Your name: Susan A. Kass
Company Name: A Fantasy in Flowers
Years in Business: 8 years
How did you get started? I have my degree from Tufts University. I started my career in the hospitality industry working for several Hyatt Hotels in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe. My hotel background has really helped when working with meeting planners and Brides. I also managed a showroom in the Miami Merchandise Mart for a Women’s clothing line. This gave me great experience on the wholesale and buying end of the business. Buying the flower shop in 2003 seemed like a natural transition, but I had no idea how much I still had to learn about owning my own business. We are still a work in progress.
Best advice you can give to a bride? Trust your vendors. Once you have made the decision of who to use let them guide you. Our floral designers are artists and they need to have the space to be creative. Give us your vision, but try not to micromanage, You will be thrilled with the outcome.
What has been your strangest request? We have made all kinds of things out of flowers—a turkey, a giraffe, a cigarette, a tennis court, a snowman and even a spaceship. We’ve also been asked for an all black flower arrangement and one with no heads on flowers arrangement, just the stalks
Do you work with an assistant? I have 2 amazing floral artists; Amy Dwarika and Lealia Joyner. They are truly the talent behind my business. They are the ones that make “fantasy a reality.”
What would you say is your style? My personal style is really a bit edgy. I like modern mixed with a bit of romance. I definitely like things to be outside the box.
Who is the person you most admire? My Father. He was handsome, successful and loved his family dearly. He also had a very corny sense of humor which several of us have inherited!
Who is the person that inspired you? I am inspired by several amazing women throughout history; Jackie Kennedy-Onasis, Julia Childs, Coco Chanel and Evita Perron. All of these women had incredible style and were able to build business empires on their own at a time when women were supposed to be in the background.
What is your proudest moment in your business? My proudest moment is right now! In this terrible economy for small businesses we are still here! I employ 3 amazing people full time and have many weddings on the books for 2011. Things are moving in a great direction.