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Rising Stars: Meet Alyssa Santos

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alyssa Santos.

Hi Alyssa, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Like a lot of twenty-somethings, my late twenties were marked by a series of identity crises. I felt burned out by my career, hopeless about societal issues, and overall directionless. This led to a much-needed period of healing and inner work. During this time, I had a strong desire to nurture areas of my life that I wasn’t giving enough love to, including my creativity. Having always been inspired by nature’s beauty, I started playing with fresh flowers as a creative outlet. I loved working with my hands and connecting with florals in a very tangible way. This ritual became a source of joy and serenity for me. I began taking floral design workshops and watching tons of YouTube videos. Soon, I started sharing my creations with friends and loved ones to spread that same joy that I felt. During the pandemic in 2020, I shifted my primary medium to dried florals as they could easily be shipped and would allow me to connect with loved ones throughout the country that I couldn’t be with in person. I opened Little Cosmea as an official business in January 2021 to bring that same touch of magic to even more folks and their loved ones.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
The biggest challenges I’ve encountered in this journey are my own fears and insecurities. As someone who is relatively new to this field and mostly self-taught, it’s hard not to compare myself to other creators and wonder if I’m “good enough” to put my work out there. While I continue to struggle with this, I’ve also grown to embrace the vulnerability. I’m slowly learning to shed my perfectionism and self-imposed expectations. If I allow my fears to get in the way of creating, I’d never grow or improve. For now, I’m moving at a pace that feels right for me and I’m focused on centering the heart of this endeavor: joy.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Through my online boutique, Little Cosmea, I specialize in small-batch, everlasting bouquets and floral arrangements. Little Cosmea is all about joy you can hold in your hand. The intention behind my bouquets is to help celebrate the big moments, small wins, and everything in between; it’s about adding a little bit of magic to everyday life for the person on the receiving end.

It’s important to me that each bouquet is lovingly handcrafted and is something I would display in my own home. At the same time, the process of designing bouquets is fun! I draw inspiration from places I love, nostalgic music, delicious treats and channel it into unique designs.

The best part of this work is making someone’s day. I’ve helped create pieces for weddings, birthdays, and company events. I’ve also helped congratulate people for graduations, new jobs, and new homes. These moments make me feel most connected to the purpose behind Little Cosmea.

Is there something surprising that you feel even people who know you might not know about?
Lately, my vision for Little Cosmea is expanding! I believe our physical spaces are really important for nurturing a sense of internal peace, comfort, and safety. Right now, my floral work offers a piece of that, but I would love to offer more ways to help people create spaces that are uniquely theirs. I see a lot of possibilities in Little Cosmea and I’m excited to grow this little dream of mine.

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