I know some awesome people who run their own businesses here in San Diego and I want to shine a spotlight on them!
Every week or two I will interview and introduce a local entrepreneur who has gained my trust and respect, and might be able to help you!
For my third installment, I interviewed Jade Rocca who has the talent of delivering the most amazing floral arrangements I’ve seen. She seems to have the uncommon ability to blend both artistry and entrepreneurship, as she is building a growing business while training her employees in her unique style.
How to reach Jade:
Here is a transcript of our conversation:
Hey, this is Jon with PaintGreen. I’m continuing on with the little series that I started of interviewing entrepreneurs I know here in San Diego that I’ve come to respect and trust, and I’m sitting here with Jade Rocca. Jade is an amazing florist. I think most of you probably know my partner, Carissa, or you may know as ‘kika. She loves Jade’s flowers, as do I. Every opportunity we have we stop by her shop and try to pick up a bouquet.
Thank you, Jon. Very sweet.
So Jade, you won some award or something, right, for being florist of the year in San Diego?
Oh, thank you. Actually, yeah, that was back in 2019, and we did win best floral artistry in San Diego. It was a big moment because that was actually our first year in business, so super pumped to.
I didn’t even know that. So your very first year you won florist of the year.
Yeah, it was pretty awesome. It was really a pivotal moment and just full of gratitude that the members of our community voted us in for that, and definitely helped launch us forward in the events industry as well.
Yeah, big time. That’s really incredible. So how did you get into the flower business? What drew you into it?
It’s funny when people ask me this, because I had never played with flowers ever in my life before starting this business. I surely didn’t think I would become a florist one day, but back in 2018 I was going through a really, really difficult time and took some time off from my industry job as a bartender and started buying myself small little $3.99, Trader Joe’s bouquets, and they just started really resonating with me that we’re all planted in darkness. It takes time for the seeds of ourselves to sprout and stem and stand on their own so that we can blossom and bring beauty to the world, too.
I love that.
Started playing with flowers, and jumped into the wedding industry here in San Diego. Three years later here we are.
Right on. I love the metaphor of personal development along with how flowers bloom.
Yeah, our back line is strength, beauty, and growth in all of us. That’s really what flowers represent me and the team.
Yeah. Cool. I can see that in your work, too. Yeah. What do you enjoy most about being in the floral industry?
Well, one, it’s a live product, right? And you’re tangibly working with your hands all day. It is a beautifully creative outlet, especially on big processing days for an event or a wedding. We spend hours in the studio just processing the flowers, and by processing, that means we’re taking them out of our packaging that we collect from wholesalers, stripping all the leaves, fresh cut, fresh water. You have a lot of like one on one time with fresh product. It’s very meditative and it’s just, it’s a beautiful creative outlet to expand your creative horizons and create something beautiful with your hands on a daily basis.
So you really enjoy the process of building all of the floral arrangements then it sounds like.
I really enjoy the process, but I also really enjoy hearing the vision of the client. Say, for example, a bride, or a couple, and what they want to execute, what their vision is, and how we can give creative solutions to really make magic when it comes to floral. Floral can make or break an event in my opinion, so invest in your flowers.
You told me earlier that your business has really been growing. You have four employees now.
So weird. Yeah. 2021 was a humongous year for us. It’s our third year in business. Thank God that we were able to survive COVID, but the event industry really tanked and took a huge hit, but we were able to bounce back and we opened two locations this year. We have four girls on the team, and I think we’ve done over a hundred weddings this year.
Wow. So would you say that events and weddings, and is a major part of your business, or is it more one off orders from…
I would say the events are about so 75% of the business and the other 25 are retail orders.
Okay. What are some of the challenges that you’re experiencing in trying to grow and run your business?
Inflation. I mean, everything has gone up significantly and it’s been a challenge to educate clients on why product has up, why materials have gone up. The price of flowers since I started three years ago has doubled.
That goes for materials as well. When we’re looking at hard goods, vases, it’s very difficult to get that inventory in because most of that was imported. I think that’s one of the biggest things that we’re facing going into the new year is education to our clients; why prices have gone up, It’s kind of out of our hands at this point. We can still get you the majority of what you’re looking for, but we are asking a little bit of compassion, understanding and flexibility moving forward because of the climate of what’s going on with COVID.
Sure. Yeah. Cool. Well tell us something that is coming up in your life that you’re excited about right now.
I’m excited to grow this team. We just moved into a new wedding studio two months ago, and the new designers are just hopping right in and just really getting it. We have a new operations manager, and I’m really excited to cultivate the blooming forward culture internally and provide a really wonderful workspace for my girls and make magic together.
Right on. Cool. Well, we’re going to put your contact information and everything in all the comments and all that. Then it’d be great too if we could get some photos and we’ll put some of the photos in the comments.
… So some of the people who are watching this can see your actual work.