Your Name: Jeanette Kleitz
Business Name: True Florette
Location: Rockland County, NY
How did you start your business?
It was definitely planned and premeditated and the best thing I ever did! At 40, I was determined to finally figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote a list of all the things I liked from my past jobs, and through lots of list-studying and soul-searching, floristry revealed itself to me. It seems so obvious to me now that this is what I’m meant to be doing. Sometimes I wish I would have figured it out sooner, but ultimately I know that each experience I’ve had has led me here. I come from a background in banquet management, and also worked in the travel and hospitality industry before I took time off to stay home with my kids. Believe it or not I missed the odd hours, the running around and all the moving parts that make up event work. My love of events combined with my love of flowers seemed like a natural fit for me. I committed myself to learning as much as I could about the principles of design and completed my floral design training at the New York Botanical Garden, along with a few business courses. I did a dual floral design internship at a NYC hotel and at a full service event company. I still try to take every learning opportunity that comes my way by volunteering at industry conferences and attending workshops. I have been freelancing for the last 2 years and couldn’t be happier with my decision to become a floral designer.
How many years have you been in business?
True Florette is a start-up company, just a few months old, but ready to roll! I feel really driven to make it a success. I’m so passionate about floral design and weddings I can’t seem to get enough, and I hope that shines through in my work.
What is your floral design aesthetic?
I’m most attracted to clean, modern designs, like the work of Ovando, for example. On the flip side, I also love the materials, look and feel of the wedding work coming from a lot of California designers.
Being from CA, I think they’re my soul mates! As for me, it seems anything I touch turns bridal (and that’s a good thing). I’ve been told I have a light touch and I love creating things that have an earthy, vegetative element.
What inspires you?
I’m absolutely inspired by the floral arts and love to follow the works of certain international designers. I pour through Fusion Flowers and similar magazines, and am humbled by their talent. It really is something to aspire to. That’s one of the reasons I’ll always continue to take floral design classes. There are so many new techniques to learn. I wonder, “How did they do that?” and I’m determined to figure it out.
I’m also inspired by my mother. I grew up in Southern California so roses were always in abundance in my backyard. My Mom still lives in CA with a garden full of roses but unfortunately she suffered a stroke last year and isn’t able to cut her roses or care for her garden anymore. My love of flowers comes from her. I want to share my success with her and love sending her photos of my creations because I know it brings her joy.
Lastly, for me I think it’s important to step away from the weddings blogs and social media from time to time. Taking a break helps me to re-connect to what’s intrinsically there and helps me create from my heart rather than from something I’ve just seen.
What are the trends, flowers & colors that are unique to your region?
Well, I’m no trend expert, but I can tell you what I’m seeing a lot of right now. Bridal bouquets and centerpieces are loose and asymmetrical, less formal, with a more natural organic look. I’m seeing lots of uncommon foliage, and of course garden roses. I shop the NYC flower market maybe once a month and feel fortunate to be exposed to such a huge variety of floral perfection!
Are you a retail shop, studio/warehouse or home-based?
I’m currently home-based but am busting at the seams. I plan on growing my wedding and event business with the eventual goal being to open a retail storefront. In the meantime my new floral cooler is set to arrive any day and I’m on the hunt for a larger studio space.
Do you offer any services in addition to floral designs?
Besides event florals I also offer local delivery of European Hand-tied Bouquets.
What does your toolbox look like?
I bought a giant toolbox from Home Depot and filled it with boxes of beads and colored wire for a wire workshop I attended with UK designer Sarah Horne. I have to say I rarely use it. Most of my tools (knives, rubber bands, and ribbon scissors) are carried around in a canvas pencil case.
What in your toolbox can’t you live without?
My red floral knife and U-glu dashes.
What’s your favorite flower?
Anything else you’d like to share with Flirty Fleurs?
I feel so blessed to be working in a career I love. I’ve met so many welcoming people in the industry the last few years and am thankful to everyone for sharing their talent and words of wisdom.
PO Box 90
Nyack, NY 10960
Serving Rockland, Westchester and Bergen Counties