It is a Wednesday afternoon at the tail end of wedding season. A delivery person arrives at Carrie Beamer's business, Flora Fetish, located on Pond Springs Road, with a box. In it are supposed to be dyed-orange boms, a type of orchid. But these orchids are yellow and purple.
With a clientele as particular as brides, Beamer knows there is often not much room for compromise. And part of the service Beamer provides is not just the flowers, but coordinating those flowers with the tablecloths and centerpieces.
Like any successful business owner, Beamer is solution-oriented.
"So I call the company [that provided the dyed-orange boms], I take a photo, I send it to them and they are either going to send me new [flowers], or I am going to find another source," she said.
Mix-ups like this sometimes occur, but when working with perishable items that are delivered from far-off places such as Holland and New Zealand, fixes are not always easy.
However, rolling with the punches is crucial to Beamer's success, which explains her calm reaction to the yellow and purple orchids. She must also adapt to change. Social media websites such as Pinterest and Facebook have altered her business, she said.
"I can communicate through [Pinterest] before [a client] gets here, so I can already see what she's visualizing. Then when she comes in, we have that visual and we can take that and go, 'OK, here's the layout and dcor,'" Beamer said.
She is also being proactive on the digital front. To appeal to the do-it-yourself bride, she is launching in September an e-commerce website at which customers may purchase packages of wedding flowers and decorations. Materials can be sent anywhere in the nation.
All of this is a big change from where Beamer was only recently.
Three years ago, a portion of Beamer's business was a retail flower shop called Always & Forever, which adjoined the studio she uses for consultations. But her passion was in customized wedding dcor planning, so she turned the shop into a storage space and turned her attention entirely to wedding dcor and floral planning, a decision that was tough, she conceded.
"It was a big decision because it was half and half. So I gave up half of my volume to just do weddings," she said.
However, with the average wedding costing nearly $28,000, according to a survey conducted by TheKnot.com, Beamer has no doubt she made the right choice. She said she has regained lost ground and even surpassed where sales were before refocusing her business.
Flora Fetish, 13033 Pond Springs Road, Ste. 106, 293-9686, www.florafetish.com
By appointment only