Matthew Dover was studying graphic design and sculpture at Wichita State University when he was exposed to the floral design business and a few international designers through a part-time job delivering flowers.
He always imagined himself as an entrepreneur with a small business, and now that’s what he has with Beards Floral Design, which he named after his signature full beard.
The shop at 926 W. Second St. is 3 years old.
“It’s more like an art studio or a mechanic’s shop,” Dover said.
He said he’s not into traditional “pretty” bouquets.
“We build arrangements.”
Q. What are your arrangements like?
A. They’re more on the modern side. They’ve got a more unique, sophisticated aesthetic to them than your average floral arrangements. … A lot of them are more structuralized. … They’re assembled in a way they’re not going to come apart very easily. They have more dramatic lines to them. You can definitely see a composition to the piece.
There’s definitely room in this market. We all deserve a choice.
Q. Is it hard being creative with arrangements and then switching gears to running a business?
A. That’s a giant juggling act. … A lot of when I’m going to be creative, that’s either super late at night or really early in the morning when the phone’s not ringing.
Q. You were an early adopter of using Twitter and Facebook to promote your business. How has that worked?
A. That’s been awesome. In the beginning … that was just a real exciting time in the marketing world to see these outlets pop up and to watch other small businesses use that. You have to kind of draw a line where it’s worth it and where it’s not.
Q. What’s one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned so far?
A. I guess one line that I really like is the old adage “Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can get done today.” That just puts you one step ahead of everything. Business can be kind of a landslide.
Q. What’s one thing few people know about you?
A. I love Legos. … Me and my fiancee have a giant Lego collection. We’re just fascinated with them. We love collecting them.
We estimate our collection’s worth somewhere around $20,000 right now.