Floral Workshop

How to Define and Refine Your Floral Style

Every creative professional out there should work on finding their own unique style and approach -- and florists are no exception. 

Having a floral style allows you to better attract ideal clients looking for a particular look and feel when it comes to their bouquets, flower arrangements and other requests. It also can help you feel more confident in the work you do, especially if you find a style you love to work with!

But finding your individual floral style may seem like a challenge when you first start your floral business. 

Whether you are just beginning to learn the ins and outs of floral design, or you are working on refining your floral style over time, here are a few tips to help you in the process. 

Play with New Ideas

The Potted Pansy and Blake Hogge

Don't be afraid to try new things, even if you've already established a way of designing your arrangements!

You never really know what you like until you've tried it. And should you ever feel like you're losing your motivation, trying new ideas can replenish your creative side and rejuvenate your business!

Learn from Others

Schedule a mentorship session with another florist nearby or sign up for a floral design workshop!

One of the best things you can do for your business is learning from others and being open to constructive criticism. Once you understand how other professionals in the industry create their work, you can adapt it to suit your own needs and ideas. 

Then you'll be able to find your own method of doing things and be drawn to pull in certain components from your lessons that you love along the way. 

Ask Yourself: What Are You Most Drawn to? 

The Potted Pansy and Blake Hogge

As you begin to grow and practice designing florals and greenery, pay attention. 

Which are the flowers you always tend to order more of? Which pictures are you always saving to your boards on Pinterest? What do they all have in common? 

Look for the similarities and repetitions in your work. This is the base of your style! 


Try digging into your past for inspiration and ideas!

Your background, hometown, and childhood all may hold unique qualities that can help you define and refine your floral style.

What are the experiences, places, smells or activities that have influenced your life? See if there's a way to incorporate them into your design style. 


The Potted Pansy and Blake Hogge

This may seem like a really formal term or way to go about it, but analyzing and evaluating all of these factors above can be the difference between floundering and flourishing. 

Look back on your style over time and notice the signature moments and characteristics your floral designs have. Then write it out and define it! 

Once you know your style, see where it takes you. You might be surprised to learn more about yourself along the way. 

Contact a Premier Floral Mentor

The Potted Pansy is Utah’s premier floral designer, owned and operated by Mandy Ogaz. Each mentoring session is designed to cater to the needs of each attendee. If you’re looking for a mentor who cares about all the intricate details and is passionate about texture, color, and style, talk to Mandy about mentoring today!

Floral The Potted Pansy
Photography Blake Hogge
Gown Rue de Seine from Alta Moda Bridal
Suit True Gentleman Supply Co
Models Brynn Stahle and Stephen Stahle

My 5 Favorite Business Tools

Being a business owner means being able to wear many hats. One moment you’re working on your numbers and playing accountant, the next you’re re-strategizing your marketing plan. All in a day’s work!

While you may be a team of one (or rely on a small team!), there are many resources that ease the workload, make your day to day a little easier, and ultimately contribute to your business’ long-term growth. Here are five of my favorite business tools.



Honeybook is an all-in-one platform that streamlines your workflow by keeping everything from proposals to booking and invoicing, all in one place.

Using a software like Honeybook can not only keep you organized, it can help keep you on track by allowing you to visualize every step you’re at with each client. And when it comes to entrepreneurship, community is another resource that keeps us motivated -- Honeybook has a built-in community of fellow creatives for you to collaborate and connect with.

From referrals to advice, the help from others on this platform is the cherry on top of a must-have tool.

Quickbooks Self-Employed

Accounting for a small business is a necessary and sometimes confusing process. Luckily, Quickbooks offers a self-employed version of their software that helps immensely.

Using Quickbooks, you can keep track of both business and personal expenses, track mileage and even pay quarterly estimated taxes online. The software is pretty straightforward and easy to use and best of all, comes with a low monthly cost.

It’s a worthy investment that will prevent many money-related headaches down the road.

Instagram Planner

We all know how important Instagram is as a branding tool, but it can sometimes feel all-consuming when we have so many other tasks on our plates.

That’s where planning apps like Later or Planoly come in. You can use these tools to plan and schedule all of your Instagram posts ahead of time without ever having to go into the app each time you want to post.

Scheduling social media is a major time saver and allows you to focus on more pressing things on your to-do list.



