A Business in Bloom — Studio C Florals
By Carrie Freitas | Editor
MAY-JUNE 2021 ISSUE
Photo courtesy of Crystal Schachter
Step into Studio C Florals — virtually (on their website) or in-person (at Newport Beach’s darling Pelican Courtyard shops) — and you’ll feel as if you’ve stumbled upon one of Orange County’s most beautiful, best-kept secrets. Designed and curated by the talented, tasteful and nature-loving eye of founder and owner Crystal Schachter, the lifestyle/gift shop and floral design studio is a delight for all of the senses. Brides-to-be and top wedding planners throughout Southern California rely on Crystal to create the most dazzling, memorable and photogenic floral designs for their big days. Thoughtful friends and family call her to send stunning and meaningful flower arrangements for special occasions or “just because.” Savvy shoppers looking for just-right gifts to give (or to keep!) love to stop by this sweet jewel-box shop to purchase everything from Rifle Paper stationery and Sloane teas, to sweets from Sugarfina, scents from dossier, candles, books and more.
You would never guess from the bright smile on Crystal’s face and the cheerful vibe of the shop that this business had not only survived a pandemic, but had, in fact, blossomed over the past year.
“I’m so thankful and proud to have weathered the storm,” says Crystal. “Thanks to the support of the community, Studio C grew from one business to two businesses in 2020.”
Crystal launched her floral design business in 2014, as a married mom of two who — while working as an accountant — attended night school for floral design and then apprenticed with another designer to hone her talents. In no time, she became a go-to for the most bespoke and breathtaking proposal, wedding and event florals in the area.
Cue the next six years’ fast-forward montage of weddings and events from Santa Barbara (Schachter’s hometown) to San Diego and from Newport Beach to Temecula. Until Mid-March 2020 arrived.
“At first, we got calls from brides and planners delaying weddings by a couple of months,” said Crystal. “And then everything just stopped.”
Or so it seemed. The week the official pandemic shutdown was announced in Orange County, Crystal drove to the nearest flower wholesaler and bought a carload of blooms.
“I felt so badly for them — not only the loss of money but also the beautiful flowers going to waste,” she says.
She took the blossoms and created arrangements for friends in her close-knit Costa Mesa neighborhood, who would leave goodies on each other’s porches — a plateful of chocolate chip cookies here, a home-baked sourdough loaf there. Little did she know that this chain of connection and giving would spark a new business. It wasn’t long before news of Crystal’s beautiful flower arrangements — not just for weddings anymore! — spread.
Crystal started to get calls from people locally and from across the country wanting flowers delivered to friends and family in Orange County. In order to jump start a floral delivery business, she had to quickly source local flower farms as all of the flower markets had closed.
“The messages people wanted written on the cards for the arrangements brought tears to my eyes,” she says. “I was so happy to be part of that connection and expression of love. People really seemed to be communicating in a new way, through flowers.”
And business at Studio C Florals continues to bloom now that the wedding world is opening up again — Crystal has 20 weddings on the books from now through year’s end, a bumper crop, even by pre-pandemic standards.
“I’m so excited to see brides being able to have their weddings — and all of the special moments they bring — after this long haul,” she says.
And the “just because” flower arrangement orders continue to roll in, thanks to referrals from happy clients, including Jessica Alba. Studio C Florals also anticipates another record-breaking Mother’s Day, so get those orders in now.
Once the Mother’s Day orders are out, you’re likely to find Crystal enjoying her own celebration with husband Ryan, a teacher and head basketball coach at Corona Del Mar High School in Newport Beach, and with her 16 year-old daughter and 10 year-old son. They’ll spend the day in nature, enjoying some time outdoors at the beach or a local park, taking time to connect and have fun.
“Nature and connection are so important to me and my work is a combination of those things,” says Crystal, “I want people to appreciate the beauty of nature and feel connected to each other and to their communities through my work.”