Joe and Michaela Mantarian, ‘16

Joe Mantarian Creative & Michaela Mantarian Floral Design Co.

What began as a creative idea and passion-fueled hobby for Joe and Michaela Mantarian, ‘16, has become a joy-filled full-time career. 

Joe and Michaela began their journey into entrepreneurship during their time at Olivet. Joe got his start as a student worker hired by his bosses in Olivet’s Media Services Department to capture a wedding for a former student worker. Their belief in Joe became a full-on business fueled by word of mouth and connections made during his time at Olivet.

During her time as a student, Michaela completed her wedding planning certification through The Bridal Society and began a small business shortly after. After falling completely in love with the industry, Michaela decided to stretch her design skills. She pivoted to floral design by turning to a YouTube search bar and hasn’t turned back since! 

The couple has since been able to take their individual creative passions into the business world full time! “The joy is in the people and the small moments in between the big projects and busy wedding seasons. There is nothing quite like handing over a bouquet to a bride on her wedding day or delivering a beautiful video to a client,” the couple explains.  

In his role, Joe can enjoy a significant variety in his client base that allows him to work in almost any field imaginable.  “On a Saturday, I might find myself working for individuals who want me to capture a special part of their life. Two days later, I might find myself on a call with an executive of a company wanting to feature one of their products,” he says. “Any day I could be flying a drone over a farm before heading into a hospital to scrub in and capture an open heart surgery.  It’s a wild business that keeps me on my toes, and I love it!”

Michaela has also enjoyed many joys and celebrations over the last four years in her business. “From being featured on the front page of Style Me Pretty, to working with Styled Shoots Across America, not once, but twice, to growing my team and serving my local community at the Kankakee Farmers Market with the Flower Cart, to countless memories of tearing up with brides-turned-friends when their bouquet is exactly as they hoped it would be. I still pinch myself that my daydream has become a reality!” 

Their plans for the future of their businesses? Keeping the clients at the center of it all! “We have a heart to serve our clients well,” the couple says, “Whether that be a bride on her wedding day or a corporate client.  We hope that we are leaving people better off than we found them. No matter how big or small our businesses might be 5, 10, or 20 years from now, we aim to serve with excellence and create a sense of delight and surprise with our services and team members.”

Are you looking to start your own business in the future? Here is some advice from Joe and Michaela: 

Start! There’s nothing to lose. Lean into professionals with a humble spirit. Treat people kindly - you will stand out. Start simple and do as much as you can with what you have. Take one small step after the other, and keep learning and pivoting as you go!  Tell everyone you know that you have a new business. No one can support you if they don’t know how to! 

For more information about Joe Mantarian Creative or Michaela Mantarian Floral Design Co., be sure to visit their websites or check out their social media!

Do you have a small business you want to tell us about? Send us an email at alumni@olivet.edu or visit the Business Marketplace page on Olivet Connect!