People are very visual creatures, which means having high-quality photos at the ready are a must-have in order to market your brand.

Whether it’s for your website, social media or marketing materials, photos of both yourself and your brand are necessary in order to tell your story and draw people in to what you have to offer.

And good news -- you don’t have to be a professional photographer to snap photos for your business! If it’s for social media, iPhone photos work just fine.

If you need product shots for your website, a nicer camera might come in handy. Either way, photos add to your brand’s overall image and help communicate your message.

Face-to-Face Interaction

No matter how many apps or gadgets or online communities come to the forefront, nothing beats face to face interaction.

If you work with clients in your area, offer to have an in-person meeting instead of going back and forth over email. If you’re looking for new clients or business connections, attend a networking event.

And if you hit it off with someone at the event, invite them to grab a coffee with you sometime to continue the conversation and build a meaningful relationship. While it’s easy to work behind the laptop all day long, there are plenty of opportunities to get out of the house and have genuine face to face interactions with people that create connections for the long-term.


Enlightened Workshop | Earth

Earth. Could anything get closer to what I stand for, love, and talk about? Not really! Earth. It's Mother Nature in all her glory that allows seeds to germinate, flowers to grow, the clouds to cover, the rain to fall, the snow to cover what was and the spring to bring forth what has become. It's Mother Nature who creates splendid sunsets and billowing clouds for us to enjoy. It's Mother Nature who allows spring to turn into summer and summer to turn into fall and fall to turn into winter. And then do it all again. It's Mother Nature who grows imperfectly perfect things all around us.

So a full workshop dedicated to her meant living and dry and rock and earth. It meant wood and green and flower and leaf. It meant hard and durable and soft and delicate. And it meant the perception of life.

Amethyst rock, geode decor, wood flooring and chairs, hanging greens, and the delicate balance of what was once alive. That is what Earth became. 

The Potted Pansy Utah Geode Wedding
The Potted Pansy Geode Wedding
The Potted Pansy Geode Tablescape
The Potted Pansy Geode Bouquet

The Importance of Vendor Referrals and Teamwork in the Wedding Industry

While there are many industries out there in which you can succeed by working in silos, the wedding industry typically isn't one of them. 

Whether you're just starting out as a new vendor, or you've been around the block or two and have several clients in your portfolio already, it's important that you know just how important teamwork is to growing a successful wedding business. 

Nicoel Aston + The Potted Pansy team

Expanding Your Community

When you begin to work with others in the wedding industry on a regular basis, your connections will grow. But what does this ultimately mean for you? 

Every wedding or event can be seen as an opportunity -- a chance to grow your personal friendships, your professional connections, and (if done well) your local community. When that happens, you are more likely to be seen as a great team player and someone other vendors want to work with regularly. 

Vendor Referrals

As you begin to build strong relationships with others in the wedding industry, you may find that others will be more likely to refer work to you in the long-run. Some may even decide to spotlight your business on their blog or social media handles, or consider adding you to a preferred vendor list for their clients!

It's also important that you begin to "give" and not always expect to receive referrals. Some great examples could be: 

  • When you receive an inquiry that doesn't quite fit your ideal clientele, but may fit someone else's that you know in the area

  • You're already booked for a day, but you want to help the couple who inquired find another top vendor to work with

  • You have either relocated or receive an inquiry for an area you don't offer services for

In these instances, you may want to provide a handful of other vendors that the couple can reach out to. When you do that, the couples inquiring will most likely see you as a helpful resource and other vendors will be more likely to refer to you when they are in the same scenarios. 

Nicole Aston + The Potted Pansy team

The Wedding Day

Probably one of the best parts about becoming more familiar with others in the wedding industry is that the event itself will be more likely to happen smoothly. 

When multiple vendors know each other well and can work together in ways that streamline the wedding day and keep the couple from getting stressed, everyone wins! And the newlyweds may also spread the word about how great the entire team was, which can further help grow your business over time. 

Entering the Industry

For those of you just starting out, one of the best things you can do to grow your business quickly is to partner with others who share the same values and ideal clients. Even if you aren't entirely sure what your niche is, defining what styles of weddings you love working with can be key to gaining your first few clients simply by connecting with others who work in those arenas. 

Love high-end events with lots of details? Dreaming of clients who are laid back and are drawn to a more boho style? Seek out connections with other wedding vendors who typically work with these types of clients!

