It’s been 20 years since Joelle Hadix started her wedding business, but she’s just as passionate about it now as on the first day.
“I love it,” the Westmont resident said. “It’s hard work and challenging and a lot of sweat and tears, but I like making brides happy and coming up with new ideas.”
Hadix, owner of Carriage House Florals & Wedding Elegance by Joelle, started the business in 1994 out of her home. She focused solely on weddings, providing decorations such as arches, centerpieces and candelabras, and designing and creating invitations.
“Each year got better, and I continued to build the business,” she said.
She also went to school to study floral design and attended PittsburghFloral Academy. She took beginner courses in weddings so she could expand her services to include more bouquet and balloon offerings.
As time went on and the business grew, Hadix was running out of space in her home. In 1999, she moved into a storefront on Village Street in the Moxham section of Johnstown.
“I really loved it there,” Hadix said. “The first year I did one wedding, the second three and the next year 30.”
In 2007, Hadix hired Darryl Buynack, who had a floral shop in Vinco and had worked at Westwood Floral, to take over the floral end of the business, allowing her to focus more on weddings and consulting.
“That’s how Carriage House Florals came about,” she said.
Hadix continued to add to her inventory, accumulating thousands of chair covers and table linens in a variety of colors as well as chocolate fountains, Chiavari chairs, china, silverware, glassware, cake plateaus, ficus trees and Roman columns.
“We were still growing and had no storage,” Hadix said. “We had stuff everywhere.”
A 100-year-old building, the former Moxham Hardware, caught her eye. Hadix purchased the 20,000-square-foot building at 600 Central Ave. in August 2012 and spent over a year renovating it.
“It needed a lot of work, but I really liked it, and visually it’s in a fantastic location,” Hadix said.
The shop opened for business in November.
Visitors can see a variety of silk flower arrangements hanging on the walls, home decor and yard decoration items, and fresh floral arrangements available daily on a cash and carry basis.
The business also provides flowers for all occasions including weddings, funerals and proms.
“We do better on the wedding side since it’s the older business,” Hadix said. “That’s what I’m known for – and for doing crazy things like hanging a 200-pound chandelier.”
Hadix, who has one full-time and two part-time employees, said they’re working to promote the Carriage House Florals side of the business by offering floral preservation. The service, 4ever FroZen by WE, freeze dries bridal bouquets and then frames them.
“This is something that’s well-known online but not being done locally,” Hadix said. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”
Her busiest time of year is May through October, when wedding season is in full swing.
“You work for five or six months and then have off,” Hadix said.
“It’s not a business you can start and live off right away. I give it 100 percent, and what you put into it is what you get out.”
Store hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
For more information, call 535-7553 or visit www.webjweddings.com or www.facebook.com/pages/Wedding-Elegance-by-Joelle/130333000886.
Kelly Urban is a reporter with The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/KellyUrban25.