Born into a family of landscape and floral designers, Kim Starr Wise comes by her love of flowers and nature naturally. For more than 20 years, she learned the ropes of floral design and event planning in New York City, before moving to New Orleans and opening her own business. Wise says she prides herself on giving her clients unforgettable and beautiful events — whether simple or swanky — custom-tailored to each person’s specifications and desires. Beyond just flowers, she can also help with décor, linens, lighting and even furniture for any event.
Bon Vivant: How are you navigating the COVID-19 crisis (in business or personally)?
Kim Starr Wise: Business-wise, I have been going to the office Tuesday through Friday from 10 to 3 p.m. It’s great to be here in my work environment, so that I stay focused. It’s been really helpful when it comes to engaging new clients and having Zoom meetings, and I’ve been able to continue to run the business from a really low-impact level.
Personally? Ha ha — I’ve been watching lots of great shows on Netflix and other streaming services. I’ve done some cooking, but I really don’t need to eat two dozen chocolate chip cookies!
BV: What creative methods are you discovering in order to continue to serve clients?
Starr Wise: Zoom is a fantastic new find for my clients. I’ve learned the importance of connecting via cell phone (text messages) and Zoom. It’s essential for me to see my clients’ facial expressions, and texting provides instant gratification. I can get an immediate reaction to a photo of a linen or their preferred container of choice.
Also, [I offered] the local community floral arrangements for Mother’s Day and [am creating] custom-designed bunch boxes: loose flower bunches that arrive at your door and [you] get to arrange yourself. They are shipped directly from a farm in California. It helps the struggling American flower farmers during the crisis and gives my clients something to look forward to when the box arrives on their doorstep! (A flower arrangement delivered to your door is pretty awesome, too).
BV: Who or what is inspiring you right now and why?
Starr Wise: The strong people in our community who are staying at home each day, protecting themselves and every one of us by respecting the [safer-at-home] mandate and not spreading the virus. Also, Mayor Cantrell, the first responders, essential employees and medical professionals who risk their lives for us every day.
BV: Guilty pleasure?
Starr Wise: Baked goods and shoes.
BV: If readers did only one thing to enhance their interior, what would you suggest?
Starr Wise: Buy fresh flowers to brighten up your day!