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Conversations with the Inspiring Sarem Berhanu

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sarem Berhanu.

Sarem, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I was born in Los Angeles, CA but raised in Sacramento, CA majority of my life. I moved to Long Beach almost 5 years ago to attend CSULB and study Journalism/Public Relations. Shortly after graduating I was hired at a PR agency in Long Beach then moved around a bit. My range in the field is quite impressive since I have started pursuing a career in 2017.

In my time at agencies, I noticed the lack of diversity and sadly I rarely found people who looked like me. Aside from that, it was always a toxic type of experience. I loved my job but hated the politics of it.

At the end of 2018, it was my last time working with a PR agency. Beginning of 2019 I decided to continue freelancing and work with some amazing clients that I thank for believing in me. During that time, I launched Flowers by SB.

When I was working long hours at agencies it really took a toll on my identity and my other passions. I wanted to be and do more than PR. Flowers by SB was just a fun Instagram page with all of the little arrangements I created for my home, then I decided to turn it into a business.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Absolutely not and I still struggle, I just keep going.

I honestly felt like I was starting life over at one point. All that I had worked for felt wasted and I was at a place where I was lost again. I have only felt lost once before when I wasn’t sure about my purpose. Then, of course, I hit that question in my journey again.

I would tell anyone that it is so important to believe and keep going even when the road is bumpy. Life gets rough and it can start to make you question everything, but you have got to keep asking yourself “HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT?” Every time I do I get up and do whatever I have to do to get closer to my goals.

What should we know about Flowers by SB? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
A black woman created it; there are not many black florists and I’m happy to be apart of this industry.

I wanted to help customers be able to get creative and bring original floral pieces into their homes.

I’m a small business and a one woman show, which means every interaction is personaI. I have many repeat customers so I know what they like and can help them in ways big companies may not.

What do you feel are the biggest barriers today to female leadership, in your industry or generally?
In general, I feel women are always viewed as being too emotional when they are clearly just being direct. We have to go out of our way to change our language to make sure a message comes off correctly or to society’s standards.

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