We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennifer Bleakley, Owner of HUNTRESS Florals and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jennifer, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
It’s probably hard to imagine the number of hands involved in the process of florals before they actually make it to a flower shop, there are many invaluable humans working hard behind-the-scenes! It begins with the growers and farmers who plant, tend, and harvest the seeds into stunning blooms. Then to the vendors who source, package, and ship them to ensure the highest quality product is available in the wholesale markets (some flowers get flown in from all areas of the globe). The wholesalers maintain the flowers while fulfilling orders and assisting designers in choosing the best product to bring client concepts to reality. There are also buyers who select, negotiate, and deliver orders to florists and design studios. And finally, to the floral designers who create the gorgeous arrangements that fill the grocery store shelves, enhance a wedding day, or special event. During event setups, even more hands and hearts are woven into the process through the installers, event producers, hotel staff, and more. It seriously takes a village from the beginning to the end of the floral industry chain, which may also help explain why flowers can be expensive. I’m grateful for every single person that brings this industry and HUNTRESS designs to life!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Thank you for the kind words! My work background and life experiences are varied, which all played a part in guiding me here and bring strength to owning this business now. I began my career in the psychology field, then transitioned into an event production role in the corporate world. Through self-reflection, a desire for more, and eventually having the courage to take the leap, HUNTRESS was born out of a desire to live fully and authentically. It started with my realization that life is too precious not to do something that filled my spirit every day. Experiencing loss (and the grief that followed) helped me appreciate life, the cycles of nature, and the beauty that surrounds us. I’m reminded of these life lessons daily when designing with fragile, yet resilient blooms. It’s also a humbling honor to brighten someone’s day through our flower arrangements. The combined connection to nature and community speaks to my heart. When those pieces are aligned, the other aspects of business come together more seamlessly. I hope the essence of our brand is felt through our intentional, badass, and heart-filled floral designs. The path to arrive here wasn’t necessarily easy, but every step toward a life I love has been rewarding and worth it!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
As a transplant myself (Philly born and raised), I’ve been lucky to play host many times for east coast friends! Brunch, always brunch! Some faves are Fig Tree Café, Trust, and Café 21. The beach is a must – Torrey Pines glider-port and La Jolla Cove. Cocktails – somewhere interesting like Noble Experiment, Panama 66 (stroll Balboa Park too), or anywhere with a quintessential San Diego view. Sailing on the Bay – it’s something special to see our city skyline from the water. Food – it wouldn’t be acceptable to visit SD without having fish tacos, I also love supporting smaller businesses like Amarin Thai, Bo-Beau, Louisiana Purchase, Wet Stone, Kindred – there are so many delicious options in every part of the city! Local road trips are fun too – Palm Springs or Joshua Tree to show off another side of the CA landscape.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Props to ALL of my mentors that have graciously shared their knowledge and love with me over the years! There are too many to name individually, but it began with family and friends that have been my biggest supporters. I was also fortunate to spend years in a corporate career where I learned valuable business skills and produced numerous large-scale events collaborating with many brilliant colleagues in that field. Once I transitioned fully to flowers, it was the flower shops and floral designers that I worked with, as well as the schools and educators that I enhanced my skills studying with. Shout-out to all of the creative and event partners along the way too, they make this journey memorable and loads of fun. And finally, my tremendous clients for believing in HUNTRESS. For loving and sharing our designs, referring friends, and loyally returning to us over the years. It is the meaningful events and lifelong connections that keep me inspired to continue designing florals every day.
@meg_marie_photo @julieshufordphotography @ribbonandrhyme @heretodayphoto