We had the good fortune of connecting with Alexis Brubaker and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alexis, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
What do I think about risk? Well, I don’t think much about it, as it’s definitely not something I incorporate into my personal life. I don’t risk my life driving like a maniac on the freeway, I don’t take financial risks, and I don’t take any risks at those restaurants with a big “B” rating on their front window (yuck!). I follow a very straight and narrow path- I like rules and believe they are there for a reason. In terms of my former background in the medical field, there was never room for error, therefore risks were never taken, and I was good with that because it suited my Type-A personality. Whether I was giving advice as a nutritionist, or administering medications as a nurse, taking risks meant that I could lose my license, or more detrimental, it could lead to harming a patient. When I worked in the medical field I had a steady paycheck and vacation days, but my husband pointed something out to me that took me awhile to understand- at the end of the day I was doing a “job”, a job for a CEO that was getting rich in his sleep while not having the slightest appreciation for me, or any insight as to how hard I was busting my ass. I left behind the days of a steady paycheck the second I sent out my first email using my Brubaker Floral Co email address account, and (nervously) announcing I was going to be a florist, no longer a nurse. Physically I was still showing up to my job, but mentally I was checked out…and for the first time in my life I was taking what I felt like was the ultimate risk- opening my own business. Everyday I run this start-up floral business I am taking risks. I am saying yes to things all the time- things I may have zero knowledge about, or even no exposure to. BUT you can bet your money I’ll do my research to ensure I show up on “game day” ready to perform like a pro. You see, the risks I’m taking as a small business owner are not the same risks that I would take as an average citizen, nor are the outcomes measured the same. Risks as a small business owner are chances. Risks as a small business owner are opportunities. Anytime I say yes to working with a new client/vendor/venue, it’s a chance to expand my knowledge about flowers, it’s an opportunity to try new techniques, and ultimately it’s a venture that leads me down paths which offer me freedom from a mundane job. Um, and don’t get me wrong, I have taken risks and have failed. Those failures have lead me to have open conversations with my clients where they’ve given me the chance for a do-over to make it right.
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.
I believe flowers hold the power to express many emotions and are appropriate for both small and large milestone events. About my art- All of my creations are designer’s choice, meaning that each design is artfully selected using seasonal ingredients that appropriate for the occasion. Services include same-day requests, corporate events, weddings, weekly subscriptions, and in-home floral workshops. How I got to where I am today- I am a former nutritionist, nurse, and construction project manager pursuing a passion in floral design. I felt the need to professionally pursue my passion after I found myself constantly gifting flowers for every occasion under the sun. The most difficult obstacle(s) I’ve faced thus far were obstacles that all took place before I setup my business. My parents questioned if my new business venture was simply a hobby. I questioned whether I could get by solely with a pair of $20 floral shears or if I needed to dump my entire 401k savings and buy a storefront. Once I let my intentions be known to the world, it was then that I was received with open arms as a florist. It was then that happiness and peace consumed me. I It was then that I was able to move forward, relying on my skill to guide me, and discovering answers to my questions (and my parent’s questions) along the way. What I want the word to know about my brand/story- I want my brand to be ever evolving and to be able to adapt to the trends in the flower industry. I want my story to be one where the world sees that I am constantly holding myself to a high level of integrity; I want this to be seen and felt in my work. While I would love to work with a variety of clients, in a variety of settings, and showcasing a variety of techniques, I don’t ever want to compromise on being honest and respectful to all.
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?
The itinerary would include a mix of viewing the hustle and bustle of the city, to finding the quiet spots to view the city from afar. The hustle and bustle spots would be- People watching at The Grove Bougie desserts at Bottega Louie Taquitos at Olivera Street Aimless strolls in and out of Japanese small businesses on Sawtelle The quieter spots would include- Tea at The Huntington Small hike up Stough Canyon in Burbank Ordering custom charcuterie boxes to enjoy on the beach Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Other than my husband who is the person who brought me to the light and told me that I needed to do something that made me happy, there are two people who I admire and I am most grateful for supporting my journey. The first is a Los Angeles-based event coordinator, Jillian Bobinski, of Jillian Nicole Events (JNE). She is a one-woman show who is busting her butt in a crazy competitive industry, yet manages to stay genuinely kind and respectful. She loves to give opportunities to newbies like myself, and she is the person whom I can credit for assigning me my first styled shoot. What I once considered a professional relationship has blossomed into a mentorship and friendship, and for both I am truly grateful. Jillian is an amazing person to have by my side. The second person is my floral wholesaler, Jose Matus, owner of Valley Wholesale Florist in Sylmar, California. Jose serves all types of florists, everyone from beginners those with large retail storefronts. From day one Jose has been there to guide me, to encourage me, and to talk me through designs or techniques I am trying to learn. I credit half my success to Jose and his amazing eye for bringing in gorgeous product. I trust him with my large event orders, my last minute orders, and when I sometimes have no clue what I am doing.
Chris J Evans Jasmine Marie