This year marks Mandy's 10th year in business as a floral designer, and we're really honored we got to sit down with her and pick her brain on all things wedding as well as work with her for our upcoming catalog.
For Mandy, looking back on the past ten years, it's been easy to see this milestone as her greatest achievement as a designer and business woman.
"I have taken so many chances and [seen] how I've benefited from them," says Mandy. "I've learned lessons along the way, but I only see a brighter future ahead."
And things are always bright in the studio when Mandy comes to town. She brings a dash of happiness and good work ethic. Two key ingredients to any southern personality.
"I grew up in the south with traditinal decor and design, but I tend to break the mold by incorporating clean lines and modern flair into my floral designs," says Mandy.
With her modern, southern style, she takes classic design and adds her personal touch, always staying on trend and anticipating what's around the corner next.
"I love seeing what trends are coming in for the upcoming season. I know the AD team has countless hours of research and brainstorming invested into making decisions as to what products they will present to their customers," says Mandy. "I love to see the process and be able to be one of the first designers to dream up unique arrangements to compliment the containers."
Sleek Planter coming June 2016
During one of her design visits with us, Mandy picked out some favorite pieces from the new collection. She loved designing in our new Sleek Planter. With its narrow opening, metallic finish, and modern silhouette, she said it's such a versatile piece that can bring a lot of impact with very little effort - a huge timesaver when you're designing a large amount of arrangements for events.
"We are finally seeing the relaxed, rustic mason jars and burlap trend subside," Mandy notes on trends. "We are seeing an emergence of wow factor floral installations. For example, repetition of large containers lining a wedding aisle or compiled to make a statement for a grand entrance to an event. We're also seeing so many floral canopies and ceilings being requested over dance floors or ceremony settings."
For Mandy, this insight into the industry and her love of florals started with helping out in her grandmother's flower shop.
"She served her community by designing floral for all occasions such as anniversaries, birthdays, and funerals," says Mandy. "I learned how to listed to customers and bring to life a design they only dreamed of. Most of all, she taught me to believe in myself and if I set my mind to it, there is nothing I can't accomplish."
There was a turning point in Mandy's business where she had to decide if she wanted to stay a small business only producing three or four weddings a month with a small design team or take a leap and add designers and members to her HotHouse team.
Choosing to make that leap was her biggest challenge as a business owner, but one that allows her to produce 150 to 200 weddings and events per year.
For floral designers who want to design more for events and less for the everyday, Mandy says you have to set yourself apart from the competition.
"Dare to be different and get noticed. You have to put the extra hours in to attend social events and networking opportunities," Mandy said. "You have to invest in products such as candelabras, extra large urns, and pedestals that set you apart for your unique offerings, not just simple everyday containers. You have to invest in your business and yourself to become successful in the wedding market." (Tweet This!)
"I'm also quite a magazine junkie and I don't hide it," says Mandy. "I know we have so many resources on the internet, but I love to sit and flip through the pages of a magazine. Living ETC is my favorite publication. I find so much inspiration on trends, and I can see new lines, colors and patterns that will be emerging from the home decor market and finding its way to the floral industry."
While looking to other industries for inspiration is important for Mandy to stay inspired, it seems that her community is really at the heartbeat of why she gets up for work every day.
"A bridal bouquet I design will be photographed and passed down for future generations to see. A memorial floral tribute is the last gift a person can share with their loved one after passing," says Mandy. "It's rewarding to know that I bring beauty and color into such a dark day in someone's life. What we as floral designers do matters so much to the emotional wellbeing and health of our friends, family, clients, and community." (Tweet This!)
You can follow Mandy on Twitter (@MandyMajerik) and Instagram (@Majerik). You can also keep tabs on her and her team at HotHouse Design Studio on Twitter (@HotHouseWedding), Instagram (@HotHouseDesignStudio), Facebook (@HotHouseDesignStudio), and their website: HotHouseDesignStudio.Com