Doing floral design is a true talent and art. And when you see Asako’s work, there is no question that she truly has found her calling.
What’s interesting about her story is that she was already doing work that others may think of as cool and different. She did not come from the corporate world but what I love is that she continued to dig deep and figure out what her purpose was.
She got in tune with what her values are and what talents she was given to find joy in her work.
Here is her story:
Tell me about what you do for work.
I own my own floral design business, a.Hana Design, which caters to weddings in the San Francisco area. My floral arrangement style is natural, warm and soothing. When I design I am trying to restore of the natural beauty of flowers. My motto is, “let the natural beauty come out”.
What type of work were you doing prior to what you are doing now?
I was previously a pastry chef at the San Francisco Fairmont Hotel and I had started this job right out of culinary school.
What kinds of frustrations did you have with your previous job?
The frustrations I faced with my previous job were lack of creativity, the physical demands (ie, carrying heavy pots and pans) and the general lack of personal attention. Many times we would need to feed hundreds of people, and in such a working atmosphere I would not get to interact with anyone on a personal level.
How did you come to discover this was what you were meant to do?
I have always loved flowers. I grew up in Hokkaido, Japan and nature was always a large influence in my life. I am always mindful of the life cycle of various flowers so that they will be beautiful when they most need to be. My Japanese roots have taught me that careful attention to detail is important. Now that I have been able to transform life’s lessons into a business, I know I am doing what I was meant to do.
What fears did you have to overcome to take the leap?
I dreamed of starting a.Hana Design for a long time but did not have the business mind to start the venture on my own. My husband, Daniel, gave me the encouragement and support to organize my dreams into a full-fledged business. His skills allow me to focus on designing.
My work has been photographed and captured on our website, www.ahanadesign.com, by Kelty Lubber from Steep Street. News and recent wedding photos are also captured on our blog, ahanadesign.blogspot.com, by Sarah Z. I am surrounded by supporters who understand my interests and encourage me to pursue my passion for floral design.
What do you love most about what you do?
Delivering the bridal bouquet and bridesmaids bouquets is the moment I love most about a wedding. I love to carefully wrap each bouquet and deliver it to a bride and her friends in person. The expression on an eager brides face is so captivating. Knowing instantly that I have given the bride the bouquet of her dreams is a really satisfying moment during each and every wedding.
If you were to give advice to people thinking about changing careers, what would it be?
Your have known for a long time what makes you smile, what catches your attention, what you love — pursue your passions and you will be happy.