About Vase opened in 2000 by celebrated floral and landscape designer Phil Cato. Phil's design artistry, personal warmth and sense of humor made him a fan with his clients and About Vase became known as the go-to flower shop in Little Rock, Arkansas for innovative floral design. In January of 2012 the shop was purchased by Richard Estelita and received a complete makeover. In addition to a re-do of the physical space, About Vase re-opened with expanded goods and services. The shop still features distinctive floral design and event coordination, but now has 2,400 square feet of retail space featuring plants and orchids; new, vintage and antique home accessories and gifts.
As an Arkansas native, my interest in the floral industry began as a young child. After getting caught a few too many times cutting flowers out of the neighbor’s yards it became evident that I had taken a natural liking to flowers and had been given a creative gift for arranging them.
I began my professional career working in the wholesale industry in the Fort Smith area before accepting a lead design position at a local shop. In 1996 I received my Arkansas Master Florist certification and have studied European Design and Ikebana design at the American Floral Education Center in Oklahoma City. I relocated to Charleston, South Carolina in 2001 to open “Bloom”, the flower shop at the landmark Charleston Place Hotel. After a stint as the in house designer for the Kahala Resort in Hawaii, I returned to Charleston where I owned my own floral and event business for almost a decade.
I returned to Arkansas in 2011 and am now serving as Design Director at About Vase. I enjoy collaborating with our clients and coming up with special, meaningful arrangements for all occasions.