02 Feb Designer Spotlight: Damselfly Creative Director Traci Shefcyk
First and foremost, how long have you been in the industry?
I started in 1994, so it’s been 26 years.
What would you say is your favorite style?
Garden and modern styles
Is there a design/style you’re personally known for?
How did you get into the industry?
I worked as a part-time night manager at a European style floral design shop in Sausalito, California for two years when I first moved to San Francisco. From there, I went on to work for various flower shops on a part-time and holiday help basis. In the year 2000, I entered the private event industry in San Francisco as a freelance floral designer and managed a boutique floral shop in downtown San Francisco full time.
What’s your favorite part about floral design?
Being able to use my hands to work with nature’s gifts and create beauty from my imagination.
What is one item you simply cannot live without (doesn’t need to be floral/event related)?
Oh good question – I’m not sure!
What advice do you have for couples looking to hire a wedding florist/event company?
It’s important to feel a connection and a shared excitement with the company you choose to work with. A true collaboration comes when you know that they’ve not only “listened” but embraced your needs and vision for your special day.
Do you have a favorite flower?
I love them all
What is your favorite wedding trend? Least favorite?
I like the neutral palettes in creams, beige and tan tones with textures you get from pampas grass and non-floral elements. Funny enough, my least favorite is actually pampas grass because of how it sheds and its sensitivity to humidity and water. A love/hate for this – and using all greenery or heavy greenery it’s been done – bring back the color!
What wedding or floral trends do you want to make a comeback? (and which one do you want to disappear?)
“En Masse” style – which is the use of one flower type or monochromatic color story with a maximum of three flower types and no greenery – very striking and always looks impactful.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
From colors, artwork, runway fashion, interior design, travel and my experience – as well as my peers in creative mediums.
What do you wish couples knew before the first consultation?
That most couples budget incorrectly for flowers and more often than not, whatever they budgeted will double realistically.
When it comes to Pinterest and wedding design: blessing or curse?
Blessing as it helps couples that aren’t able to articulate or speak our language especially if they are visual. Curse as it relates to the amazing displays and florals seen, couples are surprised by the costs associated with the products, logistics and manpower required to achieve those gorgeous looks.
What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned about the industry?
It’s not really surprising, but I’ve met some amazingly creative and smart people doing what they love. It’s a real community of artists.
How many weddings do you typically handle each weekend?
What’s the most you’ve ever done in one weekend?
Any tips, tricks or behind the scenes/insider info you want to share?
Work with an experienced professional and be sure to read reviews or ask your other wedding vendors (venue, photographers, planners, etc.) who they enjoy working with. Word of mouth is the most telling of all.
Any advice for people looking to get into the industry?
Work in a flower shop. It’s the best way to learn from the ground up if you are interested in what it really takes to be in this industry for a few years. Then freelance for large-scale event companies to see another side of the business – you’ll find that there are many avenues you can take from there.
If your personality could be described as a flower, which one would it be?
I would say to ask my teammates that question. It would be fun to see what flowers they choose for me!
Coffee or tea?
What has been a challenge you overcame in the industry?
That perfection is subjective and illusive. Meaning I may notice but no one else will and sometimes, you just have to let it go.
Do you have any funny event stories you’re able to share?
When I first started out working at a flower shop. After my first year or so of training, the owner finally tasked me to help set up a small wedding. I was so excited and was waiting for this opportunity to show I was ready to take on this next step in training. Off I went so excited and focused. I set up all the tables and we used gardenias floating in large glass bowls for the table decor. The owner said be sure to spritz them with water at the very end to give them a fresh dewy look. So straight away I did and took a step back. I was so proud of myself until I noticed that all these beautiful, fresh white gardenias were turning yellow and there was this slight fragrance in the air (that was not the sweet scent of gardenia) but rather the harsh scent of bleach. I had grabbed the wrong water sprayer bottle from the shop! In my excitement I grabbed the one that had a bleach/water solution in it that we use to clean out the empty buckets. It was traumatizing; however, the owner was so kind about it and rushed up some new gardenias to replace freshly spray bleach ones. Needless to say, I never made that mistake again and I am sure to fill up my own bottle with clean water ever since!
What questions do you wish couples would ask more?
I don’t necessarily have any specific questions I wish were asked more, just that couples are open with all their needs/wants/desires/vision for their perfect day. Remembering that no idea is too big or too small – we’re here to help, enhance and ultimately bring your vision to life!
Favorite place you’ve traveled? Where do you want to go next?
Paris, Barcelona and Rome. Next trip? Definitely Bali/Indonesia.
Best celebrity couple? Best celebrity wedding?
Megan Markle and Prince Harry and their wedding.
And finally: if you weren’t a floral designer, what would be your dream job?
Traveling yoga teacher and well-being enthusiast in exotic tropical destinations around the world.