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Durham, NC, United States
My name is Veronica and I own Southern Gold Leaf Cakes. I opened my home-based business in 2008. I am a licensed and inspected home bakery specializing in custom cakes. Since all cakes are made to order there are no frozen cakes here, only fresh and only home made. I am a self-taught baker but I have a strong art background with years of baking experience. It is the most rewarding feeling in the world when you can apply your skills to do something you love. To see my cake creations and view our yummy menu visit us at www.southerngoldleafcakes.com!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Part II - Kelley Kennedy of Teacup Floral

Teacup Floral

Happy February!  As promised, here is the second part of a blog in a series on some of the vendors who participated at the Perfect Wedding Guide luncheon held at the Homewood Suites in January.    

I interact and create connections with many vendors across the wedding community.  I thought I would do a series of blogs specifically highlighting some that I have worked with over the last couple of years.  The first in this series is an interview with Kelley Kennedy of Teacup Floral.  

I want to say what a pleasure it was to do this interview.  I really enjoyed getting her perspective on not only her business but the industry as a whole; very insightful and well said.

Let's start with an introduction of you and your business. What would you like us to know about you?

My name is Kelley Kennedy and I'm the owner and head designer at Teacup Floral.  We are located in Central Raleigh and design events for the Triangle/Triad area-while not limiting travel to other parts of North Carolina.   Teacup Floral offers a unique design perspective with attention to trend forward event inspiration and budget consciousness.  We use a combination of color, texture and composition to reflect a romantic, classically modern style.  Special designs, exclusive to Teacup Floral, include pop art inspired pieces such as ‘the groom’s arrangement’.  We have a 5 star rating on  Weddingwire.com and we're proud members of the  Triangle Bridal Association as well as The Bridal Society.

What is your background? Have you always been in this type of work or is this a new career turn? 

My background is in fashion accessories design.  After graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology, I spent 10 years in the NYC based industry designing everything from hair clips, to men's belts, to little girls' light up handbags.  I also returned to FIT for 2 years to teach graphic design software techniques to Accessories Design majors.

What brought you to this area (if you've moved here)? Is this what you did previously (before moving)? If not, what prompted the change? 

After a decade of sitting behind a desk designing mass market merchandise, I craved a profession in which I could create with my hands and work on a more personal level with my customers (rather than through a chain of sales people, merchandisers, buyers and overseas factories).  I also wanted to go into a field which existed outside of New York City in case I ever decided to move.  Through a google search for something unrelated, I ended up on Flower School New York's website and decided to go through their intensive series of classes.  I became completely hooked on floral design.  I was spending any time off from work (nights, weekends, holidays) interning and taking master classes to learn as much as possible.  Finally, I felt I was ready to 'retire' from fashion altogether and was lucky enough to find a full time position for a high end, neighborhood flower shop Opalia Flowers in Brooklyn, NY working in both the retail and event design aspects of the business.   My husband and I moved to Raleigh from NYC this summer looking for a change of pace and a great place to raise a family.  We believe whole heartedly that we made a great choice!

Image by 2 and 3 Photography 2 and 3 Photography

What inspires you in your work? Are you visually driven? Do you follow trends or fads or do you keep to your own unique style? 

Brides inspire my work!  They all come with a unique perspective- some have their favorite colors, some stay true to their wedding season and some follow the hottest trends and want to be the next, most blogged about wedding! I love to see bride's Pinterest boards- sometimes they are very cohesive, other times they can be all over the place and need help with editing.  Once I speak to a bride, it's very easy to narrow down what she's really looking for and maybe it was just a little detail she wanted from one photo- we'll pull it all together and it will make a lot of sense by the end of the meeting. I can't help but follow trends, I believe it's how any design business grows.  Of course I have my own unique style, but I already had my wedding and now it's time other bride's unique styles to shine.  I love to be their design chameleon.  Sometimes I do have an outlet to express my own style- such as Wedding shows and the latest 'love issue' of Cary Magazine Cary Magazine and Jonathan Fredin Photography.
Writer is Emily Uhand
Photographer is Jonathan Fredin

Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years? 

I would love to see myself with a consistent flow of event work.  My business has been growing by leaps and bounds over the past 6 months and if this trend continues, I will be one happy flower lady! 

If you had one goal for your business what would it be and how do you think you would achieve it? 

One goal I have would be to maintain a positive reputation with clients, venues and other vendors.  I hope to achieve/maintain this by always making customer satisfaction a number one priority and continuing healthy, respectful relationships with my fellow industry professionals.

What is the one thing about your specific field/industry that you really don't like and one thing you really love? 

Something about the floral/event design field I find disheartening is when I have brides come to me saying another designer called their idea ugly or didn't get back to them because of their low budget.  There is no such thing as an ugly flower or bad trend.  Sometimes ideas need to be tweaked a little, but anything can work if you have a true sense of design.  Similarly, I am not a fan of the cable shows which take a bride with a small budget (who is not a designer), tear their ideas apart, and give them a 6 figure wedding.  What does anyone learn from these shows other than 'you need to spend a ton of money to achieve a beautiful wedding'? One thing I really love is hearing from my brides after the wedding is over.. It makes absolutely every second of work worth it!!  A second thing I love about the industry is how helpful and friendly my fellow wedding professionals are and how many outlets we have to connect and refer each other for weddings.  
Images by Erik Perel Photography www.erikperel.com

If you weren't doing this, what would you be doing? 

Something that has always interested me is interior design. 
Thank you so much Kelley for sharing your time and yourself with me.  I look forward to our June wedding experience and many more to come.

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