Meet Soyoung Kim, LA based floral designer and founder of Beloved One. Soyoung will be leading a floral crown class Saturday, July 20 at our Venice Shop! We learned a little more about this local mom and what has influenced her gorgeous work.
B+G: You mentioned that you owned a flower shop in Korea. Is this how did you initially got into floral design?
Soyoung: When I still had no clue what I wanted to do with my life, I had an opportunity to travel across Europe for six months. During my travels, I was exposed to and fell in love with many of Europe's wild flowers and boutique flower shops. With this new found interest, I went back to Korea and apprenticed under fabulous teachers for about eight years. The more I worked with flowers the more deeply I fell in love with them. It kept me alive. I eventually opened my own studio, and the rest is history.
B+G: You studied in Paris and Japan, how was your learning experience in those places? And how has your time there influence your work today?
Soyoung: Japan and Paris gave me very different views when it came to learning about flowers. Japan taught me the basics and helped create my foundation. They also taught me how to work with small, delicate flowers. Paris taught me new skills and special techniques. I ended up getting a diploma in Paris. In Paris, I was inspired by a designer who was deeply influenced by architectures in Paris. The way to use small, delicate flowers for my work is influenced by Japan and my creative character is influenced by Paris. You can say my work is both a mixture of Asian and European influences.
B+G: What was the first project you remember working on and what flowers/plants did you use?
Soyoung: My first project involved arranging peony flowers on two stands much taller than me. It was to be displayed during our church's weekly service. It was my first project so I was quite nervous. I guess it came out okay because I ended up doing it for them for almost a year.
B+G: You regularly host classes on floral projects, what made you want to start teaching? What do you love most about the classes?
Soyoung: When I moved to the U.S., I received a lot of questions about flower arrangement from people close to me or Instagram. Many even asked if I would hold classes to teach them. I was used to teaching others as a business curriculum so I hesitated at first teaching in a more personal setting. I shouldn't have worried because I ended up enjoying the smaller more personal classes. I enjoy sharing personal stories with my students and learning why they like flowers. The energy and enthusiasm my students bring energies me. I currently teach a four-week class during the week, and an occasional one-day class on the weekends.
B+G: What are your favorite kind of projects to work on? Anything you're working on now that you're excited about?
Soyoung: I really enjoy teaching classes. I also enjoy working on larger projects such as parties or small intimate weddings. I am also actively collaborating with local photographers, ceramic designers, clothing designers and cake designers to come up with floral arrangements that talk to their brand.
B+G: How does being a mom influence your inspiration for your floral designs?
Soyoung: Although it's difficult juggling between being a mom and running a small business, I get so much inspiration from my daughter. Through her eyes, I am able to be young again, view the world more innocently and be more patient. I am also able to connect deeper with students who are also moms. I wanted to create some bonding time for the moms and their little ones so I had few classes.
B+G: Where do you typically recommend displaying certain pieces like bouquets and wreaths? Will you tell us where you like to place floral creations in your own home?
Soyoung: Places that steal a person's gaze. Typically, this is the first table that stands out when someone enters a room. Placing a small vase or bottle of flowers next to the bathroom or kitchen sink can brighten up the space. Wreaths look good where framed pictures look good. It is beautiful to hang three different sizes of small wreaths on the walls with no or very little decoration are perfect places. Since I teach my classes at home, I have flowers everywhere.
Sign up for the floral crown class here !