April 5, 2021
Sisters Amanda and Megan Rapacz, co-founders of Silk Stem Collective, are revolutionizing the wedding world one silk floral arrangement at a time.
The idea to start a business came to light as Amanda helped Megan plan her wedding in 2018. After ruling out fresh flowers for their price and tendency to wilt, the co-founders still struggled to pick the right artificial flowers.
“The further we got into it, the more we realized that there really is a sort of market gap in that area right now,” Amanda said. “Either fake flowers are not meant to be realistic, like wood or ribbon flowers, or the flowers are realistic but expensive, sometimes comparable with the cost of fresh flowers.”
Megan eventually decided to invest in realistic silk flowers in the hopes that she could later pass them on to another wedding party.
“I still felt bad about getting artificial flowers because I didn’t know what to do with them after the wedding,” Megan said. “I wondered if they would sell on Facebook Marketplace, or if I was just going to have to throw them away.”
As Amanda and Megan continued to research wedding flowers, they realized a huge number of people were struggling with the same dilemma. The sisters also learned more about the negative environmental impacts fresh flowers can cause.
“Fresh flowers are always shipped by air freight, which is really environmentally intense in terms of carbon emissions,” Amanda said. “Most people don't compost them when they're done, and even the way that they’re grown isn’t environmentally friendly.”
In Sept of 2020, Amanda and Megan decided to create a silk flower rental company, and Silk Stem Collective was born. The brand’s green mission is to provide beautiful, affordable fresh flower alternatives to facilitate an eco-conscious shift in the wedding industry.
Silk Stem Collective provides a wide variety of wedding rental items, including bouquets, centerpieces, and hairpieces. The business also provides individual items as well as pre-packaged collections, including the Naples, Savannah, and Kyoto collections.
Customers can also check out Silk Stem Collective’s Blog The Greenhouse for wedding tips and tricks, inspiration, and how-tos.
“I think my favorite part of the business so far has been seeing how our different collections transform to fit whatever style the couple chooses,” Megan said. “People will style the same collection in different ways, and it just becomes an expression of their vision, which is pretty cool.”
In the future, Amanda and Megan plan to diversify their product offerings as well as continue to break the stigma around using fake flowers for weddings.
“I think there's such a stigma around fake flowers,” Amanda said. “Everyone knows what flowers from the craft store look like, and most people see that and think ‘I would never want that for my wedding.’ One of our long-term goals is to have fake flowers become more mainstream and to have people not associate them with a budget option or a less beautiful alternative to fresh flowers.”
Click here to check out the Silk Stem Collective Website, and check out their social media links below!