Rosaprima’s Florist Spotlights are segments where we highlight incredible florists around the globe by providing a space where they may share their stories and insights. We are so proud to shine the spotlight on the talented Kelly Perry, co-founder of Team Flower and creator of Philosophy Flowers.
What inspired you to become a florist?
I needed a change.
I didn’t know what that change was, but I started asking God about it.
One day while I was waiting in line at the grocery store, I picked up the Valentine’s Day issue of Martha Stewart Living. I flipped it open to an image of two women holding a box of gorgeous, cheerful flowers walking down a street in New York City. Immediately, I felt like I was supposed to go meet them! So I did.
My husband and I drove into the city, and I had an experience with flowers that changed my perspective on life forever. That day I met Nicolette (Nicolette Camille) and Ngoc Minh Ngo (Author of Bringing Nature Home). I arranged flowers. I pondered what it would look like to live in the present moment—like the flowers invite us to do.
Later that year I found a feather at my feet—another answer to prayer (and confirmation I was to quit my job and go back to New York for a second class). At that class, I met Sarah (Saipua) who told me that yes, I could become a florist, and I need to go make a website.
I made the website, and on August 14, 2012, Philosophy Flowers was official. I built the business with a small, $100-a-week subscription order from a local university, then moved into small weddings, medium weddings, large weddings, workshops, digital education, and finally to the Team Flower Conference (which is what I’m probably most known for today). I love “arranging the people” just as much as I love arranging the flowers (maybe more)!
How do flowers shape your perspective on the world around you?
To me, flowers are an invitation into the present moment. It’s easy (maybe even normal) for many of us to mentally be in the future or the past while our body is locked into the present. When our bodies and minds align in the present, it’s heavenly! There is much beauty to be found there.
What is the origin of your boutique’s name—Philosophy Flowers?
It came to me one day—like a gift—and it stuck. Flowers have invited me to think about the fundamental questions of life from the very beginning, and a decade later, they still do. I’m so grateful for all of it. .
We absolutely love your work. Tell us how Philosophy Flowers and Team Flower came about?
Team Flower is a natural off-shoot of Philosophy Flowers—the place where my passion for teaching merged with floral design.
What do you like the most about teaching?
I genuinely love helping other people succeed. When someone else succeeds, I rejoice in it with gratitude. I’m really thankful for the small but important part I get to play in the lives of floral design professionals.
Tell us a bit about your “35 under 35” floral designers recognition. Is it difficult to be a young florist?
Debra Prinzing was so kind to nominate me for that designation a few years ago. Being a young florist has its challenges. You don’t have the life experience of someone older than you. But God always gives me the wisdom, connections, and favor that I need for what he has called me to do. I’m grateful for that.
What would be your advice for younger florists?
One: Don’t start from scratch. Honor the legacies of the generations who have come before you by building upon their experiences. As you have your own experiences, keep records and share them with the generations who will come after you. And don’t forget your peers. Sharing experiences helps the collective mobilize for great effectiveness in our generation. Our work (and lives) are a small part of a very big story. Together we love the world through flowers.
Two: Don’t do it in isolation. Build your business in the shelter of your peers, and pour into their lives as much as you would hope to have yours be poured into. Teamwork is powerful.
Three: Approach work (and life) with an open attitude, and don’t try too hard. What’s meant for you will come to you when you’re open.
Four: Focus on what you have (not on what you don’t), and organize those resources in a way that propels you forward.
Five: Keep going—one step at a time. You’ll get there. All the good stuff takes time (and patience). If you get going too fast early on you’ll burn out and miss out on seeing that dream realized in full. Steady. Sometimes the pace is quick. Sometimes it feels slow. Regardless, steady on.
Which is your favorite RP Exclusive Variety?
RP Black Pearl is the seriously beautiful star in this arrangement! You’ve got to try it!