Meet Erika; part of the duo, one of the owners and lead designer at Bloom & Blueprint. Erika is a New York native, and after a few cross country moves, now calls Arizona home. Erika graduated from Hofstra University in 2011 studying political science and community health. She then began her career in non-profit management, running the programs department for a national non-profit office here in Phoenix. Through that work Erika has planned dozens of programs and events annually and assists in implementing eight annual large scale fundraising events each year. She was Kate’s maid of honor and day of coordinator in December 2014 and quickly realized her love of wedding planning and coordination.
Erika uses her type-A love of planning and logistics (read excel spreadsheets galore) to make the couples most special day as seamless and stress free as possible, handling all of the details from the first planning meeting all the way through “I do”! Erika lives in Arcadia with her fiance Trumaine and their adorable dog Isabelle. She loves dance, the beach, vintage furniture, cooking and the Arizona Cardinals.
- What pushed you to start your own business?
I come from a line of business owners so it was something I had thought about doing but it seemed so far off. I would maybe explore the opportunity when I “grew up”, because let’s face it at 26 adulting is still not easy. My dad owned a business for many years, as did my great grandparents, and my grandparents are business owners, so I saw the opportunities to be autonomous and to really control your product. But the really honest answer is Kate. We have been best friends since 7th grade so when she asked to meet at a Starbucks in the middle of the afternoon to “talk” and didn’t want to text about it I knew this was something big. It was over a peach tea and a parfait that I signed in blood to do this thing with my bestie. I am so thankful for her having the faith to make the jump into a career she was destined for and for trusting me to jump with her.
- What would you say is your design style?
I have a true appreciation for the past and because of that think my design style is more vintage but with a funky and/or modern twist.
- Describe your favorite moment as business owners and something that was a ‘step in the right direction’?
When someone understands the very literal intention and structure of our company during our initial consultation it makes my heart flutter. B&B is designed to be a comprehensive approach to your wedding day; for both sides of weddings to work in collaboration under the same roof. Design and decor are so important to bring a couple through in every detail of their day, but those things can’t happen seamlessly without structure and logistics.
- What recommendations would you give someone who wants to make the most out of their budget?
Prioritize things that are going to limit stress for you and elevate the guest experience for your family and friends! Details and personal touches, which are many times very inexpensive, are what make a day unique to you as a couple; while expensive food and alcohol or huge centerpieces are important for some, they aren’t what your guests are going to walk away remembering.
- Do you offer specific packages or is everything specialized based on what your client needs?
B&B offers planning packages in an effort to be seamless and transparent and we then customize and specialize on the clients details and unique elements. We are the ultimate “yes-men” and will do what we can to make any dream a reality.
- What does being creative mean to you?
Being creative means thinking outside the box and using my talents in nontraditional ways. When most people think about the word creative they think about people who make things, but I would argue wedding planning (like the logistics aspect) requires a really creative brain.
- If you could work anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
I am an East Coast girl. I would love to be able to work on the coast every once in a while. I think planning and designing with something that brings you so much peace personally would be incredible.
- Who or what inspires you?
My parents are a constant source of inspiration for me. They are high school sweethearts who have faced more adversity than a couple should, especially around health issues. My dad is a leukemia survivor and my mom was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when I was a freshman in college. Each of them has fought personal battles with the other as a partner and a constant supporter. I aspire for a love and a partnership like that; it’s not perfect, but it is super real.
- Do you provide other decor elements with your floral design?
Even though our awesome Instagram may tell you differently, floral design is actually a small part of how we design as a whole. Kate and I sit with a client and talk through their ideas, the vibe they want for their event, and all the typical design questions. The process after that is truly “where the magic happens”. It is also super cool for me to see the mood board and design blueprint Kate provides our clients after that meeting. She has this incredible talent for taking their visions and elevating and customizing them in a way that didn’t even seem possible.
- What advice would you give to someone who may want to start a career in the same field?
Be ready for this to be your life! But most importantly be genuine! I think we have this idea in our heads of what certain fields are like and how those involved in those fields should behave. Kate always jokes that we will never be JLO with her power suit, her headset and her rigid approach to event planning in the Wedding Planner (but I die over her slicked back side part with awesome long waves). That is not who we are and that is totally okay! You attract what you put out, so put out kindness and authenticity.