Growing Into Yourself: Floral Designer Caroline June McCarthy
"You can fail even at something that you don’t like to do, so you might as well try something that you do like to do"
Six years ago, Caroline Bloom decided she wanted to make a change in her life. Working in the relatively monotonous field of modeling and waitressing, she set out to create a life that allowed her to realize more of her creative potential.
Bloom, an avid home gardener and outdoors enthusiast herself, took a floral design class at Pierce College in Los Angeles. There she was taught basic design principals, flower maintenance and use of tools.
“We just played with flowers for a few hours. It was great,” she explains.
Today, she has a full-fledged business where she provides floral design services to clients ranging from brides and grooms to major network television programs.
Home Grown Business
Working from out of her garage in her Los Angeles home, Bloom’s base of operations is an extension of Mother Nature itself. Rather than work from a traditional retail location or office, she grows her business right beside her backyard garden.
“I really like to be at home with my husband and my dog. I find that to be a lot more inspiring than being in a shop somewhere,” she says. “I have a big garden and I like to be outside — I like to have the trees around me — it’s a little more organic, for what I do, to work this way.”
Though Bloom cares very much about the work she does and says, “It’s almost like painting — and Mother Nature is our art store,” she also relishes the fact that, “Floral design lets you make your own hours. The freedom to make my own schedule is what inspires me.”
And of her approach to floral design, Bloom says, “It really depends on the event and the client. You have to listen to what the person wants. For instance, I did an event for the television show “CSI” around Christmas time and they wanted to incorporate the theme of the show into Christmas decoration — which you could imagine would be…a little difficult.”
So how did Bloom use flowers to reflect a show that chiefly deals with the macabre?
“What I did was take a certain type of poinsettia that has a natural splatter pattern on it,” she says. “We also incorporated caution tape in the wreaths and still made it look chic and really cool. Overall though, my approach is to make the client happy.” Creative problem solving embodied.
Through the Grape Vine
Though Bloom has mostly relied on word of mouth and industry connections to promote her floral design business, she emphasizes the importance of social media, saying, “It really does help. I’ve been inquired about through Instagram. It’s the first thing clients want to see if they’re trying use me for a wedding. And every bride is on Pinterest, so it’s important to be on there too. They’ll send me pins of their inspiration to help the design process.”
And how is Bloom differentiating herself? Well, given that California is currently facing a historic drought, she’s also been using more Succulents, which she says, “are similar to a cactus that are drought tolerant.” Like many flowers, she’s adapting to her environment.
Her parting words of advice for exploring a path like this: “If you really like doing it, it’s not going to be as hard,” Bloom says. “Any struggle I would have within the floral industry is a lot better than if I was trying to something I didn’t like. I heard once, ‘You can fail even at something that you don’t like to do, so you might as well try something that you do like to do.’”
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