Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Vendor Spotlight: He Loves Me Flowers

You can't meet Charity, owner of He Loves Me Flowers, and not fall in love with her. She is joy personified! The AME team loves getting to work with her and witness her creativity blossom. Not only does she inform you about various flower types, seasons, and ideas, but she understands a wedding budget and works to make it happen no matter what! I love brainstorming with her on how to cut costs, but my favorite experiences with her have been working on styled shoots together and watching her creativity really take off! 

 She was gracious enough to answer some questions about her business AND she is doing a giveaway with us for a free variety bouquet of blooms designed by her! See how to enter at the end of the post! 

 How long have you been in business and why did you decide to start? 
Upon graduating high school, I worked in a flower shop in my home state of Minnesota as a floral designer.  It was there that I learned the techniques, skills and facts about flowers and it was there that I fell in love with floral design.  However, I didn’t fall in love with the shop itself.  I loved design and loved being a part of weddings.  So I thought, “Wouldn’t it be fun to start my own business someday and solely specialize in weddings and events!” Well friends, in the beginning of 2012 this dream came true as my husband and I launched He Loves Me Flowers.  

Tell us one thing that sets your business apart!
He Loves Me Flowers specializes in floral designs for weddings and events, and we only accept a limited number of weddings and events each year.  This allows us to provide completely custom design and a personalized experience for each of our clients, where we focus on outstanding quality of work and service. 

What’s your favorite aspect of your job?
My favorites are: 
1. Meeting a bride in person for the first time.  
2. Designing the bride’s personalized dream bouquet. 
3. Presenting the bouquet to the bride on her wedding day and watching her face light up. It definitely warms my heart! :)

Give us a run down of your typical day.
A typical day during wedding season would consist of de-leafing stems, cutting stems, arranging and designing bouquets, more arranging and emails.  A typical day during non-wedding season would consist of consultations, planning meetings, calculating flower quotes, filing paperwork, emails and more emails.  :)

What kind of job/project fires you up and makes you really excited?
I love my weddings/events!  
But besides that, I really love collaborating with other creative business owners and designing inspirational photo shoots.  I’ve found that when I have the opportunity to be a part of an inspirational shoot, my creativity is free to grow.  I can work outside the box, and particularly do things that I typically wouldn’t do or be asked to do for a client’s wedding/event.  Inspirational shoots definitely enable me to stay in my creative flow and allow me to experiment with different flowers, colors, textures and styles.  I feel it makes me a better designer.  

Any crazy wedding stories you want to share?
Last summer my brother and his beautiful bride were married in the tropical country of Nicaragua.  Being the sister of the groom plus a floral designer, I was asked to design their wedding flowers. This was our first international wedding and I was in for quite a cultural experience!  Two days before the wedding, my brother and I picked flowers out from the local market.  Good thing he speaks Spanish fluently, because after a good long search plus wheeling and dealing, we luckily discovered flowers in their color scheme.  Then in 95 degree weather, in a non air conditioned vehicle, we transported the bulk flowers from the market to my hotel room.  There I de-leafed stems, designed the boutonnieres, corsages, and arranged the bouquets and centerpieces. You can imagine how my room looked after all that! The wedding day morning we packed a little car full of flowers along with five people and transported over rocky roads all the arrangements to the ceremony location.  Our family was hustling to set everything up in time for the wedding.  Good thing those Latin-American countries are extremely laid back, because the wedding was behind two hours!  By the time the wedding was ready to begin everything was beautifully placed.  In the end, the couple was happily married and our family was relaxing on the beach the next day.  It was a fun cultural experience and definitely an awesome “business trip”. :) 

What is your main mission in business that you want your clients and followers to get? 
Our provide a custom, personalized experience for a bride. This is a time of felicity and great celebration in the life of a bride and groom, and we want to help make this experience the best.  From the very beginning of the He Loves Me Flowers experience through the wedding and after, we rejoice with our clients and strive to bring honor to Jesus Christ through everything we do.

Our back to organizations that are doing good in our world.  We know that life is better enjoyed for us when we can give and bless others.  So we give 10% of proceeds to the local church and 15% of proceeds go to support clean water projects through the non-profit organization  We love giving back and this is and will always be at the core of what we’re about. 

Our purpose….our business name is very significant.  He Loves Me Flowers represents a man loving a woman, but deeper than that it symbolizes the life-changing relationship we’ve experienced through the unconditional love of Jesus Christ.  We love because He first loved us. This is our foundation, personally in our lives and in our business.  So our mission is to glorify Jesus and share His great love through our platform of He Loves Me Flowers.  He is the true reason we celebrate love. 

