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Meet Trailblazer Erice McNeff

Today we’d like to introduce you to Erice McNeff.

Erice, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
In a romanticized way, you can say floral design found me at a time I needed it most. The more down to earth telling is that I got lucky in finding something I happen to love. I graduated from college in 2014 with a degree in a field that I quickly realized I didn’t want to pursue a career in. The looming uncertainty of what to do next was overwhelming, terrifying and brought upon so much anxiety. Every job opportunity that I reluctantly pursued left me feeling even more unfulfilled than I was before. After hitting a point of surrender, I moved back in with mom and dad and said yes to the first part-time, non-office job that came my way. Randomly, it happened to be at a flower shop. I’m sure at this point you can see where this story goes. I was hired to help keep the shop clean – sweep floors, scrub buckets, and take inventory, but on a slow day, the designers would spend time teaching me how to design. I caught on much quicker than any of us anticipated and my love affair with flowers began.

From here, I spent much of my time scrolling Instagram and finding other florists. I was amazed to see so many women who ran their own business and created careers out of designing. The longer I followed their stories the more I craved what they had. In a fit of ambition and a wild passion for this field, I decided to give it a go and start my own company. That was two years ago. Since then, I’ve spent much of my time (if I’m being honest… all of my time) nurturing this thing that I started.

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?
Well, I don’t know of a single small business owner that has had a smooth road from start to finish and I’m proud to say I’m no exception. From learning how to confidently and fairly price my services, to successfully booking clients, to executing the delivery and set up of a wedding – I’ve had my ups and downs with it all. Currently, my biggest struggle is getting my company to the next level. I know where I want to be and the kind of client I want to have, but I’m finding it challenging to get myself there. I eagerly said “yes” to all of the initial opportunities that came my way, but I’m learning that to get to the next level the key is actually knowing when to say “no” because doing everything won’t necessarily help define me and my brand. It’s a difficult stage to navigate – I have a hard time passing up opportunities. I’m definitely one of those people that likes to fill my plate and have a million things going at once. The positive side of this attitude is that it also comes with a spirit of tenacity, and I’d rather be tenacious than falter in my pursuit.

I guess that would be my biggest piece of advice, over everything you’ve got to have that gritty spirit of persistence and perseverance. Especially if you’re a woman. My ambitions tend to get labeled as “cute”, and I get it – I’m a woman under thirty, building a business from flowers. It’s easy to dismiss me and not take what I do seriously, but here’s the thing, I make very real money doing something I love very much and I plan to keep doing that until they have no choice but to take me seriously. Someone told me the best thing you can do for yourself is be so good they can’t ignore you. I’ve taken that to heart and in every situation, I’ve challenged myself to be that good.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Everbloom – what should we know?
As a floral designer, I partner with couples to elevate their desired decor for their wedding day. I take their vision and help bring it to life and occasionally help those without a vision land on one. I’m known for utilizing lots of texture, color, and unique elements to create works of art that are one of a kind. I love getting to know my couples and walking through the wedding planning process with them. Lately, this has expanded what I offer from flowers to full event design – a service I’m excited to continue expanding and offering clients in the future.

What’s the most important piece of advice you could give to a young woman just starting her career?
Take the time to do your research and make sure you set a healthy foundation, it will help as you continue to grow and expand. Learn from those who have gone before you and try to educate yourself from books rather than podcasts. I love a good podcast, but in the world of Instagram entrepreneurs, it’s easy to get “flash in a pan” advice that keeps you focused in areas of immediate success rather than building something sustainable that lasts much longer.

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Image Credit:
Brenna Joy Photography, Madeleine Collins Photography, Lauren Scotti Photography

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