We had the good fortune of connecting with Maria Artice and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Maria, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
The most important factor behind our success and of our brand is our family and our community. We believe is important to be engaged in our community. We love getting to know and build friendships. We are grateful for all our customers as the growth of our business and brand has happened organically through word of mouth and repeat customers that follow us through different markets, recognize our brand and refer us to their friends, family and think of us for getting something special for any special occasion or gift giving.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Wood flowers is a craft that is relatively new to the US. The flowers are made out of Sola Wood (Shola) and it comes out of the Tapioca or Yucca plant. This wood is very light and has a corky texture. Because of its material they are biodegradable and eco-friendly. All the flowers are handmade one by one by myself or by artisans. The beauty of these flowers is that they can be painted or stained in any color and with different painting techniques that helps to give them depth, texture and achieve a very natural looking flower.
These flowers have become a great alternative for brides, because they do not have to worry for preserving their bridal bouquets but also of the flexibility to get custom colors that perhaps might not be easy to find in certain seasons or in nature.
The love for wood flowers and creating flower arrangements has lead me to seek mentorship from other wood flower florists. I have also trained with fresh flower designers to learn mechanics, color theory, combination of texture and building different flower bouquets. They are on their own a one of a kind form of sculpture beautiful and unique.
Some of the challenges we face is that at time customers from a distance might think that they are fresh flowers (which do not get me wrong that is the best compliment!) but is a challenge to continue to create the awareness of the materials used to create these flowers.
The flowers have also helped to continue to bring some cheer to our community. We have started as of 2022 our sponsor a stem for a senior. This year we were able to give over 100 flowers to residents of two senior living facility. This was a collaboration with our customers and us creating the flowers. They were distributed to the facilities and their residents on February 14th 2022. And we are looking forward the opportunity to expand this event and add more senior facilities in the years to come.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
One of the best places to start the day with a great breakfast and some morning cocktails is The Broken Yolk in Mesa, then head to Downtown Scottsdale and visit some great galleries with local artists and creators. Other special places during the weekend will be Mesa Farmers Market, Gilbert Farmers Market to get great findings but also supporting local creators and small business. Then go east and get some great lunch at Euro cafe pizza in Fountain Hills, beautifully sitting right by the famous fountain.
A road trip to Globe and Superior is also a great place for antiquing and visiting some historical sites and mining. Globe is the home of Nerd burger, a local mom and pop restaurant with amazing burgers their Raising Arizona burger is the best. Then head up north to take beautiful views of the Rio Salado Canyon near the Apache San Carlos reservation. and get captivated by the views.
Next stop would be Show low, to enjoy the charm of a little town tucked in the white mountains and perhaps stop for dinner at Cattlemen’s for the best Prime Rib.
Perhaps spending the night at Pinetop and enjoying some mountain air.
Next day will be another road trip this time heading out towards flagstaff following route traveling through Heber, woods Canyon lake and then continue through the charming little town of Pine and strawberry. To end the night arrive to Flagstaff and enjoy dinner at Salsa Brava.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
R&M Creations 3:16 LLC has become what it is today thank you to the love, support and encouragement of my husband and family. They have believed in me and my creativity to be where we are today! I am also part of a great community of Wood Flower Florists around the country who support and encourage me to grow, learn and become better at my art. This is a group of ladies that share their passion for creativity and beauty. The members of Wood Flowers Florists Conference and Retreat group, have been with me through out the way. It is a sisterhood where we encourage, mentor and support each other through the journey of being creators but also business women.
Photos by R&M Creations 3:16 LLC