It’s the start of another week and I can’t tell you how excited I am to introduce to you our next guest for 22 questions, our weekly vendor interview series! She is the co-founder of our accountability group family, incredibly talented floral designer, and stylish boss babe Anastasia Andenmatten!
Anastasia aka Stacie and I go wayyyy back to Spring 2019 (is it me or does it feel like a decade has passed? A pandemic will do that to ya), when we participated in a styled shoot together. Stacie, was introduced to me by our lovely mutual friend, Hillary (Hillary Jeanne Photo), when we had all left our corporate 9-5’s around the same time, to launch our creative businesses. At times, being a creative entrepreneur feels like you’re being tossed into open water with no land in sight. There’s a lot of lonely nights in the job description, but if you’re lucky, you can find others that are just as ambitious and willing to hustle for their dreams. That is what Stacie is to me, a constant source of support and inspiration.
Since the launch of her business in 2019, Stacie has been quite busy; she co-founded our accountability group, was published in Style Me Pretty, Green Wedding Shoes, and became Wedding Wire’s 2020 Couples Choice Awards winner. Today, we’re going to get to know Stacie, learn a little bit about her business and creative process, and check out what her favorite quarantine meal is!
My name is Anastasia, and I am a wedding and events floral designer based out of a private home studio in San Francisco. I’m originally from a small town outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where I started my career in flowers with a high school summer job at my neighborhood florist. After moving to SF and working 9-5 jobs in tech, I launched my business in early 2019.
Contemporary and thoughtful
From the initial consultation to the design consultation or mockup, I like to take time to get to know my clients and uncover what it is that’s inspiring and influencing their day — their own styles, interests, and visions. I let that drive the inspiration behind their designs, along with the setting and the season. From there, I identify the primary textures for the design and build flower selection from there. I use an online vision board approach (I talk a lot about this concept on my blog and IG!) to organize and communicate my design vision. Each step of the process I’m thinking of ways I can make my designs as impactful and experiential as possible for my clients and their guests.
I find that when I step *away* from my business — whether it’s as simple as going for a drive or walk around the neighborhood, or as far as taking a vacation or traveling abroad — is when I fill up on inspiration. Anything aside from scrolling through Pinterest or my inbox, ha!
Smaller celebrations with thoughtful designs: With elopements and intimate weddings a reality for many during these times, there’s opportunity for couples to not only save money on expenses, but to make the experience just as special (if not more special) than a bigger wedding. We’re seeing super unique and impactful floral designs that really ‘wow’ guests, even with smaller budgets.
Custom installations: Floral design can (and should!) be used to create experiences for couples and their guests. I’m a sucker for custom, unexpected installations that start conversations. An epic ceremony backdrop, a suspended installation over the dance floor, a photo opp moment at cocktail hour — the options are limitless.
Ikebana: A lot of my couples are incorporating Ikebana-inspired designs into their tablescapes and I am freaking here for it. Ikebana is the art of Japanese floral arranging known for emphasizing the form and balance of flowers, and is being seen more and more with contemporary, minimal wedding designs. With ikebana, you end up with super thoughtful arrangements that often make guests stop and admire.
In every possible way! As a result of dealing with something I could have never planned for, I’ve had to ‘button up’ many parts of my business and re-evaluate everything from workflows, social media, promotion, contract terms, and pricing. At the same time, it’s made me more flexible. Life throws curve balls, and at the end of the day if I want my business to survive I need to be able and open to adapt. With lots of unexpected free time, I’ve been forced to slow down and focus in on my priorities and longer-term business goals. I’m even meditating daily. Who am I!?
Freelance first! Before you choose to start your own business, freelance for other designers. It will give you a behind the scenes look at everything from production, to design, to installation and breakdown. And you will learn so much along the way. Floral design is more than just pretty flowers; it’s labor and time intensive, and it’s not for the faint of heart. But it is truly, truly rewarding.
Build a community. Meet other designers (local and afar), vendors, farmers and growers through freelancing and networking. These will be the people who will lift you up, show you the ropes, answer your late-night texts and phone calls, and lend a hand when you need it. And you’ll likely end up doing the same for them! I owe so much of my own business to my community.
I go into more detail about getting started in floral design in this blogpost.
Aim to book your vendors as soon as possible, especially for 2021! Many of us have had our entire 2020 wedding season postponed to 2021, so are already working with limited availability over a year out. When evaluating floral designers, take some time review their work online and on IG and check their minimum pricing against your budget. Then choose 3 that really speak to you and your vision, and schedule consultations with each. Choosing a floral designer that feels right for YOU is the most important decision — the fine details will be sorted out much later in the process. By creating a team of vendors that you feel truly aligned with from day one, and giving them your full trust, you can rest assured your dream wedding will come to life. I talk more about finding your perfect wedding florist in this blogpost!
I somewhat recently planned my own wedding and remember well all of the questions I had myself! So I give my clients a welcome packet as soon as they inquire, with an overview of pricing and FAQs, to make sure they’re getting all their questions answered as easily as possible. Questions are most often about budgeting and where I source my flowers. On average, florals account for 10-15% of an overall wedding or event budget. In support of local growers, flowers are sourced directly from Bay Area farms and the San Francisco Flower Mart, one of only five grower-owned wholesale flower markets in the U.S.
Spreadsheets, logistics, budgets and flower orders months out, followed by long days on my feet washing buckets, sourcing flowers, prepping vases, and installing week-of! I’m a type 1 enneagram — so organization is a bit of a THING for me when prepping for a wedding!
…Unexpected!? Nothing like I imagined!? Ha. But in a weird way, it’s been fulfilling in so many unexpected ways. I’ve spent my new-found free time doing other things I love, and planning for a flower-filled 2021. Woo!
Whatever these years want to throw us, we’re going to figure it out and you’re going to have a beautiful wedding day. I’m here for ya. If we’re all slightly flexible, open to change, and willing to work together, your wedding day may be even more beautiful than imagined!
Bright (and monochromatic – love that)
Morning (no thanks to my 5:30AM trips to the flower market ha)
Homemade yellow layer cake with chocolate icing, for lunch
Fancy pants: Kusakabe / Casual: Kingdom of Dumpling
Anything on or near Lake Tahoe
A roadtrip to the desert, sailing trip around Croatia, maybe Japan. Or really anywhere at this point!?!? Anywhere.