Jun 17, 2019
Floral artist Kiana Underwood is
the celebrated owner of Tulipina an internationally renowned floral design
studio that creates bespoke experiences for luxury weddings
throughout the world. She has been named one of the top wedding
floral designers in the US and is the most followed floral designer
on Instagram. She is the author of Color Me
Floral and the host of
sold-out international workshops. She has also been featured in
many magazines, and her work is always in demand.
Kiana and I talk about the
importance of bravery and pushing past fear to create what you
desire. Her life and her work is an example of how she has pushed
passed this fear to create the art and life that she wants. She
shares her story of moving to the US and how freeing her new school
experience was. We get to learn how flowers were always part of her
life and culture, but it took bravery, tenacity, and out-of-the box
thinking to make floral art her business and life’s
- [00:23] Andy discovers that Kiana and her
husband Nate recently moved to a small farm in the Hudson Valley
- [01:23] Kiana explains how the beauty of nature
makes up for being so far away from the city.
- [01:40] Kiana shares how her grandfather had a
beautiful garden, and her mother always had fresh cut flowers in
- [04:01] She was searching for something, and
her husband suggested that flower arranging could be a business and
an outlet for her.
- [05:48] Kiana shares some personal history
about how she left Iran in the 1990s and came to the US when she
was a sophomore in high school.
- [06:50] Her school experience in the US was
amazing. She was struggling in Iran, but when she came here she
realized that teachers cared about her, and it helped her
- [08:29] She loved experiencing cultural
diversity and being accepted which gave her strength and
- [09:33] There are so many amazing florists in
San Francisco and Kiana was somewhat new to the industry. It was a
little bit scary.
- [12:20] Kiana shares how important it is to
push past the fear and take a chance. Whether it's coming to the
US, moving across the country to a farm, or starting a fledgling
floral arrangement business.
- [12:56] Challenge number one was navigating the
San Francisco flower markets. It took a while for Kiana to be known
before people were helpful.
- [14:08] It took two or three years of putting
her work with Tulipina on Instagram and the Internet before her
work started getting the respect it deserved.
- [15:32] During these experimental years, she
had to learn the names of the flowers as she was exploring and
finding her own style.
- [16:14] She also got the cold shoulder from the
industry once she started being well-known on social
- [16:53] Each week, she would go to the flower
market and explore and see what she could create, because that is
what gave her happiness.
- [17:25] Kiana would make arrangements and put
them online and interest slowly began to grow.
- [18:29] Kiana used amazing photography to
promote herself for free on Instagram.
- [19:23] She also made daring design decisions
with color and flower types.
- [21:19] Kiana creates what looks good, she
thinks of her work as a painting.
- [22:35] She is moved by music in a way that
could make her cry. This drives her creativity.
- [24:24] She brings art to events. She doesn’t
want to be a mass production florist.
- [25:03] Because the art is so individual she
only takes on a limited number of weddings a year.
- [25:37] Kiana shares her process.
- [26:44] Kiana shares the story of one of her
favorite brides who also loved color, had a budget and was willing
to step outside of the box and do something special.
- [28:48] Kiana shares one of the craziest
wedding experiences she had where there was a generational design
clash between the bride and the mother of the bride.
- [34:43] Kiana wants to conduct two or three
amazing workshops a year. Her first one this year was in Rome, and
it sold out. She wants to mostly concentrate on her destination
- [36:29] Kiana shares another experience where
she pushed past her fear and had her first international workshop
- [40:19] Kiana's husband has started working
with the business full-time which has really helped balance
business and family time.
- [42:26] Currently they are into their five-year
plan of building out their property in New York. Kiana is also
going to continue to work on amazing events.
This episode is sponsored by
Kushner Entertainment www.kushnerentertainment.com.
LINKS & RESOURCES
The Wedding Biz
The Wedding Biz
The Wedding Biz on Instagram
The Wedding Biz on Facebook
Tulipina Kiana Underwood
Tulipina on Pinterest
Tulipina Facebook Page
Tulipina on Instagram
Workshops and Webinars
Color Me Floral