We had the good fortune of connecting with Kate McNellis and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kate, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I had been working for a small business owner, pretty much running the business. I knew I had the desire to start my own business, but truthfully it was having a child and trying to balance paying for childcare and working a job that allowed me the time to also spend with a newborn. I had my son, and afterwards found it really challenging to find a job with the flexibility I wanted, so I decided to go for it. Now that I’ve been working for myself for almost four years, I don’t think I could ever go back!

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Folklore Flower Co. was developed after a choice to pursue a lifestyle rooted in calm, depth, and simplicity. After a decade spent working in New York City, I found myself putting down new roots, farming in Vermont. It was here that my love of florals began, working hands-on,where I built a deep connection to the process and a relationship with flowers.

My unique value can be found in my style, my processes, and my attention to detail. As my style is influenced by big-city flavour and an earthy wildness, I’m able to create arrangements that feel equal parts elevated and humble.

It was a slow process to get my business to where it is today, I took on every floral job I could, and through doing more and more events and designs, discovered my own aesthetic and my niche. The hardest part is making no money in the beginning, and creating a work life balance. If you can tough it out on a budget, forgo the things like traveling, shopping, eating out, it will come back to you! It can be the hardest and most rewarding job. I learned that sometimes you have to ask for help, You need to turn off the phone and laptop and get sleep, even when you have a million things on your to-do list. Say yes to (almost) anything, take risks, and to be kind. The personal relationships I have built are the important to me and the integrity of my business.

What I’d love for the world to know about my brand and my story is:

I’ve found fulfillment in creativity, and am fuelled by the ability to have a positive impact on the world around me. Captivated by the way florals can evoke emotion, I’m are driven to create visual stories that transform into memories. I believe in flowers as not “just flowers” but as feelings, wrapped up in the unspoken message – a gesture motivated beyond what is tangible.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
It’s been a minute since I was in LA so these may be outdated and touristy, but some of my favorite spots- the usuals I’m sure…Ojai for a weekend, Venice for the canals and shopping, Santa Monica farmers market, Griffith Park, LACMA, go surfing, have some sushi, I’ll stop there. Now I want to go!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
This is such a good question! I feel like it’s a little bit of ‘It takes a village’ situation. I had amazing support from my family and friends- this was probably the most crucial, Whether it be someone to help me think out loud and bounce ideas off of, to volunteering their time to work alongside me before I could hire any freelancers, or offering to watch my kiddo when I was at an all day installation. I also met some really talented designers along the way, and helped me hone my skills and find the confidence in myself. I was lucky to start my business in a place like Vermont, where there really is a sense of community. I had repeat clients, who referred me to friends and family, and I was also willing to jump in help another designer in a pinch. I loved the idea of community over competition – and I am so thankful I had that when I started.

Website: www.folkloreflowerco.com

Instagram: @folkloreflowerco

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kate-mcnellis-0783946/

Twitter: nope

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/folkloreflowerco

Image Credits
Julia Luckett Photography Molly Mia Photography Jackie Harper Photography SMS Photography Julia Luckett Photography Katie Jean Photography (two in a row) Alec Vander Bloom

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.