For our latest campaign, we thought we should throw a garden party! And our hostess with the mostest is none other than Kelsea Olivia, the founder of East Olivia. The woman-led creative agency is famous for their florals, creating blooming creations that range from bouquets to large-scale installations. We sat down with Kelsea to discuss awesome blossoms, and to learn more about her blooming business.
We love East Olivia! Can you tell our audience how this wonderful women-led agency came to be?
When I moved to NYC in 2012, I came upon the city’s flower market, a place where some of the most talented purveyors of cut flowers in the world are located. Walking through the market and discovering things I had never seen before sparked an excited curiosity within me. A passion for flowers and a desire to share my experiences with them was born.
At my core I believe that beauty is a human right, not just a luxury. Beauty in our lives is vital to our mental/emotional/spiritual well-being. We need only to open our front doors to see evidence of this, as nature is our greatest gift of beauty as living beings on this earth.
East Olivia created a stunning floral design for our September collection. What was the inspiration behind this installation? What sort of flowers were used?
I was immediately inspired by the ModCloth fall collection and its color story, gravitating towards the soft lavenders and the rich amber gold tones from the patterns. I knew I wanted to include those colors in the installation to give it a secret garden vibe. For florals, we used a mix of lavender and gold pampas grass, smilax vine, carmel antique carnations, and golden mustard roses just to name a few.
East Olivia’s creations range from bouquets to large-scale installations! What is the most ambitious project that the team has worked on?
For installations I would say our most ambitious project was Create and Cultivate in San Francisco. On any given C&C conference, we are running and designing multiple installations, but for this particular event we had about 42 installations to do in four days. We had a team of 30 freelancers, most that we flew in from NYC and LA.
As far as our online shop goes, the launch itself was pretty ambitious. We created it as a means to support the company at the start of the pandemic. Unfortunately, it has been extremely difficult during this time for event-based businesses. It was essentially overnight that we went from planning our highest ever volume month as a company to zero business booked for 2020.
As the reality of the shutdown became apparent, we came together as a team and within a week we had all hands on deck to do a complete sweep of our inventory, develop products we were excited about, and prepared individual kits for each of our team members so that they could fulfill orders for you directly from the safety of their homes. From there we then created an entire e-commerce platform, produced a photoshoot, created shipping processes and developed and launched a marketing plan for our new line of business…you know – just a few things!
What is a typical day like at East Olivia?
The beauty about working in the creative industry is that every week is different and everyone wears many hats. It all starts with a concept and finding the perfect bespoke and elevated florals (and lots of iced coffees). For example, this week we worked on an installation in the West Village. It usually takes 2-3 days of prep before an install and we can spend anywhere from 5-8 hours installing and beyond, depending on scope etc.
This week we also fulfilled orders from our online shop, created prototypes for our fall collection and finalized marketing around the new launch. To say we’re excited to launch Fall would be an understatement.
Our customers love a DIY project. What advice would you give our audience on creating their own bouquets at home?
You can’t regrow a stem so be careful where you cut! That’s always my first advice to the flower enthusiast that loves arranging at home. Having fun with it is super important as well and just connecting with yourself as you’re arranging. That’s how our concept of Flower Therapy came about. I think there’s something beautiful in connecting with nature and using it as a form of therapy.