Meet Mark Frye
Mark Frye is the owner of Creative Occasions and he has been a floral designer for 22 years. His passion for floral design "stems" from a job that he had as a teenager in a flower shop. He delivered flowers, sweep floors, and helped with day to day cleaning. During his time there he realized that he was interested in the work that the floral designers were doing. When he expressed his interest, the owner showed him the basics of design and for many years Mark thought of floral design as a fun hobby. While working in another career and continuing to do florals, someone approached him to do a wedding. After his first wedding he began receiving personal referrals and his business took off.
Creative Occasions is a top-notch floral design business located in downtown Vinton. In addition to floral arrangements, they also offer "all things décor" for events. Creative Occasions began as a home based business 22 years ago but when an opportunity arose to purchase an established flower shop, Mark moved Creative Occasions to downtown Vinton.
Does Creative Occasions Have a Particular Style?
Mark Frye says, “Hopefully we don’t! I’ve always believed that it’s important that we reflect the customer’s style so we’ve tried really hard not to have a signature. Now it’s interesting because I have a lot of people say, ‘I can spot your work right away in a room of other flower shops’ work.’ And I said, ‘Really, how can you do that?’ And they say, ‘Because it’s always unique!’ So from that standpoint we really work hard to take what it is that the customer’s trying to convey, that message that they want to send, and then kind of develop the arrangement around that..”
What a great answer!
What Sets Creative Occasions Apart?
First of all, the uniqueness and their personalized approach to floral design makes them very appealing to customers. Mark says, “There are a lot of flower shops that work on a production model where they do 30 arrangements that are the same every day. That just sends shivers down my spine. Even when we’re doing 6 funeral baskets I want all 6 of them to be different. We really are trying to make it a very personal gift that they’re sending to whoever it is that they’re trying to convey that message to. Same with brides. That’s why we spend so much time with brides. Trying to figure out exactly what their look is, their style, and what it is that they’re trying to achieve at their event.”
Mark has also been told many times that he’s extremely easy to work with. He strives to make the process easy for his customers. He does this by responding favorably to changes, guiding couples through the process, and helping couples to implement their ideas and visions.
Mark’s Advice to Couples Searching for a Floral Designer
“First and foremost, vet the person that you’re going to talk to. Check out their reviews online. Look at Facebook and Instagram to see what their social media presence is like. Then look at places like Wedding Wire and The Knot to see what kind of feedback other clients have given who’ve worked with them in the past. All of those reviews speak very highly to whether they’ve loved working with them, it was not a good process, whatever the case may be.
Next, schedule an interview, never book somebody unless you’ve talked to them in person, "I would bet that in the first 3 minutes you will know whether you want to work with this person or not" says Mark.
When you’re interviewing floral designers you should already have your budget in mind. Expenditure for flowers can be a hard thing to figure out and most couples planning their weddings have no idea what to expect. Mark offers to help couples with this because it is so important in terms of the floral designer being able to guide you through choices. Don't be afraid to share your budget with any wedding professional because knowing this information helps us create an outcome that fits your event.
Mark also encourages his clients to create Pinterest boards that reflect the style they would like to create for their event. Pinterest can be a great resource for ideas and inspiration but keep in mind that price points are not listed and some things may not be doable depending on your budget. Mark works with his clients during their initial consultation to educated them on pricing and creating unique ideas that are within their budget.
Mark Frye Outside of Creative Occasions
Mark has been happily married for 36 years. He and his wife have 2 children, a daughter and a son. Both of his children are married and of course Mark designed the florals for both of their weddings! When Mark has spare time he enjoys reading, particularly books that will help him grow his business.
Creative Occasions is well respected within the wedding vendor community. They have a great reputation for delivering beautiful florals that are customized to meet the needs of their clients. Not only does Mark Frye have a wealth of experience, he also has a fantastic team. He has a 12 person staff and each one of them approaches every event with attention to detail and take pride in their work. Clients can have confidence in Creative Occasions given their 5 star rating on both The Knot and Wedding Wire. Thank you Mark for taking the time to meet with us and thanks for letting us share your story!
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Written by Blake King