The Potted Pansy + Nicole Aston team

How to Select the Right Workshop for You

No matter your expertise, chances are there is a handful of useful workshops to help you grow your skills (and your business!). Especially for those in the wedding industry or in a creative role, attending a workshop related to your work can provide you with far more tools, education and advice than you may find elsewhere. 

But how do you know which ones are most suited for you? 

Below are some questions to ask yourself in order to find and choose the right workshop that will leave you feeling accomplished, motivated and inspired at the end of the experience!

The Potted Pansy Workshops

1. What is your skill level?

If you're just starting to get into a new business, career or industry, be sure to find a workshop that primarily focuses on assisting beginners. Not only will you feel more comfortable right from the start -- since everyone else attending are also beginners! -- but you'll likely get more insight on steps and tools of the trade you'll need to know as you're starting out.  

And for those who are experienced professionals with several years under their belt, you may find that a workshop tailored to very specific skills you have been wanting to learn for years is a better fit for you. 

The Potted Pansy workshop + As Ever Photography

2. What are you seeking in a workshop?

Are you needing help with fine-tuning your design style? Have you always wondered how other pros achieve a certain aesthetic in their work? Do you have a specific technique you know others use but you can't figure out how to do it on your own?

Whether you're looking for beginner information or you need education for seasoned creatives, there are workshops that can teach you what you need to know.

The Potted Pansy Workshops bouquets

3. Do the people hosting the workshop feel like YOUR people?

It may not seem very important up front, but attending a workshop with others you feel you could connect with is extremely beneficial in the long run -- especially for workshops lasting longer than a few hours! 

Learn about the speakers, the instructors and even see if you can learn about others attending. Finding your tribe will allow you to get the most out of it, both professionally and personally.

The Potted Pansy Workshop People

4. Do the locations, dates, and length make sense with your life and schedule?

If you have a family and can't imagine leaving them for too long, consider finding a workshop within your metro area or state that runs for an afternoon or a whole day. 

If you're up for an adventure and love the idea of getting out of town for a few days, try a weekend-long workshop in another region! 

Find a workshop that works best with your lifestyle and schedule, which will allow you to enjoy the event without feeling stressed or rushed. 


5. Gut feeling. Is this the workshop for you?

When all is said and done, you'll want to feel inspired and thankful you attended! 

If your gut is simply telling you it's not a good fit or something feels "off", find another workshop that makes you confident that you'll take something from the event. 

And remember, your gut is different from your fears. It's okay if a workshop doesn't align with your values or doesn't teach lessons you want to learn, but don't let your fear stop you from finding success and happiness outside of your comfort zone. 

The Potted Pansy Workshop bouquets

Florals The Potted Pansy, Blushing Rose Floral, Beehive Floral with The Potted Pansy at The Potted Pansy Workshop
Photography As Ever Photography
Gown Claire Pettibone
Model Sarah Asay and Jenevieve Hubbard
Ribbon Honey Silks Co
Styling Canvas Weddings and Events

Top 5 Reasons You Should Attend a Workshop in 2018

If you've been slowly growing your business recently, or have been in the wedding industry for a while but have started to feel static when it comes to being creative, it may be time to sign up for a workshop. Or maybe you're a beginner and need those skills to really get going!

Nearly every type of creative or wedding-focused business could benefit from attending a workshop this year and furthering their education, especially since trends and updates seem to happen so often these days

Whether you've thought about it before or not, take a look at some of these top reasons you should consider being a workshop-attendee in 2018: 

The Potted Pansy 1:1 Mentoring Session

1. Grow your techniques and learn new skills.

Are you still in the early stages of your business? Take a workshop to expand your techniques and skills!

Many of us start a business because it's something we enjoy or are good at. But that doesn't mean we know from the get-go everything there is to know about our industries.

Workshops are especially useful for those who are new to the business, since they can show you tools of the trade and teach you methods from professionals who have been doing it for years.

The Potted Pansy Mentoring

2. Continue your education.

They're also extremely useful for established professionals, by allowing them to test out new styles that can help them grow faster than they would have on their own!

Whether you're a wedding photographer, planner or a floral designer, ongoing education is an impactful way to grow your business faster and expand your horizons. 

