Making a Floral Footprint: 7 Questions with Detroit’s Finest Florist - Naddine Ahmad
By Kaitlyn Rose
Inspired by nature, driven by flair - Blüm Floral Boutique is making its mark in the industry of floral design. Founder, florist, and Michigan-native Naddine Ahmad designs captivating creations that bring life and beauty to every occasion. With no two designs alike, each arrangement is handmade with elaborate detail. Earning a spot on the list of Detroit’s top 50 female entrepreneurs, 27-year-old Naddine is a woman to watch blossom this year!
Florist - Naddine Ahmad (Seen on @blumfloral/IG)
1. What attracted you to the floral industry?
For almost my entire life, my dad and I would garden together. Gardening has always been our thing! I loved gardening so much, but I actually started out on the Pre-med route. I have a degree in the science field and I’ve always thought that I would be a doctor. I applied to medical school, and I got in. It was so exciting because it was something that I had worked so hard for. I worked at Beaumont for several years and my life was going as planned. Then, one day I realized that medicine just wasn’t for me. I loved it so much but something about it felt off. I’ve always been more passionate about creative things and got to the point where I felt like medicine wasn’t what I was truly supposed to be doing.
2. When did you decide to finally start your business?
In 2018, two days before my birthday, I had a dream that I started a floral design business and was hosting workshops for aspiring florists. I’m totally not the type of person that has a lot of meaningful dreams but this one felt so real. I brought up the dream that I had to my dad, and told him that I actually wanted to do start a floral design business. My dad was fully onboard and two days later I started filling out the paperwork. I then became an established business in Michigan on February 7, 2018. It blows my mind that I’m already in year two!
3. Wow, from a dream to reality! How did you come up with the name Blüm?
I actually had a super long brainstorming session with all of my best friends to come up with the name. I wanted a cool name that people hadn’t heard before, and most of the suggestions were words in different languages. We brainstormed for hours! I still have the original notebook with all of the name ideas in it, and some of them were horrible! We went from Fleur to Pretty Peonies, and so many other names that just didn’t work. Then, we thought of ‘Blüm,’ and I loved it. It’s sweet, simple, and means ‘flower’ in German.
4. What is the process and inspiration behind each arrangement?
People never believe me when I say this but, I never have a game plan going in. I have an idea and recipe, such as the amount of flowers, the type of flowers, and so on. But, every client is different! Some clients are very strong from the get-go and know exactly what they want. Then, there are those clients that have no idea what they want and want me to figure it out. Honestly, those are the clients that I truly love because I can get as creative as I want! I have always liked my work to be more organic, free-flowing, and natural-looking. I typically don’t use true reds, true yellows, or other pigmented colors. I love softer colors that are more washed and rustic.
5. You’ve had so much success in just two years! What have been some of your biggest highlights?
I think my biggest accomplishment was when my work got published in a magazine for the first time last year. I was working on a styled shoot and I didn’t know that the photos were going to be sent to the magazine. It was such a fun collaboration. I brought eight huge buckets worth of florals, and I had no idea what I was making until I got there. The experience itself was amazing because I had to plan and create on the spot. And sometimes that’s when the best work comes out - when you don’t have the time to plan and you just let your creativity run what you’re doing.
(Photos by: @livinthemomentwedding)
I’ve also worked with a lot of amazing female organizations. I love empowering women and I’m very passionate about supporting brands that have the same message. One of my favorites to work with is Femology. For one of their events, I created an indoor garden and the founder Meagan Ward spoke some of the sweetest words about me and my arrangements in front of the audience. I was so touched by her recognizing me individually, and she has no idea how much I look up to her. Her support has opened up so many doors for my business and is a huge portion of why Blüm is where it is today.
Flower Wall for Femology: Female Millionaires (Photo: @Femology/IG)
6. What advice do you have for aspiring female entrepreneurs?
A lot of women tell me that they want to start a business, but don’t actually start because someone else is “doing the same thing.” Whatever industry that you’re interested in, there’s enough space for you. There are so many florists in the Detroit Metro area, but there’s enough space for all of us! There’s never been a point of competition. All of us have our niche. I believe it really comes down to hard work, dedication, and what you put into it. Not a lot of people know this, but I work a 9 to 5. I work in corporate quality improvement, and it’s a pretty intense field. But, I still make time for my business because I know I could be a bigger and better florist, and one day solely run my business. Also, a support system is everything. I’m a self-run business, but I bounce everything off of my support system including my best friends and family. Even with things as simple as product descriptions, logo colors, or photo edits, I’m constantly asking for feedback. Your support system will definitely help you build your brand.
Pink-Toned Mirror Table Shot by @zaoudephotography/ IG
7. What’s next up for Blüm?
I definitely plan to expand the type of work that I make. I’m so excited to do more unique installations, hone in on my skills, and show that the type of creations I make are endless!
"Today marks 2 incredible years of Blüm Floral! Over the last 2 years, I have created over 130 events, been published, worked with other incredible creators, spoken at events, collaborated with charities, and now, I am expanding into event planning! Through all of your support, and constant asking, I have decided to launch Full Blüm Events! Please check my new page out @fullblumevents and keep your eyes peeled for what I have coming up on Monday! As always, I look forward to continuing to bring your visions to reality. XO - Naddine 💓" @blumfloral/IG
Keep up with Naddine and Blüm Floral Boutique on
Facebook.com/Blum Floral, and
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