Your name: Corinne Sebesta Sisti
Your Business name: Sebesta Design
Your Location: Philadelphia, PA
How did you start your business?
Right after I met my husband, he was accepted to Michigan State University to get his PhD. We were both living in the Philly area at the time so I planned on moving out there with him and I needed to find a job. I had worked for two large event/floral companies while in Philly and as I searched for work in East Lansing, I had the toughest time finding a company that did what I wanted to do, how I wanted to do it. So with the encouragement of my husband and family I started my own company.
How many years have you been in business?
5 ½ years
What is your design aesthetic?
I definitely tend towards the more lush, romantic modern/vintage style where the blossoms provide the texture.
What inspires you?
I draw inspiration from anything unexpected and different. I love going to the wholesaler and seeing something I’ve never used before and then trying to incorporate it. Even going to a fabric store, a paperie, or a home improvement store help me to see something in a completely new and different way. Sometimes I’ll even see it– not thinking anything about it– and then POP! In the middle of the night I wake up with a new idea. I love when that happens!
What are the trends, flowers & colors that are unique to your region?
This is a tough question. I think different floral designers attract different types of clients. While some might gravitate towards more organic arrangements with lots of unusual foliage, others might look for something more contemporary. There is definitely a certain client I see come through my doors. They tend to be romantic and want lots of blossoms. Lately I’ve seen a trend towards romantic vintage arrangements with soft color palettes and a pop of something that contrasts with it. Whether it be a dark color or something like an antique gold or silver. The styles remind me of something out of old Hollywood, but with a new an exciting modern twist.
What trend would you most like to see disappear?
The overly rustic wildflower look. I feel like that’s all I see anymore.
Are you a retail shop, studio/warehouse or home based?
I used to have a studio/warehouse in East Lansing, Michigan, but since moving to the Philadelphia area I’ve decided to keep it home based until my little ones are in school. Since the hours can get out of control during wedding season, doing it this way allows me to have more time with my family.
Do you offer any services in addition to floral designs?
We also provide event design services that includes linens, lighting, rentals, as well as paper details such as invitations, escort cards and menus. We help our clients paint the entire wedding picture from start to finish.
What is the greatest challenge facing the floral industry today?
Supply. I think there are a couple of reasons for this: first I think our customers are becoming more savvy and interested in the latest popular flowers so that hampers availability. An example of this would be café au lait dahlia. Add to that changes in climate, political unrest and farms closing, it’s becoming a lot harder to source individual items, particularly when you want to make it easier on yourself and buy through the same supplier. I find I spend a lot of time trying to track down the blossoms I need. But I should also add I’m a stickler for quality so that adds to the amount of time it takes to get the order together.
What tool in your toolbox can’t you live without?
My clear oasis tape. I prefer to tape my vessels instead of using foam. It helps with transporting the arrangements and there’s less clean up afterwards.
What’s your favorite flower?
Gosh, this is so hard to narrow down. I have a few favorites. I’ll always have a soft spot for dahlias and the ruffled petal of a parrot tulip is pretty hard to resist.
Anything else you’d like to share with Flirty Fleurs followers?
After moving from Philadelphia to Michigan and then back to Philadelphia, there were definitely times I was discouraged and didn’t know if I had it in me to start from the bottom again. But I’m a huge believer that life takes you where you need to be; each time I wanted to walk away, I’d encounter a great opportunity that would keep me moving forward. I guess what I’m trying to say is if you really want to become a floral designer or if you are already a designer, but find you’re having a difficult time making it, don’t give up. Your passion will show and it will carry you through. It may take a little time, but staying positive, fresh and getting your name and work out there will show everyone your talents.
What is your contact information?