Workshop The Potted Pansy

3. Re-light your creative flame.

Have you been feeling overworked, uninspired or just stuck in your usual go-to strategies for your work? Attend a workshop to renew your desire, your passion and rekindle the flames that were the reasons you started this career in the first place!


4. Expand your network.

Workshops are the perfect opportunity to find your tribe, your flock, your squad -- whichever you want to call them! 

Connect with others across state boarders by traveling to one in a place you've never been but have always dreamed of visiting. Or stay local and build relationships with other vendors and creatives nearby!

Not only will you likely make long-lasting friendships, but you'll also likely find others who can be great referral partners for you. 

The Potted Pansy Workshops

5. Escape from the grind.

Maybe all you need is a break from the everyday habits and to-do lists. Or you want a way of de-stressing by getting away from a demanding atmosphere.

A workshop can be the perfect escape from the hard work, and give you a chance to be around whatever you love most, whether that be flowers, cameras and lenses, or art! 

The Potted Pansy + Local Roots

If you're thinking, hey, maybe I need to check out a workshop, click below! We'd love to have you!

Wintery Fog Utah Bridals

Foggy Winter Utah Bridals with The Potted Pansy

It's the winter fog and the soft white gown and those piercing eyes. Oh those eyes! It's the mystery that lurks just beyond the blur of the fog and the deep sea that swims in her eyes. It's the simple romance that makes a woman more beautiful than her features, more beautiful than what meets the eye, more soul and more complete. That's what makes a woman truly beautiful. Her soul.

And along with that, sometimes you don't need a large, fancy bouquet. Sometimes you simply need to compliment what already exists and the beauty around you. Let that woman shine. And compliment her with natural beauty.

Foggy Utah Bridals with The Potted Pansy

Bright and Beautiful | Garden Rose Bouquet

Garden Rose Bouquet by The Potted Pansy

Garden roses. They are the thing! So I'm curious. Can you tell me which of these roses are garden roses? I'll let you take a guess...

Then tell you that garden roses are really just roses grown the way you would grow them at home! Rather than being grown in a production fashion, in south america, where hundreds and hundreds, maybe thousands of standard roses are grown and processed daily, they are grown in local dirt, by local farmers, with all of the imperfections and beauty of the roses that you have at home. So what is so amazing about them?

Well, first, they open beautifully! Do you see that bright magenta colored rose with the yellow center? See how it has opened? Do you see the difference between it and some of the lighter colored roses? That open look brings a texture and feel that only garden roses can bring!

Second, look at the petals! Garden roses seem to have millions and millions of ruffly petals that never end! Since they open more and aren't as tight of a bud as a regular rose, those ruffly petals seem to be even more prominent and beautiful.

Now look down below that open rose to the lighter pink rose just above Morgan's bracelet. That is also a garden rose! But it's a different variety grown in a different location. It's bloom is much bigger! So big in fact, that it outsizes most regular roses in every circumstance. I love looking down into the center of these roses to see the layers and how the shadows within those layers change the coloring of the rose. It's absolutely beautiful!

Yes, it's true that garden roses cost more than a standard rose. But can you see why? Just a single garden rose variety within a bouquet can make a world of difference! Oh, and the smell!!!! Standard roses have been grown for look and perfection. So much of the time the scent has actually been removed within the species to give way to other attributes. But garden roses...the smell is divine! I wish I could send you a scratch and sniff. You'd be in heaven!

The Potted Pansy Erin Elizabeth Photo

Florals by The Potted Pansy during the 1:1 Workshop with The Hanging Gardens
Photography by Gabriella Santos Photography and Erin Elizabeth Photo
Model Morgan Bronson
Ribbon by Honey Silks Co
Hair and Makeup by Janelle Ingram
Gown by Maggie Sottero Designs

Shapes, Techniques, and Bouquets Galore! | 1:1 Workshops

1:1 Workshops might happen to be my favorite kinds of workshops. Ever. Why? Because there really isn't anything better than a one on one connection, one on one attention, and a friendship that blooms while working! 

I was honored when Viktoriya from The Hanging Gardens initially emailed to ask about a personal workshop. I could tell from Viktoriya's images that she already had a strong sense of color and texture, and so for her to come to me for a bit more guidance on those topics as well as bouquet structure and design, was a huge compliment! I'm just going to put a plug in now...if you don't follow her on IG, you should! The Hanging Gardens, Back to the workshop...

