When you think of breathtakingly beautiful floral arrangements, you can’t help but think of Yumi Han. Yumi’s love and passion for the floral industry runs deep, with her experience spanning many years before she joined our Kirkland store in 2019. Her commitment to composing exquisite, thoughtful arrangements is evident in every creation she touches. To Yumi, it’s more than just arranging flowers; it’s about the happiness and surprise that comes with bringing joy and sentiment to the recipient. “Flowers communicate beauty and, at times, emotion,” she explains, and her arrangements embody just that.
The Seed Was Planted
Yumi’s admiration and respect for the beauty that flowers possess started at a young age. Her mother taught Ikebana classes, and Yumi would assist with setting up and participating in them when she was just seven years old. Ikebana is the classical Japanese art of flower arrangement, with a rich history of use at temples and for home decorations. Although Yumi’s pursuit of the floral industry did not start immediately, her creativity did. She attended art school and studied design, landing a job as a production manager at a designer clothing company in Los Angeles, where she stayed for 10 years.
The First Sprout
Yumi’s inspiration began with her mother, but it was her son, Warren, who pushed her toward the path that led to where she is today. After Warren was born, it was important to her to be present in his life as much as possible. Yumi decided to leave her job and start her own event floral design business to have a more flexible schedule. She delved into learning, taking floral classes with incredible mentors — and she emerged as a force to be reckoned with in the event industry. Her professional floristry at the event-level reached new heights, with displays at various Hollywood award shows and arrangements on the front covers of bridal magazines. Although Yumi was doing at least 20 large events each year, the time came to make another significant decision.
Not feeling that Los Angeles was the right place for Warren to grow up, Yumi’s family decided to move. After looking at potential locations, she was drawn to Washington for its natural beauty and scenery. Yumi started her local career helping floral boutiques in Seattle, as well as serving as an in-house designer for a 5-star hotel before she joined Metropolitan Market in 2019.
Yumi’s passion and inspiration stem from a sentimental and emotional cause. She explains, “Flowers are a part of every step of your life, and as part of that, you’re celebrating your life with flowers. The world is about the human experience, the inner beauty, and ways to inspire. Flowers are my inspiration and my medium to do that.” Yumi reflects on people’s genuine reaction to being surprised by flowers, saying, “Are those for me?”
“The surprise and delight that people have when they receive flowers is inspiring, and I want that inspiration to be passed along.” Even beyond giving flowers to somebody else, Yumi encourages people to buy flowers for themselves as part of a “self-care routine.”
When asked about her favorite types of arrangements, Yumi’s response: “Weddings.” She thrives on the pressure to make the designs perfect, personalizing them for each client. Yumi asks lots of questions, guiding wedding parties to designs that match their vision. She likes for couples to think about what they envision looking back on in 20, 30, or 40 years and what they’d like to see in their wedding photos. Even in the most challenging of tasks, Yumi’s dedication and philosophy shine through.
Feeling the Flower Power?
Yumi’s advice to those interested in design is to check out local floral classes. The balance of therapeutic creativity, beauty, and the reward of seeing joy in people’s faces makes the effort of creating a beautiful arrangement all worth it.