The Pressed Bouquet Shop to Element Design Journey

Posted by Kristin Kaleycik on

 Written By: Phaedra, an Element Designer

Reflecting on where one began is important, and we’ve had some reason for it lately. We’re sure you’ve heard, but we here at Element Design Co. have had a lot of big changes recently, and more to come in the coming weeks. There have been many, many conversations over the past few months and weeks about the future, and the excitement our team has for where we’re heading is palpable. We couldn’t wait to share the name change, or news of the move, and now that we’ve made it public, we are in the process of packing up all of our supplies (there's a lot!) to move to Easton. As always when preparing for a transition, gouging through and organizing the treasure trove of early designs, bridal show brochures, and other miscellaneous items in our offices and warehouse has brought back memories of the past four years as a small business. Moving to Easton has also sparked many conversations of the very beginning of this company, whose first brick and mortar showroom and workshop was in a small shopping center just off the Easton exit. Now, we are moving to a building just blocks away from the heart of Easton, into a beautiful building with huge windows, historic touches, and plenty of room to continue growing. We have had quite the journey! As we look back through the years this company has spent evolving, we thought we’d take you with us down memory lane! This is the story of Element Design Co’s founding, and a look at what the future holds for this team of creatives. 

From Amelia’s Attic to the Easton Storefront

While Amelia was living in downtown Bethlehem, she decided to grow a garden, by which we mean a 3 foot patch of dirt after lifting landscaping stones to drop some seeds. She had just the right amount of soil and sunlight to allow for a burst of zinnias in the fall of 2018. Remembering her beloved grandmother’s love of saving flowers, Amelia decided to press them as a way to remember both this first garden and special times with her grandmother. She continued to press her own blooms, and posted designs she created and framed to Instagram (to an account which she briefly called Lynne & Grace, after her dogs’ middle names). The images captured the attention of an old coworker, who reached out to Amelia in hopes that she could press and frame her wedding bouquet, which had survived a trip back to the states from Italy, tucked into a suitcase. This was Amelia’s first custom piece, created in 2019. She picked up the bouquet many days after the event, and brought the drooping blooms back to life through the pressing process. She created a lasting piece of art, and loved the feeling of knowing it would bring joy to the newly wed couple for years to come. Amelia recognized just how much sentimental value those flowers held, and was deeply moved to be a part of it. 

A pressed white flower inside a small black frame in front of a lamp in a home.

The first pressed flower frame Amy sold was to her mom back in 2019.

That first bouquet was the catalyst for a flood of requests. Amelia realized the opportunity she had on her hands, and began planning out how to create a business. She opened an Etsy shop and continued to create her framed floral designs from her attic and later her garage following a move. When the world changed in 2020, Amelia channeled all of her drive and vision into opening a showroom and workshop. While the peak of a pandemic may seem like the most unlikely time to open a business, she realized the sentiment that flowers held for those who eloped or downsized their wedding to tie the knot in the most unprecedented of times made this business all the more important in those days of uncertainty. She trusted that after the chaos of the pandemic was over, weddings would pick back up again and normalcy would be returned. She found a space in Easton, a city bordered by rivers and farmland. With this larger space, came even more opportunities to build something that would last. 

Nikole joined Amelia in October of 2020, and quickly grew from a preservation specialist to heading the customer service and general “front of house” duties. Amidst social distancing paired with the rapid growth of the business, interviews for more preservation specialists and a designer were scheduled by the holiday season. Over the late winter, more folks were added to the team, each and every one of them with the same desire to create beautiful, sentimental artwork for couples and families that would carry memories of their most important days. Amelia also began to branch out from just creating framed artwork to add functional resin pieces to the shop’s repertoire. This allowed our clients to have items that were not only lovely to look at, but could also be put to use around the home. Our resin trays and coasters quickly became some of our best selling products. This product line allowed for even more growth. 

Soon enough, every inch of space in the Easton shop was taken up with people and flowers. It became the best kind of chaos, as it meant we were receiving greater quantities of orders than ever, and that people truly believed in the sentimentality of saving special moments. However, it made it clear that we’d soon need more space. 

The Allentown Era

By the early summer of 2021, the team had grown from just Amelia and Nikole the year before to a dozen employees, and orders flowing in from Etsy and the business’s own website. We saw bouquets come in from all across the country– from Florida to Alaska, brides wanted us to preserve their bouquets and arrangements and we were thrilled to be able to do so on an ever growing scale. Amelia ultimately made the decision to leave the place that had allowed a team to flourish, and move on to richer soil. 

The Element, formerly Pressed Bouquet Shop, showroom in the old Allentown location.

The showroom from the Allentown location of Element when it was Pressed Bouquet Shop.

It didn’t take long to find the perfect place for what the business needed. We moved to Allentown, and into a huge space. Finally, we had a warehouse, dedicated designing area, showroom, and offices for all of the behind-the-scenes work that had to be done. With the additional space came more room to further expand the team, as well as giving us the chance to utilize the space in new and exciting ways. 2022 saw PBS hosting some of its first large scale events and workshops. We held a bridal event where we offered rapid fire consultations, and a few DIY frame classes, hosted by Creative Manager, Jenni. One of those frame classes was done in partnership with our local Girl Scout troop, which delighted the team. In July, we were honored with a ribbon cutting ceremony hosted in part by the Allentown Chamber of Commerce. We were able to have PeakTV come out and film a segment, as well as hosted a couple of magazines for photo shoots, as word of our sentimental offerings and unique business spread through the Lehigh Valley and beyond. 

