Welcome to a chapter in the life and business of Alex Fairchild. Alex is the founder and lead designer of Marked By Alex, a creative design and floristry studio out of Denver, Colorado that offers artwork to the world (in the form of flowers and raw elements) that inspires, excites, and sparks conversation. With the new year, so many of us are focused on a sense of renewal and refresh; what are we ready to leave behind, how have we evolved both in our businesses as well as our personal lives, and how do we want to move forward in new ways? Well, these are all questions that Alex has been answering a lot lately, and we’re so excited to share her insights with you here.
We recently had the pleasure of working with Alex to create the website copy for her rebrand with our A Day in The Studio service so when the theme of refresh came to mind, Marked By Alex was right there beside it. We love Alex’s mission and story and think you will, too.
My name is Alex Fairchild and I am the owner of Marked by Alex, formerly known as Urban Canyon Floristry. I’m an artist whose medium of choice is flowers and raw elements. I design for weddings, events, editorial, and branded content. Through different media, such as fresh flowers, paint, and natural elements, I create bold, thoroughly modern installations that bring an artistic vision to life.
Floral design met me in all the unexpected ways. During my gap year, I was offered a position as a Floral Specialist—very different from the carefully laid out architecture career path I was on. I took it, not knowing what to expect or where it would take me, but once I got started, there was no going back – I fell in love. Everything I’ve learned has been self-taught. Instead of doing my day job, you could find me watching countless YouTube videos and arranging flowers at my desk. In short, my side gig became my obsession. So, It was decided, I would pursue a career in floral design. On my days off, I’d work for other floral designers on weddings in Virginia, where I was born and raised. I continued to grow and perfect my craft, dreaming of one day working for myself.
In 2019, I moved to Colorado. It was here that I reconnected with a friend through Instagram who needed help with flowers for a wedding. It felt right being in that environment, designing what spoke to me as a creative. I had finally found the creative autonomy I was looking for. From here, I would go on to build my own creative studio which is a pinch-me experience for sure. I’m grateful to have found this path, and to be able to partner with fellow creatives in this industry that are continually pushing the boundaries of beauty.
I truly feel like when people say “when you know, you know,” it goes for almost everything.
I am telling this story from a place of vulnerability but also strength; about a year ago, I was diagnosed with severe depression disorder. However, it was a year of success for my business; I opened my dream retail space, Urban Canyon: The Studio, I had a packed schedule for wedding season, and I went full-time self-employed. From the outside it looked like my business was at its peak. But for me, as Alex–not the owner of Urban Canyon Floristry, the face of my retail store, or the one at your wedding, but for me as a human– I felt like I was at my lowest. I was not only struggling with my day-to-day business responsibilities but also just taking care of myself within my day-to-day. It’s never easy to ask for help, especially the ones of us who have a bit of hyper-independence issues like me, but I had to do it so, I did. I read that sometimes we need to break our emotions down to the basics, like in pre-k. “I am sad,” “I don’t like that,” or “I’m not happy” and then look for the why. When I looked for the why, I realized a lot of what was making me feel unhappy was actually, my own damn business.
I was overworked, I was overbooked, I was overwhelmed. Doing what no business owner wants to do, I decided to close my retail space. I had to make a lot of changes, in my business practices but also in my personal life to be able to love what I do again. It was heartbreaking, the end of a very short era, but I knew it was what was best for myself and my future business.
Time passed, I began to heal, and I began to be able to dream again…
I learned boundaries– yes! We can have those as business owners and it’s empowering af. Through those boundaries, I learned to only take projects I’m passionate about, which leads to a more fulfilled version of me. I learned I can open doors I was always afraid to open, such as expanding my client services. I also learned that I wanted my brand to be a pure reflection of me as an artist. Through all of these discoveries, I realized my prior business, Urban Canyon, didn’t have the same core values as my business does now. That was when I knew, it was just time. The chapter I just shared with you is why I said, “when you know, you know.” I wouldn’t say it was a certain point when I decided to rebrand, or necessarily a slow burn, but almost a reawakening… the need for a new beginning. Thus, Marked by Alex was born.
Marked by Alex, is much more than just flowers, installations, and weddings. Yes, I am a designer, an artist, and a creative, but what makes Marked, is me–all of me.
