I will admit it- I've been kind of burned out lately from dealing with some unruly potential clients. Then I realized why. I'm a laid back kind of gal, and don't tend to click with those that are high-maintenance. I was feeling pretty bad about myself for a bit, but then thought about it and said screw it. I don't want to work with those type of people anyway!
I had the pleasure of doing flowers this weekend for my client Kristin's wedding, and she was SO lovely- the best kind of bride (or client in general) that you could ask for! It reminded me why I love what I do! When we came back for the breakdown, and everyone was dancing, on a marital bliss high, and you could feel the love- it made me so happy and a smile spread across my face. It was such a pleasure.
I reflected on this past year and felt so blessed to have the most amazing clients. They all had the same characteristic- they trusted me to do what I do best, and left it at that. No million call follow ups, or just as worse, not getting back to me, ever.
Kristin was so amazing I WANTED to give her everything for free! Please, please take the flowers! Take the vases! When we met, she was so great that I lowered my prices dramatically just because I WANTED really badly to do her flowers. I also let her keep some of the vases, and whatever else she wanted. At the venue, the Ebell Club of Long Beach, the coordinator said, Don't you just LOVE her? And I said, YES! She told me they upgraded all of the chairs and some more for FREE because she was so easy to work with, no hassle. Being nice, and TRUSTING your vendors is the #1 thing that will make them WANT to give you their services away!
So how did it go from the beginning? I met with her for a consulation at a Starbucks before I had the current space. She had the colors and style she liked, and we bounced ideas back and forth to come up with something she would love AND that would stay within her budget. If you are looking for a drill sergeant that tells you, THIS is what you'll have- that's just not me. I LOVE working with brides TOGETHER to come up with something. I like their input and ideas, and sometimes I wouldn't have thought of what they suggested, and of course vice-versa (that's my job afterall:)
On the spot, she hired me, and after some proposal changes to get within her budget, she sent me the deposit. We met once more to finalize all of the details, and she emailed me with questions about linen colors and escort card ideas.
Thinking back, that's how it goes with all of the clients that hire me. Getting worked up about the flowers will only cause you more stress. So go with someone who's work you like, and let them do their thing. The clients that allow me to do what I do, get the BEST I have to give. Without that pressure, I can say hey, this will look way better, and you know what I hear? My flowers looked even MORE amazing than I thought they would be! Now THAT my friends, is what keeps me going on days when I have some bridezilla telling me I don't take charge enough, cause you know what, I don't need to. Hire someone uptight then, is what I say (or think).
Another Kristen hired me to do her flowers in September at a winery, and she said, here's what I want, now do your thing. It came out wonderful and whenever I see those photos, I smile knowing that she will remember that day as being one of the best days in her life.
One more story, as you know I work at lot with my good friend Stacey Paulas, and had the pleasure to do her flowers over Halloween weekend. She's Type A to the max. I was starting to feel an ulcer every time she switched from a soft palette, to super structured tall arrangements, and then to Fall colors. Plus she's my good friend so I was really nervous! Maybe if we met during the initial consultation, she would've gone with someone else. But instead, a month before her wedding she said, I want these colors, do your thang! I could feel the sigh of relief. After we made up her sample, and her and her fiance approved (and loved) it, the creativity juices were pumping. Her flowers came out AMAZING. She got tons of compliments at the wedding, and said "I feel like you saved your best work for me", which MADE my day!!!!
I can't wait to share with you guys the pictures from the weddings I mentioned (to be updated on Flour LA in the coming months). They are all SO different, and so unique, and BEAUTIFUL!!!
So, the point of the story is- be nice, like really, really nice, and genuine, and I promise you, you will get stuff upgraded or comped because when you're that nice and trusting, people appreciate it. They remember you, and want to help you. They say to themselves, how can I make this even better than it's already going to be. That includes the florist, venue, caterers, rentals and photographers. If you bug your photog a week after the wedding- they are not likely to throw in that extra album just because.
Kristin #1 Getting ready
Kristen #2 Loving life
Stacey on Cloud 9
The Flower Chef
How Did She Do That