We had the good fortune of connecting with Breesa Everett and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Breesa, how do you think about risk?
I think anyone starting their own business is a natural risk taker. As I kid, I probably should have gotten more stitches and broken bones than I did because I was always pushing myself – I mean, what 12 year old doesn’t love bombing a super steep hill on rollerblades with no pads and no brakes? I got lucky with how little injuries I received. Starting a business and setting out on your own is a similar rush and risk but I don’t think there is luck involved with the success of it and I’ve only come to realize that in the past few months. I grew up in a family where everyone worked in the family business in some capacity but I knew early on that was definitely not my path. So far, I’m currently the only one with an established career that differs from the family business. Just diverting from that path after high school was a risk but it just was of no interest to me. I started in my love of the floral and event industry at 18 or 19 years old and steadily worked my way through different aspects of the industry. I wanted to know everything there is to know. That curiosity continues to grow after 16 years and I view each step I take in my business as part of a giant art project. The vulnerability and unknown when putting your personal art into the world is just as real when starting a business from the ground up and declaring “THIS IS MY PATH, I’M GONNA DO THIS”. Discussing all my “too big” dreams with family raised a lot of eyebrows and sometimes still do but the thrill of seeing something grow is worth it. But, again, it’s just as much preparation as it is risk when establishing and growing your business. My event business was started out of necessity when a previous business attempt fell through while I was pregnant and my husband was in school full time. I could have stayed freelancing for other companies but I knew my greatest potential was starting off on my own as I had already been freelancing and working for different companies for 10 years and new I had gone as far as I could in that direction. All of my biggest risks in my business have been determined by being forced to choose between two options and supported by years of curiosity and learning. Each new studio I’ve moved into happened because I had to move to grow or stay exactly where I was and feel kind of stagnant. I need momentum and that became really clear during a pandemic where the whole world stopped. My career in the event industry felt destroyed and everything I had worked for in 6 years building my own business was seemingly lost. I had two choices: hang onto my design studio, paying out rent and hoping that events will come back soon OR Pivot in a way where I was prepared for events to come back but I could grow into a brick and mortar retail shop where I could work doing smaller projects and daily sales. Knowing my need for momentum and growth I chose to move my studio, open a retail space and start a new project! It’s a risk opening a new business during a pandemic but in order for my current business to survive and for my own sanity it was necessary. Whenever I’m taken to an either/or fork in the road I typically take the path with the most risk but I know that in the risk is where the potential for growth lies. I also know that every decision I make, I’ve been preparing for whether I knew it or not. A constant curiosity about my industry has led me to make the risky choices but also prepared me for the ability to adapt and see the “what-ifs?” Really clearly.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m so grateful that I found a creative path and can make a living off of my art. There’s definitely no playbook or rules about how to grow in a creative business but what I’ve learned is that kindness and truth will get you farther than anything else will. Business is about the people you serve, you are no where without a support system of clients and customers. You also serve the people that work with you, you become a team and have to set each other up for success. Creativity is nothing without risk and truth. Clients can read when there is something inauthentic about you/your business. People don’t feel comfortable when you are trying to show them you are something you’re not. Modeling yourself after another business or person will only get you so far. It might be a good jumping off point As inspiration but you have to find your own voice in order to not get lost in the crowd of people all doing the same thing. For so long I wanted to make sure I was presenting myself how I thought clients WANTED to see me. I was doing alright but constantly trying to fit in to their expectations and adjusting my creative style was exhausting and I was always questioning myself. One day I decided that I was not going to try to fit into any mold I thought I had to or agree to a design style that didn’t feel like me. The day after I made that decision I had a meeting with my ideal client. I felt different in the meeting and had more confidence than in the past. I was able to come up with ideas that were more unique and customized to their needs while letting my true style shine. The client felt more confident in me seeing that I was willing to create something unique for them instead of regurgitating what was in her inspiration photos and booked me on the spot. It was the biggest wedding I had booked up until that point. The most honest and unfiltered about my design style I was, the more comfortable the client felt in handing over the design to me and letting me create something super special. If a client is drawn to your art/your business it’s because they want YOU. They want to know you and see you for who you are and what you can do for THEM.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love San Diego so much because it has so much to offer while being so laid back and accessible. I grew up in North County and really believe it’s one of the most beautiful places in California. My week long itinerary for living it up in North County would include the following: Paddle boarding in Oceanside Harbor and the lagoons in Carlsbad. Early morning or in the evening to see the animal life and feel the calm of the days starting/coming to a close. Early morning coffee on the beach. Exploring Swami’s beach when the tide is low is magical and then taking a walk through the gardens of the Self Realization fellowship feels like a dream. While you’re out in the morning you obviously need to stop for donuts and the best can be found at VG’s in Cardiff or Super Donuts in Carlsbad Village. Our favorite beachside breakfast spots include Pipe’s, Swami’s, Naked Cafe, and Vinaka – nothing fancy just good food and really nice people. There are so many coffee shops popping up in Oceanside along with restaurants that offer a comfortable atmosphere, cool ambiance, and an elevated menu. Our favorite dinner spots include Wrench and Rodent, Masters, Privateer, LTH … too many to list here. For lunch we love Eve, Choice, Jorge’s, and obviously my husband’s restaurant The Green House, opening soon in Oceanside. There are some incredible hiking trails to explore all throughout North County that are all really unique – you can over look the beach from cliffs above, explore trails through the pines and lakes, walk through creeks and cacti, and even jog around working farms in Carlsbad. Leo Carrillo Ranch is sweet and beautiful and a perfect little peek into Carlsbad’s history. The art and creative small business that Oceanside supports are really special. I love Oceanside because I feel like it’s kept its character the most compared to the other coastal cities. It’s funky and unique and it allows for the creativity of the city to shine through. Music can be found any night of the week somewhere in the tasting rooms, restaurants, and bars throughout the area. If you want to feel fancy and see gorgeous gardens (because gardens are my favorite) go through Rancho Santa Fe. The landscaping in the area is so varied and interesting and then you can stop in at Thyme in the Ranch for the sandwiches and the biggest pieces of cake.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I am lucky to have a lot of support in all of my endeavors. My husband is patient and really good at assuring me I’m not crazy. My friends are my cheerleaders and the industry colleagues are my co-dreamers. I’d say my biggest source of encouragement comes from the first flower lady I ever worked for, Amy Samuel. She is so open and loving and always willing to share her wisdom. She is more excited than I am about every new project I take on and sees the potential in every decision I make before I can. She has created a very tight knit flower family with each person that has worked at her shop and she is my North Star in the direction I push myself.
Greatwoodland Photography, Mirelle Carmichael Photography, Erin Kaiulani Photography, Sourced Co