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Ileana Jacobo: The art of flowers in Yucatán

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Veronica Garibayhttp://yucatanmagazine.com
Verónica Garibay Saldaña is a Mexican columnist, communications major, and poetry enthusiast. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.

Bringing life into a room or event can be tricky, but a beautiful bouquet will always spark conversation. 

In the world of flower arrangements, there are those who see flowers as more than mere decoration. Ileana Jacobo believes that flowers are a universal language of love.

Ileana Jacobo. Photo: Courtesy.

“People care about flowers because they convey so much. From a single flower to a big arrangement, they are always a lovely surprise.”

As a crafty and creative woman, she started her company Floral Studio 10 years ago.

Foliage in shelf.
Some of Ileana’s foliage in her current studio. Photo: Verónica Garibay.

“I’d been working since I was 19 in all kinds of different jobs, often managing my husband’s businesses, but I chose to venture off and start something of my own.”

Flower arrangement by Floral Studio. Photo: Courtesy.

In early 2011 she opened her flower boutique in Colonia Mexico, the first of its kind, where you could choose the flowers, foliage, and base you wanted for your bouquet.

“I think people enjoyed the creative freedom we afforded at our boutique, of mixing and matching their own flowers freely. But after two successful years I decided to close down the storefront,” remembers Ileana.

“My daughters were teenagers and I just didn’t have that time anymore. But we were already popular, and people started hiring us for events. I realized we did not need the storefront anymore.” 

Nowadays, events take up 90% of her time, and Ileana describes herself as a floral designer.

Floral workshop
Ileana’s current workshop. Photo: Verónica Garibay.

“Lately we’ve been busy doing lots of first communions and baptisms, but weddings are slowly coming back.”

Even though the storefront has been shut down, her core philosophy remains. 

Flowers for an event, by Floral Studio. Photo: Courtesy.

“Everything is personalized, made to order,” says Ileana. “We want every arrangement to be unique to each person. I love talking to customers, getting to hear their ideas, and creating something special together.”

Every design starts out with an idea informed by her personal taste, but is then transformed through input from her clients, and the flowers in season.

Ileana working on a flower arrangement. Photo: Courtesy.

“Most of the flowers that we use are brought in from states in central Mexico, where the weather is more temperate,” says Ileana. “We have four distributors who I visit weekly. Everything we work with comes fresh and new.”

Her arrangements are made up of several different kinds of flowers, foliage, even fruit, and whatever else she’s inspired by in her visits with suppliers.

Flower arrangement by Floral Studio. Photo: Courtesy.

“I’m a jack of all trades. I do the shopping, designing and also take care of deliveries,” shares Ileana. “But I also have a great team that I rely heavily on.”

She currently works with her daughter, Mariana, who manages her own brand of ready-made flower arrangements, and José Dzul, a local florist with over 20 years of experience.

Each has their own style, but all agree that flowers enhance any occasion.

“In my opinion, flowers have the ability to uplift any space. Be it a storehouse, a bedroom, a little niche. Any place you put a flower in is embellished. It means giving importance to the moment, you give it time, relevance, and investment so that people appreciate it. Flowers are for everyone to enjoy.”

Flowers for an event, by Floral Studio. Photo: Courtesy.

Ileana has confirmed firsthand that flowers are always a welcome accompaniment, regardless of age, gender or season.

“There’s no one specific market for flowers,” says Ileana. “Everyone enjoys them. I’ve never seen anyone unhappy after they receive a beautiful bouquet. A flower will always be a moving gift.”

Learn more about Ileana’s work on her social media.
Contact Ileana for more information on her work:

leanajacobofloral@gmail.com

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