Excited. Scared. Optimistic…and Ready. 

In 10 years, we have planned, designed, and flowered over 150 weddings. In three different design studios, starting with a 1,000 sq. ft storefront in Wicker Park, then moving to a 4,000 sq. ft studio in Goose Island. Today, we are in the midst of construction on our biggest dream yet, and have quadrupled in size yet again. A 16,000 sq. ft building was purchased for not only our planning and floral design businesses, but also for a new dream: an event venue named Bloom Events that will blossom this fall.

I have written about this milestone in so many different ways, but how does one sum up a decade of hard work, growth, change, and beauty? 

Personally, I went from former advertising executive to entrepreneur. I soaked floral foam in my bathtub, made boutonnierès at 12am in my bachelorette pad, and always chose to bet on myself and my instincts, because, ultimately, my team and my Clients chose ME, so I had to choose me too.

Photography: Brittany Bekas

I fell in love with a man who later became my business partner. He risked selling his own business to support our growing family, the Janda / Edelcup empire. And speaking of family - my CJDE team, like my marriage and focus on our business, is stronger and more talented than ever before. 

Trends will always change. Just ask your skinny jeans or the bridesmaid photo with 12 smiling girls wearing matching peach tea-length gowns. 

Yet the following 10 tried and true principles have remained our foundation for the last 10 years and they’ll continue for 10+ to come. 

  1. Quality over quantity. To produce high quality events for the very best, kind, and, wonderful Clients. To live full and abundant lives, with balance to focus on what counts: family, friends, and our special, cherished Clients and their milestones are at the forefront of that list. 
  2. There is one YOU. Celebrate accordingly.  Your wedding should be as special as you are. This industry is quick to burn out or make couples feel like they are one in a million during “busy season.” CJDE is the antidote. 
  3. Flowers are magic. The placement of each stem in an arrangement is captivating; flowers can brighten the darkest of days or perfectly accessorize every well-designed party (they still make me audibly gasp and smile!)
  4. Know your worth (and never accept less). 1 year business owner Me may have not been so blunt (nor confident). 10 year business owner Me owes it to herself and her team to tell it like it is! My team and I are not good, we’re great. We’re one of a kind, with the perfect mix of heart, soul, unique talent, and care. We expect the same from our Clients, fellow vendors, and each other. 
  5. The devil is in the details. Tablescapes have and always will be one of my favorite components of an event to design and our timelines? True works of bullet point art!
  6. More isn’t always more. Our designs have always breathed and we have turned down business when our calendars were full. You can tell a beautiful story with one tulip and your bride will trust you when you take the time to not just “check things off the list,” but listen deeply about what they really want and need. 
  7. Invest in people first.  Katy, Lindsay, Giora, Sami, Anjali, Kristen - you are our core and quite simply put, I love you! This is OUR business and I’m forever grateful you treat it like yours, too. 
  8. I love management as much as I love the business. I love being a boss as much as I love the event industry. See above! They make it easy. 
  9. You catch more flies with honey. In every venture of leadership, there is just no time for anything but respect and kindness. 
  10. Being a planner makes me a better designer (and visa versa). This is the foundation of every business I now own. At my core, this is our holistic approach from year 1 to year 10…and beyond!

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