Local Gem: Jones Florals
Meet Nicole Jones, a babe with natural talent for floral design. Nicole created the beautiful arrangements for our spring retreat and continues pursuing her passion with through her own business Jones Florals. Learn more about Nicole and her role models below!
Q: What inspired you to start working in the field/Industry? Did you have any role models or learn from someone, in particular?
A: Years ago, I was going to school and work full-time and during that time I was hired into a mass market floral department as what I thought as a means to get by. It wasn't until I graduated and had a minute to really take a step back that I realized that I had become truly passionate about floral design. School was difficult for me, meanwhile work was easy and came so naturally. Many may not realize the behind-the-scene work that is involved in floral work—from when you receive the flowers, to processing them and then finally design. Floral design is hard work, but I have never shied away from hard work. The entire process is what still inspires me. Floral design makes me happy, it comes naturally and I'm passionate about it. I thrive when I am creative and my busiest, so it continues to inspire me everyday.
My BOSS, Hilarie McLaughlin, is my No. 1 supporter. I think one of the greatest gifts you can give someone is allowing to just be themselves, and she has trusted me with new projects knowing I would make it my own. She has challenged me many times with new ideas or projects but those are times when you learn the most and find your own niche.
And Diana Galaviz. She originally hired me, and with 25+ years experience she took me under her wing and taught me so much of what I know now. They both encouraged me during those times when I might have questioned it all. These women helped me grow and I don't think that without their blessings I would be here. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have so much support, not only from them, but clients, friends and family.
Q: Do you have any tidbits of advice for people with passions, in general?
A: I listen to my own advice a lot, which is stay true to your own style and what goals you set personally for yourself, and you will continue to stand out on your own and maintain what is unique about yourself and your business. Remembering what sets you apart, what makes people find you and want to hire you. No two BOSS BABES are alike and that is something to be celebrated more!
Q: What have been your favorite moments of creativity?
A: The combination of working in busy floral shop and working with perishables you never know what new project may pop up. Clients may need something creative on the fly and you have to quickly create something special on the spot. There have been times where I set out to use a certain flower or specific vase and take tons of time to think through the arrangement and it isn't at all what I envisioned. Yet, those projects that are done on the fly or last minute adjustments tend to be the most gorgeous and surprising even to myself. Sometimes an occasional wrench thrown into a project can produce an even better outcome. There is something to be said about the challenge of designing on the spot and just letting the creative part of your brain take over.
Q: What have been the most challenging moments in your career, thus far?
A: I really thrive when I am challenged but overall self-doubt in the beginning of this journey can prove to be a challenge. There are many talented folks here in Austin and there have been times I have wanted to take a step back. Stepping out on my own and being confident in that decision has been hard at times. But, with that being said you have to mirror those thoughts of doubt with those core values that you know make you unique. I don't consider myself a cookie cutter florist and clients that trust me with their creations or come back time after time remind me of that and keep me confident as a designer.
Q: What's your day job?
A: My day job is in a local flower shop. I currently work for two different shops while maintaining my own business. I love my day jobs—they're where I always continue to learn and create!
Q: When you're discouraged, what do you run to or away from?
A: If I feel discouraged I tend to talk to those who have encouraged me from day one. I “check in” with those people who encouraged me to branch out and were confident in my skills even before I realized I should be. Even when I feel confident about a certain designs, I still like to bounce ideas off of these people—I think it may be my creative brain that looks for reassurance. Those people in my life keep me sane, they know me down to the core and know why I am driven. In order to get through those moments when you question it all, those special people are essential.—people who are genuinely rooting for you.
Your favorite band at the moment: These albums are current favorites: Beyonce's Lemonade, A$AP Ferg's Always Thrive and Prosper, and Petite Noir's La Vie Est Belle.
Your favorite book at the moment: If I am being honest, the last book I read was “Tuna Melts my Heart.” A book about a rescue dog that is Instagram-famous. Maybe my next read will be more grown-up? Maybe.
Your local Austin gem: Everyone needs those special spots that always come through for relaxation and fun. There is a park within walking distance of my house that is surrounded by a nature preserve. There is a neighborhood artist that has done uplifting art throughout the trails that is so nice to see while providing important landmarks so I don't get too lost (which has happened a lot). I always feel more relaxed after coming to this hidden spot, and it is extra special to me. It is also a place for my dog-child to get her wiggles out and hang out with her neighborhood home-dawgs.
Another gem is The Flying Carpet; if you know them then you already know! The owners Maria and Abderrahim Souktouri are passionate people that created a wonderful space in which you can eat incredible food with a great atmosphere. They are artists and serve their flavorful nutritious food with passion and love. It's is a one of a kind spot here in Austin. So good!