We have so loved our Allentown location. Tucked away from the main roads, it sat near a suburb and several parks, where team members were known to take their lunches. Many team members also spent breaks walking around the complex we were in, taking in the bits of nature they saw. We also enjoyed sampling nearby local restaurants, and the kitchen was often full of the team’s laughter. We hosted internal picnics and small festivals on our sweet patio, and took meetings at the picnic tables. Our Allentown location has been the perfect place for us to grow together. 

Element, previously Pressed Bouquet Shop's front entrance into a bridal event showcasing signage and balloons.

The entrance to Element's old location in Allentown, PA during a Bridal Event when the name was Pressed Bouquet Shop.

As 2023’s wedding season progressed, Amelia and the senior leadership team began to once again see the need for more space. We had gone from one to three rooms dedicated to the already pressed flowers waiting to be made into frame and resin designs, and had reconfigured the building to allow for as much space as possible by downsizing the showroom, moving designers, and sharing offices. Everyone was happy to roll with each change, but it was clear that we’d have to set our eyes on somewhere new. Amelia began her search anew, excited and hopeful. However, the timing was not quite so perfect as it had been previously, and the search began to drag on through the summer months. Amelia and the senior leadership team began to worry that the combination of functionality and physically inspiring did not exist. After months and months of searching online and touring option after option, Amelia was doing her nightly scroll through Instagram when she stumbled across a beautiful building posted for lease. Photos showed a perfect looking location, in the right place with the right aesthetic. However, when touring the space, there were aspects that made it a less than perfect fit for our unique business. After the tour, the realtor, Hagai, called Amelia as she was driving home and told her about a warehouse in the West Ward that may just work. He said that if the right person came along, he would consider leasing out this newly restored building– which his company, Platform V, was occupying at the time. In true Amelia fashion, she heard “warehouse” and worried that the space was some dusty, industrial box with minimal amenities. As the weeks went on with no further success in finding a new home, Amelia reached back out to Hagai to set up a tour. Walking into the building was love at first sight. The high ceilings, light pouring in from huge windows, and tasteful fixtures were stunning. Amelia and her team were amazed and knew this new space was meant to be the home of Element. You can read more about how we found our new home, plus get more of Amelia’s perspective as a business owner navigating such big changes in this interview

The New Beginnings

The new space is huge, filled with sunlight, and with historic touches throughout. There is, in fact, a warehouse, but there is also so much more. Some of our favorites are the grand central table for hosting workshops, the full kitchen to allow team meals to be cooked and drinks to be served, and the  large cafe style break room that would leave the team with plenty of space to relax in between pressing flowers, designing, and taking meetings. The front entry is designed to  become the grand  showroom, with massive windows and a fireplace. A mezzanine of floating  office spaces will overlook the showroom and design space. We all feel so lucky that the perfect Instagram post popped up while scrolling that one late evening. This space truly is a hidden gem, and it’s such a wonderful thing to have found it.

Element's new space in Easton, PA before renovations.
Element's new space in Easton, PA before renovations were made.

Along with the plans for move, Amelia and the team set their sights on positioning themselves to be able to expand their offerings. Thinking back to those early days of experimentation and discovery, Amelia encouraged ideas to flow, and it was decided that rebranding the business would create the best environment for moving forward. Pressed Bouquet Shop was a name that told our clients exactly what we do, and we will continue to keep the preservation of bouquets and special flowers at the heart of what we do. However, we were looking to find ways to incorporate more offerings  and more opportunities for our talented team. Thus, Element Design Co was born from the same love of providing a way to keep a hold of the important moments in one’s life. Through the brand name Element, we can expand what we can do for our clients. Already, we have added our Paper Preservation line, frames that can hold images, invitations, cards, and other paper products, with or without including dainty blooms. We are excited for all the new offerings and opportunities to come! Our new space in Easton will help to inspire new ideas within the team, and provide the ideal location for even more special events. We were able to host a holiday party for our dedicated team, where many saw the building for the very first time. They were dazzled by it, and it only got them more excited for the upcoming move. 

The Future is Blooming

Element is so proud to have worked with thousands of bouquets, and can’t wait to continue to do so out of our new space. We truly feel we have ended up exactly where we belong. Heading back to Easton will allow us to grow our partnerships with other local vendors and creators, and we can’t wait to share all of the ways we’re getting involved in the local community (such as our recent participation in the Love’ Easton project, organized by Mercantile Home). 

Hearts on the Element shop in Easton, PA done for the Mercantile Home's "Love, Easton" Initiative.

The windows from Element's new location in Easton, PA decorated with hearts the team made for the Mercantile Home's "Love, Easton" Initiative.

As we continue to grow, we will forever keep our focus on making sure our clients have ways to remember their special days. We can’t wait to broaden our offerings and keep our team creating in new and exciting ways. Stay tuned for all of the amazing things we have on the way, and be sure to stop by our new space once we’re all moved in this spring! 

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