Within the 2.5 days we were together, we made a total of 6 bouquets! All of which differed in style, shape, technique and design. It was floral heaven! So many blooms! So many colors! So many textures! And so much laughter! Below what you see are the culminating moments when we captured it all nestled up in the beautiful mountains of Utah. These are moments I will never forget and friendships we will never lose!

I have to thank everyone who helped on this very early morning. For it was perfection! Please see the list of models, gown designers, hair and makeup professionals, photographers and videographers below! They are some of the most talented individuals in the state and I highly recommend each of them!!!

Finally, there is something that came from this workshop that I think neither of us will ever forget. And it's almost something that cannot be explained. It's this sense of right that we have in our gut as designers. It's that first impression as we are building a bouquet or arrangement that tells us where to place or what to place, in that specific location. It's a oneness with the flowers that only comes from listening to within. And sometimes, that little whisper or feeling might tell us to do something completely illogical. But it's right. It's good. And it's harmonious. And so we trust that gut. We trust the feeling and we continue. For me, that feeling is found just below my rib cage, toward the front of my body. I can feel it. And I can trust it. I know it is always going to be there to guide and direct me as a design, if I simply listen. I believe that Viktoriya found it as well. Somewhere deep inside her is that same whispering feeling, saying this is it. Do this. And so I challenge you to find yours. Where is that feeling within your body, that tells you when something is good and right and harmonious? Does it guide you and lead you? 

GabriellaSantosWEB-13 (1 of 1).jpg

The Potted Pansy and Hanging Gardens

The Potted Pansy Morgan Bronson

The Potted Pansy Kristine Porter

If you would like your very own 1:1 workshop experience, please don't hesitate to ask! I promise you won't regret it! 

1:1 Workshop Teaching and Assisting by The Potted Pansy
Bouquets by The Hanging Gardens
Photography by Erin Elizabeth Photo and Gabriella Santos Photography
Video by Luke Porter Films
Models Kristine and Luke Porter and Morgan Bronson
Gowns from Maggie Sottero Designs and Off White Bride
Hair and Makeup by Janelle Ingram

Utah Bride Blog | Rich, Deep, Fall Weddings

Utah Bride Blog The Potted Pansy Fall

Rich, deep, jewel tones paired with soft yellows and blues. It's a rainbow of fall goodness. Asking to be involved in this inspirational shoot with Utah Bride Blog was a dream come true. Their magazine is always beautiful and the thought of being asked to be on those pages was a thrill!

So with a fall base and an accent of mandarin and velvet, we began. Fall always reminds me of the rich earth, harvesting summer's labors, and the colors of the golden sun fading. The rich tones that are created by the crisp air seem to energize the soul while preparing us for winter's sleep. It's not a surprise that our color palettes and tastes are naturally drawn to what the earth is producing during this season. This range of golden to apricot to autumn orange keeps the tone light and airy, allowing for other accent pieces in decor, ribbon and highlighted florals to create a pop for the eye to enjoy. The overall look is rich, yet not heavy. It's delicate and soft. But that doesn't mean it isn't full of texture or unique! A touch of blue along with the harvested beets creates conversation, interest, and a bit of unique character to make this design one of a kind.

I really feel like the images speak for themselves and there is so little I could add in words to enhance them. I mean, they said it best, so here are a few excerpts from the magazine!

"Blue velvet meets mandarin orange in this fall inspired look. A style that encompasses a depth and richness portrayed in romantic gothic revival with a modern bohemian twist. Layers of texture were scattered throughout the look with a hand painted gown, aged candlestick holders, velvet ribbon, fresh fruit, hand dyed napkins, and the ornate architecture of the Thomas S. Monson building."

"Canvas pulled from the natural colors of fresh fruit and added touches of aged brass to create a unique look that hints at both the pas and the present. The range of blues in the dinnerware and candles creates age and depth while the pops of orange and red bring freshness" 

So without any more text, a simple thank you; for the invite, the talent, the friendships, and the images! And most of all, the experience!!!!!

If you love this as much as I do, don't hesitate to peruse the magazine pages here, talk with the incredibly talented stylist and planner, Canvas Weddings and Events, or hire Travis J Photo for incredible film images! Lastly, a huge thank you to Honeysilks Co for donating samples of her new line of velvet ribbon!!!!! It really is just as good as it sounds; even better! The shine, texture, and drape are gorgeous! I think everyone needs some, just because! And now, the images...

