Today I’m featuring an interview with a novice floral, wedding & event designer, Ashley Cudsik –
Owner of Flower Child Weddings.
“After appearing on 2 seasons and co-managing
the bridesmaids department for several years,
I decided I wanted to start my own small business
in the wedding and design field.”
How did you get started in event/wedding design? What are your roots within floristry?
It’s been a very interesting journey. After studying Music Business at Belmont University in Nashville TN and working in events within the country music industry, I moved back home to Atlanta GA. Post move I started working at Bridals by Lori which most know to be the home of the The Learning Channel’s Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta and Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids. I was contracted by TLC to be an on-air consultant/host on the Bridesmaids edition of the show. After appearing on 2 seasons and co-managing the bridesmaids department for several years, I decided I wanted to start my own small business in the wedding and design field.
I have co-designed florals from headpieces to centerpieces with some fabulous florist. I love the creativity that florals allow for and how no two items ever look exactly the same. I have no formal training within floristry, however, with our handmade flower crowns at Flower Child Weddings, my co-designer (my mother) and I have created a unique method to piecing each crown together to assure high-quality, one of a kind items.
When was Flower Child Weddings born and why did you choose to start your own business?
I’ve always said I wanted the freedom to work for myself and be a “free ranger”. This concept of being able to do what you love every day with the freedom to do it wherever you want in the world was very very appealing and I knew deep down inside that sitting in countless job interviews only to then be sitting behind a desk in a building with no windows was the absolute last thing on the planet I wanted to do with my life.
I combined my events experience from the music industry with everything I learned about weddings for 3+ years in the wedding industry and BOOM, Flower Child Weddings was born.
For nearly 10 years, Ashley was a go-to for any friends and family
that were getting married.
This was a great opportunity
because it gave Ashley experience
working with and creating for brides.
Please tell us about your clientele. What type of clients do you attract?
One of the most important intentions I kept in mine when creating my brand was of course, whom it was going to attract. As you can imagine, I was exposed to some very unfortunate behaviors from brides, maids, mothers, etc while filming Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids. I became jaded, saddened, and suppressed about what the meaning of “wedding” had become in our society.
All of the special, intimate, unique things
that a wedding could/should be about had been so disgustingly tainted
in competition, money, and monotony that
I saw a need to reach out to the “flower child bride”. –
The girl (or guy) that isn’t concerned with having a $10,000 dress just so she can brag about it. Or inviting 500 people so that you feel like a member of high-society. The list goes on and on.
What are your thoughts on floral education and have you attended any workshops? If not, do you plan on attending any in 2015?
I think that any education is good education! I’m a firm believer to leave experts in particular fields to do what they are good at. Just as I wish for people to come to me as a wedding expert and have me on board with their event planning, I like to leave the caterer to what they are good at, the dress designers to what they are good at, and the florist do what they are good at.
We will be looking into any useful workshops for us to attend in 2015 and floristry is definitely on our list! If you know of any in the Atlanta area, let us know!
What is your favorite part of being an event designer?
When all is said and done, the most important part for me is that at the end of an event/wedding, my can clients can sit back and say, “Wow! This day was SO US!”
What is one piece of advice you’ve been given and how do you apply it to floristry?
ORIGINALITY! Stop copying everything you see on Pinterest. Instead, design
something that OTHERS will want to copy on Pinterest!
Lastly, what is the biggest problem you’ve run into in floral design and how did you solve it?
I find it difficult at times to really communicate exactly what the ‘want’ or desired design is since floral design gets created from scratch. I do think that using photos to help you explain what is in your head is
appropriate and useful as long as you can still forward the intention of being original.