We had the good fortune of connecting with Cynthia Fernandez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cynthia, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
My grandmother who raised me passed away on September 8 2019 from stage 4 cancer. She was diagnosed around my birthday, and after she finished her radiation, her health began to deteriorate drastically, 2019 was a really rough year for me and my family. Growing up my grandma, Adela Florencia, taught me so much about flowers and plants. When she moved to the US from Cuba in 1962 with my grandfather, she made sure that when they were able to afford a house, that it had a big back yard so that she could build a beautiful garden. I grew up spending so much time with her in that garden, and I truly cherish every story she shared with me as she potted a new plant or pruned the roses. The day of her funeral, I stayed up until 3am rearranging all of the flowers we received from friends and family, it was a way for me to cope with her loss. I quickly found out how much peace flowers brought me, and how as a creative individual they brought me so much joy. After a few months had gone by, I decided to start my own floral business in January 2020 from my garage and named it Florencia after my grandma.
After starting Florencia a few weeks later the pandemic hit and I thought that my dream to be a floral designer would be short lived. After the fear of feeling like the world was going to end had subsided and things started looking up, I got back to it. Without the help of my amazing husband, I would have never been able to run the business, plus juggle school online full-time, working a full-time job, and homeschooling our child. Together we were able to sell countless arrangements, made a few installations, handled our first wedding, did a few styled shoots, and ended the year on a high note. Last year was crazy for everyone, and certainly not what we expected the first year of running a business would be like, but we made it and we continue to look forward to bigger and greater things to come! Running a business is such a learning experience that involves a lot of trial and error, but little by little things begin to fall into place which makes the continuous hard work all worth while!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I truly see floral design as an art form, an outlet to express creativity that inspires love, happiness, and joy. Florencia is more than meets the eye, we really put our love into our designs. I studied ballet and modern dance for many years, and I am working on my BA in Art History, so I feel that in addition to the love I put in my work, there are also elements of my training and studies in other art forms, from the exploration of color theory, to movement in the placement of the flowers I use.
I feel that never giving up really has helped in getting me to this point, as well as appreciating the little moments to celebrate! I feel that many people when starting a business get stuck or put the business on pause because of the obstacles that can get in the way. I try not to let those obstacles get to me, and when they do, I turn on some good music and just push through, sometimes this brings out the best in me, maybe because it’s my way of telling that little voice of doubt to shut up!
If the world could know one thing about me and my business is that I try to lead my life and my business with an open heart and an open mind, there are just so many endless beautiful possibilities out there!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love San Diego and all of it’s wonders! If my friend was visiting from out of town I would start our day with a morning run around my neighborhood in Chula Vista. There are so many beautiful trails around here, I couldn’t help but share. For Brunch I would take them to Puesto in SeaPort Village, followed by a walk, some shopping, and art in one of my favorite places in San Diego, Barrio Logan. We would finish the night and probably meet up with the rest of the crew back in Chula Vista on Third Avenue, visiting some of South Bay’s best brewery’s including Chula Vista Brewery and Three Punks, followed by some delicious foodtruck goodies!
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 would like to shoutout to my amazing business partner and biggest supporter, my husband Yovannys Mierez. I do not know where I would be without his patience and encouragement. I love working with him and how we can bounce ideas off each other. He is always by my side helping me, inspiring me, sharing his creativity and honesty.
Dina Diaz Kayley Drigger Victoria Perez Rachel Quiseng Yovannys Mierez