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Rising Stars: Meet Teresa Eoff

Today we’d like to introduce you to Teresa Eoff.

Hi Teresa, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles by my hardworking parents who have owned their company, Felix Electric Service, an electrical and construction company since 1986. I watched them make sacrifices to successfully put me and my two younger sisters through 13 years of private school and through college to earn our bachelor’s degrees. They always taught us that ownership is important in building a life one can be proud of.

As a child, I always planned weddings for my toys and designed beautiful toy/stuffed animal weddings so I knew I would have a career in the wedding and events industry one day. I moved to the inland empire in 1998 to attend college at Cal Poly Pomona University. My major was Business Administration with a focus on entrepreneurship and nonprofit management. My goal was to one day open my own event planning company but I never took the leap of doing it full time. I worked at Cal Poly Pomona following graduation but still ran Figure Eight Events as an event planning business on the side. A coworker suggested that we take the floral design classes offered through Cal Poly Pomona’s College of Extension and I fell in love with flowers and floral design. After finishing the courses, I decided to stop wedding planning and began floral design as a side business with a dream of opening a floral studio one day. I worked in various industries post-college graduation one of them being aerospace. However in 2009, when the economy crashed my employer shut our company down. I was unemployed for two years and started doing more floral design to offset my expenses and make ends meet.

During that time, I earned my Master’s degree in Public Administration. I re-entered the full-time workforce at UC Riverside where I was hired for event planning but eventually ended up managing campus apartments, supervising staff, coordinating staff training and facilitating leadership development. I loved managing and supervising staff but I still felt so unfulfilled at work. I knew that I was meant to be my own boss but I was worried about not making enough money to support my family. On July 7, 2018, I woke up with a sore throat and found myself fighting for my life in ICU with sepsis after strep entered my bloodstream. I went into Septic shock and had major organ failure. Once I was cleared to leave the hospital days later and return home to my husband and two children (ages four and six at the time) my husband told me that this was my opportunity to leap and pursue my dream of running my floral design business full time and he the kids would fully support my dream. My business, Figure Eight Events Floral Design Services was launched as a full-time endeavor shortly after and is now almost three years old and thriving.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
In the beginning, finances were my biggest struggle because I did not plan ahead to expand my business to full-time. I simply just walked away from my day job and took a leap of faith. So my husband and I would set financial goals every month to maintain our household. In the floral design industry, education is always a necessity as trends change and it can get pretty expensive. On top of purchases, all of the systems needed to keep my running going. I would feel lots of pressure to gain clients to supplement our missing income because I didn’t want to let my family down. I found a way to invest in classes on automating business systems and finding ways to run a smart floral business. I no do my best to offer a great client experience and manage my profit margins well. My client base and network in the floral industry has grown tremendously because I have been willing to learn from others, soak in knowledge, and apply it. Now I’m seeing great results and do not have to stress about things as much.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I definitely see myself as an artist that uses flowers as a medium. I love creating designs that set the tone for a beautiful event experience for my clients. I specialize in really colorful and lush floral designs and find myself drawn to a garden-style aesthetic. I am really proud of the relationships I build with my clients and their trust in my talent and skill. I have a very calm, down to earth, and laid-back personality. I am completely real and honest with them every step of the way in our design process and I think they appreciate not having to put a guard up around me. I treat everyone like family and I truly want them to have the best experience with me. After all, I’m helping them fulfill their dream as I fulfill my own. I am a big dream advocate so if you have design goals, you can trust that I’m going to make them happen for you.

How do you think about happiness?
I’m happiest when I’m at peace, relaxing, and taking care of myself. My husband and kids make me happy because they are fun and they make me laugh. I love to laugh. My family is beyond supportive of my goals and always rooting me on even when I have to occasionally miss family time. I’m happy when I feel like I’m successfully achieving my goals, one day at a time. I am really happy that I have career that no matter how hard it is, it brings joy to others. That is definitely a win!

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

Glass Darkly Photo Stella Chen Photography Gilded Photography Little Honey Photography Laura Waldron Photography Justin Kuo Robert Paetz

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