We had the good fortune of connecting with Jade Rocca and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jade, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
Blooming Forward was founded on the principles of growing out of darkness. I went through an extremely dark year in 2018, healing from drug addiction and an abusive relationship. I started to buy myself flowers once a week while I attended a local Intensive Outpatient Program for my drug addictions. I began to relate to flowers on such a deep level. Flowers have shown me that we are all seeded in dark chapters of our lives, and that it takes time (and a lot of self love) to strengthen the stems of ourselves in order for us to #Bloom and bring beauty to the world. Today, Blooming forward is the symbolism of strength, beauty and growth through floral design and female empowerment meetings. I am an open book when it comes to my story of nourishing the self, building a strong foundation and blooming into my own personal purpose. So I have created Blooming Forward to engage our community and to help others do the same. When we aren’t flowering up San Diego weddings/events, or working at our new retail location, we are hosting our monthly Blooming Forward gatherings, focusing on positive community discussion and re-framing trauma and hardship. We believe in lifting each other up and #Blooming alongside one another.
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?
I think we can all relate that 2020 has been a Sh*t-show of a year. Last year was an amazing year for the business – we were even awarded Best Floral Artistry of 2019. So, like most of us, we had a ton of momentum coming into 2020. When the Events Industry collapsed in March, tens of thousands of dollars were wiped off our books in a matter of days. Not gonna lie, I got really depressed. I was devastated that unbeknownst to me my business (which is my child) was ripped away from me. I had to take some time for myself and what I realized was that I still had addictive behaviors, and almost an addictive relationship to my company. What I was experiencing in March was similar to what I remember drug withdrawal feeling like. So I had to take a long hard look and how I wanted to reframe that relationship to be healthy and sustainable. That is when I decided to retire our first brand (Mindful Magnolia) and rebrand as Blooming Forward. I had to get back to my roots of remembering how capable I was of growing out of the darkness. I had to walk the walk if I wanted to talk to talk, so to speak. I had to #bloomforward. Thankfully I was able to secure an SBA loan and take some much needed time off. I hired a new badass marketing firm (shout out to My StART Solutions), and got the ball rolling on a whole new look and brand for the company, I wanted a brand that was bold, powerful and encompassed all things #badassbitchmode. I knew the importance of branding, so I took on a photographer (Flax and Flora, incredible) and videographer (Willmus Weddings, amazing). The rebrand was well on its way, right up until my doctor found a tumor on my uterus in July. YUP, thanks 2020. So here I was again, depressed and scared for my health and my child (the business). I was forced back into deep introspection and again had to make peace with the darkness and fear that was my life at the time. Long story short, the tumor was removed and benign, and I am grateful to be healthy and back into my business now (but damn, that was a crazy ass summer). What kept me going and helped me pivot was the symbolism of strength, beauty and growth. We must learn the lessons life gives us in the most uncomfortable moments, because it is there where we find healing and growth. Nothing has been easy, but as the saying goes “nothing worth fighting for is easy”. I like to repeat the mantra “it takes what it takes”. My time in Rehab taught me a valuable perspective on goals – to achieve a goal, you must commit in your mind to a simple yes or no. I’ll give you an example, you either stop taking drugs or you don’t (that was a yes for me). When you commit to that yes, there are no “no’s”, only speed bumps to cross over. It’s the same with business and entrepreneurship, when you commit to the “yes” of the success of your business, it doesn’t matter what comes your way, you find a way to succeed and #bloomforward. What I want to teach through Blooming Forward, is that anything is possible when we believe in ourselves and live authentically. I am a huge personal development advocate. Love yourself first and fully, and I promise you nothing will stop you from achieving your goals!
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.
Hmm… Well, I was born and raised in this beautiful city. And, delivering flowers all over the county for the passed 2 years has helped me get to know it quite well. Here are a few hidden gems and favorite local spots: Blooming Forward meeting (always a good time!) Blooming Forward @FemX best flower stand in town 😉 Tobey’s 19th Hole (breakfast with a view) Madison on Park (cuz, duh) Turf Club (bomb steak house) Deer Park Monastery (for meditation) Breakfast Bitch (love the name, love the food + black owned) U Club Symphony Towers (dope networking events with a view) C Street Park in Golden Hill (great view, not crowded) OB Dog Beach (cuz, duh) OB Smoothie (best acai bowl in town) Liberty Station (for all the things) Pigment (for the cutest damn gifts) Communal Coffee (for the (IG)gram) 3 Punk Ale House Chula Vista (bomb draft list) Born and Raised (amaaazzzing steak house) Isola Pizza Bar (best happy hour in town)
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Wow, where to begin! First of all, it takes a village to build any business or brand. The success of Blooming Forward is in large part to our team of trusted advisors and mentors, a few key local networking groups, and of course the badass women that attend our events and keep the #BloomingForward Movement going. HUGE Shout out to: All the #BloomingForward babes Jacques Pierre-Cole (spiritual mentor) My StART Solutions (our marketing firm) BNI All Stars (networking group) FemX (co-working and event space) Level San Diego (networking group) Flax and Flora (our photographer) Willmus Weddings (our videographer) Amelia Travis (badass business coach) Vocabulary Boutique Refined by Suher (wedding networking group)
Other: Our new shop address: 1919 San Diego Ave San Diego, CA 92110
Photography by Flax and Flora