Name: April Schwietz Mason
Business Name: Mocha Rose Floral and Event Designs
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
How did you start your business?
I started the business in late 2005 after my own wedding and a bad experience I had with my own florist. I did not have a business or a floral background and honestly never thought the business would grow to something more than a hobby. I based my business on everything that I wanted from a florist on my wedding day and focused on that side of the business. I taught myself floral design by reading textbooks and spending every spare second researching flower types and design styles. Today we operate out of a 3500 square foot design studio and showroom and still focus primarily on weddings with the same business philosophy that I started with in 2005.
What is your design aesthetic?
We design in many different styles depending on our client’s requests. However, one thing is always consistent- we do not use “fillers”. The natural beauty of the blooms are always the focus in the arrangements and I’d rather use negative space to emphasize a bloom rather than a filler to make it look fuller. Whatever we design, it is treated as art and not just a simple flower arrangement.
What inspires you?
Nothing inspires me more than seeing other designers that work in a different style than I do. It makes me want to stretch the limits of my own design. I also follow a lot of interior designers and artists to keep up on the most current trends in design and color.
What are the trends, flowers & colors that are unique to your region?
I don’t necessarily think that there are any trends specific to our region right now. Surprisingly most of our clients do not live in the Pittsburgh area. They grew up here and moved to a larger city like NYC, Chicago or DC and are coming back to their childhood home for their wedding. Because of this, our clients represent the trends of these larger metro areas and they are very up to date on current styles and trends.
Are you a retail shop, studio/warehouse or home based?
We operate out of a 3500 square foot showroom and design studio.
Do you offer any services in addition to floral designs?
We do offer full event design and ala carte services such as linen coordination, lighting and event rentals.
What does your toolbox look like?
“Kitten” (don’t ask) is our main tool box. She is a rolling Stanley toolbox that contains just about everything we could possibly need on site to build large events such as fishing line, Quick Dip, Windex, trash bags, etc. We have smaller versions of the toolbox for when we are setting up multiple events at the same time.
What tool in your toolbox can’t you live without?
It’s not necessarily part of the toolbox, but a lazy susan is my favorite tool to make 360 designs.
What’s your favorite flower?
Whatever I have in my hand at that time! Seriously, I just love flowers.
Anything else you’d like to share with Flirty Fleurs followers?
The success of this business is due to the great designers that have come to work for us. The busier we get, the more time I’m spending in meetings, paperwork, ordering and answering emails. I spend less and less time actually making the designs myself anymore even though that is what I love the most. The staff here is amazingly talented and this business could not run without them!
4805 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15224