FIRST STORE. When recession hit the US in 2008, I closed my first flower retail store in Van Nuys, CA. After 3 store break-ins, over a hundred flowers and events, I moved back to my garage and then to my dining room which eventually served as my home studio. At that time my children were in their teenage years and needed my attention even more. My eldest daughter graduated from college, moved to New York to find her future and my son stepped into senior high and learned to drive. Suddenly, I woke up to the reality that I now have to step aside and found consolation from my impending nesting by doing more flowers. A brief stint at Holy Spirit Retreat Center eventually led me back to working full time with flowers and styling events.
DREAM. Since I closed my first store, I have always wanted to open another store. At one time, I even dreamed about it - the way it looks and the elements that will be included. During one of my recent trips to New York to visit my daughter, she brought me to a store in her neighborhood in the Upper East Side. “Mom, you have to see this”, she said. The store was Plantshed. It was a flower shop and a coffee shop in one, with a big table in the middle for people to hang out, sip a cup of coffee, pick some flowers , and wait for them to be arranged. It was like the dream in my own two eyes!”.
MIRACLES HAPPEN. Recently, I have been posting about miracle moments in my life in order to lead you to this one big miracle that even I could not fathom- the opening of my dream studio/ showroom/ storefront on January 8, 2019 in the boundary of Canoga and West Hills in Los Angeles, CA. Follows is a post from my FB on my birthday last January 20.
“God sent angels Linda M. Crisostomo and my sister Celia Blancaflor to help me set this up. I originally planned to work in New York for a year and save money to be able to build my dream place. But it meant being away from my family and friends. Linda and I were also looking at cheap tickets to the Philippines to work on building a retreat center.
I have been crying, kneeling, begging, praying for my God to give this to me...to be able to showcase and glorify Him through this special gift of floral and event design.
Tuesday, January 8, 2019, the doors of the studio was blessed by Father Mao and formally opened with over a hundred of my friends ( including my best friend of 35 years Mary Tan who flew in from the Philippines) and family. Cutting the ribbon were 3 of my beautiful brides Cassi Dobrawa, Jamie Hidalgo Armendariz, John S. Mina, Erlinda, and ace event planner Susan Armendariz who also helped paved the way to pursue my passion.
Today, I will be celebrating my 59th birthday, thankful and very blessed, and meeting with my first client at the studio. Please feel free to visit as well from 10 am to 7 pm...let’s have coffee or wine amidst some sweet smelling fresh flowers beautifully arranged by myself and our lovely house floral designer Liane Douglas. Our address 22153 Sherman Way 91303. Phone. no. 818-805-3825, email@example.com.”
Indeed, miracles do happen.