Today we’d like to introduce you to Flor Romero.
Flor, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
After learning how to write in the second grade, I began making cards for the people I was closest to. Growing up, my mom and I would have family parties lined up back to back on both Saturdays and Sundays. I come from a big Salvadoran family so you can imagine that we threw a party for any occasion: baptisms, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. This would mean that Saturday mornings we would typically spend looking for the right gifts but more importantly, the right cards. My mom always taught me the importance of words over material things, especially when we couldn’t always afford the best gifts.
She would spend hours looking at a card wall and I remember her leaving disappointed because either the Spanish ones weren’t the best or because she felt like she was settling. Over time, I, myself, started realizing that I would be left disappointed by the card options at the store as well. The messages were either too vague or weren’t personalized for the person who was receiving it.
More often than not, I just began relying on my own cards rather than the store-bought ones. People I knew would request for me to make them and I realized my designs were appreciated more than I thought. This led me to create SIMPLY by flor.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has definitely not been a smooth road but I believe obstacles lead to growth which is exactly what I see in my own journey. I started this small business during my last year of graduate school mainly because I was missing a creative outlet. Then once business started picking up, I realized I had to balance card orders while also balancing life. As a perfectionist, I make sure that by the time a card is finished, I absolutely love it; if not, I change it up until I do. And sometimes that takes time. But also, that’s what my customers are paying for: a customized card that they can love. Learning to manage this while also making time for myself was one of the biggest challenges back when I started.
As with every decision I’ve made, it’s all really just been a leap of faith and believing in my own product. No one was really telling me how to market my product or how to reach bigger audiences; I think that just takes time to learn on your own which I’m proud to have accomplished.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
I make greeting cards for every occasion but what makes mine different are the fact that each one is personalized and 100% handmade. If I had to describe my style, I would say they are more on the minimal side, always in black ink, and sometimes a little sarcastic. I really let the customer tell me what they are looking for or sometimes, exactly what they want and what I do is bring that vision to life. Sometimes that looks like “Birthday. Dodger Fan. LA.” or sometimes it’s “I really want to apologize to this girl but also want to make her laugh.” and other times it’s “Spanish card. Empowerment for a long time friend.” That’s really all I need because customers can see my work and trust that I will deliver a perfect card for whatever occasion.
I also create silhouettes where customers send me a picture they would like and I hand draw the outline of the individuals in that photo. I make those as a 5×7 which my customers typically frame. In the past, these have included couples, engagements, pets, close ones that have passed away, and much more. Silhouettes are always a bit more special for me because they usually capture very special people and moments in a way where they look timeless.
What were you like growing up?
Growing up, I would describe myself as outspoken, creative, and very stubborn. I am the youngest member of my generation between cousins and siblings so I’ve always been surrounded by people who are much older than me, who typically favored me as their own child. This kind of love and support is really what set the trajectory for my personality and what gave me the confidence to really take chances as a child and even today.
As a child, I always loved school. I loved the idea of going to school and knowing I would come home smarter than when I arrived. I loved reading and diving into stories that made me feel like I was seeing things I had never even heard of. In fact, I had a reputation as a kid for always taking a book to a party. My family made fun of me but even as a kid, I had the confidence to not mind because I knew Harry Potter was going to feel more magical than dancing Suavemente for the 100th time.
- Cards are typically $5 or $4 if very simple
- 5×7 Silhouettes are $10
- Cards with partial silhouettes are $6
- Flat Rate Shipping of $2
Personal photo taken by Ruben Muñoz