This month I had the pleasure of speaking with Sherry Donnelly of Gertie Mae’s Floral Studio, and I could not be more excited to share this interview! Gertrude Burt and Mabel Mae, the inspirations behind the name, would certainly be proud of their granddaughter’s success. Over a single decade, Gertie Mae’s has become one of the premier vendors in Atlanta, known for unique, personalized floral design that caters to the bride’s dream. This customer-focused approach and ability to recreate the bride’s vision have made Gertie Mae’s the go-to florist in North Georgia, and will undoubtedly carry their name into the destination wedding market as well!
I hope you enjoy getting to know a little more about Sherry Donnelly and Gertie Mae’s. I certainly did!
Q: Tell me a little about you! How did Gertie Mae’s get its start, and what are your goals for the future?
A: Gertie Mae’s began in 2003 as a brick and mortar storefront in downtown Clarkesville, Georgia. It is named for my two grandmothers Gertrude Burt and Mabel Mae Ferguson. Both were talented with floral arranging and gardening. I found a niche by providing a more European-style of selling and designing flowers. The business wasn’t your typical Mom-and-Pop FTD’ish shop. Located in an old 1940’s service station with original brick and the old tongue in groove ceiling, Gertie Mae’s carried lovely artisan made gifts, gourmet chocolates, small antiques, and vintage decor.
Since then, Gertie Mae’s Floral Studio has evolved into a wedding and event specialist working with clients in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The full service storefront has moved to a workroom setting specializing in mostly weddings.
One goal for the future is to travel further away for destination weddings. No place is too far with today’s technology and overnight shipping! I also want to establish a large cutting garden since my studio sits on ten acres. Of course I always want to learn more and develop my craft.
Q: Gertie Mae’s has a strong reputation in the local wedding scene. What do you feel has been a key to your success?
A: I really try to listen to the clients when consulting and planning their weddings. I love seeing the client’s face when the whole day comes to fruition. Watching their ideas and dreams unfold brings so much satisfaction to me as well as for the client. I hear quite often that I “nailed” it!
Q: What has been your favorite floral trend?
A: The trend which is happening now that I like very much is the increased size of the bouquets. I LOVE to use different and interesting elements and the larger size allows me to use more!
Q: If you could give brides one piece of advice, what would it be?
A: First and foremost, to remember the day is truly about marrying your lifelong companion. Everything else really is secondary. No matter how detailed the planning is, there will be something that happens and it just becomes a part of your wedding day story. Keep everything in perspective and the day will be a blessing!
Q: A bride says to surprise her, and put together a bouquet of your favorite flowers and colors. What does it look like?
A: I LOVE so many different flowers and bouquet styles I am not sure I could describe just one. I do love for the client to give me creative freedom in designing versus a recipe I have to stick to. The ability to do what I do best, to be playful and artistic, produces some of my best works of art! I love what I do and it is my passion!
(All photos provided by Gertie Mae’s Floral)