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Meet Rachel Burch of Velvet Blooms in Ventura

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rachel Burch.

Rachel, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Velvet Blooms is a boutique floral design company based out of Ventura, CA that I started back in 2017 with the hope that I could create a sustainable business and be my own boss! In late 2016 I was laid off from my previous 9-5 job and during my search for something new, discovered my love for blooms! My background is actually in tech, account management, customer support and non-profits but I was definitely ready for something new.

My close friend was in town (Kelsea Olivia Gaynor of East Olivia) and she was doing a destination wedding in Palm Springs for a mutual friend. Since it was a gift, she wasn’t able to hire any freelance help so I offered to tag along and help out. This is where Velvet Blooms all began. I absolutely loved the entire process from creation to implementation! After that, I sought out the designer who had done my wedding a few years back (Laura Williams of Poppy Hill Flowers) and mentored with her directly for about a year before launching full force and taking on all my own events! I owe a lot of my knowledge and skill to both of these talented ladies. Now, Velvet Blooms is a fully functioning floral design company and we even got a studio space earlier this year to streamline our workflow. Obviously, there have been some setbacks this year due to the current state of our economy and the state mandate but we can’t wait for wedding season to return!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
When I launched my business in 2017, I was actually still working full time and mentoring with Laura of Poppyhill Flowers. I was taking on minimal events on my own but trying to freelance as much as possible to hone my skills. I was basically working seven days a week for a while. Knowing that I had a gig on Saturday would get me through the work week. Eventually, I was laid off (for the second year in a row) in January of 2018. At this point, I took it as a sign. I am not supposed to be doing anything else but flowers! So I became a full-time florist from then on. However, I had horrible timing! January-March is generally “dead season” – not a lot of events during this time. It was definitely scary committing to growing a company when there was about three months of no events. That said, it was booking season! I started advertising and getting the word out and was able to book 16 weddings in my first year which I then was able to double the next year. I will say that 2020 has definitely been the biggest challenge but I’m hoping things will return to some sense of normalcy soon and we all can get back to celebrating with our clients!

Velvet Blooms – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Velvet Blooms is a boutique floral design company managed by Rachel Burch and based out of Ventura CA. We specialize in weddings, large scale events and treat each one as an opportunity to create a unique aesthetic focused around color and texture. We have worked with a variety of collaborators such as East Olivia Creative, Motion Picture Editors Guild, Crown and Conquer in conjunction with Spotify, Wild Heart Events, Events By Fran, Jenny Quicksall Photography, Jane Alexandra Events, and CMG Wedding & Events to name a few. We also have had the honor of being featured by Carats and Cake, Junebug Weddings, Ruffled Blog, Wedding Chicks, GreyLikes Weddings, Santa Barbara Wedding Style, and California Wedding Day.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is obviously different for everyone and every industry. I think I feel like the event has been successful if the response from the client is something like, “This is even better than I had imagined it in my head!”. My goal is always to take inspiration from the talented people and nature around me and create something new. I don’t offer any standard packages because I strive to make each design different from the last.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Heather Shane Photography, Janina Santillan, Colleen Allison Photography, Chelsea Elizabeth Photography

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