TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — It is said that a flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of them all. For Jesica Martinez, blooming wasn’t just a process, it’s part of her lifestyle.
Alabama native Jesica Martinez moved to Tallahassee in 1985 and has been making her mark on the Capital City ever since.
Martinez is the owner of Blossoms Flowers which has served the community since it’s opening in 1992.
A love for flowers that started as childhood hobby has turned into a business that’s become a staple in the Tallahassee community for over 25 years.
Martinez says the purpose of Blossoms is to provide the best customer service and to serve residents with the highest quality of flowers.
For the small business owner, her service doesn’t stop at the shop. Blossoms supports and donates to several organizations including Children’s Home Society and March of Dimes.
“We’ve participated in Make Someone Smile Week and delivered flowers to nursing homes,” Martinez said.
She says being a good community partner has helped her and Blossoms survive the most difficult times.
“When the economy crashed about 10 years ago, I didn’t think we would make it,” said Martinez. But with Blossoms being such a family-oriented small business that is rooted in love and support, customers remained loyal and Martinez and her employees were able to survive the wave of adversity.
According to Martinez, adversity is something all small business owners face and that’s why it’s important to have a plan.
“My advice to anyone who’s trying to open a business is to make sure you first sit down and write up a plan,” Martinez explained. “You have to plan ahead for the road blocks and plan ahead to get through any hurdles.”
But even with a strong business plan, sometimes life can intervene and force you to take a difficult course.
Since she was a child, Martinez knew that she was different. One day she took ownership of her differences and chose to live a life of transparency.
In 1989, Martinez transitioned to a woman and now she walks in her truth everyday as a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community.
Martinez acknowledges that “people may come to our business just to show their support for humanity, but because Blossoms serves customers with the best we have to offer, it makes them want to come back again.”
She says her uniqueness has even taken her creativity to another level in the floral business.
Martinez says fearlessly transitioning was just a small piece of who she is.
“I am a transsexual. That doesn’t define me as far as who I am, but it is a part of who I am,” said Martinez.
While, the longtime florist has received support for living in her truth she has also encountered hate.
“There are haters out there that just don’t want to see you succeed for whatever reason,” said Martinez. “I’ve had people that have tried to bring me down, but I just consider that as a part of life.”
Despite the haters, the entrepreneur relies on one thing to keep her going and that is staying true to herself.
“If you stay true to yourself you will make it no matter what,” the Blossoms owner said.
Martinez says her goal is not only to inspire others, but to sow seeds into their lives as well.
“Jesica operates from a place of welcome and acceptance and always tries to do right by employees and customers,” said Sarah Goodwin, an employee at Blossoms. “She has a great way of hearing people and getting them to hear her as well.”
Employees say they admire Martinez’s big heart and warm spirit that she displays not only towards them but toward their families as well.
Charly Andrews, another employee, said that in the past 15 years she has been working at the shop, Martinez has always been a support system for her and her family.
“She’s always a big help and allows me to bring my kids here and even my pets, “Andrews explained.
Over the years, because of Martinez’s open-door policy, Blossoms has earned several awards and honors from the community and floral industry. Most recently, Blossoms was honored at the Equality Florida Gala this year, being recognized as the most LGBTQ+ welcoming business in town.
“The local community has supported me so much, “said Martinez. “There’s enough great people out there that saw me as the underdog and wanted to support me. They realized that this is a regular human being and we want to support her and her life.”
Though awards and gratification are nice, Martinez says she stays humble, simply because living in transparency, sowing seeds into lives and serving Tallahassee is what is important to her.
Staying local is such a priority that the Blossoms owner says she has no plans of expanding outside of Tallahassee.
“In a small business you have to be present for it to be successful,” said Martinez. “It’s vital for small business owners to stick to the basics, staying current and educated about the market you’re in and all the products.”
Furthermore, this 54-year-old small business owner isn’t worried about slowing down anytime soon.
“Flowers aren’t just a trend, they have an emotional impact on everyone and they’ll always be around,” Martinez said.
Just like a seed that eventually blossoms into a beautiful flower, Martinez is continuing to blossom and through her love, service, and acceptance for all she is planting seeds around the Capital City, so others can bloom.
As for the future, Blossoms is in the beginning stages of trying to create their own flower farm, so they can start growing their flowers locally.
For more information about Blossoms Flowers and their products, visit Blossomsflowers.com.
Behind the Business is a new digital-only series by WTXL's Nichelle Cobb that aims to spotlight the behind-the-scenes aspect of small businesses in the WTXL viewing area. Our community is home to a variety of small business owners with unique stories to share about both the struggles and joys of owning their budding businesses.
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