“Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else”. It’s hard to not fall into the same pattern that every other floral company is replicating. I remember at the very beginning of this companies creation- going around and seeing what everyone else was doing, what was selling vs what wasn’t. Its hard to look at something thats flying off the shelves and not want to do the same thing for yourself. At my pop up; I came up with the idea of incorporating a “DIY Floral bar” instead of pre-made bouquets & arrangements. I knew this was going to be a different & unfamiliar concept to most. I had a fear that not everyone would understand it or wouldn’t know what to do thus turning them away. Believe me, the amount of people at first who walked up and said “I don’t get it” made me nervous. But now, months later, its the most popular thing that sells at my pop up!
I had the pleasure of interviewing Kayla Gould, Owner and head floral designer at Buds.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
I’ve wanted to be a florist since I can remember. In my 5th grade yearbook under “Future Plans” I wrote “to become a florist” and well, here I am! I started working in floral design when I was 15 at a small company in my home town of Hingham, MA. I absolutely fell in love with it. One of the women I used to work with brought me to assist her at a wedding and that was it for me. I knew this is what I was meant to do. I started Buds in October of 2017 out of my parents house. I began getting my name out there by making these pumpkins with fresh flower arrangements on top- people LOVED them. I went on to making single specialty orders, small events & filling flower boxes to being on preferred vendor lists for event halls, booking weddings & opening my first pop up shop in just 7 months. So you can say it’s been an absolutely crazy yet amazing experience for me thus far.
Why did you found your company?
It’s my passion, I can’t picture myself doing anything else. I wanted to start a floral company that would break the mold from every other cookie- cutter arrangement and bouquet that you see. I wanted to take my passion for flowers and drive for THE perfect customer service experience I look for in other companies- and combine them.
What is it about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?
At 22 years old, I created this floral boutique in hopes of injecting new life into the floral industry. Historically, the commercial floral industry in the Greater Boston area has been dominated by a small number of large companies. A lack of marketing presence by the smaller market participants has created a customer base that believes these large companies are the only places they can go to order a floral arrangement or book an event. As a result, everyone has grown used to seeing and receiving the same stale and overpriced “cookie — cutter” arrangements year after year. Flowers; whether as a gift or for an event should be, or at least appear, unique to each and every customer. That’s what Buds is all about — Providing arrangements that feel less like receiving a hallmark card pulled arbitrarily off a shelf, and more like a handwritten note on personalized stationary. As Buds grows, my goal is to guide consumers through a new and more rewarding experience in floral purchasing.
We all need a little help along the journey — who have been some of your mentors?
My parents have helped me so much throughout this entire journey. I couldn’t of done it without them. Being so young and trying to start your own business is very challenging on many fronts, they’ve lead me every step of the way. They’re both entrepreneurs themselves so they’ve had endless amounts of advice to give me.
How are you going to shake things up next?
I want to focus on bringing the interactive side of my business to the wedding and event industry. Part of Buds is DIY classes such as succulent terrariums, bouquets, centerpieces, herb gardens- you name it. I enjoy watching others use their own creativity to produce something they love, so i think bringing this twist to your most memorible ocasions would really “shake things up”. I won’t disclose exactly how just yet- but stay tuned!
Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.
1.“Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else”
It’s hard to not fall into the same pattern that every other floral company is replicating. I remember at the very beginning of this companies creation- going around and seeing what everyone else was doing, what was selling vs what wasn’t. Its hard to look at something thats flying off the shelves and not want to do the same thing for yourself. At my pop up; I came up with the idea of incorporating a “DIY Floral bar” instead of pre-made bouquets & arrangements. I knew this was going to be a different & unfamiliar concept to most. I had a fear that not everyone would understand it or wouldn’t know what to do thus turning them away. Believe me, the amount of people at first who walked up and said “I don’t get it” made me nervous. But now, months later, its the most popular thing that sells at my pop up!
2. “If you’re too comfortable, its time to move on. Terrified of whats next? You’re on the right track.”
This has always kept me motivated to keep coming up with new and interesting ideas. I want Buds to ALWAYS have something new and interesting to look at, buy & do. It’s easy to get in the flow of repetition, stay within limits of what you view as manageable. Until i started coming up with designs & things that were completely different than anyone else is when things truly began to take off for me.
3. “If you want to be successful in this world, you have to follow your passion, not a paycheck”
I’m a firm believer in “if you love what you do you’ll never have to work a day in your life”. This is absolutely not to say that sometimes I get extremely overwhelmed, doubtful & sometimes straight up angry when i’m trying to accomplish the larger side of the work I do (weddings, events, etc). It wasn’t until my boyfriend and I were discussing jobs and theoretically “if someone were to pay you for every floral event or piece you’ve designed without having to do the work would you still want to work as hard as you do” and I said without a doubt “I would do what i’m doing now, every single day even if it meant i didn’t make a dollar” and that’s truly how I feel! It’s an incredible feeling to be able to do something you absolutely love and also make a living from doing so. So unbelievably rewarding.
What’s a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Share a story with us.
I took a business management class in college and my professor played us “What If money was no object” spoken by Alan Watts. In the speech Alan asks “what would you do if money were no object, how would really enjoy spending your time” and how our education system has lead those in the artist and creative community to believe what they have a passion for won’t bring them money- therefore they end up not pursuing their passions. One quote from his speech that has driven me to continue to bring this dream of mine to life was “Do what you want and forget the money, because if you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time. You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living that is doing things you don’t like doing, which is stupid.” It always made me laugh, because it’s so true.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂
Kristin Banta is one of the US top women florists & event planners. She’s done endless amounts of celebrity weddings amongst thousands of different events. I would love to sit down and talk to her about her successes and get advice on how to continue this concept and passion of mine and turn it into a large success!
How can our readers follow you on social media?
“Buds” on facebook
@budsbykrg on instagram
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!