Utah Bride Blog The Potted Pansy Fall Cake
Utah Bride Blog The Potted Pansy Fall Bouquet
Utah Bride Blog Image
Utah Bride Blog The Potted Pansy fall

Choose Kindness | Utah Floral Workshop

The Potted Pansy Workshop

In a society and industry full of competition, it seems rare for a group of florists who do business within the same geographic region, to gather together, work side by side, share techniques and knowledge, enjoy each other's company, and not think twice about doing it again! But you see, there is power that comes in sharing and learning and growing together. There is strength in being kind and uplifting. And there is so much fire that grows from a spark kindled with other creatives.

And that is how the choose kindness workshop began. In an effort to building community and enhance our industry as  whole, the idea came that we could and should enjoy each other, not work against each other. Last year, the first floral gathering, which we called Flower, Food and Friends, was born. It began with a small group of florists who worked side by side on centerpieces. It was fun and liberating to talk flowers with other like-minded individuals and astonishing to see the different designs that came from the same flower selections. As it expanded and we gathered together again, we realized that although we were working alongside each other, laughing and enjoying our time together, we weren't able to learn from each other. We were all concentrating on our own work and simply didn't have the time to watch each other, or ask any kinds of questions.

How nice would it be, we thought, to ask other florists about techniques, or suppliers, or styles, or shoots. How helpful would it be to talk flowers or even business?? How amazing would it be to watch another florist work? (aka - be a fly on the wall) How great would it be to share, to enjoy, and to choose kindness together?

So without any thought of monetary gain, we gathered together to plan. Florists Sarah Asay of Blushing Rose Floral and Lexie Sandberg of Carpe Diem Design agreed to demonstrate their skills and share their knowledge with the group. Sarah's centerpiece was absolutely stunning, and being able to have her guide the group through her thought process while asking questions, was well, nothing short of amazing. Hearing Lexie Sandberg talk about color and form, flower selection and her love for flowers was inspiring. Kaytee Stice, owner of Roots Floral Design, offered a business question and answer session, where we all benefited from a tip here or a tip there, and others were even able to schedule one on one sessions to improve the business portions of their floral businesses. Finally, local photographers Haley Nord and Jen from As Ever Photography willingly captured it all on camera. We were lucky enough to use gowns from the talented Claire Pettibone and Maggie Sottero Designs, modeled by Lexi Grondel, Jenevieve Hubbard and Chandi Kate. It wouldn't have been complete without a tablesetting or two by Canvas Event Design and the lovely HoneySilksCo runner. 

The results were, well, life changing. More than one florists has said this was key in their business, key in their growth, and warming to know that we are all in this together. I think Jenevieve Hubbard, attendee, said it best, "These [photographs] are amazing, Mandy. Thank you again. This workshop was a total game changer for me. I met so many great people who I've been able to network with since and the photos, and the design tips and everything else. LOVED it." And so we'll do it again. And we'll invite more. And we'll expand. And soon this won't be a local Utah thing. Because I believe that everyone has something to share. Every person in that room could have taught part of the workshop. Every person in that room had tips and tricks to share. Every person in that room had what it takes to be great. And if we simply share, we won't have to do it alone. If you're ready to join us on a mission to choose kindness, you have what it takes!

The Potted Pansy Workshop Close up
The Potted Pansy workshop choose kindness
The Potted pansy table
The Potted Pansy Workshop tablescape
The Potted Pansy Workshop Centerpiece

Coordination and Sponsorship
The Potted Pansy

Speakers and Teachers
Business Course Roots Floral Design
Centerpiece Design Blushing Rose Floral
Bouquet Design Carpe Diem Design

Local Roots Flower Farm
La Belle Fleur
Alexis Lauren Floral
Heidi Firth Floral
Beehive Floral
Utah Flower Girl

As Ever Photography

Sarah Asay
Jenevieve Hubbard
Chandi Featherstone

Maggie Sottero Designs
Claire Pettibone


Table Styling
Canvas Weddings and Events

Table Runner
Honey Silks Co

The White Space Studio

Floral Wholesale
Mayesh Wholesale
Kelly Girard