Hands down, one of our favorite meet-the-maker posts yet, we're so excited to introduce you to Kori of Colly Flowers in Morristown, New Jersey. We're lucky to have worked with Kori personally, and can attest to her sweet disposition and extraordinary talent. Her story, and heart behind her brand is incredibly genuine, and we're honored to have her on the blog today!
Tell us a little bit about you, and how you got started!
Making everyday moments more special was a natural part of my life since childhood. Presenting food beautifully at family dinner, gathering a handful of flowers from the garden and giving them to my bus driver, putting together scrapbooks for all of my friends, making special handmade invitations and decorations for every celebration and taking photos of it all. I had an innate eye for design and come from a wildly creative family. I guess I never really saw it that way. It's just who we are, I thought. So for a bit I tried to pursue a more "conventional" career. After that didn't work out, I studied to become a graphic designer because in my mind, it was the most stable creative path. I worked a couple different design jobs in print. I had already begun to design wedding invitations and other decor items for my friends who were getting married on the side. My last graphic design job was working as a stationery designer. I designed invitations, cards and personal stationery full time. Wanting to break into the industry, I partnered up with a friend and we formed an event design and planning company, Styled for Love. It was a tremendously rewarding experience and it made what I wanted my focus to be more clear. I couldn't get flowers off my mind. I had been quietly playing with them since I was a kid. I sold jar arrangements on the front lawn for disney world money! Luckily I had the opportunity to do the floral design for a handful of couples through Styled for Love. They loved it, I loved it and it was time for me to go after what I truly wanted.
In the most serendipitous fashion, Andrea from The Artist Baker offered me the shared space in her bakery right before I was scheduled to take a flower shop focused intensive course in New York. That's how colly flowers was born. The timing was unbelievably amazing besides the small fact that I opened my shop one month before my own wedding! It was just a bit stressful but totally worth it.
I have a vision of what I want my business to grow into but it evolves constantly. I used to think it was naive when people would say that 'things unfold the way there are meant to' but my experiences have proven that to be true. My instincts have gotten me to this point so I will continue to follow them.
What services do you offer and/or what do you specialize in?
Colly Flowers creates floral elements and decor for weddings and any type of celebratory event. I have a tiny storefront that I share with the Artist Baker in Morristown so I also create everyday occasion bouquets/arrangements and work with a lot of corporate clients. I specialize in working with clients that value thoughtful and intentional design and recognize how much it can elevate their everyday life or special event.
What makes your business unique?
I'm unique in the fact that my floral work is more organic in form than what some people may be used to in this area. My style is kind of quietly bold. Striking and distinct while somehow remaining natural and understated. I'm carving my own path and I wouldn't feel comfortable any other way.
What is your favorite part of working with couples?
The best part is reaching that "ah ha!" moment when the couple really trusts me. Once I know they trust me, I am able to perform at my highest level of creativity for them.
One piece of advice for couples? I recently got married, so this isn't even coming from a professional standpoint but rather a personal one. Do what's right for you and your partner. There is so much emotion, energy and money that goes into having a wedding. If your ceremony and celebration don't exude who you are as a couple, then what is the point?! So many people will be quick to offer their opinions on how to do it best. Politely ignore all of it. Do what's best for you.
Find vendors that fit your style and truly understand you, explain your vision and let them do their thing. Trust the professionals! If you take the time to find people that REALLY get you, you save so much time in trying to manage them along the way. And the truth is, you're paying to outsource a lot of different tasks for a reason.
Sorry that was two!
Childhood career aspiration?
I wanted to be the Olsen Twins more than anything in the world. I know that's not a career but yeah... the obsession was(?) embarrassingly real.
Coffee or tea?
Both! Lattes and green tea.
I am incredibly in-tune with other peoples feelings. A blessing and a curse, for sure.
all photography by Chelo Keys Photography