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WM Friends: Kaylee Young of Flourish By Kay

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A recent Portland transplant, Kaylee Young popped into WM GOODS and immediately won us over with her positive energy and bright personality (not to mention her killer red hair). When she told us she was a florist and showed us her work, we were totally sold! 
In honor of Valentine's Day + in the hopes of learning how to keep flowers alive for more than 24 hours, we're sharing Kaylee's tricks and tips with you below. Read on, friends!

What are some insider tips & tricks to keeping flowers fresh & lasting longer?

Flowers are just like food, so I always keep mine in a refrigerator or a cool space until I use them! That just helps to keep them fresh, and last longer. Say you buy flowers on Wednesday and you think "I'd really like to display these on my table on Saturday night during a dinner party" just pop the whole arrangement in the fridge! Weird, but it totally works. However, the ethylene gas that comes off of fruit will make flowers open quickly-and reverse the effect of the cool air-so make sure to take all the fruit out of your fridge! 
Another couple of quick tips I'd recommend are flower food and fresh water! Usually a packet of flower food comes with your flowers when you buy them, so when you put them in the vase full of fresh water add the packet of food, and give them a fresh cut at a 45 degree angle to open the flower's pores and expose as much possible space on the flower's stem to suck up water. Repeat this step every 2-3 days to keep your flowers fresh and happy! 

My last trick is for all the people who forgot to give their flowers water, and they look over into their kitchen and see their roses all droopy and sad. (Don't worry, we've all been there.) All you need to do to revive those babies is give them a quick bath! Cut 1-2 Inches off of each stem and fully submerse them in a tub full of cool water for 15-20 minutes. Then cut the stems again, and put them in a vase full of fresh water. They should perk right up! 

When did you know that you wanted to make flowers your life's work?

I knew I wanted to make flowers my life's work when I was 20 years old. I got a job at a flower shop, and I was so HAPPY all of the time! Even when I was taking out the trash, or scrubbing the floors, I couldn't shake how happy I felt just being around flowers. My first time helping to set up a wedding felt like complete euphoria to me, even though I mostly just carried boxes all day. Since then I have had so many wonderful opportunities to design and collaborate with other amazing florists and vendors, and my dream is really just to help others by sharing my floral and design talent and by working hard to make their special day everything they dreamed of.

Is having a green thumb something you're born with or can it be taught?

I think green thumbs are definitely something you're born with! Most of the florists I know are plant killers! (I just bought my first houseplant, so I'll let you know if I have one or not haha) 

Does your styling of flowers cross over into your beauty and fashion styling?

Yes! The more I submerse myself into the world of flowers, the more respect I have for all artists of any kind. I am willing to invest more in clothes, home goods, beauty products, photography, (you name it) because I know how beautifully curated those things are, and how much time and love was put into making those things. For styling though, the composition and color is always the same for me no matter what medium I'm using.
 
If you could give only one type of flower to woo someone, what would it be and why?

Ooh only one flower! My favorite flower changes constantly, which is one of the reasons why I Iove flowers so much! There is always a new one to discover, and a new season coming with different beautiful blooms to arrange with. If I was going to woo someone with a flower this season, I'd say it would be a sweet pea! I love how delicate and sweet they are, and how wonderful they smell. 

What's on your WM GOODS wishlist?

I'm dying to get my hands on everything at WM Goods, but I'd have to say my top picks are the Indigo Poet's Swing Dress by M.i.h. and the Black Silk Muse Dress by Miranda Bennett, the Ruby Red tinted balm by Fat and the Moon, every piece of Julia Paul Pottery, and the Black Agate Pebble Cuff Bracelet by Mary MacGill

What does your perfect Valentine's Day look like?

My perfect Valentine's day would be a late brunch downtown with my sweetheart, (flowers of course!) shopping, going to the Portland Art Museum, and then a night in with sweatpants, pizza, and a good movie!