Floressence Flowers focuses on transforming spaces for weddings and related events
By Judy Royal
The need for a new career path and a winning business plan, quite literally, led to the formation of Floressence Flowers in 2010.
Alabama native Eatherley Schultz, like her mother and grandmother, always had a love for gardening and horticulture. She spent years in California studying agroecology and farming before moving to Brevard, NC, to manage a 250-acre farm property. She began doing landscape design on the side and then decided to pursue the niche industry of wedding flowers. Schultz took a course through Mountain BizWorks and won the business plan county competition, using the prize money to buy a van. And just like that, Floressence Flowers was born.
“I had never worked for a flower shop, but I had a very strong plant and design background,” Schultz said. “I knew that world, and I knew those clients. Everyone said there’s no way you can do just weddings, but to this day, we have yet to do retail, and I think one of the reasons we’ve survived is that we’ve focused on one thing and we’ve done it really well rather than spread ourselves thin.”
Floressence Flowers focuses on weddings and related events, such as rehearsal dinners and luncheons. The business started with three weddings during the first year of business and now does about 50 to 60 annually, concentrating on higher-budget destination weddings that bring together guests from all over the country for an experience. The current 3,000-square-foot studio and office/consult space is the third location for the business, which now owns the building. Floressence Flowers also has a small warehouse for inventory under construction. Schultz opens the doors by appointment only and does not sell individual arrangements.
“The idea of transforming spaces and making people happy and making moments, to me that was appealing,” Schultz said. “It offers more creative freedom than selling arrangements every day, and there was enough of a market there to focus on just that and be the best at that.”
Schultz said Floressence Flowers has been a satisfying endeavor for her in more ways than one, tapping into all facets of her skills.
“I love the right-brain and left-brain aspect of it,” she said. “I love running a business and having my hand on that part of it, and then I love floral and designing and producing something and making it happen. I really enjoy the client relationship that I have for a year until the event happens. It’s a long-term process, so I think it feeds both parts of me.”
Like many businesses, Floressence Flowers had to get creative to weather the COVID-19 pandemic. Schultz found a way to stay in business while getting flowers in front of people who would likely call on her for core services in the future when things returned to normal.
“When COVID happened, we had 55 weddings on the books and all of them were postponed or canceled,” she said. “We started reaching out to hotels and resorts, so now we have a corporate division where we do weekly in-house floral for a couple of inns and resorts in the area. This has led to other corporate events, parties and meetings, so as of 2021, we now have a corporate division.”
Another aspect of the business that Schultz plans to continue is traveling across the Southeast for events in cities such as Birmingham, AL, Charleston, SC, and Atlanta, GA. She said the future is bright for Floressence Flowers.
“2021 is looking incredible because we had so many 2020 weddings that moved to this year, along with ones we already had on the books for 2021 and the corporate work,” Schultz said. “This year and next year are going to be great, and I’m very excited.”
While there is competition within the local floral industry, Floressence Flowers has managed to stay unique by emphasizing customer service and sticking closely to Schultz’s original vision of creating lasting memories through floral design for weddings.
“We really stay in our lane,” she said.
In addition to her niche market, Schultz also credits her team of 12 employees for helping to make the business a success. She said they are like family.
“What Floressence has become, it blows my mind,” she said. “It started out so small, and now it’s a whole other entity and energy that’s a collective team. It’s really been an amazing ride.
“I’m in awe of it, even now,” Schultz added. “I think I didn’t know that it would become that. It has exceeded my expectations by far.”
More About Floressence Flowers
Owner: Eatherley Schultz
Services: Floral design for weddings, rehearsal dinners and special occasions
Location: 859 Rosman Highway, Brevard, NC
Contact Info: 828.490.1231