This post is the first in my new series featuring Orlando wedding vendors, presenting their stories of how they have come to the place where they are as business owners and creatives. I believe everyone has a unique story to tell and I am excited to share what I have learned by getting to know Andie Muller, owner of The Flower Studio. Andie is considered to be a top wedding florist in Orlando and throughout Central Florida. I hope you will be encouraged by Andie’s story of how perseverance and flexibility can pay off in all circumstances, something we all could use right now as we are in the midst of this global pandemic COVID-#19.
As a Brazilian with an Italian family heritage, Andie grew up in Rio Grande do Sul, a state in the southern region of Brazil. As her 20th anniversary of moving to the U.S. nears this July, you could say her background in learning to adapt to her circumstances has prepared her for the unprecedented time we are living in today.
Originally aspiring to be a Civil Engineer, Andie was attending a private college about an hour away from her town. She had to work her way through college, working in retail at a department store and as a middle school teacher. When her Dad became ill, she chose to attend college classes in the evening to be able to work during the day and help her family.
One day, a friend asked her, “Do you want to buy my sister’s half of the flower shop? She had recently adopted a baby and can’t be here full time as needed.”
Andie’s reply was “Yes!!” despite never having any experience in the flower business. While learning how to run a business and what a florist was, she discovered her creative side that she never knew she had which was quite different from her Mathematical and Physics background.
Andie suspects her creative side came from her Grandmother who was a self-taught artist. She recalls visiting her home as a little girl and seeing her art studio full of paints and easels and being in awe. Her love for the flower business continued and eventually, Andie and her mother became owners of that same flower shop in Brazil and it grew into a small family business until Andie and her husband relocated to Florida in 2000.
She initially worked as a part-time florist at a local flower shop in Apopka, until her son was born in 2003. After that she was home for six months and returned to the workforce as a part-timer because now family came first. There was one time that Andie had a total of three different part-time jobs because no one was hiring full-time.
Then seven years later, by the time her second son was born in 2008, our country was entering a recession and financial crisis.
“I’m used to living in a crisis and I have learned to prepare. Things are going to be okay,” Andie said as she thinks about what our current financial effects will be during and after COVID-#19.
Things were okay and in 2009, Andie was able to purchase the Sorrento florist where she was working and built into a thriving business, ultimately relocating and changing the name to The Flower Studio to its current location in Altamonte Springs.
She entered the Wedding/Event business as a result of customer requests. She started out small at first just making a floral arrangement for a head table or one single bouquet for a wedding. As her skills and confidence grew, she began to take on more weddings and now is nationally recognized as a Professional and Certified Floral Designer.
Andie is passionate about her education, achieving the titles of Florida State Master Designer (one of only 42 designers in the state), Certified Floral Designer, as well as becoming a member of the prestigious American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD). She has also served on the board and is an active member of the Central Florida Wedding Association (CFWA) and the Florida State Florists’ Association (FSFA).
The Flower Studio is the premier shop in Altamonte Springs that serve all areas of Central Florida – from Sanford to Disney World, and Geneva to Zellwood Station.