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Rising Stars: Meet Bailey Brewer of Joppa

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bailey Brewer.

Hi Bailey, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
My journey started when I was about 13 years old. I applied and interviewed for a spot at Harford Technical High School for the Floral Design Program in middle school instead of attending my districted high school. I had never had much interest in flowers previously, but I have always been very artistic and creative as a child, so I thought it would be a good fit. I anxiously waited for about 6 months to find my application accepted! During all 4 years of high school, I learned about the different flowers and how to arrange them. I began to fall in love with designing flowers. I would start making arrangements for all of my family members as random little gifts. They all loved them, and I cherished that feeling of seeing how joyful and impressed they were with my arrangements. After I graduated high school, I went on to college and got a part-time job at the local grocery store’s floral department. I figured it would be a fitting job since I had already had some experience but intended to only stay through college until I graduated and found a career path. I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to pursue at that time. I figured floral could always be a hobby for me but never really saw it as being my career. I started taking classes at the community college for general studies, then transferred to Towson University, where I chose an exercise science major. I had been a competitive gymnast from ages 4-18. Since that was such a huge part of my life, I thought about having a career where I could be a trainer for gymnasts. After 2 years at HCC and a year at Towson, I realized that floral was my true passion. I was so in love with my grocery store job that I wanted more challenges and room to grow.

I transferred again to UMGC and finished out my bachelor’s degree in business administration. I knew that I wanted to have my own floral business. Immediately after graduating, I chose my business name, made a website and social media pages, obtained an LLC, got business cards made, and cleared out a small corner of the garage for a folding table and a shelf full of supplies to use for my work. It has been a slow but steady start as I continued working full time and starting my business. As of today, I started my business almost a year ago, I have already expanded to using half of the garage, and I will be ready very soon to leave my full-time job and focus solely on my business! I see a bright future ahead, and I cannot wait to get to the point where I am officially a successful business owner and no longer need to rely on additional income. One day I dream of having my shop that I can work out of and where people can come in to hang out and shop around!

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
For the most part, it has been a pretty smooth road. I am fortunate to have such a supportive family that has been more than willing to help me along the way. It isn’t easy to run a business with a full-time job. Because I have to make all the arrangements myself, it is hard to find the time to go and purchase the flowers the customer has requested, make the arrangement, and deliver it to them. There have been times when I have had my sister bring flowers to my full-time job. I clocked out for lunch and made the arrangement in her car quickly, then had her deliver them for me while I finished my work shift. It will be relieving when I can work around my schedule and do all the work myself. Besides the fact that I do not like inconveniencing my family members (even though they don’t see it that way), I like to meet the customers who order from me. I enjoy meeting new people and building relationships with my customers; unfortunately, I have been unable to do that with everyone.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am a floral designer. Right now, I am doing a little bit of all things floral-related, from holiday flowers, special occasions, funeral services, and weddings to wreaths, artificial flowers, and succulent decor. I have even made live plant terrariums. Weddings and events are probably my favorites, but I also love random birthday or special occasion flowers. They keep things interesting! One thing that sets me apart from others is my passion and dedication to providing my customers with perfect flowers! My passion is working with fresh flowers. I am diligent in taking the time to make sure each petal is perfect and ensure that I put 110% effort into the arrangement. I am also very visual and creative, so I can take a few bits and pieces of what a customer is describing they want and combine it all into something so beautiful that they could not have even imagined.

So, how can our readers or others connect or collaborate with you before we go? How can they support you?
Others can work with me to grow the success of my business by creating collaborative business opportunities. It would be a great opportunity to work with photographers, event planners, and models to do styled shoots for the advertisement of both of our works. I have had great opportunities with other small local businesses by decorating their window displays for Christmas and setting up a few of my items for sale at their location to gain more exposure for me and add a special touch to their businesses. I recently was invited to attend a bridal fair to showcase some of my work and advertise to soon-to-be brides and other local businesses. I would love to work with a local restaurant to put small vases of fresh flowers on each table weekly to add elegance to their dining experience. Starting a business from scratch can be very daunting, so any help and support from more established businesses can be game-changing. Lastly, people can help by purchasing from small local businesses rather than large corporations. I have seen, so many people’s dreams fail because they lack that support from their communities.

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