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Meet Heather Dahl of Breezy Day Florals in Clairemont

Today we’d like to introduce you to Heather Dahl.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I graduated from the University of San Diego with a degree in Communications and wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do with my life. I ended up pursuing a management career in the restaurant industry, something that challenged me for many years but eventually took a toll on my life balance. I had an eagerness to work for myself and do something that was personally rewarding. In 2013, my sister started Breezy Day Weddings, a company specializing in Day of Coordination for weddings and events. With my management background, I jumped in and lent a hand wherever I could as she navigated through the competitive wedding industry. In preparations for our first Bridal Bazaar, she asked me to buy some flowers and put them in mason jars to decorate her booth. I didn’t even know where you could buy bulk flowers from and had to ask people on social media where I should go. With some suggestions from friends and a little help with arranging from my grandmother, I happily threw together some cute little arrangements. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of arranging flowers and found it therapeutic. At the Bridal Bazaar, we were overwhelmed with brides approaching our booth, asking us if we were florists (keep in mind this was during the height of the mason jar and burlap trend). As we told our brides that we specialized in coordination and not flowers, a thought entered my brain. I was unhappy at my job, I wanted to be a full-time Breezy Day contributor… what if I went to flower school to learn all about the in’s and outs of the flower industry? What if I was good at it? What if I could eventually be a real life floral designer? Within two weeks I was signed up for a 6-week program where I would learn all of the basics of floristry. After the first class, I was ordering business cards and doing the paperwork to create my own company… a sister company of Breezy Day Weddings.

I was obsessed and devoted all of my spare time to learning everything I could about the flower world. I would spend hours wandering the flower supply stores, watching YouTube instructional videos, scrolling through Instagram for inspiration. I was horrible in the beginning but I knew I had something and I knew that I just needed practice and an opportunity. The first wedding I did was for my cousin… it went great. Then my sister was able to suggest me to her couples who were still looking for a florist, since I was new, I was an affordable solution. Every wedding was a challenge. I did 8 weddings in that first year. The next year I finally quit my stressful management job and took a steady 9-5 office job that offered major flexibility around my flower schedule and I doubled the number of weddings I did that year. By my third year in business I started to notice a difference, I learned what my style was. In the beginning I was just copying photos that brides had shown me; I would do anything and everything as long as I was working. By third year, I was concentrating more on what I loved and that’s when I finally started feeling successful. I started really believing in my work and was convinced that this was something I was meant to do. I just wrapped up 2017 in which I did over 40 weddings and events. I’m working out of my home studio with two floral coolers and a shed of supplies out in the backyard and I love every second of it. My weekdays are spent working on quotes, making timelines and schedules, creating shopping lists and flower orders. It takes an incredible amount of organization to make it all happen. It takes an incredible support system to make it all happen. My dad is the person who picks up my flower orders at the wholesaler for me. My group of close friends come and help me set up the big weddings. My mom will scrub candle wax out of votives for hours on end. Together, my sister and I present a united Breezy Day Weddings in which we now not only provide coordination but florals as well.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The road to where I am now has been a mixed bag. I look back on my work from when I first started and I cringe. I learned that I am my own worst critic and where I see holes and gaps, most people see a beautiful floral arrangement. There have been times when I have been crippled by social media. I constantly have to remind myself not to compare myself to other floral designers with thousands of followers; that their follower count does not directly reflect their success. At Breezy Day, we have made a conscious effort to stay true to ourselves, project the reality of the wedding industry and kick any egos to the curb. We want to be normal, approachable people who really do want each of our couples to have the best day of their life. I have struggled with giving too much of myself to couples, I am still in the process of learning what my time and design skills are worth. I have been known to forgo any profit just to make sure I turn out a beautiful wedding and I have learned that not only is this not fair to me but it’s also not fair to my fellow floral designers. I think it’s difficult for most creatives to put a price on what their time and skills are worth. I’m definitely now at the point where I want to concentrate on quality over content, it’s no longer a game to see how many weddings I can book in a year and run myself into the ground doing it.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I am a wedding and event floral designer. I do not own a shop, I work out of my own private home studio. I partner with my sister, Courtney Dahl Carcioppolo who is the founder of Breezy Day and owner of Breezy Day Weddings which specializes in Day of Coordination for weddings and events. I think we are best known for being friendly, approachable and being really hard workers. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and really believe in treating all people with respect. I would say that I specialize in garden-style arrangements with a variety of foliages and luxe, beautiful blooms. Everything that I do as a floral designer is done with the utmost care and respect to what the couple wishes for their wedding.

What were you like growing up?
Growing up I was a mixture of extreme shy in public and then a bossy pants at home and around people I knew. My mom would describe me as extremely bossy and stubborn. I learned leadership skills through Girl Scouting and the only creative side I demonstrated was through creative writing which led to an interest in journalism. I majored in Mass Media Communications and found that my bossy nature usually trumps my shyness which led to a good run as a restaurant manager for several years. Management was something that came natural to me but wasn’t something that I enjoyed. I hated the confrontation aspect of management, I just assumed that because I did a good job, people would follow my lead. It didn’t always turn out like that and when I would have to take corrective action on an employee, I would be riddled with anxiety. I knew that if I could find a career that let me work for myself and be my own boss, I would dominate. I find it extremely interesting that I tapped into such a creative industry and found extreme peace and happiness there.
 

Pricing:

  • Full Service Wedding Flower Minimums start at $1800 but we want to talk to everybody, don’t feel intimidated to contact us if you have a smaller budget, we’re here to help you have your dream wedding!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
True Photography, Katherine Beth Photography, Evelyn Molina Photo, Julie Ferneau, Brooke Aliceon Photography, Brooke Ziegler Photography, Brogen Jessup, Jerome Tso Photography

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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