is cathartic for me.
I'm heading back to LA in Jan for a few weeks. I get to meet with a new freelance designer, and teach a few classes. Perhaps a quick trip to San Fran or Big Bear. We're also doing set flowers for an animal protection PSA that is Africa-themed, which will be a lot of fun. Me and themes! I'm just so excited to spend time with friends. After living in LA 10 years, that's definitely my home and place of contentment. NYC will always be the best place for creativity and art, which will be great to come back to in late Jan (despite the burrrrr cold!). So another bicoastal year ahead, and I'm just so excited for 2014. The year of 30 has been so amazing, these past few months have filled my soul, and I know this decade ahead will be even more FUN than the last. The youth has not been wasted on the young in my case!
So that's that. A bit of creative writing, a bit of train of thought, a bit of reflection. I'm going to get ready now to pop over to the Brooklyn Museum for the much talked about and inspiring Gautier exhibit. Although I'm not particularly stylish (though I do LOVE having someone dress me!!!), I'm most inspired by high-style fashion. I'm sure as soon as I return I'll finish the flower jacket.
And with that, I say, enjoy the rest of 2013. Do something for yourself that makes you happy:) I'm thankful for you, and if you're reading this, for your dedication to my superfluous rambling:) Ciao bella!
We had the pleasure of creating the Notes Display for Lucky Brand this week, held at their showroom in Midtown. It's always fun to do this, and I love the PR firm that we work with on all of these great beauty events. They are always such a pleasure! I always find it amusing that my clients are for the most part, all fashion brands because I'm really not one to care that much about fashion and style. I love looking good, don't get me wrong; I just don't have time for it, or the eye. If I could, I'd have someone style me all the time! I do however LOVE doing fashion events because I have to keep in mind the brand, and tailor what we do to keep in line with their message, which makes for a really fun and creative outlet.
Here's a cute pic of my most favorite freelancers that I'm so lucky to have in NYC! From left: Julia, Arielle, and Kaleena. Actually typing that out, I love their names too:) They are all more talented than me, and I learn so much from them each time we work on an event. It's been a lot of fun, and I'm having such a good time switching more into the Creative Director/Art Director role rather than the designer. I like to let them do what they do best! We have a busy couple weeks, and somehow in between, I gotta write that book! :)
One photo sneak peak of what we did for this blogger brunch celebrating the collection between the jewelry designer and website. Julia in NYC lead this one up while I was in Cali. She did an amazing job and our clients couldn't have been happier. Those are custom bell jars/cloches with gold painted branches inside to hang the jewelry:)
Once again we had the pleasure of working on a Perry Ellis dinner, this time for the showcase of their Winter collection featuring lots of woodland theme flowers. Each guest at dinner had a flower head crown or lapel for their jacket, made of a mix of ruskus and wax flower. It was a huge hit! LA lead designer April added in dried mushrooms, which I absolutely loved. She's so talented!
Champagne and Heels even did this wonderful write-up! http://champagneandheels.com/fashion/perry-ellis-dinner-sunset-tower/#more-98194
First off, I know, once again I've been MIA. But that's for a good reason-- I've been slammed, which is great. Got back to CA a couple of weeks ago-- hellllllloooo sunshine, as I kissed the sand that I kneeled in. I have to say, I've never taken this amazing weather for granted. But being back from NYC has made me feel a new wave of love for my home.
Daily Candy kindly did a post about my floral design classes and we had bicoastal events happening, so that took me through the weekend. I wanted to finally quarantine myself and start writing the book. I can happily say, that I have started writing. I am just so excited about the content of the book and it really is covering every method, technique, tip, and trick I've learned and developed. Just getting through which designs I wanted to include and sorting the massive amount of content was the biggest hurdle, but now I'm in the groove. I'm so blessed to have amazing Lead Designers that can handle events on both coasts, even if I'm in a different city. It definitely feels good and I'm so confident in their abilities. If I had one piece of biz advice it would be to hire people better than you.
