A native Philadelphian, Tina Cordero Karam is both the retail store manager and a floral designer for Evantine Design. Her passion for interior design and flower artistry blends beautifully with her innate visual merchandising skills. Tina oversees everything that makes the floral boutique work, from behind-the-scenes functions, like buying, inventory management and merchandising, to sales and customer service, as well as daily floral design, store marketing, and team supervision. Yeah, she’s a busy woman and we couldn’t be more grateful for all the hard work she puts in on a daily basis. But there’s much more to Tina you should know, here’s just a little taste:
Okay Tina, let’s start at the top. What is your current role at Evantine?
Store Manager and Designer. Would you believe I’ve worked at Evantine for over 15 years?
Yes, we know and are happy to have you with us. Where did you grow up?
Right here in Philadelphia, as well as in New Jersey. But I now live in Plymouth Meeting with my husband and two poodles, Cokie and Penny.
What are you known for professionally?
I seem to have a natural knack for store display and retail merchandising. Years ago I studied interior design at the Art Institute of Philadelphia and that love inspires me on a daily basis at the store.
What three words would you like to hear your friends use when describing you?
Kind and loving, creative and artistic, hardworking and resilient. That’s way beyond three, isn’t it?
Yes, but we’re not counting. What’s the one problem you are best at solving for your clients and/or co-workers?
I am adept at reassuring the client and my colleagues that everything will be okay, keeping them calm and cool in stressful moments.
All true. Before you started working at Evantine Design, what were doing?
I was a floral designer for a small, local florist, you could say the design bug bit me completely! I was hooked and I discovered thematic event design still feeds my soul. Particularly if there are full environmental aspects to the party design where I can combine my love for floral design with interiors.
If you had to pick one, what would you say your favorite flower is?
Poppy! I love it’s delicate, long stem and vibrant colors. It is also a sentimental, summer flower and one that endures for many years when planted.
Professionally, what are you most passionate about?
Creating new visual designs and store displays for new products and in-store merchandising campaigns. I love to design a setting specific to a product, telling the story about the product and creating a real-life, stylish setting in which that product can shine in someone’s home or office.
Are there specific services you love offering at the Evantine flower shop?
I love designing floral arrangements for our Evantine store customers, whether they bring in one of their own lovely vases that I can fill with fresh local blooms, or, if I can create a custom floral arrangement using faux flowers for those “hard to keep fresh” areas in their home. It’s the idea that I can offer a solution that makes sure they enjoy beautiful flowers in their private spaces.
Do you offer design services you wish clients took advantage of more often?
YES! Many Evantine customers love the way merchandise is displayed at the store on Washington Square. Many have approached me about coming to their home and re-staging what they already have with what they purchased from us. That simple request to help them freshen up their collections and decorative accents is a lifestyle design service we offer upon request.
Personally, what are you most excited about these days?
Staging for events, weddings and residential interiors. Basically, fleshing out design concepts that involve creating interior settings using furniture, home decor and accessories makes me very happy. Interiors are my passion, but also, creating a warm, inviting space for a party or retail store, is a challenge I relish!
Do you have a preferred type of event to work on?
Oh, I love working on galas or corporate functions because they have the most dramatic themes!
When you’re not working at the boutique or at one of our events, where can we find you?
Shopping for new furniture or intriguing gadgets. I also enjoy renovating my home and gardening when I have the time. There’s always something that catches my eye!
Do you have a favorite guilty pleasure you’re willing to share publicly?
Sure. Surfing Houzz on the internet, reading lifestyle and interior design magazines on my iPad, and eating junk food. Anything with coconut works.
What can’t you live without? Aside from your pups and your hubby, of course.
My ever-growing collection of must-have, must-use Apple products, I have them all! An iPad, iPhone, Apple TV, Mac computer, etc. I’m a loyal Apple fan and I use them all, every day! I really do.
We totally understand that and relate. If you weren’t working at Evantine Design, what would you be doing Tina?
Opening up a home staging company or working with an interior design firm.
And, where will your next vacation be?
One of my favorite TV channels is National Geographic (NatGeo). It has really educated and inspired me on the beautiful country we live in and the incredible natural landscapes we can explore. As a result, right now we’re planning our next vacation to one of our national parks. We’ve already been to the Grand Canyon, but we’re planning to visit one of these parks: the Smoky Mountains, Rocky Mountains, Zion, Yosemite, or Acadia. Tough choice!
Yes, all gorgeous places to visit! Do you have a favorite restaurant you hang out at?
A little Mexican place in Fort Washington called Cantina Feliz which has delicious food and a cozy, fun atmosphere. Perfect for after-event set ups and lazy Sunday afternoons in summer.
Sounds great. In closing, is there anything we might be surprised to learn about you?
I totally love to watch horror films and ride roller coasters! One of my favorite scary movies is Dead Silence. CHILLING and I love it! I’m an adrenaline junkie, for sure.
Now, that is a surprise! Thank for chatting, Tina. If you would like to meet Tina or order some beautiful flowers from our floral boutique on Washington Square, please say hello via email@example.com.