Today we’d like to introduce you to Jamila Maurer.
Jamila, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I think I always knew I wanted to start my own business, I was just never exactly sure what kind.
It wasn’t until I started working in the floral department of a local grocery store as a teen, that I found my love for floral design. I worked there for ten years, and as a floral manager for 5 of those years. It was steady income, and it helped satisfy my creative needs to some extent, but I knew I couldn’t stay there and be happy.
I was successful in growing the wedding flower aspect of the company I worked for but I wasn’t getting any commission or even the recognition I deserved. I felt like I needed to be doing something more fulfilling, something that utilized my talent and creativity.
I had also been working full time since my daughter was about a year old, and I hated feeling like I was missing her childhood.
Finally, about a year and a half ago, I became determined to branch out on my own and start Petal & Wren.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I was working 40+ hours a week, taking care of our daughter, and last Summer I was pregnant with my second daughter and became very ill for three months.
I knew on top of all that starting this business from basically nothing was not going to be easy. It takes so much time to get your name out there, get referrals, and get your work recognized. Plus, people are understandably reluctant to choose a wedding florist with next to no reviews.
What helped me a lot was my background and degree in Graphic Design, which enabled me to build my website and brand. Also stepping way out of my comfort zone and connecting/networking with other business professionals.
Of course the support of my family and friends has also been invaluable. I’m not where I want to be just yet, but I can say I am proud of what I’ve accomplished thus far.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Starting Petal & Wren, I knew I wanted to specialize in wedding flowers (although I would love to branch out into corporate events.) I have a small private studio so it’s nice being able to focus on the one aspect of floral design. I love meeting my clients and getting a feel for their personalities’/tastes and being able to incorporate that into their flowers.
I think why my work has been received so well is because it’s so personal. I’m a small business (it’s just me!) so everything is hand made by me personally. I put a lot of my energy and heart into my designs and I think that people see that.
I do try and adapt my work to my client’s personal style, but there’s always going to be my own take on the work. I’m also not afraid to put my ego aside and keep learning and adapting to the industry. There will always be more to learn and I think that’s exciting.
What were you like growing up?
When I was young, creating things (art/crafts/music, etc.) was what I loved. I used to come up with different “business” ideas…from restaurants in my parent’s kitchen, to greenhouses outside in the summer, to gift wrapping services for the Holidays.
My siblings and I were homeschooled, which I believe helped foster my love for art and allowed for more creative freedom.
- Website: www.petalandwren.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @petalandwren
- Facebook: facebook.com/petalandwren
Photography Your Way, Catherine Coons, Unity Mike, Giana Murphy, Racheal Provencher