I digress! Above you'll see a screenshot of my Instagram. I've finally made it public. My one social media platform that was sacred, is now not;) Follow me @flourgal
I was asked to be a guest contributor to She Knows about unique Fall decor. Many people think I'm Martha because of Flour LA, but really I'm not that crafty. I'm actually super lazy when it comes to that stuff and would much rather buy something than make it. So my ideas were all about things you'd have around your house, or could even buy from the 99 cent store. I used Instagram as the inspiration because it is so fun to play with photo filters.
Read the article here: http://www.sheknows.com/home-and-gardening/articles/1016733/decorating-diva-halloween-decor-ideas-you-have-to-try
And.... Happy Halloween!!!!! I am going to try to be Pee Wee Herman this year, but I say that every year, and end up just dressing in something weird.
If you read The Pollen Lounge, then you're probably reading this. We've been on a break as Emily, the new social media maven, has been on break from school. We should have some new fun posts this week! Stay tuned.
In April 2012 I wrote a post about the past year http://www.carlycylinder.com/2/post/2012/04/one-year-ago.html
It is so funny and cool to read it, and something I want to do every year.
This past year year from me from turning 29 to 30 was just BANANAS, Like can one person handle so much change?!?! At times I thought I was at my breaking point, and I was. If I didn't have really great friends to cry to and celebrate with, I would've lost my sh*t real bad. Like when people have breakdowns and just go off the deep end, I get it. And when you read all those stories about people that make it, and say, keep going, never take no as an answer, keep moving forward, stay calm, move ahead, it's for a reason. I was instilled by the grace of God, a real resistance, for which I'm grateful for, and the ability to handle and assimilate change. We learn in psychology (hey-o class of 2008 UCLA) that people that can move with change are happier; makes sense, right?
Even in my deepest darkest days I kept going, kept working, and of course would take a week here and there to just sorrow (which is healthy and good to do), but I kept moving forward. I kept checking things off my list, and working on the things I wanted to accomplish. Because you know what will happen if you don't? When you finally snap out of it, and you've done nothing but wallow in self-pity, you will really feel like crap! BUT if you keep on working on things, when you snap out of it, you'll have so much momentum and success that it truly will be the light at the end of the tunnel. Does that make sense?
So I want to go back to that post from a year an a half ago and just review since then what ended up happening from then until I turned 29 during those months (April to Aug).
I ended up bringing on a business partner for a year, and a team where we'd meet at my place of business twice a week.
We did quadruple as many weddings.
I DID have my first pop-up shop! And it was a success!
Continued to write for Huffington Post and GalTime.
On my 29th Birthday (August 2012):
I was fully self-employeed.
Celebrating it with Alex at Lowry's.
Was working with my literary agent. A huge feat!!! Took a year and a half to sign with Alyssa. It only takes one person! And she was my person!
Beginning to have a bit of a breakdown over what owning a business exactly entails. (hint: stress) and wasn't happy in the direction we were going.
Came to NYC to visit my brother in early Aug and DECLARED on Facebook at the time, that I would be BICOASTAL within the year. Although I had no idea how or when I was going to do that.
From 29 years>>> 30 years old
Aug-- Had a big turn out for my bday, including all the vendor friends I've made (making friendships through Flour LA has been the greatest thing about starting my business four years ago).
through Oct - working on nonstop weddings and events. Dealt with a few unruly clients. Was severely unhappy with how things were going.
Started Flour LA EXPRESS and Flour LA, Jr! idea happened. Launched websites and got the team together.
Oct -- Continued nonstop without a break. Started to get depressed. And in the course of one horrible night and two long weeks went through a break-up with the man I thought I was going to end of marrying.
Nov-- Produced, Wrote and Filmed the sizzle for my travel show Dug Up with Carly Cylinder. Had it professionally edited.
Moved out of the Marina and went to AZ, bouncing around. Hired my then events manager to oversee all business for the next few months.
Officially launched Flour LA, Jr with our VIP blogger party.
Dec-- Moved to NYC. And for the next few months figured it all out. Dealt with the cold and storms and awful subleases. Bounced around for four months (!!!).
Started The Pollen Lounge on Christmas Eve after being inspired by the layout of pizzazzerie.com and wanting to focus on modern designs. Became one of the greatest gifts I'd given myself and has led to many opportunities.
The start of 2013...
Became an Expert for celebrations.com and1800Flowers
Worked with my agency on branding and marketing (Paradigm Agency).
