uBloomer Kristi Landphere is the owner of The Posh Posey, a wedding and events business located in Folsom, CA. She has been married to Michael Landphere for over 25yrs and together they have 3 incredible children, Amanda (24), Adam(21) and Alyse(18). Folsom is situated just outside Sacramento area…about 1 1/2 hours from San Francisco and an hour from Lake Tahoe. Kristi moved there from the SF Bay Area about 20yrs ago where she and her husband both grew up. They decided to move to Folsom for all the wonderful recreational abundance that the area offers. Kristi and her family love boating, camping, and fishing. They conveniently live about 1 mile from Lake Folsom and love Folsom’s quaint, ‘Old Town’ feel. The Landpheres also share their home with 2 Jack Russell terriers (Annie 14, and Phoebe 6), a parakeet named “Jack”, and Kristi’s new baby – “Gus” a Himalayan, who is 1 ½ yrs. old.
Kristi says that she has an active household since her two youngest are still living there – never a dull moment – and they love spending time together as a family. Since starting her business, Kristi’s family and friends have been a huge support system for her and admits that she could not have done it without all of them!
When did your “love affair” with flowers begin?
My love affair started at a very young age. My Mother was always working in her garden growing everything from flowers to vegetables. At 84 she still has the most beautiful garden. I think I just admired the fact she could grow such gorgeous flowers. All the colors, scents, and intricate details of each type of flower are fascinating to me. It’s funny, because my husband is the gardener in our household. He says I have 10 brown thumbs! Seriously, I have killed every living indoor plant we have ever had! I am good at designing and picking out what flowers we use, I even plant them, but my husband keeps them all alive!!
What made you decide that working with flowers was what you wanted to do professionally?
My family and friends have been pushing me for years to do this; I guess I just needed to believe in myself. I have worked in the Dental field for over 25 yrs. where I gained a lot of knowledge about working with people. Over the past 5+ yrs., I have had to take some time off work due to family health issues. I thought maybe this is a good time to make a change. So I did. I went back to work for a short time, trying to do both, but that just didn’t work out. So, as of last September I have been working full-time for myself!
What were some of the fears you had about stepping out professionally to start The Posh Posey and what were the factors that helped you overcome your fears?
Being able to produce a professional, sustainable product. Being self taught, I knew I had to get the education behind me. Learning the basics of floral mechanics, Care and handling, Color theory, and Small Business were just a few. I had an incredible teacher, Suzanne O’Brien, who really focused on producing a quality product and attention to detail.
You have natural artistic talent and basically taught yourself floral design. Share with us some of the floral educational tools (magazines, books, websites, etc.) that helped you to learn and grow as a designer.
Anything I can get my hands and eyes on! When I found ubloom, I thought I hit the mother load! I was so excited to actually ask all those silly questions, and how so many people were willing to help me out. Before, it was hard to ask questions, it all seemed a little secretive. I spent hours and hours watching all the videos from J and Leanne. I have been able to connect with some wonderful designers in my area and all over the country from ubloom. It is so nice to know I have them right there if I need them.
Did/do you have a mentor who has helped you along in your floral journey? If so, talk a bit about how this person has influenced you…
There isn’t any one particular mentor. I have relied on a network of designer’s from ubloom, Tracy Park-Park Place Design, Suzanne Smith-Suzanne B. Smith designs, Monique L’Heureux Wilber-A Special Day Designs, Shannon Cosgrove-Rivas – Flourish, and Monica Lee-Twigs. They have all been such great mentors to me. Thank You ladies!
What aspect(s) of the floral design business were least pleasant/ hardest to learn and which aspects came easily and you enjoy the most? Also, was there an aspect that was difficult to learn but now you enjoy?
Least pleasant and hardest part would be believing in myself, learning to know my worth as a designer, and being able to price myself accordingly. I feel my past experience of working with people and really listening to what they say has been the easiest and truly most enjoyable. I love the designing portion of my job. I love catching the visions that my clients share and bringing their dreams to fruition.
What do you consider to be your design style? Has it changed any from when you first started?
I think I would consider my style contemporary. But, I think as a designer you need to be willing to change and grow and continue learning. I love many design styles. I am always trying new things, and always looking at fashion and colors for inspiration.
Name the top 2 biggest lessons that you have learned so far in your flower journey.
Managing my time, and being very organized! I feel I am an organizer by nature, but I had to take it to a new level! Lists, lists and lists…
What is your favorite flower?
All of them, for many reasons. Scent, color, texture. I love what I call the “fluffies”, peony, ranunculus, garden rose, hydrangea, dahlia etc…I also love orchids. Like I said, all of them!
With money being no object, what would your “ideal” wedding or event look like? (flowers, color scheme, style, accessories, venue, etc)
Overlooking the ocean on a bluff. A rustic arbor covered in white hydrangea, phalanopsis orchids and white, coral and all shades of pink garden roses. Color scheme of grays, whites, pinks, and corals. The Bride’s bouquet would consist of “Coral Charm” peonies. I would consider it a romantic/contemporary style. I love outdoor weddings, surrounded by nature.
