Today we’d like to introduce you to Maddie Bockstahler.
Hi Maddie, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers.
I think I am still amazed that I am a floral designer. I started working as an event planner in 2016 and after a guest florist came in to teach us the basics of floral arrangements, I decided to start selling flowers to my clients as an “upsell” technique. Doing floral arrangements was a stress reliever from being a full-time online college student and a full-time employee.
I never imagined that I would have the opportunity to do this as a career. In 2020 I started working for a flower wholesaler in Greenville and had the amazing opportunity of driving around a huge truck for 6 months, selling flowers. I got to meet others in the industry, ask them questions, and learn all of the flower names. This job opened my eyes to the world of flowers and truly was the starting point of my career.
Since starting Bee Designs we have gone from 7 weddings in a year to doing 50 weddings this year. I have had the privilege of working with some of the sweetest couples and most beautiful love stories that have completely changed my life forever. I am so excited for the future and to see this business grow.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I don’t think anyone has a completely smooth path in life when you really want something – everyone has challenges even if they are silent ones. The most challenging part of my career has been balancing creativity and time.
Headspace is key when it comes down to those 48 hours before a wedding begins. It’s like checklists balanced with creativity. You look back on the last year of planning, and months of communication, and you have to bring all of that together in 48 hours. You have to hone in on your client, and the details, and just start designing.
Along with balancing being creative with limited time, I also struggle with work and life balance. Being a business owner you are “On” all of the time, and if you let yourself, you can find something to do 24/7. I don’t always find it easy to lean on people because I want to be able to do it all.
Over the last year, I have found that I do better when I invest my time into full-service weddings and small elopements instead of taking every inquiry I get. It ensures that all of my clients are getting my full and undivided attention and I am able to be in the right headspace when it comes time to start design work.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
When I was first thinking about floral design as a career, I always thought of bees. It’s because of their hard work (and other pollinators) that we have flowers. Having the privilege to facilitate a design from something natural is special to me.
Not to mention, I used to be a nanny for a very special family and they would always call me ‘Maddie B’, and Bee Designs just felt right. When talking to new clients I ask them to describe their wedding in 2 words. I really only need 2 words to understand how I can bring out their essence in my floral design. It’s all about bringing out my clients’ personalities.
We specialize in Wedding floral design work. This means that we provide all of the flowers for your wedding day. We are there from the first day of planning to the actual wedding day. Not only will we be planning with you for months, we will also be the ones ordering, picking up, and setting up the flowers for the big day.
When talking about your wedding vision we take into account the color palette, time of year, location, venue, table set up, bridesmaid dress color, groom’s suit color, etc. A lot goes into the planning process and we want to ensure that you are not only getting the flowers of your dreams but that everything looks natural, cohesive, and perfect.
Our favorite things to incorporate into our designs are floral statement pieces, large installments, & unique blooms. We are here to bring spaces to life and capture the unique essence of our couples & we LOVE being a part of each wedding we book and treat each of them like they were our own.
Do you have any advice for those just starting out?
If you’re just starting out: Take steps in the right direction and one day you will look up and realize you just turned a dream into your reality. Talk to everyone about what you want to do/ what you’re doing, learn from others in the industry, ask questions (even if they feel like common sense), and believe that you are 100% capable (because you are). Lean on close friends and find at least one person to who you feel comfortable telling anything.
One of my closest friends has become my second backbone. She also runs her own business and we have been able to lean on each other and grow exponentially because we are able to talk about ideas, complications, struggles, and everything in between instead of keeping it all inside. It’s important to have a least one person with that you can be honest and just talk without fear of being judged.
I wish someone had told/reassured me: Failure is part of the process but how you get back up will set you apart. You are human. Mistakes don’t last forever unless you refuse to listen and adjust. Be raw and honest with yourself. Ask yourself the hard questions because those questions will shape your business and help you grow in the right direction. But above all else, believe in yourself and keep moving forward.
- Website: www.beedesigns.net/
- Instagram: @bee__designs
- Facebook: @FloralsbyBeeDesigns
- Other: www.pinterest.com/beedesignsllc
Rainsford Photography (Ryland & JP Rainsford), Kurth & Sarah Nelson, The Oshiros Photography (Rio & Ally Oshiro), Hannah Elise Photography, Kaitlyn Kitchens Photography, and Kayla Susie Photography