Meet Kathryn Miller: From Healthcare to Floral Design

Meet Kathryn Miller: From Healthcare to Floral Design

We had the pleasure of sitting down with Kathryn Miller, the owner of Larkspur Lane Floral Co., to learn about her background and journey into the floral industry. Kathryn's story is one of perseverance and finding joy in creativity, and she has built a successful business that focuses on wedding and event florals. Come sit and chat with us.

Can you tell us a little about your background and what inspired you to become a florist?

Kathryn: My business is one built from grief and healing. My love for floral design started in college when I worked during summers at a local floral shop. It was always a retirement dream to start a flower shop. After I left college, my time was spent furthering my medical career, but flowers always seemed like my lifeline to creativity. My career and educational background is in healthcare. I am a Board-Certified Physician Assistant. I worked in a level 1 trauma center in the Emergency Department during COVID and eventually, it broke me. The death, the stress, and the loss of my grandmother caused me to re-evaluate what joy and happiness means to me. I finally asked myself, "Why am I waiting to open a flower shop until I retire?". I realized that life is too short to wait to do something that makes you happy. And thus Larkspur Lane Floral Co. was born. My business is named after the street I grew up on in Vail, CO.

How did you go about starting your own floral business? What were the initial challenges you faced?

Kathryn: With a dream and blind faith. Nothing in my training prepared me to start a business. SCORE mentorship was instrumental in structuring my business entity and learning who/where/when I needed to pay taxes to. My biggest challenge was learning the legal steps to actually create my business, how to be tax compliant. I found it exceptionally difficult to find resources that told me what city/county to pay and how often. I knew how to design and price arrangements, though I have still grown in those areas, but that felt like a manageable side of the business. It was very much a "you don't know what you don't know."


Why did you decide to start a floral business specifically, and what about the industry appealed to you the most?

Kathryn: Joy and creativity. I am a medical burnout. I still practice medicine, but my life is much more balanced now that I started my floral business. My favorite part of the industry is the collaboration with other floral designers and other creative minds. It feels like there is room for everyone to succeed and everyone wants each other to find success. It is such a supportive environment.

How have your personal tastes and style influenced the direction of your floral business?

Kathryn: My personal style is timeless elegance, garden inspired and artfully created. However, I put my own style and taste aside to meet the client's needs and design to their taste.


What do you think sets your floral business apart from others in the industry?

Kathryn: I think my client service sets me apart. I believe my clients feel heard by me, feel that I understand their vision and will elevate it, and trust me to execute their day and event perfectly.

How have you seen the floral industry change since you first started, and what trends do you think are driving those changes?

Kathryn: Flower shortages and flower cost increases have been insane since COVID. I have seen a large shift in many designers growing some of their own flowers and sourcing from local farms.


In your opinion, what role does sustainability play in the floral industry, and how have you incorporated sustainable practices into your business?

Kathryn: Sustainability is a growing trend in the floral industry. Almost every designer I know is making some effort to reduce their impact on the environment, and be a good steward to the Earth. I have eliminated all floral foam from my designs and compost my green waste that comes from organic farms.

How do you stay up-to-date on the latest trends and techniques in floral design, and how do you use that knowledge to innovate within your own business?

Kathryn: I follow several celebrity designers as well as many Colorado based florists that I consider to be innovative with their technical skills and floral choice. My growers and wholesalers are also a great

What do you think the future of the floral industry looks like, and how do you plan to adapt and grow your business to keep up with these changes?

Kathryn: I believe the industry will continue to grow and expand to more DIY teaching, business coaching, design coaching, course teaching/online curriculum and ongoing retail floristry. I have a very focused brand identity of Wedding & Event florals; I do not remotely dabble in retail or other business management.  I started my business because I love to design and make floral dreams come true, and I want to continue growing my client facing business. My focus has always been creating floral magic, letting my creativity flow and this being a source of joy for me. The minute this stops being my joy, I will stop. I hope that as other people branch out, that will make even more room for me to keep growing in the space I love.


What advice would you give to someone looking to start their own floral business or enter the floral industry?

Kathyrn: You will never feel ready, will never feel like you know "enough", so don't wait. Take the leap of faith and just do it. There is really no downside to it. You will learn, you will grow, you will be challenged, you will be scared and you will be stronger for the experience. Create your own parameters for success, don't think you are unsuccessful just because you're not doing or growing in the way someone else is. Starting my business has been the best, scariest, most wonderful thing of my life and I am so proud of myself. 

In conclusion, Kathryn's story is one of passion, resilience, and finding joy in creativity. Her dedication to excellent client service and sustainable practices sets her floral business apart in the industry. We are inspired by her journey and encourage anyone looking to start their own business to take the leap of faith and pursue their dreams. 

Don't forget to check out some of Kathryns Projects!
Instagram: @larkspurlanefloralco
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