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Hidden Gems: Meet Emma McClendon

Today we’d like to introduce you to Emma McClendon.

Hi Emma, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I’m Emma! Born and raised in sunny Southern California! I find myself in the heart of San Diego beaches and in beautiful parks most of the time. I started my photography journey in 2014, a lot of people say to live in the moment but I try to document all of my experiences through photos so I can look back at my moments. I recently discovered my love for florals which has blossomed into a beautiful business for me. The Bloom Room and Photos by Emma are my passion. In these businesses, there is no “rule book”; you can think outside of the box, expand your creativity and do things that no one else has done. I enjoy both; I’m very thankful that I’m able to do something that I love and have fun at the same time! When I’m not working, I’m usually with my family; I have an 8-year-old brother, we love to swim and watch movies, he’s also my favorite person ever!

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I think any business has struggles. I personally struggle with time; I am very busy most of the time and find myself working long hours, weekends, sometimes missing family events. I’m getting a lot better at planning my schedule around special events or vacations with my family. Being self-employed is a challenge of itself. It’s definitely stressful, as any job can be but I think there’s a lot of pressure when you are your biggest critic. I try not to be hard on myself; every event is a new learning experience and another one under my belt. It gives me a sense of self-appreciation to know I created something that someone will remember forever and look back on for years to come. There will always be bad days, there will always be good ones too and those are the ones you will remember and be proud of. I always tell myself, “YOU DID THAT!”, It’s a whole other feeling to create something yourself and to be proud of it.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I specialize in wedding and lifestyle photography as well as floral design. I feel they go hand in hand because I get to photograph my own creations. My photography style is more candid; I love the in-between moments, the details that no one really think’s of.

I’m most proud of what I’ve accomplished thus far, I’m typically really hard on myself but when I take a step back, I can see how many beautiful things I’ve created and how many people’s special moments I’ve documented. I can create florals for any occasion and I also offer home arrangements. I use fresh and dried florals, which makes me stand out from others. For my photography, I can capture anything but weddings, couples, and maternity are some of my favorites!

Is there something surprising that you feel even people who know you might not know about?
I think some people may not realize that I’m a one-woman show! I create everything myself, product, my branding and even social media. I will eventually expand when the time comes. There is one other thing, although these are my priority businesses, it’s not the reason I became a business owner. I own a small car dealership! I have bought and sold cars for years and still do; it’s just not my main focus. It surprises many people that I’m able to do all of these things and still have time to go to college and spend time with my family.

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