Seven years ago, Jen Maslak, co-owner of Catalaya Floral Designs and Gifts, helped transform a meagerly decorated community flower shop into a trendy flower haven filled with gorgeous arrangements, cute crafts, and fashion accessories for all ages. Catalaya Floral Designs and Gifts is a hidden gem tucked away in the community of Hidden Valley. “We wanted to bring in a bit of downtown to the outer areas without the high downtown prices”, says Maslak, “and we do everything – every type of floral design. Every floral shop showcases their day-to-day arrangements and wedding decor, but I want to show that we do other things – fresh or artificial designs for costumes, hair pieces, accessories, etc.”.
What makes Catalaya so special?
“We go the extra mile for our customers,” says Maslak. On one occasion, Maslak has gone out of town late at night, so a man could give his girlfriend a single rose! “We don’t have a minimum for deliver. If other stores won’t take your order, chances are we will. We will do our best.”
“People are looking for stuff that is unique and not mass-produced”, says Maslak. That’s why Maslak dove into the fashion industry and now dresses fashionistas with day-to-day floral accessories. “I can make them look like jewelry using fresh or artificial flowers and still make them look fashionable”.
According to Maslak, it’s all about the weight of the arrangement and the type of flowers used for hair pieces and jewelry. “I always recommend calla lilies and orchids. I’d be careful with quite a few others for weight – you don’t want anything really heavy. To add colour, I would bring it in with accents – ribbons, gems, feathers, and beads.”
Maslak finds her inspirations from fashion magazines. “I’m a fashion magazine nut. I pull out the pages of everything that inspires me. When I see a dress I like, I think to myself – I can make a hair piece like that”. Customers, however, are not limited to what Catalaya carries in store. Catalaya is open to custom orders for arrangements of any kind. “It’s rare that I make something twice”, Maslak exclaims, “I always want to make one-of-a-kind pieces for my customers”.
Hair Pieces by Catalaya
Catalaya carries little hair pieces for $5 – perfect for trendy children, but more sophisticated items start at $10 and incorporate more expensive fresh or artificial flowers and arrangements. Headbands with signature Catalaya arrangements can be purchased for $20 and up.
Jewelry by Catalaya
Fashionistas can find or order custom Catalaya jewelry for $20 and up, depending on the materials used.
… and more…
Accessories are not the only fashion items that Catalaya offers. “I pretty much do all the crafts.” Besides the arrangements, hair pieces, and jewelry, “the gift bags and cards are all handmade, and I take custom orders for them, as well, for any occasion”.
On top of all her talents, Maslak also creates fantastic masks for decor or play. “There’s not a real market in Calgary for custom masks,” says Maslak. “So, I make one-of-a-kind pieces with fresh or artificial flowers that are still inexpensive.”
Even kids’ accessories are not safe from Maslak’s fashion powers. First spotted at Ruby Ellen’s “Walking in Sunshine” event, cute hair clips were instantly swiped up by happy customers. “Do you know how many little girls would love these?”, says RJ MacDonald, a customer who picked up a handful of clips for his daughter. He believes that these adorable accessories are worth a lot more than what Maslak is selling them for. “They should be available at all the salons for moms to pick up for their daughters, ” says MacDonald with a genuine smile.
For more information, visit Catalaya.ca.
Elle Nguyen || Images Courtesy of Fela Photography