I love scrolling through the internet, and I am fascinated by the Kardashians, so if there's an article floating around about them, chances are I've read it. That's what initially drew me to this article on Refinery 29 – who wouldn't want to know more about Khloé Kardashian's florist? When I discovered he was only 19-years old, I was even more intrigued. When I discovered he lives in Cleveland and is as Midwestern as they come, I was sold.
Meet William Lynch. He's a 19-year old florist and the entrepreneur behind Lynch Design, a luxury floral company based in Cleveland, Ohio. It was so fun having the chance to speak with him and discover that his client list is just one of many insanely cool things about him.
Check out my Q&A with him to learn more about William and Lynch Design:
My Midwest Is Showing: Tell me about your business.
William Lynch: I started Lynch Design 5 years ago. I would just play around with flowers – when family and friends would come to stay at our house, I would play hotel, and nice hotels have nice flowers. I would pick flowers and make little arrangements. And then I would go to the grocery store, buy flowers, and do arrangements for my parents’ office. I found a wholesaler and really wanted to buy from them, but you had to be in business, so I talked to my dad and was able to start a business, and it grew from there.
MMWIS: You’re 19 – has being young been beneficial or challenging as a business owner?
WL: When I was younger, it was more challenging, because who’s going to trust a 14- or 15-year old to do their wedding or big event? But as I’ve gotten older and made more of a name for myself, people have started to trust me more. But I’m still young – people take advantage of me sometimes, and on top of all that, it’s tough to balance school with the business.
MMWIS: Tell me a little bit about how you balance being a student at John Carroll University with your business.
WL: It’s really tough. The first semester of my freshman year, I did awful, absolutely awful. I barely went to class, I skipped a few tests. I had academic probation the next semester, so I tried to pull it together, and it worked out better and I got good grades. It’s tough because I’m always thinking about the business – it’s always going to be a priority to me. Even if I’m in class, I’ll be thinking about a wedding I have that weekend – it kind of never really stops.
MMWIS: How did you learn about flowers and floral arranging?
WL: Youtube, Google Images – I would just see what I liked and figured out how to make that happen. Two years into doing the flower thing, I went to New York for a week and took a class at the FlowerSchool. It was a basic intensive class, and it really taught me and kind of reassured me that I was doing things right. But it was so cool being in New York and going to the flower market, and seeing the thing I love in a different city.
MMWIS: Describe a typical day.
WL: There really is no typical day! During the school year, I’ll go to classes a few days a week, then have meetings. Most weekends I’ll have a wedding or event going on. There’s always something – I’m always busy! There’s never a dull day, and that’s what keeps it interesting. I work with a lot of great clients and characters, and that keeps life really interesting.
MMWIS: Do you have a staff that works with you?
WL: I do – I have a team of all high school and college kids. No one is over the age of 21. It makes it really fun to go to work everyday.
MMWIS: I learned about you after reading your feature on Refinery 29 where you talk about one of your clients, Khloé Kardashian. How did that relationship begin, and what is it like working with Khloé? Has that had an affect on your business?
WL: Well she’s dating the Caveliers player Tristan Thompson, and I saw on Instagram and Snapchat that she was in Cleveland a lot. So one day, I made an arrangement and had someone deliver it to his house for her just as a welcome to Cleveland. I didn’t know if she was in town or if she would even see it, but two days later it was on her Snapchat story, and a week later her assistant reached out because she needed some flowers. Totally surreal, totally crazy. She and her entire team are super nice and generous and unbelievable. It’s had an unbelievable affect on the business – so crazy.
MMWIS: What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own business?
WL: Do it! People will tell you not to for this or that reason, but if you’re passionate about something, absolutely do it. Follow your passion, and the money will follow.
MMWIS: If someone was visiting Cleveland for the first time, what would you tell them to do first?
WL: Go to the Cleveland Museum of Art – it’s such a cool space and a great place to grab lunch. Its really kind of magical. And I think that’s the best event venue in town too.
MMWIS: Favorite thing about the Midwest?
WL: The weather. Haha no, I’m kidding. No, it’s great! I’m born and raised – Cleveland is big enough where there’s stuff going on, but it’s small enough where you can really make a name for yourself.
MMWIS: How does your Midwest show through your personality and/or what you do?
WL: I think my work ethic. And everyone here is generous and nice, and I like to think I have a good vibe.