Whether she’s brightening up someone’s day or event with beautifully arranged florals or caring for her children, Vintage Florist Mom on the Street Grace McDonald brings welcoming and creative energy to everyone she meets.
Owner & Lead Florist, Grace McDonald started Flower Clvb after years of experience designing for individual clients and high-end boutiques in New York City. Challenging the ways art is made and consumed is part of the ethos by which Grace approaches floral design. Through her passion for nature, she is driven to create thoughtful and bespoke designs, prioritizing sustainability and quality sourcing. Her background working with contemporary artists inspires her sculptural style and curiosity for unconventional ideas.
Vintage Florist Business
Tell us a little bit about your business Flower Clvb, When did you start it up? What inspired you to take the leap into starting your own business?- What locations do you serve?
I started my business officially in 2018 after working in arts education and designing on the side for many years. My first floral design job was for a floral shop in Waco, TX when I was in college. Fun fact, that flower shop is now Silo’s Baking Co-owned by HGTV’s Chip and Joanna Gaines. That floral shop taught me the nitty-gritty of working with flowers.
The onus to start my business was becoming a mother. When I was pregnant with my first I realized I wanted to be in charge of my own schedule. I have always had an entrepreneurial bent so Flower Clvb was born out of my desire to have a career that would speak to my natural giftings while allowing me to be available for my children.
How did the pandemic affect your business and how is it coming back better than before?
When the pandemic started, my business was bloomin’. I was building momentum, booking weddings, delivering flowers to cute little NYC boutiques, and then with the snap of a finger all events were canceled or postponed, and shops closed down. I quickly worked with my clients to reassure them that I was here for them. Every bride rescheduled; I had no cancellations so as you can imagine that made 2021 quite busy. In fact, 2021 felt like going from 0 to 100.
As a mother, that first year of the pandemic was actually a really precious time, not so much for my business but for our family. My neighbors and I banded together and really formed a tribe. I learned to cook, I played with my kids. In some ways, I grieve the lost time with my children and neighbors as I look back on 2021, while at the same time feeling so grateful to have abundant work.
Family Support and Lifestyle
Do your family, friends, and husband support you in your business endeavors? How so?
Though it has certainly been challenging, my family, including my mother and my husband’s mother, have supported us with childcare help. Weddings are generally scheduled months in advance so my husband and I can often work out childcare schedules during my work weeks.
How has your work and floral style evolved through the years? Between working, raising a family, and other hobbies?
I would say my floral style has evolved to incorporate more seasonal blooms and locally-foraged foliage. I have actually come to use less greenery where I once used a lot of eucalyptus. Any processes or systems I have developed to streamline my business such as Honeybook and make me more efficient, have allowed me to spend more time with my family. Waking up early to have some quiet time and do my work rather than leaving it till the end of the day has proven beneficial as well.
Business Rewards, Challenges, and Goals
What are the biggest challenges and rewards of owning your own business?
The biggest challenges are balancing motherhood with the stresses and growth of my business. As a working mother, there are extra logistics to figure out with childcare. My youngest has never attended school or daycare since she has lived the majority of her life amidst the pandemic. With school frequently getting canceled or children getting sick there are more variables and risks that complicate things. The biggest reward is building a business with the primary goal of honoring people by making them feel special and loved through my flowers. When a bride looks at her flowers and says, “I have never seen anything more beautiful, “ it feels so good.
What is your number one piece of advice to other business owners?
Identify the stress points in your business and seek out help where you need it. It is worth the dollar amount. Even if it costs something now it will likely benefit your business in the long run.
Where can people find your business on social media/ your website?
Vintage Florist Style
Which three words best describe your style?
Vintage, chill, bright
What are your favorite places to shop?
Shopping ethically is a priority to me, so most of the clothes in my closet come from resale shops, things my friends were getting rid of, or Everlane. I buy my hats from Lovely Bird, a California-based hat company.
What’s your best style advice?
I think clothes look best when they mimic nature. This does not always mean neutrals. Nature is full of color. My summer uniform is Mexican embroidered dresses and lots of colors since it’s the season where everything is blooming. In winter I generally stick to neutrals and add pops of color similar to the red pop of a berry on a holly bush.
What article of clothing/accessory would you not want to live without?
My Bite mascara
Which trend would you want to see make a comeback?
I love anything 1960’s Twiggy!
What should NEVER make a comeback?
Maybe the velour tracksuit.
What fashion/style did you love at the time but now cringe when you see old photos?
Puka shell necklaces
What’s your best style secret (e.g., Spanx, fake eyelashes, good makeup, etc.)?
If you are freckle-faced like me, a little extra blush is a great way to brighten the face. For my coloring, going with something more peachy and bronzy is best.
Stilettos or flats?
Somewhere in between.
Vintage Florist Family
What’s your favorite way to spend time with your family?
I love taking my kids to a baseball or basketball field and letting them play ball. It is so fun to see them in their element and really fulfilling as a parent to engage with them through physical activity since I played sports my whole life.
What’s been your best family vacation?
Last April we went to Destin, Florida with my parents, sister, and her children. Watching the kids with their cousins, experience the vastness of the ocean in the water after a long winter was so refreshing.
Best parenting advice:
Diffuse tantrums with humor! When my children are in the middle of a tantrum, I have found that taking off my mom hat and transforming into a silly character that can enter their world and makes them laugh, lifts them out of their frustration. It works almost every time.
Parenting true confession:
My son changes his clothes frequently throughout the day and pulls out all the shirts in his drawers searching for the one he wants. So rather than folding his clothes as I do everyone else’s, I often simply pile them in his drawers since I know they will be strewn about the floor anyway.
What’s your go-to family dinner?
I make these meatballs that are full of spinach and healthy stuff and they LOVE them. I pour marinara sauce over them and pair them with a vegetable or pasta.
What’s your favorite family restaurant?
Any place with good Mexican food! My kids love quesadillas and usually, we can find something that everyone in the family loves! Our local Mexican restaurant is called Loco Pez.
Vintage Florist Life
What’s your favorite show to binge-watch?
I am a sucker for the Walking Dead. I love the grandiose moral complexities that the show explores through its apocalyptic context.
If you could pick anyone to star as you in a movie based on your life, who would it be? What’s your favorite beach read?
Non-fiction humor. Anything funny and well written so likely David Sedaris.
What song would you dance to when nobody’s watching?
This is a tough one I think because I love dancing with other people. When I was starting to feel contractions during the labor of my son, I listened to the Notorious B.I.G. and began to dance to speed things up. Though I will say when I was in my intense contractions, nothing served me better than Aretha Franklin’s gospel album…
If you could go shopping with anyone from history, living or deceased, who would it be?
What’s at the top of your travel bucket list?
As a Texas-born girl living in the Northeast, I crave the sunshine and water of the Pacific. I would love to take the kids to Big Sur! It is where my husband and I went on our honeymoon. We have so many special memories there that I want to share good memories with the kids.
What’s your favorite way to unwind at the end of a long day?
Sitting on the porch with my next-door neighbors, drinking wine or tea, and going off on tangents about whatever is muddling through our brains at the time.
Flower Clvb Lifestyle
We love how Grace pours a personality full of courage, creativity, and grace into her business and life. We are inspired by her vintage floral style and way of handling motherhood with love and color.