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Meet Trailblazer Laura Cavanaugh

Today we’d like to introduce you to Laura Cavanaugh.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I never wanted to start my own business. Moving from another country and finding a job turned out to be harder than expected. I did a lot of research about wedding businesses in Denver and sent so many emails asking about internships, even offering to help for free just to get my foot in the door, but I got zero responses back. I was absolutely devastated, and heartbroken. I had no idea how to move forward until I remember my teacher’s words; “If you can’t find a job what you like, create one for yourself.” Encouraged by my husband, I did what was needed to be done, and created a job for myself.

Lummé Creations started as a wedding planning company, as I had previous experience with organizing events. At that point, I knew pretty much nothing about flowers but they’ve always intrigued me and I’ve always wanted to learn more. I signed up for a floral arranging class organized by Frances from Prema. After the class, I collected my courage and walked up to her asking if she ever has interns helping her. She took me under her wing and taught me so much what I know nowadays. I will always be grateful for everything she did for me, as well as Shannon from the Olive and Poppy who also trusted me and let me freelance for her for the past two years while I was trying to grow Lummé.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has been far from a smooth road and I don’t think it will ever be, but the bumps just get smaller along the way. I think it’s universes way of testing our mental strength and actual willpower to do what we are doing.

When I started my company, I took on almost every job I could get. One of my first clients was a sweet woman who suddenly turned into a total bully. I’m an immigrant and there is no way for me to hide it. I have an accent. My grammar isn’t perfect and I know it. But she kept on reminding me about it in really mean ways, literally making me in tears every single day. I was destroyed. I thought to myself if this is how it’s always going be. No one will never accept me and see past the fact that I’m an immigrant, what I can actually do. It wasn’t until one day my husband came home from work and found me crying on the floor, he told me to fire her. My first reaction was NO, I can’t fire my client. But soon after, I collected my strength to stand up for myself and I did let her go. That was the hardest but also the best thing for me and my business what I have ever done.

From this, I learned to listen to my gut and say no every once in a while. We don’t need to and we absolutely can’t please everyone. It is so important to have boundaries and also remember why you are doing what you are doing. There is nothing else I want to do. This is what I was meant to do. This is what brings me joy. Creating floral art for people’s life celebrations and seeing how much joy flowers bring to others makes my heart so happy. And clearly, I wasn’t able to make this woman happy so it was the best thing for both of us.

This also taught me to embrace who I am, where I am from, and now, me being an immigrant is part of my story, my brand, and I am not ashamed of not speaking or writing perfectly.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Lummé Creations – what should we know?
I am a floral designer and I specialize in bespoke wedding and event florals. Someone once described my style as “calm modern elegance” and I think that is what Lummé is known for. I use colors in our designs but not the brightest ones. Soft, muted and feminine tones are what I like to use. I do classical pieces but I always add a small modern twist into it, whether it’s some branches or dried flowers, you can pretty much always find something “unique” from the floral pieces. What you can’t find is that much greenery, unless it is part of the color palette. I like flowers, and I like them to tell the story.

I’m the proudest of how far I’ve become. I had no business training from the States nor any training in design or flowers either. I had no connection in this city. After all the obstacles at the beginning, I’m so proud that I’ve been able to gain the trust of so many clients. I think the key to that has been good communication, and that is what we are also known for and we will never stop doing that. I always tell my clients to reach out for any wedding related reason. I’m just happy if I can be of any help.

So much of the media coverage is focused on the challenges facing women today, but what about the opportunities? Do you feel there are any opportunities that women are particularly well positioned for?
I’m a firm believer that woman can do anything they want. Sure, we may not be physically equipt to lift as heavy objects than men but we can still do some of that because we are mentally tougher (sorry guys) than men. Women are great leaders. Our organizational brain works well and we are great at multitasking. If we think about the “role of women”, we are meant to raise a family, and that takes a lot. Raising children, keeping the house clean, making sure there is food at all times, no one is late from school/hobbies, etc. That takes a lot of organizing and time-management and multi-tasking. Not to forget that we have feelings and we are not afraid to use them. If you have employees, sometimes, it’s good to be empathetic to be able to understand what they are feeling to make their stay at the firm more comfortable. In Greek, they have a saying “Man is the head of the house but the woman is the one turning the head” and I think that is quite accurate. We are well positioned for doing whatever our heart desires and never let anyone tell you otherwise.

Pricing:

  • Full-Service Design starting from $2500
  • Part-Service Design starting from $1000
  • A la Carte (Pick Up Only ) starting from $500

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Kerry Jeanne Photography, J&K Photography, Allie & John Photography, Walnut Street Photography, Sara Weir Photography

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