We had the good fortune of connecting with Taylor Stevens and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Taylor, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
When I was planning my wedding in 2018, I was really struggling to find vendors who would work within my budget. It felt defeating to say the least. Vendor after vendor were unable to help us stick to our budget, constantly compromising quality for cost. As a creative individual passionate about helping others, I decided to start Evergreen Florals to offer some relief for couples who are simply trying to get married without breaking the bank. I take pride in my work, and believe that you shouldn’t have to compromise style for budget, which is why I promise to provide high-quality floral arrangements for a fraction of the price. In my three years of business, I have had the joy of serving over 50 brides on a budget by saving them each thousands of dollars.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Evergreen Florals is different from other florists because I don’t charge the same way other florists do. Instead of charging per-arrangement, I charge for my labor at an hourly rate. I offer flowers at direct wholesale cost, and only charge my brides for what I actually work for. By not offering flat rates for anything, I am able to tailor my arrangements to my couple’s style and budgets, and in turn, I hear all the time from my brides how thankful they are that I was able to get them everything they wanted without compromising their budget. That is certainty something I am proud of.
Starting Evergreen Florals was slow. I never really imagined it growing into what it is today, with nearly a wedding every weekend. It took about a year for it to really become something substantial, requiring more of my time and allowing me to quit my full-time job. But the main challenge of being a young business owner in Georgia is not being a Georgia native. I grew up in Southern California- so networking, meeting other vendors, and spreading the word was slower than I think it would have been if I had family close by to help cheer me on and hand out business cards. That’s why I really am so thankful for other vendors, venues, and close friends for helping spread the word about my business. Because of them, more couples are able to get some relief from the extremely difficult process of planning and paying for a wedding.
I have learned so much in the last three start-up years of business. Mainly, I have learned that genuine care gets you farther than hiking up prices. By supporting my brides not just as their florist but as their friend, my business continues to grow. Word of mouth is more than a marketing plan, but a testament to how my couples trust me and believe in me, just as much as I believe in their marriage.
I named my business Evergreen Florals because I believe every marriage is meant to be evergreen, deeply rooted and constant through every season. I truly believe in the power and sanctity of marriage, so more than just making beautiful and affordable arrangements, I get giddy when I think about the impact my couples will have on this earth and I’m just honored to be a part of their beginning in a small way. Overall, I see it as a ministry more than a business
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
This is a great question! Since I’m not from Georgia and only moved here 3.5 years ago, I still feel like a tourist myself sometimes. My business actually operates out of Gainesville, about an hour northeast of Atlanta. But I can’t take a day-trip to Atlanta without getting breakfast at Cafe Intermezzo, and ending the day with Jeni’s Brambleberry Crisp ice cream. In between that, I love to visit the Georgia Aquarium- I think because it reminds me of growing up near the beach. I love to take my two dogs on a walk on the BeltLine, and as a painter since childhood, visiting the High Museum of Art is always a joy. In Gainesville, I enjoy walks at Laurel Park, paddle boarding on Lake Lanier, and getting gyro from Alpha Gyro Grill (a true gift to Gainesville). Georgia is a treasure chest and I love it when my family comes to visit so I can show them around this beautiful state full of beautiful people.
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?
While there have been tons of vendors, friends, and other small business owners who have cheered me on along the way, I have to give the most credit to my husband, Tucker. He has supported me from the very beginning. We have sacrificed a lot to make this business a success, but even beyond tangible sacrifices, he gives up our evenings and weekends together to ensure we can make other people’s marriage stories a beautiful success. He gives everyone a business card, and as my backup floral assistant, he does all the dirty work and lets me handle the fun parts. He gives me the time, space, and freedom to run with my vision; Evergreen Florals simply wouldn’t exist without Tucker.
Another person I need to thank is Andrea Marie Hunter, of Andrea Marie Photos. She shot my first wedding in May 2018, and continues to cheer me on by referring tons of brides my way. She always captures my work beautifully when we get to work together, and has offered valuable of business advice along the way. My business really took off because of her willingness to trust me with her couples, and for that I am forever grateful.
Aly B. Carver Andrea Marie Hunter Emily Battles Luke Lambertson