Today we’d like to introduce you to Irina Pizzurro.
Irina, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started working with flowers in 2008. I was working at a natural and organic grocer in Austin and fell in love with floristry. I tried working for as many different people as I could; freelancing, working seasonally, and working for myself. I just wanted to learn as much as possible. A few years in, I took some courses offered at Austin Community College on floral design because I wanted to learn about the aspects of design I hadn’t really had a chance to do… mainly funeral work.
My husband and I moved to back to my home state, Florida in 2015, where I continued to work retail but also working for myself. We were in Destin, which is a really popular wedding destination spot. I was fortunate to work with some really amazing clients and fellow florists who taught me a lot of different European style techniques. I was published in Coastal Lifestyle Magazine and I knew I had found my life long career for good.
We moved to Dallas about two years ago and here we are. I continue to work for myself, a couple of shops around town, and freelancing. I love the possibilities Dallas offers; I love how everyone is so friendly and helpful. This is a great community.
Has it been a smooth road?
It most definitely has not been a smooth road. Nothing worth it is ever easy. There have been so many times I have wanted to quit or do something different and easier. Most people don’t realize but the floral industry is like 75% grunt work and 25% designing. It’s a lot of long hours, heavy lifting, getting dirty or wet, dealing with weird weather (for outside events mostly), but at the end of the day, the beautiful arrangements, installations, and the look on the client’s face are so worth it.
Also, there will always be doubts, trials, fails, and successes. Success is measured in so many different ways, so it’s important to define goals, keep them close to your heart and not give up. Remember the why and never be ashamed to ask for help when you need it. Stay humble, don’t compare yourself to others only learn from them.
We’d love to hear more about Iris & Iree Floral Co.
I’m not only a wedding and event florist, but do “every day” and corporate arrangements. I do floral consulting. So, if someone needs help with certain aspects of design or event floral coordination but don’t necessarily need a florist to do everything from start to finish, I’m your gal. I also love to teach people how to arrange. I believe everyone can arrange flowers on a basic level.
As far as design, my favorite style is garden and I love anything weird but I can and love tackling anything. I always call my style controlled chaos. Lately, my work has been a little more refined just based on current clientele. But I have noticed there is a huge shift in trends, going towards more natural, dried, dyed, and freshly picked arranging. I’m excited for that!
I really try to pride myself on honesty, reliability, and thoughtful work. I love what I do, and I think it shows. I’ve been published in blogs and magazines both in Dallas, Austin, and Florida. That’s always really exciting to be part of someone’s inspiration. I love to come into consultations and meetings with potential clients to not only get them to try to book but to also educate them as to what they’re getting, why it is priced as such, and how we can make it worth their time and money.
We’re interested to hear your thoughts on female leadership – in particular, what do you feel are the biggest barriers or obstacles?
Generally speaking, when I got into the industry 11 years ago, it was very cut-throat. Management was a boys’ club and it was hard to get a word in without being called emotional or any other sexist remarks. It’s a shame and can be stifling and make you not want to progress within whatever company you’re a part of.
I’ve also noticed across the states that women can be intimidated or get competitive with one another for business. That should never be the case, there is always more than enough floral work for everyone. People use Dallas and its beautiful venues as a destination all the time. I think once we start looking at it as a community and not a competition, be there for each other, support each other than we all succeed.
As for the biggest barriers… I mean, there are still some out-moded ways of thinking when it comes to women in the workplace. This might be a generational thing, as younger, more progressive people enter the workplace, it’ll change. I think as a whole, women are testing these old boundaries, challenging current beliefs, and becoming more successful than ever. It’s incredibly empowering.
- Website: www.irisandireefloralco.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @irisandireefloral
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IrisandIree/
Ivory Darling Photography