On this weeks Featured Florist, Details Flowers is proud to present Raining Roses Productions. Chicago based designer, Jesus Rodriguez, founded Raining Roses Productions Inc. with his partner Jonathan Panczuk in 2001. With a background in fashion and over 20 years of experience in the floral industry, Raining Roses Productions Inc became an an overnight success and continues to influence market trends today. Throughout his career Jesus has been faithful to the belief that creativity has no limits. By combining his passion for creativity and his incredibly structured approach to design, Jesus and his team are able to produce original works of art that far surpass their customers expectations. Be sure to visit Raining Roses Productions website and Like, Share and Follow Details Flowers for more Featured Florists and to keep up to date with whats “blooming” in the floral industry today.
What is your business name and how did you come up with it?
We had four partners in the beginning, one named the company and her thinking was… you’ve heard the expression, “when pigs fly”? She said that we all know pigs don’t fly…but it sure sticks in your mind. While it may never truly rain roses, it sure does stick in your mind…..we all agreed! It’s been Raining Roses now, for 16 years. Now you know why we needed an Umbrella Tree.
What do you love most about your city and the events that you create?
We began in Chicago, it was the place to be and it had the right tempo. Being a highly competitive city we learned a lot and the Princess Diana Cancer Event took us over the top. We realized it was time to make our own place and rather than staying and competing in Chicago we decided upon a move to Orlando, Florida. My partner, Jonathan was the creative mind and designer and I was the administration guy, handling everything in the back end. He was gone within 6 months from the time we moved with a terminal illness and he spent that time encouraging me to keep going! It was not what I wanted to do, but through his consistent encouragement I did what needed to be done and began the creative process alone, along with all the other aspects of this business we had created together. I had to push myself, I had to calm my fears, I had to do the job! With the help of a good staff, now, 15 plus years later, Raining Roses is a proven influence to market trends today.
What do you love most about the floral industry?
What I love most is having a satisfied, happy client. I love that when we first came here there was a need in Orlando for rentals of all kinds, furniture and all the specifics for the event industry and Raining Roses began and has continued to meet those needs and to set new trends. Although I love working with corporate clients, my real passion for flowers lies within the weddings customers.
What do you dislike most about the floral industry?
In the beginning it reminded me of being in school, everyone was in their “group”! Nobody seemed to help anyone else and they all seemed to keep to their own business, each one has their own niche. But now I have made a lot of friends, although mostly competitors, the relationship works great. We help each other and there is nothing better. In Chicago it was the same. There is plenty of business for everyone so there is no need for unethical business practices.
What are your biggest daily challenges and how do you overcome them?
Managing people, daily! I try to be direct with my team, not to come down too hard, you can be firm but tactful. People appreciate that and I like to let them know how much I appreciate them. Another challenge is how to bring in more business as we continue to change and embrace what’s trending along with starting new trends. There is no limit! We embrace what the bride is wanting and at times that can be a great challenge. Fortunately, we have a creative team that embraces challenges. We love to create the WOW factor for our brides, leaving them with a day they will never forget!
What is your favorite design story?
The Tree! Our popular “Umbrella Tree” was created when a client asked for an African Serengeti Tree for a tabletop centerpiece!! We took on the challenge and created what we thought… “looked like an umbrella.” Believe me, you enter into an enchanted sitting experience with the flowers gently flowing, candles flickering, and crystals sparkling. I never thought it would be such a beautiful structure but we brought it to Orlando and we have clients constantly coming to us for our Umbrella Tree. It is something I will always treasure. I received a beautiful thank from our client saying that she never thought that we could create such a beautiful, elegant and unique structure. Now you know that if you see an Umbrella Tree, it must be Raining Roses!!
What is your biggest success?
For me personally, I have to say the Hindu wedding that I did right after my partner passed away. It was my first job to do by myself, I was scared! But it was beautiful, it was success, it was a testament to my dear friend and partner; he had taught and encouraged me so well. I still have pictures on my wall to remind me. It was an amazing success, both personal and business!
What tips do you have to share with other wedding floral designers?
Don’t try to mold your client to your style and don’t try to sell them what they don’t want. If they want a garden style – keep it a garden style. Everyone is so different, embrace that. Give your clients what they ask for, even a little more, no battle. They will be happy and so will you.
How do you deal with brides that you don’t feel you can help?
I really didn’t enjoy spending a lot of time with and/or being shopped by people who were only interested in cost and my ideas only for them to do it themselves! I have a friend who started some marketing for me and she said that I needed to start qualifying my clients. She said it was imperative to set up a system by which there was a first point of contact, with the addition of some filters on our site that would request information, a type of pre-interview process, perhaps an initial estimate, (helping us to maintain our set pricing) and then the most important question, does the client wish to continue? If yes, we go on to meet the Bride and begin our relationship. DETAILS SOFTWARE assists with this process and IT HAS LIBERATED ME!!!
What do you love about floral importers and what do you value?
Most of my flowers come from local wholesalers. They have a website – they have a list of farms, brokers etc.. They list product, pricing and you pick what you desire, everything is priced, order on line and it is delivered. Good, fresh, products come from Miami. We have scheduled order and delivery days. It has worked wonderfully well for us.
What is your biggest motivator?
Competition! I like to be the best, with the best product. Satisfied clients! Creative freedom and always offering something different and unique. To always give and be our best for the client!
Details Software has made an improvement in our bottom line and daily business activities, in a variety of ways. I think it is so good. I was the second person to acquire the program. I had to learn it, implement it and now my current assistant and team are eating it up. They love it. It allows us more freedom for creation. It has been instrumental in my ordering, allowing me to send my orders per my stem counts in Details. A GREAT FEATURE, then I can go back in and see so much information. In the past I would forget to order or order too much, which really messes with your bottom line. Details’ helps me not lose money! It helps in the part of the business which can be time consuming…the details. Accounting for all the information, clients, dates, calls and conversations, stems, ideas, pricing. I think it’s endless, Details Software…it keeps us blooming!
Where to you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years, I don’t know, retirement is this dangling carrot, but I like to work every day. I try seeing myself not doing what I’m doing and I see long days filled with boredom and that’s not me. I need to be doing something. I really see myself still working, always evolving. I am better than I was 10 years ago and I think I will be better in 10 years than I am now. Every single day you keep learning, when your life loses purpose, you’re done. My mom taught me by how she lived her life, she always had a purpose.