uring the fall of 2002, I had grown tired of city life. I was living in San Francisco and working for a large floral event company adjacent to the San Francisco Flower Market. I missed my hometown of Petaluma, and the beauty of Sonoma County, and wanted to move back. I was only 25 years old at the time, but had about six years of floral experience under my belt, and just enough money saved away to start my own business. I opened up Vanda Floral Design's retail shop in downtown Petaluma in January 2003.
I first began working with flowers in 1996, as a summer job at my parents' flower shop (www.stems-floral.com). After graduating with a business degree from Cornell University in 1998, I moved home, began learning everything about the floral industry, and helped my parents grow the family business for several years. Here I discovered my love for flowers, and my desire to open my own business, to provide unique, high quality, and affordable flowers for the community in which I was raised.
photograph © blondetulip.com
Since opening Vanda in 2003, our business has experienced incredible growth. I opened a large studio location in East Petaluma in September 2007 to handle our increased volume, as well as our ability to provide flowers for larger weddings and events. This space now allows me to store all of our rental items (assorted arbors, candelabras, pillars, etc.) on-site, where brides who meet with me can see them in person. I currently have a full time staff of several wonderful people, and call upon many fantastic freelance designers to come help out during the busiest holidays and wedding weekends.
We get fresh flowers and plants in every day. I hand-pick many of the flowers early in the morning from the San Francisco Flower Market and other local wholesalers. I work with many local growers, who provide unique, organically grown flowers, branches, fruit, and greenery for a lot of our work. Because we're a relatively high-volume shop, I'm also able to purchase flowers directly from the growers in mass quantities, keeping the costs down. We do receive myriad products from around the world; orchids and tropicals from Hawaii and Thailand, roses from Columbia and Equador...even peonies from New Zealand in December!
At this point in my life, I feel very lucky. As an established small business owner, I have become an important part of the community, and I truly enjoy sharing in all the important moments of my customers' lives.
Please feel free to call me or any of my fantastic designers to see how we can help you.
- Bryce Loutsch, owner