Itika Oldwine of Oldvine Florals 

By Sharee Silerio
In 2011, after working on “The Oprah Show” for eight seasons as an
intern then employee, Itika Oldwine took a big leap of faith and traded in Chicago
for Los Angeles to start a career in marketing. Soon after arriving, she
started a marketing position at L.A. Live, an entertainment and sports complex
adjacent to the Staples Center Downtown. There, she was immersed in one of the
largest event spaces in the nation, which hosts the Los Angeles Clippers and
Lakers, the Grammys, MTV Awards and BET Experience.
After learning as much as she could about marketing, she started
securing her own clients, and one of them ended up being Eric Buterbaugh Design,
a florist out of the Four Seasons hotel in Beverly Hills. Eventually, Oldwine left LA Live to become Buterbaugh’s general manager and a new passion began to bloom.

“I’ve always loved beautiful things, and I
appreciate a certain aesthetic, but I wasn’t sure that flowers was something I
was passionate about until I started working with Eric Buterbaugh,” says Oldwine. “Flowers live and breathe, and they have this texture when you touch them. They
change the mood of a room. They change the mood of a human being.”
Although it was refreshing to be able to work with beautiful flowers
every day, Oldwine soon wanted more.
                                                                                                              
“When it came to the way we designed flowers, I grew. I wanted to be
bolder, use different colors, work with different clients. I developed a point
of view that I couldn’t really express because it wasn’t my business,’ she explains.
So Oldwine gave
herself the blessing to do something different. After two years of hands-on
training, she took another leap of faith. This past June she left Eric Buterbaugh’s company to start her own floral business.
Itika Oldwine

“I left the job
before I had a location, before I had a name for it, or anything. I just had a
feeling that I could do this for myself,” she says.
When choosing a name
for her business, Oldwine wanted to find something that would resonate with her
and clients. After brainstorming, she chose Oldvine
Florals
,
a mix of her last name and vines, which are reminiscent of flowers. She
purchased a domain with the same name as the business, then registered a “Doing
Business As” with the city of Los Angeles. After that, she chose a location for
the boutique, which is a convenient two blocks from the flower market.
Though everything
seemed to fall in place easily, she says that securing angel investors and coming
up with the marketing and business plan, as well as figuring out
how much money she needed to actually launch, was the biggest challenge.
Still, in just a short time, Oldwine has made a name for herself in the
industry, working with clients such as Martini & Rossi, E! Entertainment, “The
Voice” television show, the Oprah Winfrey Network, and more. So what’s the secret to her success?
“Every single thing that I did in my professional career, and even
things throughout my young life, led me to this point,” she says. “Sometimes, when we’re
working, figuring things out or looking at our past decisions, we don’t see how
it will all come together. I pull from all of my experiences in order to excel
where I am.”
As a woman who bravely chose and created her own path, she has a
nugget of advice for all who want to pursue their passion.
“Absolutely follow it because it’s not going to go away. It might be a
huge, burning fire or it might go down to a flickering flame, but it’s
going to be there. You’re doing yourself a disservice by trying to snuff out
that flame. Light it up!”
To keep up with Itika, follow her on Instagram, and Oldvine Florals on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Do you have a business you’d like to start?
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Sharee Silerio is a St. Louis-based freelance writer, Film and TV
writer-producer, and blogger. When she isn’t creating content for
The Root or The St. Louis
American
, she enjoys watching drama/sci-fi/comedy movies and TV
shows, writing faith and self-love posts for
SincerelySharee.com, relaxing
with a cup of chai tea, crafting chic DIY event décor, and traveling. Review
her freelance portfolio at
ShareeSilerio.com
then connect with her on
Facebook,
Instagram and Twitter.