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Conversations with Maria Saradpon and Tisha Tumangan

Today we’d like to introduce you to Maria Saradpon and Tisha Tumangan of Our Lady’s Roses Floral Designs.

Hi Maria and Tisha, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
Hi! Yes, happy to! Tisha has worked in the San Diego floral industry since 1996 but even before that, has always loved flowers and getting to exercise her creativity. She started as a flower shop sales girl and mentors quickly showed her more and more until she started designing. To no surprise, she was really good! Tisha soon started designing flowers for special events for all her family and friends, and 25 years later the referrals never stopped coming her way. Eventually, she stopped working for flower shops and started working full-time in HR. This meant she couldn’t continue taking on as many flower gigs as she would have liked, as it was hard to beat the steady paycheck and the benefits working in the corporate world was able to provide. Then March of last year (as we all know), the world shut down and Tisha, like countless others, was furloughed. Although it was nice to take a break, Tisha realized that as her family’s sole provider, she needed to start generating income again.

Meanwhile, I (Maria) had been praying for a new job. I was working less than part-time as a vocal coach and a singer for Catholic church services which was spiritually and artistically fulfilling but wasn’t nearly enough to contribute to the household income for my family of 4. I stopped working a traditional “9 to 5” in 2014 when my first child was born with a life-threatening genetic blood disorder. From infancy, she has required blood transfusions every 3 weeks, various annual comprehensive exams, frequent ER visits and hospitalizations, and daily medication to manage iron overload. I am her primary medical caretaker and as you can imagine, managing it all is a full-time gig. Whatever job God was going to give me (if it was His will) needed to accommodate my daughter’s medical needs.

Then one day this May while hanging out with Tisha, we got to talking about the idea of running a flower business together, and decided to jump right into it! We are long-time friends, more like sisters actually. Tisha designed my wedding flowers and I’d helped her with several of our friends’ weddings over the years. I love flowers and I love Tisha, so it was agreeing to take this on was a no-brainer. I made a casual announcement on my personal Facebook page letting my friends and family know about our new business venture and from that post, the business has been non-stop!

The overwhelming support, getting to work from home, having flexible hours, and having Tisha to take full rein of the business during my daughter’s treatments has made me believe that God heard and answered my prayer. Tisha and I are both Catholic and knew we wanted to incorporate our faith, particularly our devotion to our Blessed Mother, into our business. We saw it as an opportunity to live out our primary Christian duty to share Christ’s love for the world. Inspired by the scripture verse 1 Corinthians 10:31, we want to glorify God in all we do and with every client interaction we make! In this spirit, we named ourselves Our Lady’s Roses Floral Designs.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
With the world quickly getting back into the swing of things, price surges and product shortages throughout practically any industry you can imagine have been insane. Can you guess where we’re going with this?

Yes, even a brand new, small business like ours has been affected. We order our flowers from a local wholesaler but those flowers are shipped in from all over the world- Holland, Thailand, South America, Hawaii and more. Most of our flower orders so far have gone smoothly, but there were a couple that kept us on our toes. For one of these instances, we were notified the day before pick-up that there was a shipping delay and flowers we ordered from Hawaii weren’t going to make it in time for our clients’ graduation ceremonies. For another order the shipment did arrive it in time, but half the flowers were damaged and unusable. Another industry challenge has been with supply. Growers were out a lot of money from anticipated sales for weddings and other events in 2020 that had to be canceled or postponed. On the opposite end, many growers were cautious with their resources as restrictions were lifted and didn’t plant as much so as not to lose as much- causing another imbalance with supply and demand. So far all of these obstacles have worked out for us in the end, thanks be to God and to our wholesale sales rep!

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
We make beautiful fresh flower arrangements with love and attention to detail, bringing to life the individual visions that all our clients have for their special life moments. We love bringing together colors and textures that are beautiful on their own, but become absolutely breathtaking when arranged in just the right way. We specialize in elegant, romantic, classic, and rustic weddings- personal flowers such as bridal and bridesmaid bouquets, groom and groomsman boutonnieres, floral crowns and flower baskets for flower girls, as well as grand and majestic or sweet and simple ceremony and reception pieces. We create heartfelt funeral arrangements, unique corsages and boutonnieres for high school dances, lush and vibrant orchid graduation leis, customized birthday or anniversary bouquets or vase arrangements and stunning holiday arrangements. We are known for our attention to detail and our value. Every arrangement, no matter how small, requires a lot of our time and constant fixing until it’s perfect. We are blessed to work from home! Without the overhead of renting a shop space, we are able to provide competitive prices and get our clients the most bang for their buck.

Tisha and I are most proud of our happy brides and client testimonials. Of course, we hate to see a bride cry right after getting her make-up done, but it makes us feel so good to see their tears of excitement and joy after seeing their bouquets for the first time! We’d like to share a testimonial from a bride we recently had the pleasure of working with: “Thank you for all the beautiful flowers. They blew my mind on each arrangement you did. They made my wedding so elegant. However, when I saw my bouquet I did cry. It was the most beautiful bouquet I had ever seen. You truly have a gift and I’m thankful I got the opportunity to have you do my flowers. My son even said the flowers were so pretty and took an arrangement to his room! Thank you Tisha!” – Liz, May 2021 OLR bride.

We like to think that there is a lot that sets us apart from others! Aside from our unparalleled value and attention to detail, we conduct a thorough consultation and provide a comprehensive quote for every inquiring bride, free of charge. These consultations can be in-person or over Zoom. We incorporate a Miraculous Metal into most of our pieces for Catholic clients (and anyone else who wants one!) and we pray for our clients as we design for them- offering rosaries for the repose of the souls while designing funeral arrangements, and praying for God’s grace and blessings for the newlyweds while designing for weddings. Most Catholic wedding ceremonies include offering a bouquet to our Blessed Mother while praying for her guidance and intercession. This bouquet is always free for brides who book with us. If they don’t need one, we offer a complementary arrangement to be used for the bouquet toss or anniversary dance instead. We aren’t here to nickel and dime! We are happy to work with brides, offering creative solutions to stretch their floral budgets and complimentary services whenever we can.

Let’s talk about our city – what do you love? What do you not love?
We love the weather and the beaches, and best of all, we love the people. We love the diversity they bring and we love learning about different cultures, traditions, and faith practices. We love the food! San Diego has the best “hole in the wall” hidden gems inspired by different countries and regions of the US. We love the art San Diegans create- we love seeing murals and sculptures all over town, we love to listen to and support local musicians, we love our local dance scene and we love our local live theatre. We are constantly blown away by local artists, creators and makers and couldn’t be more proud to have them representing SD. San Diego is known as America’s Finest City, and to us, this is true because of the people that inhabit it.

What we like least… would have to be the cost of living. Darn that sunshine tax!

Contact Info:


Image Credits
Arroyo Photos
Brocoff Photography
Saradpon Photography

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