Have you ever met someone very briefly and in seemingly inconsequential circumstances who ended up REALLY making a big positive impact in your life?! That is exactly what happened to me when I met Maribel.
It is my pleasure to introduce Maribel Kalata. Maribel is a DC/VA florist and owner of EightTreeStreet... oh and I should probably mention that she is literally my favorite human in the world! Let me tell you how we met!
It was April 2014 and I was in the full swing of planning Karen Tran's Master Class in Washington DC. I was in need of a few extra helpful hands, so I put out a Facebook message seeking volunteers to help me out behind the scenes. The very first email I get in my inbox was from Maribel. It turns out that she had her heart set on attending another floral workshop a while back but wasn't able to go, and she ended up seeing the FB post at the perfect time! So that is the sequence of events that led Maribel into my life.
We put in some long hours together running around doing everything that goes into a fabulous floral workshop, and I came to realize that she is one of THE most positive people I have ever met! Her smile lights up every room she enters. Even if you only spent a minute with her, you will quickly realize she is just a true-hearted and giving person right down her core.
After Karen Tran's DC master class, I knew right away that I wanted to work with her for future weddings. We were lucky enough to work together again for a wedding in September 2014. She is the kind of vendor that I would want to work with 100% of every wedding from here on out!
So why am I so inspired by Maribel, and what sets her apart from just about every other professional I have ever met? She has made a lasting impact on me because of her positivity, work ethic, and big heart. Maribel never gives up and no matter what he is faced with, she attacks it with a smile and a level of kindness not often found in today's world. Plus, not only is she a beautiful person inside and out... just take a peek at her work! Amazing!
I had the chance to catch up with Maribel and here is how it went:
JoAnna: How did your passion for flowers start?
Maribel: My passion for flowers started early on in life. When I was little, my grandparents had a rose garden and my mother also loved flowers.
In college I had an internship at an arts center... I loved it. I used to go every morning to the flower market and pick flowers for museums in Philadelphia. It was such a high to go to the flower market!
JoAnna: What was your favorite wedding that you did?
Maribel: There was one wedding where the bride was in and out of the hospital, all the way up to the day of the wedding. She was very sick and had gone through so much. I wanted to make sure her bouquet was extra special. I made a brooch bouquet. We developed a bond, and in between her hospital visits, we would sit down and chat for an hour and half. A few months after the wedding I got an email from her with a picture of the brooch bouquet on her desk at work. She keeps it as a reminder how special the day was.
Another very special wedding was for a bride I never met in person. There was a Facebook call from a wedding magazine asking for donations for a bride in Texas who had a rare brain disease that only 4% of the population had. After learning that all of their money was going to medical bills, I felt so emotionally attached that I wanted to donate a silk flower & brooch bouquet.
JoAnna: "What are your favorite flowers or color pallet to work with?
Maribel: My favorite flower is ranunculus! I'll ask every bride I meet with if they want it! Cloni are also SO GORGEOUS! Stock is beautiful too. I dance around when I get an order of stock in! In terms of color pallet, I love pale blush colors and then also really bright orange and yellow colors. So either pale and romantic or bright and cheery!
JoAnna: "How can brides be more prepared for their initial consultation with their florist?"
Maribel: "Have your theme in mind. Look at magazines, Pinterest, and blogs for inspiration. Bring tons of photos! All of our florals are unique and designed to each specific wedding. So have an open heart about working jointly with us to make it personal and beautiful. I love collaborating with our brides.
One trick that is working really well lately is asking our brides for color chips/paint swatches so we can color match and work on the details.
Also, I tell clients to look at their venue to see what the space looks like. You want your flowers to compliment the space. You don't want conflicting color pallets. My goal is to create floral pieces that complement the overall design of the wedding with a unique and couture flair.
JoAnna: You are such a positive person. What is your secret for a happy life/lifestyle?
Maribel: The thing is, my son is special needs and some days are really hard. With autism, they make you pay a lot of money for special education sessions and parents are seldom able to get federal support. It could be easy to feel sad and guilty thinking "why did this happen to me?" But it is when I look out the window and talk to God, that's when I realize how important it is to live a positive life. My son puts life into perspective for me. I have to find something to keep me going. There is something bigger than me that pushes me forward. I see people and treat people with a positive spirit.
JoAnna: What is your ultimate business goal?
Maribel: Oh I have a lot of goals! One of my big goals is to own my own studio. I would love love love to be able to continue to do styled shoots and be published for a magazine & blog publication! I would also LOVE to decorate the White House for Christmas!!
One of my big dreams is to sit down and write a flower book. I would want the book for be geared toward normal people and teach them how to do floral designs!
JoAnna: Who inspires you the most and why?
Maribel: In the wedding industry two people really inspire me, they are Debbi Lilly and Mindy Weiss. I love Debbi Lilly's styles and how she used to be a florist but worked to become an event designer. And.. omg I love Mindy Weiss! Her events are full of color and always different. I'm a big fan of how she brings nature's touch into an event and also how she exhibits the belief that flowers make the event. Flowers are essential and a big focal point of a wedding celebration.
Oh Maribel, how I love you so! So what would it take for me to get you here to South Padre Island to make some floral magic happen? Huh Huh?! I miss being so close to her geographically! Maribel, I vow that I am going to help you make your dreams come to fruition. You have the gusto, the positive outlook on life, and the TALENT to carry you all the way to your goals. Thank you for being the sweetest ray of sunshine I know. I am a better person for having you in my life.