We recently connected with Phuong Nguyen and have shared our conversation below.
Alright, Phuong thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. Talk to us about building your team? What was it like? What were some of the key challenges and what was your process like?
Did your business have employees from day one? Or was it just you at the start? In either case, tell us the story, and help us understand what it was like being in your shoes. I didn’t start out with employees but I did have an amazing support system made of best friends, family and my significant other to help me late into the nights, early mornings, and especially on the weekends. My neighbors would see me working in the garage with the door open and they’ll come over to help process flowers and wash labels off 300+ beer bottles for this one wedding. I’ll never forget my earliest years. The fact that I had that kind of support and help then without anyone asking for anything in return humbles me still to this day.
Talk to us about what it was like recruiting those first few team members, how did you find them, what was the interview process like, and was there anything unusual or unconventional about your recruiting / training process?
If you were to start today would you have done anything differently?
My first hires were interns who knew nothing about the floral and event industry but they were so diligent and enthusiastic. They were all college students who found me one way or another either through social media or word of mouth. Eventually, I was able to hire part-time and full-time employees to join the team. I don’t hire anyone based on skills or resumes. I hired them based on their personalities, how we click, and if they have a good sense of humor. I never want a stuffy working environment. I do not like to micromanage but I am particular. My standards are very high when it comes to the work that has my name on it. This means I take extra care in training and guiding anyone representing my brand.
I looked for people who cared about people, who loved my dogs, my family, who wanted to not only do well themselves but wanted me to do well. You see, Mibellarosa is my child. I created her, I watch her breathe and grow every day and I only want people who want the best for her in my village. I have always believed in the family you choose. Those are some of my most cherished relationships. When I hire for my company, I think of the individual as a small piece of a larger picture and how they fit with the team as a whole. I am especially careful in who I choose based on how they will work with everyone else and not just their individual skills. I make sure they align with our vision and values.
When building a team I am building a family that is helping me build an empire. I want to create an environment that my team will want to bring their future children to and stay in for years. I know some business owners will scoff at this, especially the ones who wish to leave work at work but when running a small business your team is who supports you and represents your brand, they are your people. They are your village. Build a family of people with different strengths than yours so that your business can grow in every which way, not just your specialty.
Phuong, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
MIBELLAROSA is a floral and event design studio specializing in garden botanical floral artistry and modern event production. Visual Director Phuong Nguyen is a master floral artist, whose delicately lush and impressionist designs are heavily influenced and inspired by Claude Monet, Jane Austen, her travels around the world, and most importantly, her couples’ love stories.
MIBELLAROSA has been featured in The Knot Magazine, Brides of Houston Magazine, Modern Luxury Weddings Magazine, and numerous online publications including Martha Weddings, Style Me Pretty, Ruffled, Green Wedding Shoes, Popsugar, Magnolia Rouge, Junebug Weddings, Bridal Musings, JoyWed, and The Perfect Palette among others.
Phuong, Principal Designer + Founder, was born in Vietnam to a family of entrepreneurs, moved to Houston when she was three, and graduated from UT Austin. She’s the wife of a lucky nerd, the mother of a wild flower child and two stinky poodle-mutt rescues. She’s a world traveler, dreamer, designer by practice, and artist at heart. After beginning her career as an event planner in 2005 and a floral designer in 2007, Phuong decided it was time to give life to Mibellarosa in 2011 and it has thrived beautifully since.
Any insights you can share with us about how you built up your social media presence?
Be yourself. I talk about things I really feel and think and share glimpses into my life as a mom and business owner. It build genuine connection with my followers so that they don’t only see the “pretty”.
How’d you build such a strong reputation within your market?
I have stayed consistent with my standards whatever the scale of the project.
- Website: https://www.mibellarosa.com/
- Instagram: @mibellarosa
Dana Fernandez Photography Stephania Campos Photography