I am not going to tell you it was easy by any means. It was scary to take the leap. On my first call with my branding specialist, Zoe (of Made By Zoe), I was like a pinball machine trying to explain my ideas and my visions. I had doubts if I was doing the right thing or I worried if people wouldn’t catch on to the rebrand. But ever since my rebrand, I have never felt so inspired to just keep going, I am so happy I did this for myself, for my business, and for my future. Since my rebrand, I have felt the passion for what I do re-ignite.
Another piece of advice is to invest in the right team to do it with. I cannot stress this part enough because you really want to be IN LOVE with the outcome. When I first found Zoe of Made by Zoe, I was immediately drawn to her, her designs, and her brand personality. I have seen many graphic and digital designers but there was just something about Zoe that had me completely sold. She just got my vision from the beginning and that’s what you want, you want to feel understood. I think as creatives, we can all relate to when we feel like our vision isn’t being 100% interpreted or even we cannot understand another client’s vision because sometimes, it just isn’t the right fit and that’s okay. You will find the one you are meant to work with.
Zoe also referred me to the one and only, Lāer Studio. I’m not just saying this because I am on their platform, lol! Working alongside Rachel and Sam for my copy truly made all the difference in my web building process.
Moral of the story, invest, invest, invest when you have the means to, trust the uncertainty, and do what just feels right for you. If it’s a full rebrand, take the leap. If it’s a web launch, do the damn thing. If it’s a new service that fuels your creativity, do it.
This is a good one! I would have to say, “warmth.” I believe one of my favorite mantras is to do what feels warm. Whether that is a career, a relationship, a friendship, a hobby… I hope it feels warm and feels right. I’m practicing saying “no” when it may be easier to say yes, I am practicing setting and maintaining boundaries that help me stay true to myself, and to invest in events, people, etc that also invest in me. 2023– I am back in my power.
I have two types of creative processes and they’re both very unique to one another. Sometimes, I walk into the flower cooler for inspiration. Ideally, I will find a type of flower, foliage, or branch I’ve never seen before and it sets the tone for my vision.
Other times when working closely with my clients on their event, wedding, or shoot design, I have a more strategic creative process. A lot of my inspiration comes from within art, nature, and having the creative space to explore unique color palettes, textures, and elements. I know I can speak for many creatives when I say we do our absolute best when we have creative freedom and are trusted with our craft. With that environment, I can elevate a space and give my clients a concept that has never been seen before.
I love that my work and career keep me inspired. I only accept work that inspires me, clients who I truly connect with, and who allow me the creative space and freedom to design the concepts that captivate. I know Marked has a design niche and a style that attracts a certain clientele, but I also know that each and every single one of my projects is unique from one another, and that’s what I love the most about what I do. I really love that my career and art allow me to celebrate alongside so many people’s best day of their life, or a vision they have been dreaming of… It can feel so fulfilling to be able to connect with so many incredible humans through my art.
I have a few good projects coming over the next few months! A few concepts that I have been dreaming up and working alongside some very talented vendors and creatives. I have some projects of my own, and a packed wedding season with visions I am so excited to design!
One of the best boss babes, Ash of Silver Ashes, a badass ladysmith, said to me “just do it, you just have to do it.” when I asked her what it took to be able to go full time. Then, I was a full-time produce manager while also juggling weddings, creative shoots, and so on. I felt terrified to take the leap–like it was just out of reach. About a year later, I went for it when I found my dream retail space and decided this was the sign I was looking for. It was hard and I wish I would’ve listened more to my mom’s advice when starting a business.
I find a lot of my inspiration in different works of art including interior design and architecture. I enjoy flipping through magazines and scrolling through Pinterest and Instagram as much as anyone else does. I love…and I mean love, Glennon Doyle and her podcast, listening to it is my reset button. As far as when I’m designing in the studio, it all depends on the day! But I love blasting music like rap, 2000s R&B, or even Fletcher to keep the energy high in the studio.
Got it all covered! Besides, THANK YOU FOR ALL THAT YOU ALL ARE. <3
We don’t know about you but, we feel inspired to do some soul-searching of our own now.
From all of us here at Lāer, we’re wishing you a new year full of creativity, inspiration, and joy and we hope it comes in the most bold and unexpected ways–as Alex advises, let’s slow down, trust the process, and embrace the unknown.
Tune into our Instagram Live conversation to meet Alex and hear more about her journey.
Know someone who would be a good fit for this series? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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