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Industry Innovators 2024: Halima Adetona

The founder of The Floral Guru aims to stretch the boundaries of what's possible in event design.

Industry Innovators 2024: Halima Adetona
"We've honed in on a clear, distinctive style that resonates deeply with clients who share our appreciation for that particular beauty," says Halima Adetona.
Photo: Courtesy of The Floral Guru

Industry Innovators 2024: Halima AdetonaPhoto: Courtesy of The Floral GuruHalima Adetona is the founder of The Floral Guru, an event decor and floral design company that works on weddings, retail installations, brand activations, and more. She's based in Washington, D.C.

How she got her start: "My journey into the world of events began unexpectedly. With a background in accounting, creativity was never at the forefront of my mind until my own wedding in 2017 sparked a fascination with event flowers. This newfound passion led to the creation of The Floral Guru, a venture far from my original path but guided by the belief that excellence is key in every aspect of life. Embracing this creative calling, I've transformed my analytical skills into crafting memorable events, proving that beauty and business can bloom together. Now, The Floral Guru stands as a testament to the unexpected paths where passion and dedication can lead."

What sets her company apart: "What truly distinguishes The Floral Guru is our unwavering dedication to a specific aesthetic. We're not in the business of being everything to everyone. Instead, we've honed in on a clear, distinctive style that resonates deeply with clients who share our appreciation for that particular beauty. This tunnel-vision approach allows us to dedicate our energy and creativity toward delivering unparalleled work that not only meets but exceeds our clients' expectations. 

Additionally, our commitment to innovation sets us apart. We're constantly inspired by the top 1% of designers worldwide, pushing us to think beyond our immediate market and continually stretch the boundaries of what's possible in event design. This global perspective ensures we're not just keeping pace with trends but actively contributing to the evolution of the industry, making each event a testament to forward thinking and creativity." Industry Innovators 2024: Halima Adetona"We're constantly inspired by the top 1% of designers worldwide, pushing us to think beyond our immediate market and continually stretch the boundaries of what's possible in event design," says Adetona.Photo: Courtesy of The Floral Guru

What innovation means to her: "To me, innovation is the lifeblood of any business. It's the difference between blending in and standing out, especially in competitive markets. By not settling for delivering the same offerings as everyone else, you carve out a unique space for your business. Essentially, innovation allows you to escape competition.

Staying innovative and forward-thinking in my career is paramount. It's not just about keeping up; it's about leading the way and setting new benchmarks. This mindset of continuous evolution and improvement ensures that our work remains relevant, impactful, and, most importantly, transformative for our clients. For inspiration, I look beyond my immediate industry, drawing ideas from the top designers globally, advances in technology, nature, art, and even day-to-day life." Industry Innovators 2024: Halima AdetonaAdetona recently handled floral design for a permanent restaurant installation in Atlanta.Photo: Courtesy of The Floral Guru

Memorable moments: "One event that stands out in my heart was a spectacular three-day production in 2021, just a few months after the birth of my first baby. This wasn't just another event; it was the pinnacle of my career thus far, for an absolutely incredible couple. The scale of this event was something I had never tackled before—a breathtaking 30-by-30-foot ceiling installation and over 15,000 flowers. The pressure was immense—not only because of the event's sheer size and complexity but also because it marked the first time I had to be away from my newborn daughter for an extended period. This added an emotional layer to the experience, making it both a professional and personal milestone.

The end result of this three-day marathon was nothing short of magical. As we placed the final flower, the room transformed into a dreamlike garden, a testament to the hard work, creativity, and passion of the entire team." Industry Innovators 2024: Halima Adetona"The scale of this event was something I had never tackled before—a breathtaking 30-by-30-foot ceiling installation and over 15,000 flowers," remembers Adetona.Photo: Stanlo Photography

Her biggest hope for the event industry: "My biggest hope for the event industry in the coming years is to witness a technology revolution that streamlines the more labor-intensive and time-consuming aspects of our work, particularly in the realm of floral design. The creation of stunning floral arrangements and installations is a profoundly manual process, demanding hours of meticulous labor from our teams. This not only takes a significant toll on their well-being but also impacts their work-life balance.

While the unique charm of our industry lies in those handcrafted details that make each event special, I believe there's ample room for technological innovation. Such advancements wouldn't replace the artistry that goes into our work, but would enhance efficiency and allow our teams to focus more on the creative aspects, reducing the physical and mental strain that often accompanies large-scale productions. My hope is that, with the right technological tools, we can preserve the essence of what makes our work unique while fostering a healthier, more balanced environment for our teams." 'By not settling for delivering the same offerings as everyone else, you carve out a unique space for your business,' says Adetona."By not settling for delivering the same offerings as everyone else, you carve out a unique space for your business," says Adetona.Photo: Stanlo Photography

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