If you could design flowers for a famous person, who would it be and what would you create for them?
That would be my signature swirl boutonniere for Johnny Depp! He would love it, and remember me!
Have you had any “unusual” wedding/event flower requests? OR What is the most unusual/unique design that you have created for a client?
I have yet to get an unusual request, I’m still waiting! Probably my most unique pieces would be my corsage designs. To me, they are like creating a little piece of art. I love doing them! You know what they say…today’s prom corsages… tomorrow’s bride! Also, my monogram piece for a baby shower. That was really fun to create.
If you could train under ANY professional floral educator, who would it be and why?
Preston Bailey, Paula Pryke, and Jeff Leatham. Their designs inspire me and I would love to spend just one day with any one of them! I love and admire all of their styles. The attention to details, choices of flowers etc…they all stand out in their own way.
You started The Posh Posey from the ground up. Name one thing that you would like to “do over,” and one thing that you absolutely NAILED in starting your business.
The only “do over” would be, starting a long time ago! The one thing I am telling my kids, is to never stop following your dreams, but do it sooner than Mom! I have been told my “name” is very appealing and catchy. That was probably one of the easiest for me, I think I have had that in the back of my head for years!
How do you make the Posh Posey stand out from the rest of the local florists?
In my town we are fortunate to have some wonderful florists. What I add to the floral community, flows naturally out of running a home based studio. I specialize in just weddings and events, so I am able to give undivided attention to my clients.
When designing arrangements for a client, how do you approach the design…and what inspires you?
I get inspired by my clients, my goal is to catch their dream. I love to listen to them explain what they have envisioned for their perfect day, perfect bouquet etc… It could be a color, a theme, a flower, and/or a venue that reminds them of special moments or people in their lives. Then, we take that idea and build around it. I want my clients to feel that we are choosing these flowers with a special meaning behind them.
Balancing the very time consuming flower biz and family can be a bit tricky. How do you make it work?
I have always been a mom and wife first, and I always will be. My kids are so supportive, and they know how much it means to me. They are very proud of Mom! I get a lot of help and support from them. In fact, I may have an up and coming designer with my youngest. She may follow in Mama’s footsteps!
Imagine you just received a $1,000 check to spend on your flower biz. What would you buy?
I would spend it on education, seminars, and marketing. Maybe a couple pieces of equipment that I don’t have yet.
Ok, share with us some of your FAVORITES…
Food: All of it!
Movie: Steel Magnolias, The Notebook, Romantic Comedies
Quote: “When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.” Georgia O’Keeffe
Actor/Actress: Julia Roberts, Shirley Maclaine, Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep, Sandra Bullock, Jack Nicholson, Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt.
TV Show: American Idol, Friends, Grey’s Anatomy, Cooking and HGTV channels
Music: The Stones, Aerosmith, Fleetwood Mac, I’m dating myself! I love all kinds of music!
Vacation Spot: Hawaii! Maui is my favorite place on earth! It calls my name!
Fashion Trend: Bohemian, vintage
If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
Wow, this is a hard one. I would love to visit Tahiti. I would also love to go to Italy, Greece, France, England. I would love to visit them and learn about different cultures and their history.
When you aren’t designing flowers for clients, what hobbies/activities do you enjoy?
Spending time with my family, friends.
Name a goal(s) that you have set for yourself to accomplish within the next 1 – 5 years.
I would like to see The Posh Posey continue to grow and be successful. But, I think success is defined by many elements, having a happy medium between family and a thriving business. I want to be able to stop and smell the roses… along this exciting journey, one wedding/event at a time!
Share a funny, touching, or outrageous story related to your job.
Ok, I hope no one gets too mad at me, but here it goes. About ten years ago my niece, Megan, was getting married up in Washington. When I arrived my sweet sister had pain stakenly made very beautiful “silk” bouquets for the girls. I thought ok, but I could not fathom the idea of my niece not having a fresh bouquet. With my sister’s blessing, I told her I wanted to do her bouquet. Her colors were sage green and purples. All of us girls ran out to the local florist and got a bunch of white roses. I wanted to added some purple hydrangea, but they didn’t have any. So, on our way home we noticed many yards in town had these gorgeous hydrangeas in their yards, and yes they were purple! Well, you probably guess what we did… We tried knocking and asking if we could cut some of their beautiful hydrangea, but most weren’t home. So, we did some free pruning for them! I ended up with these multiple shades of purples, it was gorgeous. I knew nothing at that time about keeping it fresh, luckily even in August the weather there is mild. The bouquet turned out gorgeous and my niece loved it. It made me feel so wonderful to be a very special part of her day. I think this is when it really hit me – I knew what I wanted to do. But, it would be quite some time before I really got serious. In fact, my niece Megan has been one of my biggest cheerleaders, continually pushing me to “GO FOR IT!” Thank you Megan, I love you!!
What’s NEXT for Kristi and The Posh Posey?
I guess we will have to wait and see! Right now, I am busy working with my brides for 2011 wedding season. I hope I continue to receive more wonderful referrals for 2012!
* Photos taken by Heather Prettyman of Heather Prettyman Photography