Popup Florist is Kelsie Hayes’ brainchild. After graduating from college, she became a fashion designer, a career that she’d always dreamed of having. What she didn’t foresee was her career leading to an entirely new opportunity and her true calling: being a florist. Popup Florist is now a one-of-a-kind boutique floral shop that provides affordable and beautiful plants and floral designs. From Barney’s to Instagram, Popup Florist has moved from strength-to-strength.
Melissa: Your background is in fashion design. How did you get into floristry?
Kelsie: I’ve always kept fresh flowers in my apartment. I look at it as a point of beauty among the chaos- because let’s face it, New York apartments are tiny and my closet is big. I was luckily able to turn my hobby into a career by using what I learned in fashion design school/my experience within the industry and applying it to an industry that I feel needed a different point of view!
Melissa: Do fashion trends influence your bouquets? What trends/colors are you super into right now?
Kelsie: Yes, 100%! By habit, I still look at runway shows and keep up with what is happening. I love looking at the trends- specifically color palettes. Right now, I am super into bold yellow with hints of purple. I love keeping the shop with colorful flowers!
Melissa: A lot of your clients are big fashion houses. What is your favorite installation/event you have done for a fashion client?
Kelsie: It’s a tie. I filled a traditional shopping cart with florals for Shop Spring that we parked on 5th avenue. It was such a cool project and one that I am super proud of. The second is for Barney’s window reveal. We did a 70-foot rainbow with florals at their Madison Avenue store. Barney’s is truly a dream client as they always encourage creativity!
Melissa: How would you describe Popup Florist’s aesthetic? How do you decide how the bouquets should be presented and delivered?
Kelsie: Our aesthetic is elevated in the florals we use, but approachable in the way we arrange them. They have a whimsical look and are perfectly imperfect. Our packaging is all black and white which we also hand stamp. I love using stamps because I feel like it gives the arrangement that personal touch. I steer clear of fancy packaging and like to let the arrangements speak for themselves!
Melissa: What is your favorite arrangement?
Kelsie: My personal favorite arrangement is our PYT (pretty young thing, duh!). It’s a white ceramic vase with bright interesting florals. I personally prefer small floral arrangements over larger ones. I think they are more personal and can be kept in a spot that you frequent every day – a vanity or desk-sized!
I love dahlias- they are locally grown and always look different!
Melissa: You recently opened up a permanent store! Congratulations! How long has this been in the works? How was the opening party?
Kelsie: The permanent store literally happened within a matter of 6 weeks. I decided I wanted my own storefront, found the space, and signed a lease. I started doing renovations 3 weeks later. It’s really come together and is something I’m super proud of. It’s also an amazing space to work out of!
The opening party was awesome. I did an all-day opening event where new neighbors, clients, and friends stopped by. The day ended with my close friends and boyfriend coming by and tequila shots were had. We ended up hanging out at the store for a few hours- it happens to be one of those spaces that is cozy and inviting which is exactly what I wanted!!
Melissa: Since you are working with flowers, dirt, and your hands, does your personal style differ from your work style?
Kelsie: During the day I try to wear jeans and tees and I’ll layer it with a cool jacket or sweater. I bring in my personal style with statement shoes or accessories. Being a florist means you are on your feet and running around a lot so comfort is key!!
Melissa: What accessories are you never without?
Kelsie: I wear something of my grandmother’s every day whether it be a necklace or a ring. My boyfriend designed diamond baguette earrings for me for Christmas with my best friend who has a jewelry line called Tarin Thomas. I love and cherish them so much and wear them every day!
Melissa: Favorite flower?
Kelsie: I love dahlias- they are locally grown and always look different!
Melissa: What makes you different from other florists and keeps those big fashion powerhouses coming back for more?
Kelsie: Aside from our quality and unique point of view- I think our service brings people back. We genuinely get excited about the events we do and I think that shows in the way we communicate with our clients!