Your name: Emily Herzig Alberini
Your Business name: Emily Herzig Floral Studio – EH Floral for short
Your Location: Littleton, New Hampshire
How did you start your business?
To attempt making a long story short… My answer is – “fate”!
To attempt making a short story a little longer…
I grew up loving flowers, gardening, crafts, decorating and designing (I had always dreamed of being an interior decorator or architect, but was terrible in math and never saw it as a real choice for myself)… I am from a family of artists, with a mom who insisted my sister and I help her in the garden all summer (which I did used to dread when it came to weeding!).
My first job as a teenager was at an organic greenhouse and nursery – Heath’s Organic Greenhouse & Nursery, in Franconia, NH, which led me to my first job as a college student (studying family relations/social work) at a downtown flower shop The Red Carpet in Durham, NH to pay for my college tuition and housing. This led me to a job at The Flower Kiosk in Portsmouth, New Hampshire when finding a job in the career I earned my degree in was looking grim…
In 2002 I was in a car accident which resulted in a broken back while visiting my family and in the process fell in love with my now husband (that’s another story for another time…). During that time of recovery I decided to stay in the White Mountains of NH to be close to my childhood home and to pursue a relationship with the man of my dreams (yes, it’s a love story too…). I took a part time job as an elementary school counselor and for the first time found myself not working with plants and flowers since I was 14 years old, and I missed them terribly!
As a birthday gift my now husband had business cards made for me declaring that I was a floral designer ready for hire! We purchased a 1940’s floral cooler from a shop that recently went out of business and landed it in his grandmother’s basement – and Ta-da! – with a leap of faith, I became self employed as a studio floral designer. A year later I had booked seven weddings thanks to The Sunset Hill House in Sugar Hill, NH where I also waitressed part time, who referred me to several of their wedding clients which I designed for. By the end of 2003, I had left my job at the school and was the owner of a little shop called FloraLatte – a florist and café in Littleton, NH with husband barista and me cutting flowers and making hand tied bouquets! And since then we have never looked back!
My son Parker was born in 2008 and my husband and I decided to go back to the studio setting that we had began in. We closed the retail store and built a floral design studio at our home which I have been designing in ever since!
How many years have you been in business?
This year makes 10!
What is your design aesthetic?
Natural. I like it when flowers look like they grew there by themselves or by nature’s hand, and I hesitate to put flowers together that do not grow together…
How do you create your style and where do you draw your inspiration?
My style comes from within, I am influenced by everything I see and trust the designs I dream up in my sleep. I am inspired by my surroundings, the New England landscapes, forests, and Victorian homes. I love all things Victorian, vintage, and with vines…
What are the trends, flowers & colors that are unique to your region?
I can’t seem to separate myself from moss, and birch — New England won’t let me forget them. Rustic styles are reflected in the campy settings of many of my weddings. I live in an area of grand hotels where generations ago people from all over the country would vacation. The ballrooms of places like; The Mount Washington Resort and The Balsams, and The Mountain View Grand give me a place to use flowers is dramatic ways. I use a lot of vintage canning jars, but also relish in overflowing tall centerpiece designs… Where I live keeps me creatively versatile!
Are you a retail shop, studio/warehouse or home based?
I am home based thanks to my husband’s carpentry business which built my studio at our home 4 years ago. We share the studio — half of the building is his wood shop, the other half is my floral design studio, and the 2nd floor is our office.
Do you offer any services in addition to floral designs?
I’ve been working closely with the stylists of Garnet Hill (a catalogue company that’s offices and photo studio are nearby), interior decorators, fabric designers, and architects, and often do styling for their photo shoots and finishing projects. This year I have been much more involved with local high schools offering a floral design course to interested students in their flora culture program. I often am invited to present for area garden clubs, schools, and private parties with hands on instruction and floral design creations!
How do you balance the desires a modern bride when purse strings rest on the shoulders of traditional parents?
This is where my background as a counselor (and being a Libra) really comes in handy. I majored in Family Studies, concentrating in Family Relations at UNH. I cannot tell you how often the mediation skills I learned are artfully implemented with my clients during our planning… There is always a way to make everyone happy it just takes good listening skills and artful hands.
What tool in your toolbox can’t you live without?
That’s easy – zip ties, duck tape, a hot glue gun, and clear rubber bands.
What’s your favorite flower?
I have many for every month and season… In April its hellebore, in May ranunculus and sweet peas, in June peonies, July – garden roses, August – clematis, lacy Anabelle hydrangea, September sunflowers… If I really start to think about them I can’t stop… I love all flowers and the history and stories they tell…
Anything else you’d like to share with Flirty Fleurs followers?
I think the world could be saved with flowers. I truly believe that if we all took the time to appreciate and bring flowers into our homes even just one stem every day, we could all find more peace and happiness in our lives and on earth as a whole. I am so enamored and indebted to the world’s farmers and gardeners, and bees… their selfless dedication to the ground and to that that comes of it… I used to say as a kid “in everyday a little rain must fall…it makes the flowers grow…” it makes our hearts grow too. Flowers remind us how short and precious life is with each small blossoms wilt… We are so lucky to be given whatever time we have and should all try to make the most of it every day, not only on special occasions (although that’s an excuse to go BIG!).
Your contact information:
Emily Herzig Alberini
Emily Herzig Floral Studio
P.O. Box 294