We had the good fortune of connecting with Heather Kocevar and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Heather, what’s been your favorite thing to do during quarantine?
Haha. I think everyone would like to say that they have mastered some amazing skill during this time or redecorated their home or even built beautiful projects to call their own. The truth is, quarantine has been a time of self-reflection for me. It has helped me to step back and really realize who I am as a designer and what I want to do with the talents G-d has given me. I would be lying if I said I hadn’t mourned for things lost and wedding cancelled or rescheduled. I have felt the blow to the wedding industry and picked up my wounded heart off of the floor more times than I care to admit. Yet, on the flip side, it has given me the time to be able to work on my craft. I have developed my skills and become more confident in foam-free installations and foam-free design work. I have shifted my goals from making brides and grooms happy to healing my heart and those hearts around me with this beautiful thing we call art. I know weddings will return and I fully believe this is only a season but I am truly doing what I am called to do. First and foremost, I know that using my art as a vessel of beauty, strength, encouragement and love is what’s most needed during this quarantine season.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I would describe my artistic style as garden-inspired. Over the years, I have really grown a passion for gardening and in particular, flower growing. It has been amazing to me to learn about flowers and their care from the very infantile stage of seed starting. Working with flowers on this level has really helped me learn more about their hardiness, watering needs, cut flower life and more. I would say my style has evolved naturally from this process as well. I love seeing a way flowers curve towards the light or how clusters occur naturally in the outdoors. I desire to mimic these patterns in my everyday designs and look for cues from nature in what I am designing in the studio. I follow the nature shape of the stems for guidance on where they should be placed in each arrangement or bouquet and take natures lead in creating color stories that compliment and meld with one another. I think it is really what sets my work apart!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Atlanta is such a great city and there are so many great spots to visit. I would definitely recommend walking the Atlanta Botanical Gardens (especially during their holiday lights display)! The thought to color, patterns and detail is so beautifully overwhelming to me. I also would take a trip to the new Braves stadium because I am a baseball lover. There’s something so special about sitting in the stands cheering on your team while being surrounded by thousands of people and the energy that brings. As far as dining, that is a tough one! I am a foodie at heart so I love trying new restaurants each time I go out. I would say a few of my favorites would be True Food (everything on the menu is AMAZING) and Marakesh at Ponce City Market. I love the Mediterranean flavors and the use of unique spices and flavors their food brings. Lastly, I would suggest an outdoor market or festival in Atlanta on any given weekend. These are a great way to experience some of the best food, the best cultural experiences and an all around entertaining time for the whole family.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would love to shoutout to my vendor community. If it weren’t for the supportive people in my industry cheering me on, I wouldn’t be where I am today. This industry can be incredibly difficult. It really is an emotional rollercoaster on any given day. Knowing fellow vendors who are going through the same experiences and even leaning on those fellow vendors for advice and guidance is one of the keys to my success over the years. In particular, I would love to thank a fellow floral designer and mentor, Holly Chapple. I joined Holly’s designers group, Chapel Designers, about 5 years ago when I knew I wanted to shift the aesthetic and intent of my business. I truly admired her work and her ability to remain true to her family values. She was a cheerleader for me from day one. Not only did she provide valuable resources to me as a florist, but she was able to be that ear to hear my challenges and the voice of reason in the middle of my chaos. She provided so much business insight for me that it really sparked new growth in my company and a confidence in my design work. Holly not only cared about my business, but she cared about me. On multiple occasions, she spent many hours chatting through difficult situations in my life and rejoicing with me in their triumphs. She has really been there for me through the thick and thin and I really do owe a good deal of my success to her. Thanks, Holly!

Website: www.stemsatlanta.com
Instagram: @stemsatlanta
Facebook: @stemsatlantaflorals
Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/stems-atlanta-kennesaw

Image Credits
Lovely photos by Lauren Rae Photography, Jill Doty Photography and Doivoux Photography