Kaylee Young of Flourish By Kay and I met through the Instagram, as all great modern friendships begin. We then met IRL over coffee and I was so impressed with her style and vision for her floral design business. As I'm sure you can tell, she is immensely talented and has a really unique vision (um, did you see the wildflower installation she did for our event with Alison Wu?). When she came up with the idea to host a centerpiece making tutorial class, I was thrilled. When we decided to bring tacos, margaritas, and Parachute Home into the mix, I was BEYOND excited. Don't forget to purchase your ticket to the class & dinner HERE.
In the meantime, I chatted with Kaylee about the life of a floral artist. Read on...
What do you love most about being a floral artist?
I love the seasonality of being a florist. I get excited for each season as new flowers come into bloom, and others fade out. It’s a great way to remember to be present.
How does your community inspire your work?
I've found parts of the floral community to be really supportive. Some of my closest friendships have come from working with other florists and designers, and working with other creatives really pushes me to try things I might not try on my own. I think collaboration is so important for progression in your art and your career.
Flourish by Kay is a beautiful example of an entrepreneurial spirit. What advice would you give other young creatives looking to branch off on their own?
Starting my own business was one of the hardest and best things I’ve ever done in my life. My advice to all young creatives is to just do it! Get resourceful, always be making things, and take advantage of every opportunity. Believe in yourself, because you really can do anything with enough determination.
What are the biggest challenges as well as biggest perks of being in the floral world?
Hmm…Biggest perks are opportunities to travel to beautiful places to arrange flowers for weddings, and being able to meet new people! The biggest challenge is when you end up not being able to get the flowers you need. Often times, farms will have weather that will destroy roses, shipping mistakes will be made, or things will come in a different color than you expected. You have to be resourceful. There was one wedding I did that was supposed to be decorated with vines all over the venue, and my giant box of vines never got shipped! To make do, the morning of the wedding I drove to a grove of trees and cut as many branches as I could to decorate the venue. It ended up looking beautiful, but that was definitely a stressful day!
Favorite public green space in Portland?
The Rose Gardens! I know that they are well known, but I absolutely love going there. When everything is in bloom, it’s breathtaking.
As a floral artist you have a chance to literally stop and smell the roses. What smell do you love?
My favorite fragrant flowers are lilacs, I also love any perfume or candle that has a citrus scent to it, fresh cut grass, campfires...
What is your favorite flower of the moment?
I’m really into brightly colored Zinnias and tall grasses right now. I’m lucky because every event I do I get to choose some favorites of the moment to incorporate.
As it’s our End of Summer Soiree - What was your favorite thing about Summer 2017? What are you most looking forward to about Autumn?
My favorite thing about Summer 2017 is that I slowed down to enjoy it. Usually I'm busy working on events all summer, but this summer I decided to take a break for myself and go hiking, swimming, shopping, and to the farmer's market on the weekends. It's been so refreshing, and really gave me the recharge that I've needed. The thing that I'm looking forward to most about autumn is Halloween! My favorite holiday. I also can't wait to wear chunky sweaters and chelsea boots again!
All photos by Maria Lamb