We had the good fortune of connecting with Malori Maeva and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Malori, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I’m a huge advocate for work life balance and a firm believer in its existence. When I first started Form Floral seven years ago, the hustle mentality was front and center in the conversation around entrepreneurship. You weren’t successful if you weren’t working around the clock – cue so many ads about the “Freedom” entrepreneurship creates with a model sitting on the beach responding to emails. I’m not sure about you, but going on vacation and being forced to respond to emails in a sandy beach chair does not feel like freedom to me. It took a few years of this experience and losing a parent to cancer for me to realize that the true freedom in any type of job is the ability to step away from it and live your life. I realized that I didn’t want to be the person on the beach with my macbook perched on my lap. So, I made some big changes in the way I approached “balance”. 

Now, I have strong boundaries between my work and personal life. Some of the changes are small and easy to implement while other took more time and energy to enact. I have separate social media accounts for myself and my company, I’ve turned off all email notifications on my phone, and I don’t allow clients or vendors to communicate with me via text. I set work hours for myself and when I come home at the end of the day, I’m no longer checking email, taking calls, or meeting with folks. I’ve got an amazing team around me who is empowered to take action on projects and day-to-day tasks without my involvement. We’ve created systems that automate many of our daily tasks and we teach our clients to expect responses/action from us only during business hours. While each of these elements alone seems small, they all add up to a really beautiful balance – not just for myself but also for the incredible people on my team. I think the biggest mistake entrepreneurs make is believing that work/life balance is a day to day time-clock. The reality is that there are seasons when you’re going to be working a lot and others that are less demanding. The key to balance is giving yourself the time to breath during the slow seasons and building in breaks during the busier times.

What should our readers know about your business?
Form Floral started as a boutique wedding and event floral design business that created art-focused flower arrangements. This spring, we’ll be bringing our years of expertise to our first brick and morter location and offering daily flower arrangements and gifts! Over the years, we’ve really honed in on a style that emphasizes unique blooms, quality ingredeints, and an emphasis on function. We don’t think feeling special or using beautiful things should be saved only for BIG days in your life. Rather, we want to help you craft a world where something as rote as washing your dishes turns into a special moment with a soap that smells incredible and a gorgeous, earth-friendly dish brush. I think the mix of function with art is what really sets Form apart from other floral shops in town.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Let’s pretend we’re in a post-covid world where everything is open and we can breathe all over the place! I love coffee so each day would need to start with a drink from one of the many incredible local cafes. My favorites are First Place Coffee, Berdenas, Gypsy Cup, Mythical Coffee, and Peixoto (depending on what part of town we’re in!). Breakfast is the best meal of the day so after you’re caffeinated, visit Matt’s Big Breakfast, Valentine Phoenix, Ollie Vaughn’s, or my friends at Stoop Kid (also a great spot for dinner!) for some breakfast noms. We’re fed so now we need to shop a bit to make room for the next meal (I live to eat, ya’ll). Make your home and life more beautiful at Local Nomad, Noons, Crackle, and For the People. Pick up some clothes with our friends at Vida Moulin and Phoenix General (first stop at Naked Rebellion for some undies). Snag an afternoon snack at Scoopwells (a cookie dough parlor) and bask in the sun in their gorgeous courtyard with a beer from Huss Brewery. We’ll dedicate our afternoon to some culture. I will always and forever love the Phoenix Art Museum; visit their regular exhibits or catch something truly special depending on what they’re featuring when you’re around. Pop over to Scottsdale to visit Cosanti (buy a bell) then mosey on down to Roosevelt Row/Grand Ave to see gorgeous murals by a bunch of valley artists. And now? We drink. Well, I guess we can eat too. If you LOVE food, you can’t go wrong at Persepshun, Restaurant Progress, Century Grand, or Chantico. Want something more casual and quick? Pop in to Otro Cafe, Parlor Pizza, And finally, for your nightcap, we love Lux Coffee Bar (let their bartenders make you something AMAZING), Bitter & Twisted, Greenwood Brewing, Wren House, and Citizen Public House. More of a “drink at home” kind of person? Stop by Sauvage for the best wine in town.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have a few shoutouts because it really takes a village to keep a small business going! Book: Profit First! If you consider yourself a “creative” and like to pretend the money half of your business doesn’t exist, this is for you. Nail down your profit margins, get your expenses under control, and do it all with a SUPER straightforward method. This book changed the game for me. People: My dear friend Kelly (who is a mentor with Be Sage Consulting – https://besageconsulting.com/hire-a-wedding-business-coach/) has given me so much guidance and wisdom over the years. If you’re looking for a coach who’s a PRO at building systems and building/managing a team, Melissa is your gal (https://melissakayjones.com/relationship-focused-systems/). On a more day-to-day level, my team is AMAZING and we really would not be here without them.

Website: http://formfloral.com

Instagram: @formfloral / @malorimaeva

Facebook: https://facebook.com/formfloral

Image Credits
Photography: form-floral-2088: Vienna Glenn LockettMeadowElopement: photo by Gebriel and Ryne Muniz-277: Alex Maxwell Edited-0068: Jaimee Morse

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.