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Community Highlights: Meet Takeshi Nakamura of Angeluck

Today we’d like to introduce you to Takeshi Nakamura.

Takeshi, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
Born to a family of florists, flowers have become a huge part of my life. Surrounded by them for the first time as a child, I became interested in being a florist myself. Thus, I decided to take a class at a florist training institute in Tokyo, Japan where I am trained in creating traditional Japanese arrangements and ikebana. Also, I attended Tokyo Floral Design College and graduated at the top of the class. I also received many awards. Upon receiving the biggest award, I was invited to the palace and was congratulated by Empress Michiko. Soon after, I studied the American style arrangement while working at a flower shop in Chicago. During my time in Holland, I learned European design from a floral designer who won the world championship twice. After completion of my training, I opened the first flower shop on Melrose Ave in Hollywood in 1990. Shortly after, I entered many flower competitions and won several awards. I have also created arrangements for celebrities such as Eddie Murphy, Michael J. Fox, Leonardo DiCaprio, and others as well as Japanese celebrities. Seven years later, my lease expired and I had to move to another location. I decided to open a shop in Torrance. Since then, I have created many unique floral arrangements to satisfy the customers’ needs and tastes. I love what I do and will continue to work as a florist to this day.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Every road has been quite a challenge. I can’t say it’s been overly rough with many obstacles, but every experience was a challenge because of the culture and language differences. Unable to speak English at the beginning and with a shop in Melrose, it was difficult to communicate and understand some things especially when people who walk in at times would take advantage. In Japan, there is not much theft and people trying to trick the local shops. There were many contests I had entered and worked very hard to win the competitions. After having my son who was diagnosed with autism, I decided I could no longer focus on the competitions. It was a very difficult decision I made at that time because winning the competitions was one of my biggest goals, and sometimes I look back and wonder if the top floral designer could have been me, but there are no regrets as I was able to be there for my son and work from home, and care for the flowers I create in my own space with my family. This way, I can create the best flowers for my customers.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Angeluck Inc.?
Our goal at Angeluck is to provide our clients with superb floral designs using the highest quality flowers of the season that we can get our hands on. To achieve this goal, we created a business model that differs from the traditional florist shop: we do not operate a retail flower shop. The decision was based on two ideas: flowers are live, much like fresh produce, and we want to create the best floral gifts that our clients have ever encountered.

Though we do not have a storefront where customers pick from a limited selection, our highly experienced staff with a great sense of design will deliver floral creations that are the season’s best. Flowers are seasonal, and thus hard to offer the same variety and style all year round. This is why we select flowers for our customers’ designs only after receiving the order, and our designs change with every season.

We purchase flowers for the customers’ orders daily and create unique arrangements. We use the freshest flowers available. Also, we plan weddings for the customers and work with them to ensure they have the best experience possible.

Please feel free to contact us with your requests regarding the design, colors, and the flowers used so that we may create a special floral design that you will enjoy. The Angeluck promise: to deliver happiness and smiles with our fantastic floral creations.

Do you have any advice for those just starting out?
Take advantage of floral training classes since it is important to have training experiences in order to create flower arrangements. Most importantly, love what you do because your passion for flowers enables you to create amazing arrangements. When your job makes you happy, it becomes easier to find success.

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Image Credits:

The Rafu Shimpo

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