We had the good fortune of connecting with Gerilyn Gianna-Kosberg and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gerilyn, what principle do you value most?
The value of integrity for myself, my business, and my personal life are of the utmost importance. Integrity can, in its simplest form, be defined as letting your yes be yes and your no be no. But for me, it’s so much more. It’s doing what you say you’re going to do. Keeping your word and even going beyond that word. In my business, it starts with who we hire. Before skills, we look at the character, specifically integrity. We want to know that our team will always put our clients as well as our business in the first place. We could not do what we do without a strong team that does what we say we will do. With our clients, we exhibit integrity in everything we do. We spell out everything in an agreement and leave no situation or question unanswered. Our clients know exactly what to expect and we always over-deliver. Keeping our word is priority one. And we always call our clients to do the same. We expect in a business transaction for integrity to flow in both directions. We know life is a full plate for most people, but for us to ensure we add the most value to our clients, we need them to also be called to the same standard when working with us. So we ensure that who we surround ourselves with has high standards of integrity and we can trust them. This doesn’t mean we make mistakes or have to change an agreement. Life throws you curve balls and situations change. The nice thing about integrity is that you can always change it. What I mean is, if you have your word that you gave but you can no longer hold to it, you can always change and make a new agreement that is mutually beneficial. Communication and trust are super important and we’ve mastered how we communicate with our clients and staff to ensure everyone is happy. The business really does spill over into my personal life. If I do not have integrity with my family and children, being an entrepreneur could be a disaster. When I say I will be home to take my kids to after school activities, I have to do that. My family is forgiving but no so much if I constantly do not hold to my word. I feel the need to model what integrity is to my family in hopes that this strong character trait will spill over to them as well. It’s the foundation for a great relationship business or personal. It’s the backbone of a strong companies business plan. And in the future, it will be what your known for when all else passes.
What should our readers know about your business?
I run a floral and event design business named Gerilyn Gianna Events out of Palm Beach Florida. We are a boutique floral design company that specifically focuses on large events. We do not sell retail or to the public as we are built to support large scale events such as galas, corporate events, and even weddings. Getting to this stage of business was not easy and comes down to one word that is widely used in business. Scaling. I started out during college selling bamboo arrangements at flea markets and farmer’s markets. I never wanted a traditional job, even in college. I wanted the freedom to run my own business around my studies. Then I thought, if I’m doing this well, why not open a store and sell more. So for a few years after graduation, I ran a storefront that sold flowers, bamboo, and other Asian inspired home goods. We grew but I quickly realized that the retail environment did not match my lifestyle as I also had another real estate investing business that I was focusing on. I realized that I needed to scale my business to focus on a smaller niche and do it well. So we closed the storefront and opened our event design business. I held inventory in my house and garage while meeting clients in a small office. It only took a year and we were growing doing larger and larger business to where we moved into two warehouses with a small team of wonderful like-minded people producing several weekly events throughout Florida. I quickly learned that in any business, to grow, you must scale your business. This allowed me to spend more time working “on” my business and less time having to work “in” my business. The crazy thing is that the more I grew, the more freedom I had. Since then, I’ve had a wonderful little girl and even have another business that I started back in real estate. It wasn’t easy in the sense that you feel pressure when you change something. Changing takes you out of your comfort zone and sometimes does not go the way you expect it to. So you feel the pressure to figure out what’s wrong and what to do next. For me, that has always been the challenge But I also found that the older I get, the more failure I have, and thus, the more success I have that has resulted from the failure. I’ve learned to not give up. Keep moving forward and never stay the same. This generation of business is different than in the past. You have to keep reinventing yourself and scaling because your competition is doing the same and getting better as well. So you have to be on your toes all the time if you want to grow. But thankfully, I’m grounded with great family and friends. Never give up those times because I’ve needed them to cry on, vent to, and share the successes of the day.
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.
In all fairness, I’m a Palm Beach lady. I don’t feel the need to head to Ft Lauderdale or Miami. When I’m not traveling outside of Florida or to Disney World, I hang in my little town. First off, you can’t miss a Sunday brunch at The Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach. It’s a culinary overload. Walking around this very historic hotel and experiencing its beauty is one of the joys of the area. Also, you can’t miss some of the most amazing smaller boutique museums such as the Flagler Museum and The Society of the Four Arts. Obviously, we have lots of beaches and world-class shopping. But I’m an intercoastal waterway girl. Renting a nice boat, cruising the intercoastal waterway, docking and dining at places like Harbourside Place in Jupiter or Waterway Cafe or Bricktops in Palm Beach Gardens are my favorites. Or, you can just drop anchor at Peanut Island, and in low tide, you can walk around in the water. It’s a fun experience unique to our area. Two fun places for kids and adults alike are Lion Country Safari which is out west in Palm Beach and Loggerhead Marine Life Center in Jupiter. From lions to sea creatures, that will make for a fun day for sure. One amazing restaurant totally unique to our area is Guanabanas on the Loxahatchee river in Jupiter. You can dine in the sand or just have a few drinks at the tiki bar. In West Palm Beach, the food and night scene rivals neighboring south Florida. City Place and Clamatis street have so many options for nightlife with an amazing food scene. A few days might not be enough time to experience Palm Beach but it’s a start. We surely live in paradise.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My entire life is owed to so many who helped and continue to help build my character. My dad taught me from a young age that willingness, desire, and determination are the main ingredients to success in anything you do. He taught me that my character would be the foundation for anything I do in life and that if I did not see success, it was due to a failure in one of these areas. I also married into a spiritually-minded family. My husband and father in law both have taught me so much about significance over success. Our family runs multiple businesses but one principle runs true through them all. They reinforced in me that while being successful is amazing, being significant is what lasts a lifetime and is what truly matters most. Caring for others, serving others, and adding value to others through our services is most important. From that point on, I’ve embarked on a journey of understanding true leadership and what this topic “really” means. In helping me to not only be successful but significant in my personal and business life, I’ve jumped in with the number one leadership expert in the world, Dr. John Maxwell. My personal relationship with him and his family along with countless growth from his books have propelled me to a new level of thinking and living. I could go on and on but honestly, you become like who you surround yourself with. And I have a great crowd of people who nourish my soul and I guess I’m one of the lucky ones for that.
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