Kelsie Hayes

A Botanic Affair

Whether it was in her previous life as a fashion designer or simply around her home, Kelsie Hayes always found a way to bring flowers into the room. This month, we sat down with the Popup Florist founder to discuss sharing knowledge with floristry newcomers, founding a business with an ethos of integrity, and bringing happiness to others by way of flowers.

Whether it was in her previous life as a fashion designer or simply around her home, Kelsie Hayes always found a way to bring flowers into the room. This month, we sat down with the Popup Florist founder to discuss sharing knowledge with floristry newcomers, founding a business with an ethos of integrity, and bringing happiness to others by way of flowers.

Whether it was in her previous life as a fashion designer or simply around her home, Kelsie Hayes always found a way to bring flowers into the room. This month, we sat down with the Popup Florist founder to discuss sharing knowledge with floristry newcomers, founding a business with an ethos of integrity, and bringing happiness to others by way of flowers.

A Botanic Affair

A Botanic Affair

Whether it was in her previous life as a fashion designer or simply around her home, Kelsie Hayes always found a way to bring flowers into the room. This month, we sat down with the Popup Florist founder to discuss sharing knowledge with floristry newcomers, founding a business with an ethos of integrity, and bringing happiness to others by way of flowers.

Whether it was in her previous life as a fashion designer or simply around her home, Kelsie Hayes always found a way to bring flowers into the room. This month, we sat down with the Popup Florist founder to discuss sharing knowledge with floristry newcomers, founding a business with an ethos of integrity, and bringing happiness to others by way of flowers.

Folks walking their dogs and going for their morning runs stopped and curiously peered into our store window, which was beginning to look like a mini enchanted forest. Kelsie and her team had been up since 4am prepping their tools and roughly 5000 stems for the big day ahead—Meatpacking was going to be invaded by flowers for this weekend only.

When we showed up on the scene, Popup Florist’s all-female team was wearing oversized cabana shirts that had been monogrammed only two days before. They were working methodically, diligently, and passionately (and looked so colorful too). Always a good indicator of a thoughtfully-run business.

Kelsie has been at the flower game for 5 years, but has plans to be around for another 50, much like Diane, albeit in a more botanical sense. She got her start in fashion design, working for a California-based brand.

“It was the most amazing job, it was the most inspiring job, I got it out of college and worked there for 6 years and when we ended up closing the brand, I was like ‘What next?’”

At her previous job, Kelsie did a little bit of everything but approached her visual work from a hospitality point of view which always included bringing in flowers.

 “What brings people in, what makes them stay, what makes them talk about you. My go-to was always flowers. People love flowers, people connect to flowers. When I got to thinking about my next step, I came up with this concept of ‘Popup Florist’. I thought about how cool it would be to take my skill set of being able to speak the language of designers and knowing what they’re talking about inspiration-wise and then communicate that through flowers.

"DVF is all about color and interesting palettes which is very much my vibe. I love different color combinations that you wouldn’t necessarily think go together, but go together. For DVF, I got that down, I think. If I go to a more minimal brand, it’s a challenge because I'm not such a minimal florist—but I like having to think outside the box.”

Floristry is often a bit intimidating to newcomers, there’s a lot of tradition and sometimes established florists aren’t so warm to the idea of unconventional creators. But Kelsie doesn’t have plans to continue any tradition of gatekeeping, “I want to bring flowers to people who need it. I think our stuff is very attainable, and I like to teach people to do flowers, I don't need to keep the secrets all to myself. People reach out to me all the time about training and I think after I establish an internal team, I’d really like to start with high schoolers that are interested in the craft."

Much like DVF, Popup Florist is operated on a mission of honesty, or as Kelsie put it:

“Integrity, integrity, integrity. Not everything is going to be perfect and not everything goes smoothly but always being kind and always having integrity is the most important.”

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To check out Kelsie’s latest projects, follow @popupflorist on Instagram.