We had the good fortune of connecting with Anastasia Ovanessoff and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Anastasia, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Both of my parents were small business owners, so growing up I had a lot of inspiration around me to be a small business owner myself. They included me in their work often, helping me understand the foundations needed to be a successful small business owner. I knew that I needed to be strong willed, motivated, educated, adaptable and hard working. Considering I was the child that often dreamt about her wedding day and finding my prince charming, it only made sense that I would end up in the wedding and event industry. It took me a couple years to discover my love for floral design, but the moment I picked up my first pair of clippers I knew I had found the niche I was looking for. Starting my own business was easy. I got the appropriate license and permits, picked a name that suited me, and found someone to help me create a logo. The hard part was finding out what I wanted my business to be. What was my mission? My motivating force? How did I make a difference in this industry? The biggest lesson my parents taught me about small business ownership is that I can be anything I want to be, but I have to strive to be the best at it. I spent years taking classes all around the world that taught me about florals and designs. I studied under amazing artists, and I used my skills to create a platform for my own business that was unique in itself. It took about four years for my business to evolve into exactly what I wanted it to be. I absolutely did not want it to be average. I wanted to stand out as a florist, create designs that go above and beyond expectations, provide design services that reach beyond florals, and offer specialty products that combine my personal love of florals and confections. I am now a full service floral, design, and specialty confections studio. I cater to large and small scale events in San Diego, CA and Denver, CO. I work with amazing brides and clients who have all types and sizes of weddings and events. From small dinner parties, to large scale wedding celebrations, I help my clients achieve visions beyond their imagination. It is a beautiful business to be in where I get to meet so many people who are wanting to celebrate love.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
What sets me apart from others is that I strive for quality work. No matter your budget, I ensure that the work I provide is exceptional and nothing short of what my client deserves. This plays strongly into being a unique business. There are unfortunately a lot of people who have had less than desirable encounters with florists, and I never want to come short of anything other than amazing. I am most proud of my decisions to include confections into my business. I am not a baker, but I incorporate sweet treats into my work, such as my line of confections towers and my new line of bonbonnieres and grazing tables. I make the bonbonnieres and confections towers myself, incorporating florals into every aspect of those products. As for the grazing tables, I provide my own products and use products from local businesses. I love collaborating and supporting others, because so many others supported me to get to where I am. It was far from easy to get here. I struggled with doubts, road blocks, challenges of all sizes, and confusion of what I wanted my business to represent. After four years or restructuring my ideas over and over again, I am finally feeling so incredibly confident of the image I have created for my business and what it stands for. One of the biggest lessons learned has been the importance of ‘just doing it’. I doubted myself for so long, and I still struggle with it at times. Am I ready for this? Am I doing this right? Does it look good? Does it sound good? I was hesitant at first to put myself out there, and I was constantly questioning how good my website looked, how nice my photos were, how strong my designs were, etc. I finally decided I need to work on having a mindset of not worrying too much. If I can honestly say I did my best, then there should be no doubt in my mind. I now remind myself every day to take the plunge, to put myself out there, and it has been reciprocated- I have a lot of upcoming events and weddings booked with fantastic clients and I could not be more thankful.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There is so much to see in San Diego! I would definitely want to make sure we hit the staples of this beautiful town. My itinerary would be as follows: 1. Breakfast at Breakfast Republic. Locals and out-of-towners know that it is an absolute must for breakfast food and drinks. 2. La Jolla Cove to see the sea lions and tide pools. The sea lions are an awesome sight, at a distance! They are wild animals and deserve their own space, but walking near by to see these awesome creatures in their natural habitat is pretty awesome. 3. Walk down the P.B. boardwalk! The ocean view, great people watching, and awesome businesses in Pacific Beach are a must see during the day and night time. 4. Drive down to Coronado to see the famous Coronado Bridge and Hotel Del. The bridge drive has such a gorgeous view of the city, how could you possibly miss seeing that! 5. Since my BFF is luckily here for a week, we can go to all of my favorite lunch spots. Sarita’s Taco Shop, Taco Stand (no shame in too many burritos!), Crack Shack, Board & Brew, among others. 6. A beach day at La Jolla Shores is a must. And another beach day at Del Mar Beach. Possibly even a third beach day at Mission Beach. Each is unique in itself! 7. Dinner one night will have to be at International Smoke. It is an absolute must. Dinner another night will be somewhere in Pacific Beach, followed by a famous Red Bull Slushie at PB Shore Club. 8. Views from Mount Soledad are crucial for prime sunset watching. 9. A shopping day at UTC definitely has to happen! 10. Drinks around town are also the best way to check out local dive bars. One bar we definitely will go will be The Aero Club! It’s totally awesome and a great spot to hang out and have a few drinks.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many people who deserve a shout out and huge thank you for their continued support and encouragement as I work towards the long term success of my business. To name a few, I would like to thank Judith Blacklock for teaching me so many amazing floral design skills; Bridget Lindroth for mentoring me for years in more ways than I can say; Jamila Dounia for inspiring me to be a boss babe; a numerous amount of friends and family members who continuously supported me; and most importantly, I have to thank my Mom and Dad. With their continued and endless support, I have been able to grow as a person and as a business owner, I have been able to travel the world to study this beautiful industry that I work in, I have been able to pursue my education in Business Management, and I have been able to lean on them during the good and bad times when I need support from people who have been in my same shoes.

Website: www.simplystazi.com
Instagram: @simplystazi
Facebook: Simply Stazi

Image Credits
@mitchtellezphoto