We had the good fortune of connecting with Elizabeth Jaime and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Elizabeth, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Work/life balance is something I am constantly thinking about and working on. I had no idea how much of my life would be consumed by Calma when I first began so to say that this has been a struggle of mine would be an understatement. I think when you’re first starting a business, it feels natural to always be “on” – after all, you’re number one goal is to grow this thing you’re building. In the first year and half, there were so many moments where I was “resting” when I felt like I should instead, be working. I felt like there was *always* something I could be doing. Eventually, the idea of always being “on” caught up to me and at the end of 2020, I was feeling extremely burnt out – to the point where I considered calling it quits. With some reflection and the help of the people around me, I realized that I didn’t always have to be working on Calma and that taking care of myself was just as important as taking care of Calma. Nowadays, I make sure to rest and not work on the weekends. I’ve also learned to say “No” to the projects I don’t want to take on or that can’t pay me what I feel I’m worth.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I run Calma, a floral design studio that specializes in unique and art-focused floral work. We work on everything from brand activations to events and every day flowers. I like to describe our work as modern, tropical(ish) and always evolving and I think that’s part of what sets us apart from others. We approach each project holistically and really think about the role in which flowers will play in a space, setting or event. My background is in magazines, I was a visual editor at bon appetit for five years where I produced, concepted and art directed photoshoots for the magazine. I take a lot of how I used to do things there and have applied it to how I do things at Calma, so the way in which we do things is similar to how I used to run the photoshoots at BA. The switch from a desk job to a very labor-intensive job was not an easy transition but overall, I’m lucky that my background has helped me to approach floral design in a more unique way.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would definitely start by going to the beach. Miami Beach is so magical when the wind is calm and the water is flat. I love spending my mornings there so I’d probably start our day with a swim in the water. Eventually we’d make our way to at lunch Joe’s for stone crabs because it’s such a classic Miami spot that everyone should visit while they’re around. I’d also take my friends to one of my favorite places in Miami, Fairchild Tropical Gardens. I love walking around taking in all the flowers and greenery – it’s so quintessentially south Miami. Eventually it would be happy hour and I’d take them to OverUnder in downtown for a Painkiller because everyone loves a tropical cocktail. Ideal dinner situation would be somewhere like Boia De where the food is inventive, delicious and not over-the-top.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would love to recognize my peers and mentors at my previous job at Bon Appetit. They taught me so much about what I know creatively and really encouraged me to speak my mind, even when I was just a department assistant. I’d also love to shout out my boyfriend Chaz who is always by me and supporting me in everything I do.
Photograph by Jeanne Canto