I am so excited to introduce you to Marigold Flower Co.’s Jaclyn Montesano & Catherine McNew. I met Jaclyn & Catherine at a wedding industry professionals event at a beautiful, modern venue called Forty-Two Ten in late 2016. They were so nice & welcoming and I really enjoyed trying chocolate truffles by Hands on Sweets with them. Jaclyn & Catherine are building a business together and have been best friends since birth. Jaclyn was at the hospital when Catherine was born because their moms grew up together and are best friends, too. They finish each other's sentences and were a ton of fun to interview. I’m so grateful to have gotten to know them better through this interview & video feature and know you’ll find their charm & honesty refreshing. Enjoy their words.
Tell us about yourselves! Also, how did your business begin?
J: In 2007 I started working at Carrollwood Florist (owned by my in-laws). At that time, the wedding department was very small. As my knowledge of the business and love for flowers grew, I developed a specific interest in wedding flowers. After planning my own wedding in 2011, I really started focusing on growing the wedding department by increasing our exposure on platforms such as The Knot and Wedding Wire. With much of Catherine's help, by the end of 2015 the wedding department at Carrollwood Florist had grown significantly. Catherine and I had always talked about starting a boutique floral company that would be under Carrollwood Florist but still its own brand. After lots of research, prayer and time spent planning, we launched Marigold Flower Co. in the fall of 2016.
C: My name is Catherine (the short one) and I am one of the co-founders of Marigold Flower Co. I graduated from Flagler College with a degree in English and Creative Writing… I hope this answer sounds creative (jk). In 2012 I was brought on to help Jaclyn with the growth of the wedding department at Carrollwood Florist. Over the years I have learned to design and I am now also the lead consultant at Marigold Flower Co. I love that my job has two aspects to it - the design portion and the relationship portion. It definitely keeps me busy and ensures I never get bored!
What’s 1 challenge you’ve faced and 1 success you’ve had since you’ve created your business?
Jaclyn: Challenge: For me, the biggest challenge I have faced since starting a new business is managing my time so I can work more efficiently. Juggling the responsibilities of being a mom and an entrepreneur definitely has its challenges. With so many things to do all the time I’ve realized how important it is to prioritize the tasks that need to get done each and every day otherwise it’s just chaos and no progress is made.
Success: We recently went through a program called Storybrand where we learned to create a brand script and use that information when redesigning our website so that we can clearly communicate our message to people.
Catherine: Challenge: Would definitely have been differentiating ourselves from our parent company (Carrollwood Florist). It took us a while to figure out how we were going to make our brand stand out from the Carrollwood Florist brand and how we would attract our ideal client.
Success: When we finally did figure it out! Through trial and error (that is still continuing today) we finally feel that we are attracting our ideal brides. We’ve learned a lot about the importance of sticking to your personal style and not being ashamed to be turned down by someone that Marigold is simply not a good fit for. It’s liberating in a strange way!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received and has it come in handy for you?
J: A couple of months ago I listened to a podcast with the author of the book Design Your Day. The author, Claire Diaz-Ortiz talked about the importance of organizing your work and personal life so that you can be more productive in less time which prevents burnout. This is exactly what I needed! I HIGHLY recommend the book -- the practical tips in it have helped me tremendously.
C: To tackle one task at a time. Someone once told me that I should create a three column list (High Priority, Priority, When There’s Time) and categorize each task into one of these columns. It has helped me to stop wasting time and to be more productive with the things that count.
When are you at your happiest?
J: When I'm enjoying time with my husband and my son.
C: When I’m with my husband (Can you tell we’re newlyweds?). He always makes a stressful day more relaxing.
What do you tell yourself when things get difficult?
J: Tomorrow is a new day!
C: Slow down, breathe and focus.
What are you grateful for?
J: The ability to build a dream business and still be able to be at home with my son.
C: Working with my best friend!
What’s 1 personal goal and 1 business goal you plan to accomplish this year?
J: Personal: to give birth to a healthy baby. Business: to establish our flower classes.
C: Personal: Buy a house! Business: For Marigold Flower Co. to become a familiar name in our wedding community.
Where can you be found on a Tuesday afternoon?
J: Working on creative things and drinking tea.
C: Most likely in a coffee shop with Jaclyn sipping on tea. Tuesdays are our off site day!
How about on a Friday evening?
J: Relaxing at home with dinner and a movie.
C: Probably at a Thai (or Vietnamese) restaurant with my husband. We are kind of creatures of habit.
A Sunday morning?
J: At church.
Finish these sentences:
I love: a good facial.
I’m always looking for: new dinner recipes.
My inspiration is: Joanna Gaines.
I’ll never: run a marathon.
I love: slow mornings that give me time to work out or meditate.
I’m always looking for: the perfect nude lipstick.
My inspiration is: Karena and Katrina from Tone It Up. Their early years remind me a lot of Jaclyn and myself (two best friends who had a similar interest and decided to create a brand) and now they have created a community of followers who believe in their message.
I’ll never: work in corporate America. #smallbusiness