“Do you like flowers?” Erica Dias asks me at the start of our phone interview.
This catches me off-guard, as I’m used to posing the questions—but I took a beat, leaned back in my computer chair, and smiled as an honest answer popped into my head. “Yes. They remind me of sunshine.”
That right there, is why Helen Florals is so important.
Dias launched the flower brand back in the spring of 2020 as she—like the rest of the world—was trying to maintain her sanity. “I found myself embarking on this spiritual journey where I needed to return to what sparked joy in my life,” Dias shared. “The two things that kept coming to mind was my grandmother…and her flowers.”
Growing up Dias said she was extremely close with both her grandparents, but grandma Helen, was the light of Dias’s world.
“As a little girl I would really watch her in awe,” Dias said.
A skilled gardener, Dias’s grandfather had transformed his family home into a cornucopia of greenery that included vegetables, shrubbery, and gorgeous flowers. This was where his wife would come alive. “Every Sunday, my grandmother, before she went to church, my grandfather, he would say, ‘okay, come on, Mrs. Dias. Come and take your pictures in the front house.’ And he would take pictures where the garden was, and my grandmother would put on her Sunday best. And she would just glow.”
After noticing his granddaughter’s keen interest in gardening, Dias’s grandfather taught her all of his green thumb techniques.
“He gave me that early knowledge of different types flowers, patience, care, all of that. And my grandmother taught me how to truly enjoy them. During the pandemic I had the space to remember that that brought me so much joy because, like most of us, my work life had gotten in the way of core happiness,” she said, sharing she’d spent many years focused on building her successful PR practice The B Firm.
While revisiting her love of flowers, she picked up floral arranging as a hobby and realized she wanted to take it more seriously. What started as a quick escape turned into a business idea.
“I found myself taking botany classes in Dubai and doing deep research on the science behind the art. I really loved it” she said. “Then…my grandmother died.”
Dias shared the death took its toll and led her to lean on her love of florals even more, mainly as a lifeline that connected her to Helen.
Over time, her floral arrangements caught the attention of her PR clients and led to them commissioning her for their special events, including R&B sensation Summer Walker’s baby shower. In the span of months, Dias’s clientele grew to include Bravo’s Real Housewives of Atlanta among many other notables.
Helen Florals now offers bespoke services for everything from birthdays, weddings and funerals. One stand-out product is the eternity arrangement, which can last up to two years.
While she’s humbled by the success of both businesses (which are generating millions), Dias said she’s most grateful for the spiritual growth her new company has led to.
“Every stem I touch, there’s a jolt of excitement that runs through me, and I know it’s because my grandma is speaking to me through the plants, you know?”
“What’s she saying?” I ask.