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Meet Jennifer Bleakley and Jesse Zmuda of Huntress Florals in Mission Hills

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jennifer Bleakley and Jesse Zmuda.

Jennifer and Jesse, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.

Both of us are from different cities in Pennsylvania and landed separately in San Diego. Jennifer has a background in event management and Jesse owns a restaurant on the east coast. A few years ago, we were each going through transitions in our lives and met at a local floral design class. We quickly became friends, discovered we had a similar design aesthetic and worked well together, so we eventually decided to partner up and launched Huntress Florals in December 2015. We began designing florals for weddings and events from a studio space in North Park and branched out and opened a small retail space in Mission Hills earlier this year.

We’re both so happy to have found something we love to do everyday and are grateful for all the local support Huntress has received along the way!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Surprisingly, it’s been a very seamless road since Huntress Florals originated, which helped us validate that we were on the right path. It’s truly amazing how effortlessly opportunities seem to arise once you are true to your values and doing what makes you genuinely happy. We’ve quickly been embraced by the community and are so thankful that our design style resonates with others and that our referral base has been building steadily. There are always the day-to-day struggles of owning and growing a business, but they’re worth it! The hardest part for us lately is declining projects that don’t align with our brand, finding balance in our personal lives, and staying creatively inspired. As Huntress grows, we’re also evaluating how we want to evolve while staying intentional and true to ourselves. We’re so proud to own Huntress Florals and feel fortunate to finally love what we do. Being surrounded by beautiful flowers every day doesn’t hurt either!

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Huntress Florals is a San Diego based floral design studio focused on weddings, corporate events, parties, and weekly/recurring accounts for businesses and individuals. With the addition of our retail shop this year, we are now able to offer daily arrangements as well. Our store stocks ready-made hand tied bouquets to quickly pickup for our clients that are in a hurry or we can design a custom piece with the seasonal product that we have on hand. We also welcome orders for vased arrangements and special-order flowers. In addition to fresh flowers, we carry succulents, plants, and other hostess-style gifts such as candles, vintage pieces and more!

We’ve organically developed a style that is uniquely ours and describe it as having a bit of an edge, always incorporating some unexpected blooms or textural elements that make our designs stand out from typical flower arrangements. We pride ourselves on using high quality product and providing excellent customer service, we like to think we’ve managed to maintain our east coast work hustle, but with a west coast relaxed vibe!

It’s very important to us to get to know our clients and learn more about their love story or the occasion the flowers are being designed for. We prefer to infuse meaning and thought into our designs and hope that translates through to our client’s event and overall experience. At Huntress Florals, we’re aware of the connection that we all share and the role that flowers play within the story, from birth to death, they are significant and bring people joy or comfort depending on the situation. Flowers are living and perishable just like all of us in this life which speaks personally to our hearts and we’re humbled and grateful to share in these moments with others.

What were you like growing up?
Jennifer was always into the arts and creative ventures, definitely more shy and introverted and preferring quality over quantity. She’s still pretty much the same!

Jesse was super silly always hoping to make someone laugh. She was lucky to be raised in a family of creatives and never missed an opportunity to redecorate her bedroom.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Sam Arroyo, She Wanders, Willmus Weddings, Brooke Ziegler, Rad + In Love, Ribbon and Rhyme, Nick Radford

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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