My name is Lesa Atteo, and I am the owner of L.A. Flowers, Inc. My business caters exclusively to weddings. Therefore, I am a "wedding florist." If you already know me, then you probably know most of my story, since I am pretty much an open book. However, if you are a potential client, a new friend, or both, I want to give you a little background on how I ended up here because believe me, I never saw this coming!
Some time ago I was given the opportunity to change careers So I asked myself: What do you love to do, Lesa, in your spare time? Well, I thought, I love flowers. When I say, "I love flowers," I mean it! One fall, I planted these beautiful hollyhocks from seed, which I am very proud of, I must say. They ended up blooming in the summer. If you could imagine, I was watching these daily. So one day I was out in my yard admiring that they were taller than me, and I loved them so much that I hugged them! I didn't care who saw me. I am serious. Flowers make me happy!
This whole flower thing did not come about until I was like 30 years old. I moved into my house that had a nice size yard, and there was not one single flower. I am still perplexed by this since my house was previously owned by at least one other couple. Well, needless to say, I have tons of flowers! It's not what you think, though, like, a garden-walk-tour-type-thing, because I like to move things around. I am always digging, transplanting, and trying to multiply flowers -- or trying to start something new. I call it a "work in progress." A gardener's work is never done!
Well, okay, moving forward, I was like, okay, what else do I love? Well, I'm all about a true love story. I love the idea of romance, and weddings, and flowers! I like to set people up too! However, I need to stay out of the match-making business because it seems maybe those matches were not so good -- lol.
So I thought back to when I would frequent Borders Bookstore -- which is no longer there, and I am so sad about that -- I would order a hot chocolate and read wedding and bridal magazines in between working on transcripts. It's funny because I was already married with a beautiful and very sweet daughter and wasn't planning a wedding, but I loved everything about weddings from the fancy dresses to the beautiful jewelry, the idea of marriage, the hair, the shoes, the decor, and most importantly, the beautiful flowers......bam!
That was it! So I enrolleded myself in Floral Design courses at my local community college. Enrolling in school was not a big deal to me since I had already spent 5 1/2 years in college in my late teens and early 20's.
In fact, I remember picking my grandfather up from the airport many years ago; and the first thing he said to me was, Kid, you're like a professional student -- lol. I laugh now and probably did then too.
I was "old" to be a student, though -- wait! There were two ladies who were older than me; and one was taking the course because she could, and one was taking it as a hobby. Oh, no, I took this serious -- lol. I would go home and look at videos on how to do this and that. I would practice -- my husband made up for all the flowers he didn't buy me throughout the years, let me tell you! He bought me hundreds of dollars of flowers to practice with -- no joke. He never once complained about it either, and I love that about him.
Once I completed my Floral Design courses, I decided I wanted to work in a shop. The training was priceless. It was a lot of physical work, though, since I was used to working at a desk. I would wash buckets, process flowers, green vases, put together the mechanics for certain designs, and do floral design work -- the list is endless. If I would stare at the air for a minute, my boss would say, Lesa, what are you doing! She was serious. You would sit for maybe 20 minutes in 6 hours. However, if it wasn't for her and 5 other people -- Amy, Brianna, Laura, Mike, and Patrick -- I wouldn't be writing this blog today. So I am thankful to all of them.
However, in my heart, I wanted to design flowers for weddings! So I decided that I needed to start my own business. I was not clueless to the general concept of running a business, since I did freelance work before and was considered an independent contractor or self-employed. However, the accounting part of the business is still a learning experience -- the not so fun part, but hey, it comes with the territory.
So that's it, I am a wedding florist, and I design bouquets, corsages, boutineers, altar arrangements, wedding reception centerpieces, and the list goes on and on. I enjoy learning how couples meet, and I love that I can give them my undivided attention. Most of all, I love when they are happy with the flowers I designed for their special day.