Flower Power

Two stay-at-home moms discover the untapped market of flower bars. Ever heard of one? The concept just could be their crowning glory.

Imagine attending a wedding or baby shower, but instead of leaving with a monogrammed spoon or goodie bag, you waltz to your car with a crown of fresh flowers. It’s an idea that’s gaining traction in the Triangle with start-up Fresh Faced Floral; what surprised co-owner Zarrin Patton, 28, is that no one else seems to be doing it.

“From all the research I have done so far, there isn’t any other business that I can find in our area offering crown bars for hire at events,” says Patton, who started the business with friend Rebecca McCarter, 29.

Patton and McCarter first met a few years ago when they were pregnant. Their husbands worked together, and they bonded over their pregnancies.  In March of this year, those babies now over a year old, the women combined their makeup (McCarter) and floral arranging skills (Patton) and launched Fresh Faced Floral.

“Since we’re both moms, we love to help other moms feel beautiful for family photos or maternity shoots or baby showers,” says Patton. “We cater to brides mostly, but also provide our services for any special occasion.”

Flower bars offer brides and other party hosts a way to involve guests in creating their own parting gifts; the bars fit a variety of price ranges.

“The most affordable bar, for an intimate party such as a baby shower, bridal shower or graduation party is $200,” says Patton. “The highest value bar, for a wedding reception or event of up to 200 guests, is $700.”

The business gives both women the flexibility to care for their children and earn a living doing something they love. It’s a change of pace for McCarter, but she wouldn’t change a thing.

“I am a licensed attorney who has always had a love of everything makeup,” she says. “I’ve been doing makeup since I was a kid—truly I was 10 and helping the older dancers at my ballet company put on false eyelashes—and have worked at a couple of different makeup counters.”

Patton, of Chapel Hill, had been brainstorming business ideas and kept coming back to her floral arranging skills, developed since high school. Blending the two services was a good concept, but balancing babies and business? A little trickier.

“Much of the work I’ve done on our Facebook page or the website has been done while holding a screaming, teething baby. I know it’s the same for Zarrin, too,” says McCarter. “What has surprised me most, though, is how much I love being a part of someone’s special occasion. I love contributing to the glow and being a part of the magic.”

Christa Gala

Christa Gala

Christa Gala worked for 16 years as a newspaper columnist and freelance writer across digital and print platforms before joining Raleigh Magazine. Gala is in her fifth semester teaching Writing and Reporting at UNC-Chapel Hill’s renowned School of Media and Journalism.
Christa Gala

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