We had the good fortune of connecting with Nadiya de la Fuente and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nadiya, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I always admired the beautiful orchid arrangements in design magazines. They were usually photographed in million-dollar homes. I loved that they looked stunning while requiring zero maintenance – a perfect fit for busy homeowners who love beautiful things but don’t have the time to take care of them. My first arrangements were created for my house, then my friends started asking me to design similar flower arrangements for their homes too. After working on a few projects, I realized how much I enjoyed the process of creating unique, one-of-a-kind, 100% custom-made, and of course beautiful orchid arrangements. That inspired me to open my own company, Orchidèe LLC.
Starting a business is challenging. It requires non-stop work (often including weekends and nights), financial risk, and, more importantly, experience managing a business. In my case, I felt confident that I was ready to start Orchidèe LLC given both my corporate experience and artistic background. I used to work for several international corporations in different departments, including accounting, marketing, and sales. At the same time, I have been exhibiting my acrylic-on-canvas paintings in various galleries and art shows.
My business model combines both these sides of me: business knowledge and artistic skill. And then of course, there is that intangible but very important factor of needing to absolutely love what you do and be ready to work hard to achieve your goals. I love what I do, and, well, working hard has always been part of the equation in my life. It’s the only ticket to success.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Making and selling products is a very complicated process, and the average consumer isn’t aware of everything that goes into it. The journey from start to finish has many phases: Struggling to find quality materials at affordable prices (which lets you stay competitive in the market), identifying suppliers, creating the right products that people will like and buy; promoting and selling the product; and providing excellent customer service. Even if your product is beautiful and appealing, you still need to dedicate time to marketing it and reaching out to potential clients. Then, you’ll hear lots of “No, thank you,” “Not interested,” and “I love it, but I can’t afford it,” all of which has the potential to discourage you. But then there are many more people who love the product, value your work, and not only buy it for themselves, but recommend it to others. That makes me proud and gives me confidence that my business is on the right path.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
It all depends what type of person this friend is. Nature lowers I would definitely take to the Everglades Holiday Park, it’s a truly unique attraction and pretty exotic. You don’t see the alligators in nature every day. My favorite place is Miami is Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, it’s historic, beautiful and on the ocean. We would have lunch in Havana 1957, Versailles or maybe Garcia’s Seafood Grille because you can’t visit South Florida without trying Cuban food.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My own success is based on my personal happiness: Having a beautiful family, made up of my loving, supportive husband, and my amazing little boy. Family love is what nourishes my desire to create. All this motivates me to come up with new ideas, products, and styles. My brand’s success is based on listening to my customers and satisfying their needs, whether it’s a single silk orchid arrangement or decorating their special event with live ones. I particularly love working with interior designers and learning about new trends from them. Every floral arrangement, especially those made of silk, has to match the interior of each home or office, looking fresh and stylish at the same time. So staying abreast of new styles and trends is very important.