Found NYC studio space for Flour LA. Had events going in LA at the same time.
Began doing NYC events.
Had a publicist get me numerous placements on blogs, tv, and magazines!
Did my first LIVE tv appearances and nailed it.
Rewrote my book proposal.
Had enough events going through my bicoastal clients and referrals to officially become a bicoastal studio (!!!!!)
Began doing classes at Brooklyn Brainery
Contributed many articles to all the websites I write for.
Moved to a cute apt in Brooklyn and finally felt at peace.
Did more TV appearances.
THE FLOWER CHEF sold to my first choice publisher Grand Central Publishing!!!!! And after 3 years in the works, it finally feels real and I can enjoy the success. I truly have been a lot nicer to myself lately and given myself a break, which in the past, I never did.
Began dating a man that made me realize what I really want from someone.
Had the best 30th with my closest friends spanning from Scottsdale to Joshua Tree to LA. Went horseback riding and skydiving with my brother and dad.
Began to launch Flour LA, Jr! in NYC to a great response. Became good friends with a mom blogger who has truly made my life better.
Freelancing with my #1 idol-- I have all his books and the ONLY person I'd ever want to work for... David Stark Design!!!
Teaching at FIDM a Social Media course!
Have multiple events on both coasts with April leading in LA and myself leading in NYC!!!! MY second biggest accomplishment! (The book will ALWAYS be first, no matter how many books I write, how many shows I do, the first will ALWAYS have my heart).
Have new studio spaces in both LA and NYC making it more economical and easier.
Planning the next Pop-Up shop in LA for this Fall.
Have Flour LA, JR! events happening in NYC.
Working on scripts and screenplays in my very, very spare time.
Created the life I wanted to live through determination, a solid vision, and the support of all my loved ones.
Found peace and happiness through reflection, meditation, and appreciating the minor successes that lead to the big picture. And through it all, have stayed connected to those that matter most, friends and family.
Flour LA, Inc. now has studio spaces at both the Los Angeles and New York Flower Marts!!
LA: On Maple and 7th St
NYC: On 28th St and 6th Ave
All consultations, events, samples, and floral design classes will be held at the NEW studio spaces! So excited to be able to work on bicoastal events with all of our favorite vendors. Both LA and NYC have Event Managers for all your needs, and a team of talented designers. I oversee the design and logistics. Be sure to check out the new floral design class schedule that is up!
Later on, down the road, I'm going to write about the process of selling a book. If you like a lot of anxiety and migraines, then this is definitely a path you should go down! In all seriousness though, my belief in my vision is the force behind this book and the brand I've created.
When the idea for the book came to me, while heading down the easy part of Runyan Canyon, and I had that lightbulb moment, I just knew. I knew I'd sell it to a publisher that I wanted to work with, I knew I'd get a supportive agent, I knew it would become a best-seller.
From that moment hiking to last week when I got the offer from Grand Central Publishing, it all came full-circle; it was just very surreal. Now it's sort of hitting me. Like telling everyone from construction workers to line cooks, ''Hey there, you can get my book in 2015, and I'll even sign it for you!'' Yeah those are the good moments.
And I've had a LOT of support from my community of clients, vendors, industry friends and my best friends, who've been there every step of the way. So this is really for them. To my friend Nadiya, who during the last few months would send me little texts saying, "You're almost there, you're almost to the finish line, keep it going girl!" I cannot tell you how much that meant to me!
One thing I will mention, whenever I'd find myself getting a bit down, I would write the Acknowledgments section and Dedication of the book. It is an emotional roller-coaster, having your book proposal go out to major publishers, and that visual really kept me feeling positive and really visualizing what I wanted.
Someone once told me, it's like being on a tight-rope, just keep looking towards the end, and keep going forward. As soon as you look down (doubt yourself), you start to stumble and falter, so keep on looking towards the end. I think that is a great metaphor for goals, no matter what field you're in, or what you want to accomplish. So now that my book sold to Grand Central Publishing (I seriously have the BEST editor there, which was the main thing for me. She got it.), it's onto my show Dug Up with Carly Cylinder. Be sure to LIKE the Flour LA Facebook page where you can view some of my news segments on there!
The Flower Chef
How Did She Do That