I've had the pleasure of meeting some really wonderful friends in the wedding world and I'm fortunate to count Kimberly at The Dainty Lion as one of them. I knew it was friendship-at-first-sight when we met at a networking mixer and the first thing she said to me was "I'm really awkward at these things" followed by her little signature quirky laugh. She's my favorite kind of people.
Kimberly recently launched her newest endeavor, her super awesome and customizable mobile flower cart, the perfect pop-up feature for weddings, events, business functions, etc. Disappointed about all the flowers she had to give away or dump after a wedding, Kimberly decided to create a floral cart so she could repurpose arrangements + leftovers into flower crowns, mini bouquets, you-name-it, for wedding guests. Pure genius if you ask me. I would be absurdly delighted as a wedding guest if I received a handmade flower crown at a wedding.
Naturally, I had to choose The Dainty Lion as the first person you should know in this new series, Folks To Know, where I get to introduce you to some really amazing creative people doing really neat stuff. Whether you're planning a wedding, own your own business, or are just trying live a pretty lil' life, I hope you find some good stuff here.
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF:
About Kimberly? Hmm let’s see. Well I recently decided my name should be Phoenix or something with a bit more edge than Kimberly…which probably says something about me. I used to think that being a girl was a bad thing, but the wedding industry has completely changed my mind. I now embrace all things pretty while still maintaining my infatuation with quirkiness. My soul is one part gypsy, three parts hot sauce and another part awkward-weird kid. I am a self-described “creative”, which despite sounding completely pretentious, is just a fancy way for me to say my mind is never dormant. The last two years have been life changing for me. *Insert weird dance moves here when I get personal* I finally reached that moment where I let go of insecurities and decided to embrace all things Phoenix, oops, I mean Kimberly. I don’t have a favorite color. It's beer, wine or bourbon for me. My travel bucket list is vast. Oh, and my husband, puppy and the rest of the fam (both blood related and my chosen family) are the absolute most important to me.
DESCRIBE THE DAINTY LION IN ALL ITS GLORY:
It was really important for me to create a company that specialized in catering to folks who desire a more creative approach to their florals. As someone who is surrounded by constant beauty and alluring textures, I feel it is my obligation to show people how flowers don’t have to be so ordinary. It's important for me to “get” my clients and have their complete trust. The Dainty Lion works really hard to make certain our florals are distinct to each of our clients while hopefully making the process fun and carefree along the way.
WHERE DID YOUR ADORATION FOR FLORALS ORIGINATE AND HOW DID YOU KNOW YOU WANTED TO HAVE A CAREER IN IT?:
Even as a child I was always drawn to flowers. I was constantly scouring the neighborhood for the best blooms and on occasion, took the liberty of helping the neighbors trim their gardens. After college, I thought wedding planning was my path in life, but oddly enough, my first gig was doing flowers (life has a funny way of directing you in the right path). So there I found myself, living in LA with hopes of starting a wedding planning business (and unhappy about living in LA--sorry! I'm a San Diego girl through and through), standing at the entrance of the flower market when I had this feeling overcome me. I know this sounds super dramatic, but you know what? It kind of was. For an awkward/weird gal like myself (see above) this was big. I felt like this was my place. The hustle, unpredictability, and ever-changing nature of being a florist is something I cannot live without.
DESCRIBE A TYPICAL WORK DAY:
My work day always begins with cuddles from my dog Jagger. After about 10 minutes or so of that, we are off to the dog park--gotta take care of the babe first. And it doesn’t hurt to have time with humans as well. Other than drinking 3 or so cups of coffee, that is about as “routine” as my day gets. Emails, flower market rendezvous, client meetings, floral research, and my most favorite of all, studio time, make up most of my days. Event floral pick-up and processing days are the long ones, but are oddly therapeutic for me. On design days, we begin early and finish late, followed by an even earlier morning putting the finishing touches on everything. Loading flowers is my least favorite part. Just try it sometime and you will dislike it with great intensity too. Set up and install is normally when the adrenaline kicks in. Followed by a lot of cleaning. Glamorous? Eh, not so much, but it sure is beautiful and makes my heart happy. Burritos always happen afterwards as well.
WHAT ONE PIECE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE EVERY ENGAGED COUPLE?:
Don’t confine yourself. If you always thought you would have a more neutral wedding, but find yourself drawn to more bold colors, go for it!
YOU JUST GOT MARRIED LAST YEAR! WHAT WAS YOUR WEDDING DAY LIKE?:
My wedding day was pretty surreal. I remember walking down the aisle and trying not to say "hello" to everyone. I also made a few jokes during the ceremony (mostly in my head or under my breath) because it was a little bit strange for me to open up about my love and inner-most feelings in public. I don't do well in serious situations so our wedding wasn't stuffy by any means. But still, it was a big moment and I was trying not to be too much of a dork during it. It truly was everything I ever wanted and more.
EVEN MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE WEDDING DAY ITSELF, HOW'S MARRIAGE?:
Marriage is wonderful! Marriage is also challenging. But most of all wonderful.
WHERE DO YOU SOURCE YOUR INSPIRATION AND CREATIVITY?:
I wander around a lot without intention. I'm a big-time market walker. I am constantly at the flower market seeing and touching all the inventory. I just like to be there and let the flowers and greenery direct my mind to new places. Thrift stores, local shops, and interiors are big inspiration for me as well.
DESERT ISLAND TIME. WHAT 3 THINGS WOULD YOU BRING?:
This is a difficult question! I am going to assume my husband Zack and pup Jagger are with me. So that means I'd bring:
- A magical fridge that has an endless supply of burritos.
- My floral shears, good for multiple uses including making bouquets because you know I'm going to forage like a mad woman.
- A giant hammock.
FAVORITE FLOWER OF ALL TIME:
Sorry Icelandic Poppies, but Blushing Bride Protea is my flower spirit.
N’SYNC or BACKSTREEET BOYS?:
Yes and yes. Although to be completely honest, my childhood obsession was Jewel. Salt 'n Peppa, Sublime, and Nirvana were also in the mix due to my two older sisters' influence.
YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE OR PIECE OF ADVICE:
The good in the world outweighs the bad.