When I got engaged in January of 2019, I knew there would be so many fun DIYs in store for my wedding. My then fiancé and I planned for a July 2020 wedding and got to work! We had everything planned and were so excited for our big day and to spend the rest of our lives together. Fast forward to March of 2020, the global pandemic hit hard and we still thought our wedding would be safe given it was MONTHS away. We weren't worried one bit.
A few months went by and it started to set in that our wedding would not go on as planned. Why us? We thought. We've been together for 10 years... of course this would happen the year we decide to get married! The unknown is what hurt the most. We had no idea what would happen and all we could do was wait. The moment we made the decision to pull our wedding from our gorgeous 200+ person wedding venue was the moment it felt like a weight was lifted from our chest. And also the moment I shed many many tears.
I've been a hopeless romantic my entire life and have been dreaming of my wedding since I've been a kid. It SUCKED so bad knowing we had to cancel but at the end of the day, we knew we would still get married regardless and that's all that mattered.
My husband and I had an amazing 50 person wedding and backyard reception and honestly- I am glad we had to change our plans. It really put into perspective how little material things matter. We had our immediate family and bridal party there, food, drinks, and music and we were good to go. It torrentially down-poured all day too which honestly made it SO fun and so memorable. We took photos in the rain and I will never forget those moments.
ANYWAY! This is what led me to press my flowers. I had a tiny flower press that I got from the thrift store for a few bucks and knew I wanted to put it to the test! I did all my own florals and knew I wanted to keep them somehow. I got to work a few days after my wedding pressing as many flowers as I could in the small press. After a few weeks when they were dry I put them in a frame and posted a photo on my instagram account.
My instagram account is @VintageChameleon, which is also the account for my full time job as a clothing designer. I always post snippets from my personal life there as well. The second I posted the photo of my pressed flower frame my phone would not stop buzzing. I became aware that there were very limited resources in Buffalo, NY that offer this service. I was bombarded with messages from people asking if I could press their wedding flowers as well!
Never did I expect such a buzz from my flower frame but it really had me thinking. 2020 was a weird year for my clothing business since all of my in-person events and festivals were cancelled. These events count for more than half of my income. Although I was able to get creative and offer delivery and sales to make up for a SMALL portion of my missed income, the year wasn't even close to what I had hoped for.
The opportunity to press flowers presented itself at a time I needed it most. I made some flower presses from plywood and bolts and got to work. I already knew what I would name the business, I have had "Francis Foliage" in my head for YEARS and knew one day it'd be a logo somewhere. My middle name is Francis (yes spelled the masculine way) after my grandpa. My dads middle name is also Francis so the name has significant meaning to me.
Francis Foliage is the blessing that came at the exact perfect time and I am beyond grateful for the opportunities I've been given in 2020 to grow and expand in just a few short months. Buffalo has been so great to me and I can't wait to see where the following years take me!