EAST WENATCHEE — While most high school seniors are ready with their cap and gown with graduation around the corner, Cindy Gonzalez is running her flower arrangement business.
Cindy Gonzalez, a senior at Eastmont High School began “The Bloom Flowery,” in October 2021 after talking with a friend and teacher.
“I had a teacher second period for financial literacy, and my friend and I would talk about our boyfriends,” Gonzalez said. "I got the idea because even if I wasn’t receiving flowers at least I could provide them for other people."
She didn’t put much thought into it, but later revisited the idea and began brainstorming names for the business.
“My friend recommended the flowery bloom which didn’t make sense and I let the idea rest," Gonzalez said. "Later on, we revisited it and I looked on Instagram for ideas and to see what names were available then I made my logo in math class and after that, I promoted myself and put myself out there and took Valentine's Day orders."
Taking a floral class in school helped Gonzalez pick up skills she uses now in her business, which she operates out of her parent's garage.
Her start-up investment was $500 and included many of the uses in her floral arrangements such as wrapping paper, rubber bands, tape, flowers and roses.
The thing Gonzalez enjoys most about making flower arrangements is the joy she sees on her customers’ faces.
“I think my favorite part is the messages after the item is delivered or picked up. It makes me feel like I’m doing the right thing, and making other people happy,” Gonzalez said. "And (also) being able to share my creativity."
During the first months of her new venture, Gonzalez’s father was struggling to survive COVID-19. He was in Mexico, away from his family, but creating bouquets allowed Gonzalez to distract herself from what was going on with her family.
Through all the events going on in Gonzalez’s life, she continues to focus and grow her business, and having a support system helps her push through, she said.
“Both of my parents have been really supportive although my dad doubted me in the beginning,” Gonzalez said. "He can now see how well it’s going.
"My mom has been my biggest supporter, I know I can count on her. When I’m out and unavailable she helps me out, she’ll put whatever she’s doing down to help me."
Gonzalez's mom, Rosa Villa, is content seeing her daughter’s success and will continue supporting her in whatever she needs.
"I'm happy to see how much she's grown her flower business, and I've told her that she'll always have my support," Villa said in Spanish. "I'm so proud of her."
Busy as a bee
Besides being a full-time student and having her flower arrangement business, Gonzalez also has a part-time job at ICE at Pybus Public Market and continues pursuing other hobbies.
“I work a part-time job at ICE at Pybus, I take photos on the side as well as a hobby,” Gonzalez said. "My dad is a photographer and videographer and he pays me to edit photos.
“I enjoy going to the gym, it’s my stress-free area," she added. "I also like paddle boarding, and started doing it last summer.”
Being a business owner while in high school can be overwhelming, but for Gonzalez, it has given her a different view of things.
“I definitely think that everyone is like me and has a packed schedule like me, but then I realize that not everyone is like me. I look back and see how much I’ve accomplished, I’ve changed and I know it’s for the better.
"I’ve matured for sure," Gonzalez said. "I feel like starting a business makes you more mature because you worry about your customers and the business."
With Gonzalez’s full schedule, she always has something on her mind.
“My brain never stops working so I always want to know what’s going next. What keeps me up at night is knowing what is going on next and thinking of new ideas, and always making sure I always reply to everyone for orders,” Gonzalez said.
She regularly has eight to 11 clients a week; around 20 to 30 a month.
The magic behind the flowery
The process Gonzalez has for making the flower arrangements begins long before the order is picked up or delivered.
“For a simple bouquet of roses, I hydrate them in a fridge at the temperature they need to be. I keep them in water and give them food, I do these a day before. The day when I’m arranging them I put them in a circular shape and tie them with rubber bands or tape,” Gonzalez said.
With graduation coming up in less than a month, Gonzalez is getting ready to attend Grand Canyon University and plans to major in business entrepreneurship. Although, she is open to staying and further growing her business.
She believes that anyone can accomplish what they want if they believe in themselves and push through.
“Everybody has their spark; you’re going to have to be put through the storm to find yourself," Gonzalez said. "I was put through the storm with my dad and I’ve overcome that. If you have the motivation to do something then you will do it.
“I started as a game but when I took it seriously it became bigger than what I thought. My dad always told me there’s nothing better than being your own boss. There will be rocks in the path but you will be able to do it.”