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San Diego Floral Design
Fatima Kelley comes from a fine art background but soon succumbed to the artistic pleasures of the natural world. “I love working with flowers because, unlike any other medium, they are always changing,” says the founder of San Diego Floral Design. “Stems stretch towards the light, petals fade very slightly each day. Like the best paintings, they capture your attention over and over again.”
Fatima was born and raised in Milan before moving to Chicago to study art. “I got a part time job at Whole Foods and ended up in the floral department,” she says. “Just like that, my side job became my passion and eventually my career.”
She describes her floral designs as “rich”, “lush” and “too much of a good thing”. Her European upbringing plays an important role, too. “I follow a classical Italian aesthetic – luxurious and elegant designs with surprising textures and delicate tonal changes,” she says. “The scent of lily of the valley will always be linked to my dad because, each spring, he would pick them in the wild before giving them to my mom.”
The ever-changing nature of the floral business keeps her inspired. “Everyday the orders are different, while each arrangement is carefully created for each client’s special occasion,” she says. “We’re lucky to live in San Diego and have access to so many locally grown and fresh blooms.”