We had the good fortune of connecting with Jade Rocca and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jade, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
In February 2018 I checked myself into a local women’s recovery program. I was in a very dark place, healing from drug addiction and an abusive relationship. The journey inward was raw, painful and challenging to say the least. I was in complete reflection of myself and trying to discover what the next chapter of my life would look like. I quit my bar tending job and enrolled in treatment full time.
I began buying myself a small bouquet of flowers once a week (ya know, the $3.99 Trader Joe’s bundles) as an act of self love. This was also all I could afford to gift myself, being jobless and living on disability insurance. I would come home, trim the bouquet and arrange the flowers in a small vase. This became a sweet, intimate ritual for myself as a reminder to keep going. Flowers began to symbolize something deeper – that we all grow out of darkness.
On September 30, 2018 I threw my best friend a surprise baby shower and decided I would make the floral arrangements. I gathered ingredients from a local flower market and went to town in the kitchen of my apartment. Hours went by and I didn’t blink an eye. It was in this single moment that I knew I needed to pursue floral design as a career. Coming from previous corporate 9-5 jobs as well as working in the service industry, I knew I wanted to love my work and needed to use my creativity as much as possible. It was as if a light bulb went off in my mind. I had found my passion.
I started my business the very next day on October 1, 2018.
I created an Instagram and was able to secure a few large corporate clients in the Fall of 2018. I graduated rehab in January 2019, snuck into a local Bridal Bazaar and networked my butt off as a wedding florist (I had never booked a wedding in my life). Fast forward to today and we are now full throttle in the San Diego Wedding Industry and have recently opened our first Brick and Mortar flower shop in downtown San Diego.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Blooming Forward is a full service Floral Design Firm based out of San Diego, CA. We flower weddings and events all of SoCal and beyond. We also offer deliveries and pick up orders at our shop.
We are not your average florists. Our black branding and retail packing is not just for the edgy look. The black accents in our work symbolize that being in a dark place is not a negative. It means you are been planted. Growth is messy, often times uncomfortable, and it always begins in the dark – much like the seed of a flower. We are not just a flower business, we are a female empowerment brand as well.
We also offer monthly Blooming Forward gatherings, where women in our community come to meet and support one another in whatever they might be going through. Our culture is cultivating, and we could not be more proud to offer safe space where we can normalize vulnerability and help each other #bloomforward.
Running a business of any size if never easy, but I have always lived by the belief that I will figure everything out along the way. I’ve learned to say yes to what I do not yet know and push myself in the face of new challenges and limits. I have also learned to say no to work that does not align with our brand or is not a good fit.
What has made the company successful in this short time is staying true to the authenticity of the brand, the mission and the vision. I am an open book about my story and how I got here, in hopes that I encourage other women to go after their dreams and to love themselves first.
My big picture for this brand is to go National – offering shipping nationwide and spreading the symbolism of strength, beauty and growth in every floral arrangement we create. There may be a Blooming Forward App in the future as well! Keep #bloomingforward.
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?
If I had the chance, I would definitely bring someone with me to the LA wholesale flower market. It is massive and such a beautiful place to play, sourcing some of the best product around.
The Surfrider Hotel in Malibu is an adorable place to stay on the beach. So chic, so cool.
Ritzy & Refined is another beautiful and unique stay.
Obvi Roscos Chicken and Waffles
Eat at as many food trucks as possible, that’s where the fire’s at.
Go see a show at the Hollywood Bowl
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?
They say “it takes a village” and dang, it sure does. First of all, I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for my incredible support system during my time in treatment. HUGE thank you and shoutout to the amazing management team at Shakespeare Pub, McAllister Women’s Recovery Center, and all my friends and family.
As the business grew, I jumped into the welcoming arms of two amazing networking groups. Blooming Forward would not have made it this far without them: THANK YOU to BNI All Stars and LEVEL San Diego
To all of my therapists and life coaches along the way, my gratitude for you runs deeper than you will ever know.
Book that kick started my faith in my personal power – You Can Heal Your life by Louise Hay
My mentor and dear friend Jacques Pierre Cole of the Mindfulness for Humans Institute
Refined by Suher, thank you for cultivating an incredible community in the SD Wedding Industry and voting us Best Floral Artistry of 2019
The list goes on and on – we are so grateful for every member of our team – the freelancers, accountants, marketing / PR firms etc. You cannot run a business alone!
@nimble.berto @iamlatreuo_photo @wildwildcreative