Today we’d like to introduce you to Amber Mayfield.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Hey! My name is Amber Mayfield, aka AmberMay, and I am a Floral and Event Designer. On Instagram you can find me @designsbyAmberMay and the business name of designsbyher. I am homegrown from the city of Inglewood, California but my roots are by way of Queens, New York and the Southside of Chicago as both are where my parents are from. I’ve been in the event industry for the past ten years and have been designing floral art since 2017. I entered the event industry to create and be a part of the most joyous moments in life. My passion for floral design came from an innate love and appreciation of flowers, but my respect regarding floral artistry goes beyond my years. My work is solely done by myself out of my home (technically it’s my bestfriends home – thanks Nikki!) in Inglewood until I can afford to have a studio of my own.
I grew up in a household of a Dad who was an Accountant and a Mom who was a teacher. I guess you can say my Mom was the start of my creativity – and she would absolutely tell you the same haha. She presented various creative opportunities to think outside the box.
My Dad was the flipside; he kept me around basketball courts and in Nikes and LA Gears while eating Oxtails, rice and peas with plantains while listening to LL Cool J and Brownstone by way of Jamaica Queens, New York. He was also the brink of me overcoming obstacles that came my way. At the age of four, he fell ill to an unknown disease that kept him in-and-out of the hospital for ten years. He passed around the age of 46 and I was 14 years old. As a way to cope, my Mom kept me in every activity available and surrounded me with loved ones. These activities definitely contributed to my skills that I currently use today – Hello Girl Scout knots! My love for flowers also stemmed from my Mom as she always kept Sunflowers in the house and are still her fav til-this-day. She pushes me to dream big, believe and trust in God.
Insert High School – Westchester High. What I loved about Westchester is that we didn’t put on little school dances we created P R O D U C T I O N S. From the Welcome Back Parade (yes, parade) to Homecoming, it was always a show. Being on ASB meant organizing, venue scouting, planning and creating all types of events and is the reason I am in the Event Industry today.
Fast forward to a few years ago when I was asked to be a part of a Bridal Show with a company that was partnered with Bloomingdales and the beginning of my Floral Design career. I had been given the responsibility to assist design a “booth” (this was not your average booth) the size of approximately 60 feet. After many No’s from requesting the help of other floral studios to assist, I took on the responsibility myself. **Let the record show this was not my first time experiencing a “No”. From getting No’s in regards to being in the Design Industry and even being told I was “not good enough” in regards to my work. I can distinctly recall working at my last corporate job and someone telling me my designs were “elementary” after first introduction.**
This Bridal Show had an enlightening moment that changed my course in the Event Industry. While in prep-mode, the Event Producer (Slomique herself) walks up to me and asks how long I had been a Floral Designer. I humbly laughed and told her I was an Event Planner and not a Floral Designer. She then stopped me and told me that the Event Industry does not have enough of US in it, let alone Black Floral Designers and to O-W-N I-T. She admired my talent and told me do my research and study. Because unfortunately as a Black Designer, I would be tested and critiqued TWICE as hard as anyone else in the industry so I need to be ready. She also told me to check in with her in a few years after I got my feet off the ground in Floral Design.
Fast forward to the present day of me awaiting a big call for a new project. I had mad jitters and 20 minutes before the call an Instagram Live popped up that I decided to watch. Lo and behold Slomique was joined on the call giving the same inspirational speech that she gave me a few years ago. Some would call this ironic but I call it a message and a sign. This was a reminder to be grateful and a sign that I am on the right path.
I say all of this to put emphasis on the fact that sometimes you need to make your own Seat at The Table. To not let the valleys and lows/No’s in life keep your head down that you forget to look up and end up missing the mountains that are on the horizon. To stop asking and waiting for others to pull the chair out for you, but to pull up your own chair and make a seat for yourself. To everyone and anyone who is reading this that it is ok to dream big and create their own Seats at The Table, as there is room for all of US.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Life is always a mix of ups and downs. Lessons and Blessings. From my Dad passing at the age of 14, to trying to make it in the design world and learning to bet on myself and take a leap of faith with starting my own business (which any entrepreneur can tell you it ain’t for the light-hearted haha). Factor in the fact that I am a Black Woman, coming out of a city that has been always dubbed as “always up to no good” until recently. So no, it hasn’t been easy. But all of this makes me stronger and adds to who I am today. With a smile on my face I am Grateful for it all.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
Each design and project I create evokes different emotions. Either based on client personae or my own thoughts and feelings regarding what’s going on in the world – for example an ode to the 80’s, finding #blackgirljoy amongst the Black Lives Matter movement or simply a love for Disney movies just to name a few. Sought for my floral designs use of color and personally hand-made custom sprayed stems (that everyone is surprised to find they are real! haha), these are all pieces of me, of AmberMay. Simply put, my love for color, design in its essence, flowers and creativity is my happy place. My greatest hope is to inspire others with the joy I have and the creations I make. I am a silly, loving, driven, creative, charismatic black girl reaching for the stars and finding ways to share that joy with everyone I know. Currently, I am working on a few projects and navigating the event world during the COVID-19 pandemic. I recently wrapped up my first POP-UP Flower Cart that I was grateful to not only share with my home community (of Inglewood) but also with two other female business owners of Sip & Sonder! I am always focused on learning more, growing and expanding my skills but also finding a happy balance for Self Care and Family time. I am excited to see what is to come and even more excited to share it with all of you.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Not lucky, I’m blessed and grateful.
- “The Wrap” is a hand-tied market style bouquet that is $45
- “The Generosity” is a Medium-sized arrangement using locally sourced flowers in a novelty vase for $85
- “The Showstopper” is a LARGE-sized arrangement designed to make a statement and assembled in a decorative vase for $200
- Event Consultations” are done by a Briefing and Venue walkthrough and priced per event
- Custom” pricing is always available per client request and need
- Website: www.designsbyher.com
- Phone: 3103419992
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/designsbyambermay
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/designsbyambermay
AJ Calloway, Leon Robinson II, Amber Mayfield, Simon Fobi, Lorenzo Diggins, Nicole Jimerson