Have you ever met someone on a particular day and, though you may not have been able to put your finger on it, you realized they're exactly the person you needed to meet that day? That's how it felt when Pat DeVivo and I finally got together. Pat is the owner of a relatively new business called Petals & Plates, a floral boutique and vintage tableware rental shop in Southington, Connecticut. We met on Instagram in a wedding vendors group set up by our mutual "friendor", wedding planner Sarah Brehant.
As the new year began, I was frantically updating my web site. Sharing it in the IG group and looking for feedback, Pat generously offered to proofread it for me. I knew then I had to meet her in person and learn all about what made this lovely lady so special.
As Pat and I talked, I immediately felt the connection of a fellow new business owner making her way in this world. She showed me around her beautiful shop; part floral center, part tableware and event decor. We browsed through the countless dish patterns she'd collected from thrift shops and second hand stores. The glassware, in a variety of colors, dates back to the 1950s and 60s, and many of the plates are even older than that. Each piece brings character and an unexpected touch to the table..
Pat showed me some set-ups she had used in a recent styled shoot produced by Brehant Creations. It's clear that her collections of glassware, place settings, and candle holders can be used to create the most beautiful table. There's no limit to the options for creativity.
She sees the table scape as a puzzle; working different pieces together til they all fit perfectly. I had no trouble picturing her with a bride or couple, as they planned the perfect look for the wedding dinner.
For a recent wedding, the table design featured gold chargers under each dinner plate along with a vintage gold-edged salad plate and, at the bride's request, different colored water goblets at each place setting. Delightful, unexpected and whimsical all in one place! The design came about after a fun meeting with the bride and her designer, Pearl Weddings. As they played with various elements around the table, they worked together to design all the wedding table settings and pack bins for easy setup on the day of the wedding.
Also a full service florist, Pat loves integrating her vintage pieces into floral design. My favorites were the dainty, painted teacups filled with small arrangements of flowers. They were just perfect for a ladies afternoon tea luncheon or a birthday surprise for someone special.
Pat spent years in the corporate office life before becoming a creative business owner. The traditional day job was the best path at the time, while raising her kids. But she always dreamed of doing something out on her own. Now with her children grown, the time was right to make this vintage shop dream a reality. When the opportunity presented itself, she took it as a sign and immediately found the perfect location on Eden Avenue. The 1949 Cape style home had been operating as a flower shop for many years and was, coincidentally, built the same year Pat's parents were married. Another sign! She walked into the space, and it spoke to her. It was exactly where she was supposed to be.
Pat and I talked talk for quite a while about family life. As a wife and mother, the balance between the obligations to your family and the desire to have your own business can be tough to juggle. Fortunately for us, we're both lucky to have supportive spouses in our corner. But a lot goes through your mind during these early days of business ownership. There is self doubt and tons of over analyzing. I don't know about Pat, but on this day, I had been doing my fair share of second guessing and hoping that starting my own business was where I was supposed to be. But there's something about Pat. She beams sunshine and positively. She's creative, enthusiastic and you can just tell how thrilled she is to be here. In business, as in life, it really does take a village sometimes. I feel so lucky to have met so many wonderful wedding business owners, particularly the women. Each of them work hard each day towards their goals, while at the same time, lifting others along with them.
I left my visit with Pat that afternoon, feeling energized and focused once again. In business, your network and support system is so important but it also takes something more. There has to be a real love for what you do, a desire to serve your clients at the highest level and provide each of them a unique experience that will enhance any occasion, big or small. This is what you can expect when working with Pat DeVivo at Petals & Plates. I'm so grateful for this connection and thanks for the reminder!
Please visit Pat to outfit your next dinner party, fundraiser, wedding or special event.
To learn more about Petals & Plates, visit them online at: www.petalsandplatesct.com/
and follow on IG: www.instagram.com/petalsplates/
All my best with no stress!