In honor of National Women’s History Month, we’ve teamed with Chrissy Powers to showcase seven female creative entrepreneurs who are inspiring us with their incredible work, but also in the way they support other women! Each of these ladies were photographed wearing pieces by Dôen—another strong, female-led brand. Stay tuned as we highlight these women all week.
Meet Angie Johnson and Emily Petros, the pair of floral designers behind Southern California-based Bloom Babes! Truthfully, if I could spend a day playing with flowers and surfing with these ladies, it would be one extra happy day. These two clearly do what they do because they love life and want to live it to the fullest, and I believe that spirit also comes through in their floral designs. Each piece they create seems to have a life of its own.
During our shoot, I heard both Angie and Emily say numerous times how stoked they are for other women to be doing what they love, and how we all need to support one another in our creative paths. Scroll on for more photos of Gabi Bridges (last week’s series spotlight), Emily and Angie, and to hear from the Bloom Babes themselves. To the very last word, there’s no doubt of the pure passion they feel for the concept of ‘women supporting women.’
How did you get into doing what you do? What was your mindset when you started your business?
We got into the florist industry because it was our destiny! Well, at least I think that’s the case. We both come from a background seeped in nature and art, and floral design is a perfect combination of the two. Ditching our existing paths and choosing to work at local flower shops was the stepping stone for us to becoming Bloom Babes.
When we started helping our friends with their weddings, we began getting inquiries from other people, and we kind of kept rolling with it. We just said ‘yes’ to everything and let the pieces fall into place. Everything snowballed so naturally and effortlessly that we realized we had to be in the right place doing the right thing.
What were some key moments in your career that you felt vulnerable or doubted yourself? How did you grow from it?
Basically every day we have feelings of self doubt, but I think it’s the way we’ve handled these feelings that have kept us going. We can easily doubt ourselves and give up, or we can take our mistakes, failures, and doubts and learn from them. I think having an underlying confidence, an underlying voice that says, “Keep going. You can do this!” and “Where there’s a will, there’s a way!” has helped us push through our failures. We have adopted the attitude of embracing our weaknesses so that we can have a place to grow from.
Why are you a supporter of women in the business, and why is that so important?
We feel so empowered by our community of women—women who have branched off from the “norm” or the “expected” to face their fears and any outside opposition to take charge of their own paths. Jumping off the ledge to believe in yourself without any real reassurance that your business will succeed takes a lot of moxie, and we see it in every lady business owner that we meet. We are so grateful and empowered by their strength and confidence. We are proud to call these ladies our friends, and we are proud to support every single one of them.
What are some things we can do to help support other women in the creative industry more?
I really think we’ve connected with other ladies in the industry the most through vendor parties. Seeing everyone in the industry each month for a relaxed party where we can let loose and share our ups and downs has really been a fun way of getting to know everyone! We have definitely made some lifelong friends through these fun little get-togethers.
How do you overcome the sense of competition within your field—especially on a local level?
It’s really easy to fall into an Instagram hole looking at our competitors’ hard work and success, and to feel a little inadequate. I think there’s a difficult balance to sustain when admiring someone else’s work and comparing their work with yours. It’s a slippery slope and we’ve definitely gone down that road, especially in the beginning of our business. We wanted to be doing great things and quickly! I am so glad we realized that by doing this, we would, in turn, just be stunting our growth. We both made the conscious decision to be aware of this and it’s been a really great realization.
When you feel like someone may be threatened by your success, how do you think it can best be handled?
We both are pretty goofy girls, so we try and keep the air as light as possible! We’re big into bringing an element of humor into relationships, and we think it’s the best way to break the tension. But I think, by being as open as you can and also showing a glimpse of vulnerability, it’s hard for people to still feel threatened. Vulnerability is relatable. We all feel that we fall short from time to time. I try to keep in mind that we all tend to create these false scenarios in our minds sometimes, and it helps me to not take it so personally.
How do you stay positive when you might not get the gig, job or opportunity you were hoping for?
There really is so much competition in our area, and what we’ve learned working in this field is that there will always be an unfair side to business. We kind of just take it as it is—there’s no use in stressing over it. We don’t always know exactly the reason why we weren’t able to snag the opportunity, but we try and take that failure and analyze it to see what we could do better the next time around. It can be painful at times, for sure!