"I'm just doing it my way day after day."
From the creation of her first wedding bouquet at age seven, to her years as a florist, stylist, and contributing editor at Martha Stewart Weddings, Livia Cetti’s evolution as a paper flower artist was as colorful as it was organic. Livia now has her own studio, The Green Vase, is the author of the Exquisite Book of Paper Flowers, and has a follow-up book due for release April 2017.
What was the pivot point that set you on your current path?
It's all been a natural evolution of the same path I was always on. I was working with fresh flowers for a long time and always knew that I didn’t want my own floral shop. It's such a saturated market in New York - there’s already so many great florists here. Eventually, I became a freelance stylist and was still doing mostly florals, that’s when I made my first paper flowers for a client. I was always looking for a cottage industry so that I could be at home, and close to my kids, so paper flowers were a perfect fit.
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give someone who’s going through their own transformation?
It’s a lot of work to start a new business or project. You’re going to have work really hard and wear so many different hats. Stay focused on what you love about your own business and don’t lose sight of it because the rest of it can easily consume you. Don’t be afraid to delegate things so you can focus on the parts that bring you joy.
Are you following the path of a trailblazer or being guided by a mentor?
I'm just doing it my way day after day!
Where in the world would you describe as the place that speaks to you - your soul place?
The beach in its many forms because it's the one place I can truly allow myself to relax. And Mexico, I love the food, the culture, the people, and all the visual stimulation.
If you could do anything, what in the world would you want to do next?
I would love to have a public space and be part of my community in that way - whether it’s a store or just a meeting place where other creative people can come. I live in Riverdale, New York and there’s not really anywhere like that.
All images used with permission from Livia Cetti.