Your name: Jaclyne Breault
Your Business name: Heavenly Blooms
Your Location: Southern California
How did you start your business and how many years have you been in business?
My story is the quintessential road less traveled tale. I started my business about a year after I graduated high school. I never planned on being a florist when I “grew up”. I had always thought I would go to college and get a degree in business, then work in a corporate environment. I started working at a flower shop when I was 15 because I thought it looked like fun. While going to high school half day, I would work my office job then in the evenings and weekends, I worked at the flower shop. When I graduated high school, my plan had been to take a little time off and travel before attending my first semester of college. I used money I received for graduation to enroll in floral classes in both London and Amsterdam. My ticket to Europe was booked for September 12, 2001. In an instant, my life changed as the World Trade Towers crumbled on September 11th. I was devastated on so many levels for so many reasons. I was left without a job and I had missed the enrollment time for college. I had been working at a flower shop for almost three years by then, so I had plenty floral experience. I started doing small events for friends out of my garage. One day I got a call from a friend who wanted me to design the flowers for her sister’s wedding. It was my first wedding and a $12,000 wedding floral budget and I just winged it. I learned a lot from that experience; I also walked away with very little profit. My whole business was built on word of mouth from that wedding. I booked more weddings after that one. A few months later, the first flower shop I had worked at was up for lease. I ended up buying the business from the owner – that was 12 years ago. I have been a florist since I was 15 and I have owned my business for the last 13 years.
What is your design aesthetic and what inspires you?
I sometimes struggle to find inspiration after having been a florist for so long (half my life!). When I feel burnt out and tired of seeing the same designs, I seek inspiration in traveling. Seeing new parts of the world or even revisiting favorite spots helps fuel my creative energy. I also find that walking around the flower market downtown and looking at all the choices inspires me. Nature is another place I find inspiration; I love wandering around gardens, forests, and parks. My design aesthetic actually varies from very clean to soft with a more romantic, garden-inspired style. Sometimes I like to design where everything is lush and full, packed with flowers. Other times, I love more movement such as softer foliage, cascading flowers and greens in a light, airy style.
What is your favorite part of being a floral designer?
Working with a beautiful medium that comes in the most amazing colors and forms, is by far, my favorite part of being a floral designer. I like that it brings people joy whether it’s during a happy or sad time in their lives.
My favorite part of designing wedding flowers is actually the whole process from the initial inquiry, to the collaboration of ideas and style, to the design of details and floral pieces, and especially the end result of witnessing the bride see her bouquet on her wedding day. When I leave a wedding, at the end of the day, I feel satisfied and content with a day well-spent. I love flowers. I love being a florist; it is a lot of work and very stressful but I genuinely love it.
What is the most challenging aspect of being a floral designer?
Designing for other people is so challenging. As much as I wish I could design according to my own style every time, it’s not realistic. Not everyone has the same taste and sometimes I just have to create their vision for them because that is how I make a living. I do sometimes become restless and tired of the same style centerpiece with the same flowers. Another challenging aspect – the hard labor. No one warned me about this when I first started. At my first job at the florist, all I did was wrap bouquets and floral arrangements. When I walked into the shop, everything was already in buckets just waiting for me; it was easy and effortless. When I started working for myself, I was shocked at how laborious it was to transport, clean, and produce large amounts of flowers and arrangements without a full staff at my disposal. Event work is also on a different level than shop work.
What advice would you give to aspiring floral designers?
My advice to aspiring floral designers would be to start interning and working with a florist to learn the basics and how to create, install and work on events. Get a feel of the kind of work it is. Many people feel that working a wedding as a florist is glamorous and easy. It has it’s appeal but is far from glamorous.
What are the trends, flowers, and colors that are unique to your region?
We are so blessed in California to have much of our product grown locally. And I believe it plays a huge role in what florists are using in terms of trends in flowers and colors. Peach and coral has been a hot color combination for the last two years, however I had more blush pink weddings and colorful weddings in 2014.
What tool in your toolbox can’t you live without?
My red knife. They do not make them like they used to and I have used this type of red knife since I started designing at 15. Don’t get me wrong, cutters are my second can’t-live-without – but when I am in the zone and working on 20 wedding centerpieces, my knife helps me to be more efficient with every cut of the stem.
What’s your favorite Social Media platform and why?
I used to be obsessed with Twitter, however the constant catch up of reading through everyone’s 140 character tweets was stressful and I gave up constantly trying to catch up. I adore Instagram because it’s more appealing, visually, and my feed is filled with beautiful pictures (a lot of flowers) and I am able to share small snippets of my world through words and most importantly, pictures.
Did you all see this photograph of Erin’s Lilac arrangement? I saw it on Facebook and have been inspired by it ever since. Hence, today’s post is dedicated to Lilacs!