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Meet Lily Pineda Roden of Olive and Blooms in Orange County

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lily Pineda Roden.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Lily. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I worked in HR for many years. I struggled a lot with not feeling fulfilled. Toward the end, my place of work became extremely unhealthy- working fork 9 to 5 pm was not accepted… often times I would find myself working till 10 or 11 pm. I was definitely not in a healthy place… as I suffered from crippling anxiety because of it.

To alleviate some of the stress, I would purchase flowers from Trader Joe’s and arrange them over the weekends. I usually would post the finished product on social media… and many people noticed. From there, I was asked to provide flowers for a few small calligraphy workshops. And a few months later I was asked to do my very first wedding. I was scared, as I really had no floral background but I took it on!

Wedding jobs began to snowball from there so a few months later, I quit my formal HR job. I definitely did not have enough booked to make up for the loss of income but for the first time in years, I felt healthy! Four years later, I know this was the best decision for me! As an immigrant, wife and new mom, I am so fulfilled by what I do and enjoy it so much I forget I’m working!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
In the beginning, it was hard to trust myself and step out with full-time florals. The thought of not having a stable paycheck was paralyzing! I would also compare myself to students I graduated college with. They were working their dream corporate jobs and I was hauling around flower buckets. I would often wonder if I had made the right decision… especially after being the first in my family to graduate college (UC Berkeley with honors). Looking back, I was definitely my biggest obstacle. I love what I do… I value my education (and use it every day) it has been a positive experience reconciling both these things! They both make me who I am and a better business owner.

Please tell us about Olive and Blooms.
We are a floral business providing services for events and weddings. We specialize in fine art floral style. We are known for our organic designs! I am proud to own a business that does not only focus on beautiful details but also gives back. We currently put three children through school in El Salvador (my place of birth). My goal is to be able to sponsor more children through this business! This is definitely something that sets us apart.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Nothing! Although it hasn’t always been smooth, it’s happened the way it was supposed to.

I think my biggest obstacle was me. Lack of trust in myself. Comparison… the things that rob you of your joy! Other than this I would say it’s been smooth. I am lucky to work with the kindest brides who fully trust my knowledge and talent. Many times we don’t meet until the day of their wedding and it’s always the biggest compliment to know that they fully trust me to execute their vision!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Corrie Lynn Photos and Madison Ellis

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