To enter the giveaway with He Loves me Flowers all you have to do is LIKE both He Loves Me Flowers and Abby Mitchell Events on Facebook and let us know that you did! Winner announced in one week! 

I'll share one last sneak peek from the latest project we worked on together... eeek! Stay tuned!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Engaged: Hailey and Ward

These two are some of the good ones. It is their wedding week THIS WEEK! They will tie the knot in a church ceremony and then have a gorgeous and traditional downtown reception. Stay tuned for their wedding photos!

Photos: Defined Image Photography
Venue: Kanakuk Kamps

How did the two of you meet and how long have you been together? 
Ward and I met at K-Kountry in 2011. He first introduced himself at the pool. Anytime we ran into each other at kamp Ward made sure we talked. I loved how intentional and friendly he was, and those good looks of his kinda helped too. One day, Ward wrote me a letter and then asked me on a walk. Obviously, Ward had caught my eye, but I thought it would be a great idea to play "hard to get." I quickly found out that was a terrible idea. I never wrote Ward back and that walk never happened. Our talks occurred less frequently. On the last day of kamp I knew I couldn't leave without talking to Ward. He had been on my mind often and I couldn't leave wondering, "What if..." So I approached him and we talked for awhile, and he left with my number. Success!!

Tell us about one of your favorite dates!
Ward: A Blue Wahoo baseball game in Pensacola, Florida. Before the game we went and walked around historic Pensacola and went to dinner at a local burger joint. The weather was perfect for a baseball game the atmosphere was great!

Hailey: Any time we went to the Jefferson Memorial, which just so happens to be where Ward proposed. We enjoyed going there and just sitting and talking.

When did you know it was the real thing?
Ward: When Hailey moved to DC for 6 months to be with me in 2012.

Hailey: The day I met Ward.

Could they be any cuter?  

Was the proposal a surprise? How did it happen?
I flew to DC to visit Ward for a weekend. He picked me up and took me to brunch in Virginia. Afterward, Ward insisted on going on a walk around the mall to look at the memorials. The weather was absolutely miserable that day. There was 5 inches of snow on the ground, the wind was blowing, and it was SO cold! I really didn't want to go on this walk, but Ward kept saying he didn't want to stay inside all day. Honestly, I really was not being a good sport about "going on a walk" but eventually I succumbed to his request.

After brunch Ward took the longest way possible to get back into the city. This is the only time he was acting strange. I don't know my way around DC well, but I knew we were taking the wrong way and thought there must be a reason for that. When we finally got to the mall, Ward wanted to go to the Jefferson Memorial where we have spent countless hours enjoying the view and talking. We parked nearby and walked toward it. We walked around the memorial and talked for a few minutes. Then Ward said he had a gift for me. He reached in his coat (and to my disappointment- I was expecting a ring) pulled out a bracelet. He explained it was made by a girl who had been rescued from human trafficking. Ward and I have a huge passion to end human trafficking, and he said he wanted to give me this bracelet as a reminder to remember to pray that God will rescue girls like her. He had also attached a heart shaped pendant with baby footprints on it which is a symbol of the Pro Life Movement.  Another dream of ours is to protect the sanctity of unborn human life. We talked for a few more minutes about our future, and he kept asking me "what do you want out of life? What are your goals? What are your dreams?". I was not pleased about the cold weather and trying to not be disappointed he hadn't proposed, so I was being difficult and kept saying "Ward, you already know what I want. We've talked about this before". Ward must've caught on that all I wanted at that moment was to be warm, so he stopped asking questions and dropped down on one knee. I said "oh my gosh. Really?"as he pulled the ring out of his pocket. He said "I think we make a great team, and I want you on my team forever. Will you marry me?". I reached for the ring that was glistening in the light reflected off the snow, pulled him up, and gave him a big hug! He said, "so will you?"  In my excitement I hadn't even answered his question! Needless to say, I said "yes!"  His sister Katherine emerged from her hiding spot with a ton of pictures (she captured the whole thing). I spent the rest of the weekend staring at my hand :-)

How do you envision your wedding day?

A God-centered celebration with our family and friends.

Hailey, what are you most looking forward to on your big day?

Finally being married to my best friend!

Ward, what are you most looking forward to on the big day?
The ceremony.