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Meet Leslie McKnight

Today we’d like to introduce you to Leslie McKnight.

Hi Leslie, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I stumbled upon my love of flowers while putting together a bridal shower for a dear friend of mine. We wanted to make it as special as possible since we weren’t doing anything extravagant. She loves flowers so I went to buy some bunches at the flower market. I was just enamored with the idea of doing floral work from that moment on. I had already spent a few years in the events industry working for a very successful catering company in LA and realized I could combine this newly found interest with my event experience and potentially really have something! I dove in head first reading books and blogs, spending my weekends getting to know flowers at the market in downtown, and eventually freelancing for other companies. It was like lightning struck. It was a creative job and a physical job. I could utilize the creativity I had within in a way I had never experienced. I could play with colors and textures and use my hands. I was tired at the end of the day! It checked all the boxes. I have really just let my business grow at a natural rate. At this point, I take on events that I can tackle on my own or with the help of maybe one other person. I’m also still very much on the heels of the effects of Covid so I’m finding myself building new connections as many of mine were laid off during that time, finishing off events that were postponed, etc. I couldn’t be happier with the growth though. This year was my busiest wedding season so far and we’re only halfway through!

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
I would say overall, growing cvét has been fairly smooth. The one exception being Covid. Obviously, that threw a giant kink into the events industry and my business was only two years old at the time. I had seen exponential growth the year prior and had a lot of great connections who were really bolstering my business and helping me find clients. I lost a lot of that during the pandemic and had a moment where I really thought maybe it would be over. Interestingly though, my freelancing took on a life of its own while my personal business was on hold and that really changed things for me. I was able to still do floral work while waiting for cvét to catch back up. Outside of that, growth has come from saying “yes!” I have had to learn to step out of my comfort zone and just be willing to try. That’s how I have made new connections in the industry, how I have discovered my style in floristry, how I meet clients. There’s a lot of pride in looking back even just a year ago and comparing that to where I am now.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
The very basis of my work with flowers is elevating a moment. The reason I bought flowers for that very first bridal shower was because it would elevate that celebration from a regular backyard picnic to something extra special. Flowers take a moment, a space, an event to a whole new level and I think it’s so special how we go back to them time and time again to have them help us say what we need to say. The other part of my business that I think stands out is my absolute commitment to your event. I will lose sleep over missing a detail. (I’ve been known to have a nightmare or two about every single event!) Anyone can put grocery store flowers in a vase but I want my arrangements to allow each flower its own moment. The pairing of the textures and colors must echo your vision. Every stem will be cut perfectly straight in your bouquet. It’s the details that make the biggest impact on how your event feels. People will leave feeling the dedication I put into your day.

In terms of your work and the industry, what are some of the changes you are expecting to see over the next five to ten years?
I think the biggest shift over the next 5-10 years will HAVE to be sustainability. We have to find ways to buy seasonally and locally when possible. We have to cut the usage of single-use plastics. We have to reuse vessels and structures. I think we need to recognize that the earth gives us the very product we use for our work and if we aren’t careful, we will begin to lose access to a lot of the types of foliages and flowers we take for granted every single day. It’s going to be a learning curve across the board but I do think the push is there. As far as trends go, I think event design is a lot like fashion. With the usage of social media platforms, specific floral trends get a lot more visibility than they might have 20 years ago. Certain types of flowers become trendy and then die out as a new wave of visuals hits Instagram. It’s an ever-evolving art form.

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Image Credits
Heirlume Photography Eve Rox Photography David Medill Productions Tida Svy Photography Mary Costa Photography

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