Today we’d like to introduce you to Melissa Erker.
Hi Melissa, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I can’t say that I’ve always wanted to be a florist but I know I’ve always loved flowers. My love of flowers started when I was young. My grandfather grew huge dinner plate dahlias in his backyard and I was mesmerized. Pair that affection of flowers with a mother who is an interior designer and that created an artistic passion for flowers. It wasn’t until I was in my early 20’s that I had the idea to be a florist, so I took floral design courses from the local community college, then got certified through an online program. During that time, I worked at a few shops across the country and did a few weddings but I mostly designed for myself. I took a break when my husband and I left California, moved across the country, and started a family. About eight years ago we moved back and I just designed for myself. But during the pandemic, I felt the pull to do something that would make me feel like I was contributing happiness to others! I took a different floral course to get another certification and reintroduce myself to the floral world. I jumped right into starting this business in September of 2021 and I’m loving every moment of it.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I really wish I would have done this years ago, but here I am and I’m so grateful I took a chance on myself. Starting a new business, or any new venture for that matter, can be scary. There are so many “what if” moments, but none of those compare to the joy that my creations bring to my customers. Starting something new is never easy! I’ve had so many struggles in the business aspect: bookkeeping, taxes, marketing myself, etc. Thankfully the internet has had the answer to pretty much every question I’ve had, and I’m taking plenty of business-specific courses. The floral world has so many wonderful designers and business owners willing to teach and mentor other florists. It’s truly the best community! There have been a few learning curves along the way, but that’s to be expected with anything in life.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I feel like I’m not just a florist, but I’m an artist too. None of my arrangements will look the same! I love creating custom and unique floral arrangements because every day is special for someone! Anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, small events, etc., I love them all. I also specialize in elopements! There’s something extremely remarkable about creating florals just for the couple to enjoy, it’s extra special because you know that they’ve made sure the day is all about them and what they want. I feel like after the pandemic, couples are realizing that they don’t need a huge wedding but just something nice and intimate so it’s more about them than the fanfare. Florals for elopements can still be luxurious and beautiful and I want to make sure couples know that just because they aren’t having a large event, doesn’t mean they can’t have lush florals. But overall, I just love being able to design something special for someone. People truly light up when they get a flower delivery, and it’s really beautiful to see.
So maybe we end on discussing what matters most to you and why?
Joy. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that you were chosen to help bring joy to someone else. And to see that joy, to see the people smile, to get those kind words of appreciation. That’s why I do what I do. After the last few years, we all need to give as much love and joy as we can.
- Small arrangements start at $65
- Sometimes I do flash sales on my Instagram for anywhere as low as $20 for mini bouquets!
- Website: https://www.flowersbymelis.com
- Instagram: @flowersbymelis
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/flowersbymelis
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/flowers-by-melis-long-beach
Tracy Rinehart Photography