Coterie Spotlight: Get to Know Tracey Reynolds of TR Floral Design, Inc.

It's that time again! Today, we're shining our Muna Coterie spotlight on Jersey-based floral designer Tracey Reynolds, of TR Floral Design! Serving New Jersey and the Tri-state area, this coterie member, is also the blossoming brains behind the stunning floral cape spied on the cover and pages of our Fall/Winter '15 issue. The former History teacher, recently chatted with us about how she (literally) grew her floral business, her whimsical design aesthetic, and how working on our cover shoot left her feeling inspired. Oh, and she also shared her thoughts on where mason jars really belong!

Dig into more on Reynolds below while viewing photos from our cover shoot by Amy Anaiz Photography.

Photo Credit: Amy Anaiz Photography.

Tell us a little about your background and how you got started in the wedding and events industry?
I think like many wedding professionals it all started with my own wedding. Looking back I was horrified by what flowers cost.  They just die right?  I wasn't thinking of the whole picture and that every part of the wedding is planned just to last that one special day, the dress, the food, the invites - all of it.  Planning for my wedding was my first experience with flowers and I had no idea the time, knowledge, and experience I was forgoing by doing my own flowers.  While it did start me on the path I am on today I would never recommend doing you own flowers to anyone.

Flowers are time sensitive and days of work go into planning the florals for an event.  So in those hours before my wedding, when I should have been enjoying family and friends I was in my basement making centerpieces.  At least now I can give my brides an honest answer to why DIY flowers are not a good choice and I can offer them the experience and knowledge I've gained over the past 10 years.

Photo Credit: Amy Anaiz Photography.

What did you do before starting your business?
I was a high school History teacher and I absolutely loved my job.  I still miss working with the kids, but I had to make choice.  I was teaching during the week and doing weddings on weekends.  Every time I was out on maternity leave I was growing the business.  Teaching is time consuming, working all day, grading and planning lessons all night.  You cannot get up in front of 30 teenagers and not be prepared.   Floral design isn't easy either, but I get to make my own schedule and I get to decide what my busy looks like.  I get to walk the kids to the bus and be there for them at the end of the day. 

Photo Credit: Amy Anaiz Photography.

What do you love most about your job?
My favorite moments are at 5:30 am in the flower market.  I've just arrived, I have my coffee in hand, the only sounds are the flowers being delivered, being shifted around in the wholesalers.  Getting to be there when the most beautiful blooms first hit the floor is amazing.  It's in these moments that I know I am exactly where I should be and I am so grateful to have a chance to just feel right in my life and my choices.

Photo Credit: Amy Anaiz Photography.

We love your romantic, yet gorgeously whimsical style of floral designs! What inspired you to follow this design technique versus that of the more "trendy"/"over-the-top" glam style of wedding flowers often seen?  It took a while to find my voice in design.  In the beginning I did any style the bride wanted, which looking back I'm happy I did.  I have an appreciation for the glam and over the top, the dense full designs, because of that.  After a while though I began to realize that my hands and heart were happiest when I was creating a more natural organic look.

Photo Credit: Becka Pillmore Photography

What trends are you seeing with your current brides?
My current brides are marrying more contemporary geometric shapes with the more whimsical style I love.  I am so happy to see brides being bolder in their choices and not feeling constrained by the idea of what their bridal bouquet "should" look like.  More brides are finding the confidence to dictate what they want their bouquet to look like.  They aren't following the traditional fall/winter/spring/summer pallets anymore.  My next wedding, a spring wedding, is doing dark berry colors, and it's ok.   A pink fluffy design just isn't her thing and I love her for not feeling like she needs to make it her thing just because she is having a spring wedding.

Photo Credit: Becka Pillmore Photography

Options for some underrated floral designs that you’d suggest for risk taking brides:
Protea's - there are so many different varieties and they have such a unique look to them.  A single king protea can be a show stopper in a bouquet.  And I encourage brides to think out of the box, even if they think an idea is crazy express it to your designer and see what ideas they come up with to bring your vision to life.  I've used circular firewood holders on tables as the base for designs and I have a welder who loves when I come to him with crazy ideas.

What are the most overused floral designs and color schemes/concepts? Please someone take all the mason jars in the world and use them for something else besides flowers.  They work really well as glasses for BBQ cocktails. Use them for that, we will all be happier.

Photo Credit: Amy Anaiz Photography.

What’s something that’s recently left you inspired?
Creating the floral cape was a moment for me.  Making wearable flowers on this large a scale was incredible. It was challenging and it was amazing to have the opportunity to create something so grand.

Photo Credit: Amy Anaiz Photography.

Now - lets switch things up and have a little fun!

Favorite thing to do?  
Snowboarding, my son has been riding now for 4 years (he's 8 now) and this year was the first one where we could ride down the mountain together side by side, it was so much fun.  You can't forget how to play otherwise you'll get old!  My daughter, who is 6, decided this year she likes the idea around going to the mountain...the hot chocolate, the lodge, but she didn't want to get on the mountain.  I'm hoping she will change her mind next year!

Iphone or Android?
Android...not for any particular reason though, except that my husband is the phone researcher and guru in our household..and if I have a phone that can call, text, and check instagram I'm happy.

 Mac or PC?
Love my Mac...maybe one day I'll get an iPhone so they can be friends.

If you could travel to any location right now, where would it be?
I would go to Vieques PR anytime.  Wifi is terrible, no traffic lights, quiet white sand beaches and I get to drive a Jeep Wrangler.
 

Favorite song?
I actually just looked up songs of the 80's/90's because I can't think of a favorite song  and realized I am all over the place...Beastie Boys, yes, Elton John, yes, Whitney Houston, yes, Biggie Smalls, yes, Micheal Jackson....the only poster of a singer I ever had in my room was of Michael in a yellow suit so favorite artist...Michael.

Book? Surfing the Himalayas.  Great book to read while traveling.  It's about how we are all being guided to be in the place we are, at the time we are, for a reason.

 TV show? 
Walking Dead.

Guilty Pleasure?
Haagen Dazs: Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Favorite celebrity wedding:
Kim Kardashian and Kayne West - that flower wall!

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