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Meet Jelena Trifunovic of Viola Floral in Marina del Rey

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jelena Trifunovic.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
As a child growing up in Serbia, the beauty of the natural world was inescapable. Running through lush village landscapes, picking wild strawberries, and watching dandelion bits fly through the sky kept me grounded and whole. When uprooted and replanted in Southern California, I continued to be intrigued by the richness of nature by studying biology and becoming a science educator. Following my time as an educator, I decided to pursue my passion for floral design.

My journey as a florist originated in my family’s kitchen. I recall spending countless holidays and family events arranging flowers with my mom, sharing stories, sipping wine, laughing… and blooming with love and joy. Although she’s no longer beside me, our bond lives on through my floral creations and replenishes my spirit. For me, Viola Floral pays homage to the women who raise us and uplift us through all walks of life. Like flowers, they continually remind us to live in full bloom.

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?
I was so worried when COVID-19 hit – I was in the process of searching for a store/space and planning to move out of my home studio. What would happen to my business? How could I survive? How will I be able to fulfill my orders, work from home, and manage three kids (two on Zoom and one at home)? Being a small-business owner during this time is full of challenges and anxiety. The flower supply chain came to a complete standstill in March/April 2020. When it opened up again, I was able to resume fulfilling orders. I owe it all to my amazing clients who wanted to send flowers and gifts to their special someone – during a time when they couldn’t see them in person. It was during COVID-19 that I developed our “Le Box” collection – customizable gifts and fresh blooms, the perfect way to send love at a safe distance.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
At Viola Floral, we recognize that flowers bring us together – and we love to share in that joy. Drawing inspiration from the best that each season has to offer, each arrangement is lovingly handmade with the freshest blooms and will brighten any and every occasion. We also design florals for small-scale events, dinner parties and offer tablescape services. We source our blooms each morning from LA’s premium flower vendors – this is what sets us apart from competitors.

Viola Floral was born from our love of gift-giving. “Le Box” is our gift collection offering fresh blooms, premium beauty products, and fine gifts. Everything is floral-inspired, and all the products offered support female-owned businesses.

Honoring my roots in education, I also love to teach flower arranging and flower crown classes for both adults and children. Working with flowers encourages mindfulness and helps us relax, connect with nature, and tap into our creativity to design something unique and beautiful!

What were you like growing up?
I grew up in Serbia (then called Yugoslavia), playing outside and enjoying nature. It was a different country and a different time – we were free to roam and explore, raised by a “village” of loving neighbors. I had a strong appetite for knowledge, asking a thousand questions – filled with a sense of wonder. My curiosity was sparked by my quest to understand how the world works, and I felt such joy at the prospect of discovery. I was also very social!

After the Yugoslav war started in the early 1990’s, my family immigrated to the United States. I didn’t speak a word of English, but learned the language and assimilated easily and quickly. My parents owned a restaurant and I grew up working there throughout high school. I followed my path of exuberance for learning and majored in Biology, completed graduate work in Education, and had a career in education prior to pursuing my passion for florals.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

J Christopher Launi Photography

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