I’ve found the more I get to know someone, the more I love them. Have you found the same thing? This always happens when I spend an hour photographing someone new…and then it happens all over again when I read their interview questions for these branding posts.
Shortly after starting Branding Photography, I realized that instead of just “Here are some more pretty photos for you to look at, enjoy!”, I could bring some real content in the form of interviewing my subjects, who are ALL creative business owners. So today we’re going to hear from Colleen with Atelier de LaFleur from Tucson AZ and I’ll let you know up front, I really love her answers!
A couple weeks ago, Raffi and I took a mini road trip down to Tucson to photograph Colleen, Rachel, and Meaghan in their new space and it was beyond gorgeous! Do you remember that move from the 90’s called Practical Magic? Sandra Bullock had the cutest little boutique in that movie and this space totally reminded me of that boutique! With little bundles of sage and palo santo, bottles and jars of herbal potions and little witchy details everywhere, I absolutely loved photographing the details as much as I did the awesome team at Atelier de LaFleur!
Tell me a little about what you do:
I’m the owner of Atelier de LaFleur (Floral Shop), LaFleur Events (Wedding & Event Planning/Production) and LaFleur Plantscapes (Corporate Interior Plant Design, Install & Maintenance).
What made you decide to go down the road to creative entrepreneurship?
I guess with a last name like mine I was destined to grow a green thumb. I studied horticulture at the University of Illinois and worked for both the Chicago and Tucson Botanical Gardens. As a fundraiser and Director of Development I helped plan event productions like The Chicago Antique, Garden & Design Show, Harvest Ball and Butterfly Affaire, Since making Tucson my home, I’ve learned to respect and appreciate the distinctions of desert plant life, and I work hard to create designs that are environmentally responsible.
What advice can you share with other creatives who are struggling?
I think it is important to give support, but it’s hard to give advise because every situation is so different.
Here are my daily affirmations-
•Keep an open mind
•Don’t be afraid to take risks
My initial business model didn’t bring in the revenue I had hoped for, so I quickly changed gears and developed a new one. You have to be open to new ideas, scrappy, working 24/7 if you have to. In the beginning there’s no such thing as work/life balance. It’s just work. Hard work will pay off.
What’s a favorite inspiring quote of yours?
There are always flowers for those who want to see them ~ Matisse
It’s tattooed on my shoulder.
Can you share a favorite marketing tip for wedding vendors with us?
Say yes to styled shoots! In the beginning it is the best way to network and learn from other creatives.The exposure you receive helps you tell your story, point of view and style. Eventually, your body of work will create the same exposure and you won’t need to do as many styled shoots, but don’t stop! Scheduling a couple of shoots each year keeps your creative juices flowing and it definitely strengthens your brand.
What are your five favorite things right now?
Moonstones, tarot cards, tomato soup, flowers (seems cliché, but really!), kind people
What song do you listen to when you need to get motivated?
Kungs vs Cookin’ on 3 Burners- This Girl
Who do you love to follow on Instagram?
I’m going to keep it local- because, well because!!
@tablenumberone (Wylie)- She’s a visionary.
Torey Hayden- @torey_photo Authentic images and I love to see her dance!
Daniel Kim- @danielkimphoto – His real life is as entertaining as his work life.
Elyse Hall- @elysehallphotography ^Diddo and she’s the sweetest photog I know.
Vienna Glen (Lea)- @vienna_glenn For her thought provoking messages
And lastly, where can we follow you?
On Instagram @atelierdelafleur
Thank you so much to Colleen and the ladies at Atelier de LaFleur for being so kind, welcoming and all around lovely people!
If you’re a small business owner wanting your own branding shoot, click right here!
Want to see more branding interviews? Click here!
|Denise Karis is an Arizona photographer who enjoys musicals, Doctor Who and breakfast burritos. IG @denisekaris|
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