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Meet Dianna Martinez of The LA Garden in Boyle Heights

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dianna Martinez.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Dianna. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
I’ve grown up as an entrepreneur because of my father. He has had his own business since I can remember if one door closed he opened up another. He would always tell me, you decide who you want to be. Do you want to be the boss or be bossed around? I grew up asking myself that and quickly realized I want to be my own boss, my own creator, have my own business.

But at the time through high school and college, I was indecisive as to what I wanted my business to be. I had various businesses before The LA Garden emerged. From jewelry making like my father to photo booth services to face painting & henna and the list goes on. As time went on with every trial & error, I finally had my lightbulb moment on May 5th of 2017 with a literal lightbulb.

With something so simple that my father taught me years ago, the little plantita in a bulb. I decided to take a leap of faith and leave my day job to create what we know today as The L.A. Garden or TLAG for short. As time progressed so did my ideas. I began to think out of the box and created my first “cajita” featuring the highly acclaimed succulent arrangements and customized Latin-inspired art.

Has it been a smooth road?
As every journey has it, it’s never an easy one. If it were that simple everyone would do it, but its the audacity in us that sometimes gives us that push to make something happen against all odds. I’m sure it has happened to others when you create, you are excited and show it off to your circle of friends and family. Some may even tell you, that is cool- you should make more and sell it, it’s only a hobby some extra cash wouldn’t hurt.

Little by little that spark of creativity begins to burn more and your art has become a life of its own. Now you’re in the position thinking, I really enjoy what I’m doing and believe I can make a business out of this. Once you verbalize this to your circle, that is when the doubts and judgment come in. You are told over and over that you need a job, stability, security, why do you want to complicate your life when you have a job that pays your bills.

I just don’t want a 9-5 job that pays my bills, I want to be fulfilled. But I wasn’t, I always questioned, why do I need to stay in work environments where I am limited to the four walls in the room. Where I am not capable of becoming more than what I am asked to where you are not appreciated, and not valued as you should be. And I returned to the question, “Do I want to be a boss, or be bossed?”

And for those that know me, I like being the boss, having the power to create with my own hands. Time and time again, I’ve told the universe I want to have my own business, and here I am. With $500 in savings, I got started with my logo paint and plants.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
TLAG has been growing progressively with the many products and services we provide.

From being a single handed person to a team of four in a year! Initially, we were known for our Plantita in a Lightbulb, its been something that was created years ago, and my father taught me. People are fascinated with the concept of a repurposed light bulb used as a planter. Then we moved on to succulents before they became a trend.

Now, moving forward from the light bulb moment, I had to think outside of the box and created my first “cajita” featuring the highly acclaimed succulent arrangements and Latin-inspired art. Each cajita is hand painted with inspiration from my culture- from Loteria, Papel Picado, and popular words and phrases like Chingona.

I’ve always had a fascination with flowers, colors, textures and wanted to create with flowers as well. And when preparation meets opportunity, go for it. I began making succulent & floral wedding bouquets/boutonnieres & crowns/hair pieces with all natural flowers & succulents. Now I tell my clients that I don’t consider myself a florist, I’m more of an artist. But TLAG doesn’t stop there!

We also created workshops, from the concept of paint & wine to paint, plant & wine! Guests get to paint their own cajita, make their own arrangement while sipping on the drink of choice. We have had mimosas, sangria, and our upcoming workshop micheladas with succulents.

Not only do we provide these events to the public, we also host private garden parties for birthdays, bridal showers, craft night with family and friends or even as a company retreat activity. I’m proud as to how far we have come, and how much further we will go. We have now recently added stickers, pins, hats, and apparel is coming soon!

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Our city is amazingly the best place to be, to start your own business. There is an incredible amount of resources and audiences of different backgrounds to test out your products. And with the help of social media, you have the power to make your business grow.

You get as much as you put in it, you have to work hard to get where you have dreamed of. I have grown up in the City of Los Angeles and seen the changes it has gone through, and it is our responsibility to adapt to these changes, especially in business. You have to be up to date and always innovating to stand out from the crowd. Get inspired but don’t copy. Be unique, be different.

Pricing:

  • Customized Succulent Box Arrangements vary from $25-50
  • To host a Garden Party Starts from $50

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
@raychill_photo

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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