Today we’d like to introduce you to Kourtney Pittaway.
Kourtney, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
All through college, I was a studio art major. I focused on painting, ceramics and figure drawing and learned so many techniques taking sculpture, 2D design, 3D design, color theory, art history classes galore, etc. I loved all of these mediums but I didn’t feel like I was called to do any of them. I got married in 2015, the summer of my sophomore year of college and my mom and I decided that we would do all of the flower arrangements ourselves.
I would never recommend this because it was so stressful and we were up all night before the wedding day, but surprisingly enough, I loved it! I remember being so amazed at how much arranging flowers felt like painting, sculpting and drawing all in one. My wedding photographer actually asked me which florist I had hired for my bouquets. When I told her that I had made them she couldn’t believe it and swore that I absolutely had to become a florist! We still laugh about that today.
However, that July, I left Arizona to go play university volleyball in Florida. It wasn’t until my husband and I moved home almost two years later, just in time for my sister’s wedding, that I realized my love for floral design. She asked me if I would be willing to do her wedding flowers and of course, I agreed. It wasn’t until her wedding day that it hit me… people design flowers! It’s a real job!
All through school people drilled me with questions like “studio art, what the heck are you going to do with that?” and I finally had an answer! In July 2017 I officially started Monarch Floral Designs, with my wonderful husband’s support and encouragement, and I have been so blessed to be in the field that I am in. Every day is an opportunity to create for the most amazing people.
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?
In my opinion, if you want to grow, you have to be willing to have struggled. If there aren’t any struggles then I’d say there probably aren’t any advancements happening either. That being said, doing something new is always hard.
There is a learning curve and comparison is such a huge pitfall in the creative industry. It’s so important to stay true to who you are and fight negative thoughts. After each wedding, I try to take time to look at how far I’ve already come and how close I am to taking the next step in the direction I want to be.
Every part of owning your own business is an opportunity to grow and learn, not only for your business but for yourself. I have made some fabulous friendships and learned a lot about myself since starting Monarch.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Monarch Floral Designs story. Tell us more about the business.
Aside from my background in art, I think the next thing that sets me apart is the relationships I build with my clients. One of my favorite parts of the process is meeting them for the first time and hearing about the proposal and all of their wedding dreams.
My relationship with my clients is so unique because it’s not like getting your nails done where you’re in the salon, you get your treatment and you leave. The business relationship between my clients and I can last anywhere from 4 months to a year.
Therefore, it’s so important to hire a florist that you genuinely like being around. I have become friends with a lot of my brides and sometimes they even invite me to the wedding, which I still think is just the coolest thing! I have truly been blessed with the most amazing clients.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I don’t know that luck has a whole lot to do with running a floral design business. The people in this industry that I look up to and aspire to be like, work so hard every single day. It might be the college athlete in me, but if you want something, you just have to go out and find a way to make it happen.
Typically as a florist that means a lot of sweat and tears and stress and headaches, cut up fingers, no sleep, skipping meals, and working weekends to create art that lasts for a couple days or until the wedding’s over. In the end, I think a good work ethic is probably more beneficial then luck but I do feel so lucky to do what I do.
- Website: www.themonarchfloraldesigns.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themonarchflorals/
Basically Brandy Photography, Hannah Ball-Ball Photo Co, Bree Cota