The beginning of a wonderful partnership, solid friendship, and fulfilling business all started when we met working at a local floral shop. Falling literally in love with the flowers and the joy of the wedding/events industry, we both knew that someday we would join forces in floral design. After going our separate ways for a couple of years and keeping in touch, we sensed the timing was right. In 2010, we decided to follow our passion and dreams and HandPickd bloomed!
Since then, we've been putting our heart and soul into this company and could not be more thankful and blessed with where we are today. We're so grateful for the support of family, friends, and clients over the years!
This is our HandPickd story.
We can't wait to hear yours!
―Mari Sterr & Hillary Koetz
Mari ― it's pronounced just like MARY! ― has utterly and completely fallen in love with the wedding industry! For Mari, bringing a bride’s vision to life and seeing her eyes light up when first seeing her bouquet is THE BEST FEELING EVER!
"I am obsessed with blooms ... so obsessed ... and I love using a couple’s unique love story as an inspiration for wedding details. Fluffy bouquets, flower crowns, and tons of green make me swoon!"
Born and raised in Nebraska, Mari and her husband relocated to Dubuque in 2000. She's happily married with three children and ten(!) grandbabies. She loves family time, hanging out with friends, good restaurants, enjoying nature, and her dog, Mya! You'll find that she has incredible fashion sense and an a eye for design in all aspects of life.
Hillary's artistic inspiration comes from her love of life. Everywhere she looks, she sees beauty. With her whimsical personality, creating is her passion and love. Hillary's favorite designs are organic and lush concepts, but really anything with flowers makes her heart thump. The excitement she has when meeting with a couple for the first time through wedding day set-up is so rewarding.
"The best part of our job is ALL OF IT! Knowing we are part of making a couples' wedding day unforgettable and magical is mind-blowing and humbling."
Hillary is a small-town girl from Iowa with big dreams and goals. She married her high school sweetheart, has two adorable girls, two dogs, and two bunnies. She loves to spend time with family, enjoys the outdoors, reading, dancing, chocolate, and being creative. [And in case you're wondering, her last name is pronounced KAYTZ.]
Always up for a good design challenge, Rhonda is ready to design anything and everything we send her way. Her smile says it all when designing and her enthusiasm to create is so fun to watch in the studio and on actual wedding days.
Mari and Hillary: "We are so thankful and blessed to have Rhonda on our team. Her ideas, flower knowledge, and creativity are remarkable."
In her free time, Rhonda loves spending time with her family, outdoor entertaining, days spent on their family land, campfires, re-purposing vintage finds, enjoying fine wine, and long-lasting friendships.
Our "details" gal, Emily is so creative and talented! She loves flowers and is always thinking ahead when it comes to final touches. Whether it's designing corsages/boutonnieres or brainstorming ideas, she is a perfect addition to our team.
Emily is a true farm girl through and through. Her loves are family (raising three wonderful teenagers), friends, animals (her fur babies include two goats, horses, dogs, chickens), anything to do with nature, gardening, and decorating.
Mari and Hillary: "Being creative is her outlet and joy."
When she is not helping us, you can find Emily planting and perfecting her yard and hanging out with family and friends.