We had the good fortune of connecting with Tobore Oweh and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tobore, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Starting my own floral business is something that I always had in mind. I literally came up with my company name all the way back in 2011 but always put it to the side because I just never fully felt confident enough to venture out on my own. I was always thinking that I had so much more to learn before I could say that I was an actual business. It wasn’t until the pandemic happened that I decided to take that leap of faith! I was at a really hard place. I was at a job that I hated and felt like my boss at the time didn’t appreciate or value my presence. We had gotten into a few arguments and I remember feeling like I’d had enough. She had cut my hours significantly and I truly felt like my back was against the wall. I literally just woke up one morning and quit and the rest is history. It was the right thing to do for my well being and I’m so happy that I decided to believe in myself.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I believe that everyone has an enormous amount of creativity in them waiting to be released into the world. Floral design is my medium to express myself and create art. The colors and textures of flowers inspire every design I create. I am also fascinated by flowers because if we pay attention, we will realize how much we can learn as humans from them and the essence of flowers are truly magical. They’re more than what we see, they carry energy and light and thats what I like to keep fresh in my mind when I’m working. I’m so proud of how much I’ve accomplished in my first year of business. I’ve worked with brands like Shea Moisture and Banana Republic to name a few. I’ve gotten featured in The Zoe Report and Elle.com. I would have never thought in a million years I would be able to accomplish this within a year. I got to where I’m at today with over 10 years of freelance work. I got to experience everything from working weddings to how a floral shop runs and operate. It really helped me shape the direction I want to take my business in. The lessons I have learned is how much work it takes to run a business. I think social media glamorizes being an entrepreneur but doesn’t give real insight on all the difficulties of it. I also learned that it is okay to ask for help. Never be too prideful to ask for help. Closed mouths don’t get fed. I want the world to know that anything you put your mind to is possible. It’s already yours. You just have to believe in yourself. What started off for me as an obstacle (me being undocumented) turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Being undocumented led me to my passion and purpose in life. So embrace your obstacles! Diamonds are created under pressure!
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.
The first place I would take them is riding through the hills. There’s an energy that comes alive taking the scenic route. It inspires you and gets your mind going on the possibilities that is life. So definitely taking the scenic route through the Hills first. We would eat at places like Delmonicos, Catch and Chin Chin. Los Angeles has so many tasteful restaurants I mean the list is endless. We would pick a cuisine and just go there. We would also go to The Laugh Factory for good laughs. We would go to the beach and just lay out! We would also check out places like Rele Gallery and other galleries because I’m always looking for ways to get inspired and whats more inspiring than art.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to give a shout-out to my friends Anthony & Follin of The Boy Who Cried Flowers, for supporting me wholeheartedly when I quit my job. They made it a point to shut down their shop and passed me their clients, requesting that their clients support and purchase from me. I want to give a shout-out to my family and friends that support me every day! I honestly, no shade, want to give a shout-out to my old boss for activating the greatness inside of me to do my own thing. I also want to give a shout-out to all my lovely customers and followers on social media who have poured so much love into myself and my business right from the start! The support was real from the very start honestly and I am so grateful to be doing what I love for a living
1) Stetten Wilson Photography (@stettenwilson) 2) Bonnie Nicholas (@bonnienichoalds) 3) Jennifer Johnson (@jenjphoto)