Today we’d like to introduce you to Valen Ibarra.
Valen, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I come from a long line of strong botanical women, my mother and grandmother are horticulturists. At a young age, they taught me herbalism and botany. Five years ago, I started my floral journey. I walked into a local shop and begged the owner to hire me. I started at the very bottom, working customer service and cleaning floors the shops to prove myself. I also had an apprenticeship which transcended me. Last year, I decided to take the leap and start my own business, Blumenhaus. Blumenhaus is a house of flowers in German. My family is German and Irish. I’m a second generation American. Paying homage to my family was extremely important to me. A solid support system is key, my husband has helped me tremendously by always motivating me and picking me up on those bad days. He’s definitely the reason I’m able to do what I do, he also assists me; he can make a gorgeous boutonnière. Blumenhaus is something I’ve daydreamed about for years, I can’t believe I’m living it. I gear my company more toward floral art. I’m devoted to the flower aesthetic, from flower bras (yes, that’s a thing) to weddings, photo shoots, flower crowns, arrangements; the sky is the limit! I love pushing myself creatively and competing with the person I was yesterday. I’m always open to new collaborations and to travel. I live life in full bloom or Blume whichever.
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?
I think every road to success has bumps. If success was easily obtained, then everyone would be driving a Bentley. I wish I would have started floral design sooner, like when I was 19 or 20. I definitely learned the hard way not to trust too many people and not everyone wants to see you succeed. Sometimes, having a big heart makes you a target. Also, when people tell you-you’re good at what you do, believe them, don’t water yourself down. Believe in yourself no matter what. You’ve got this!
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Blumenhaus – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
Working with flowers never gets old. There are so many varieties and combinations, the possibilities are endless. I love fusing fashion and flowers together. I recently made a flower bra with fresh red roses which I definitely fell in love with. I’m also very obsessed and proud of a halo flower crown I designed inspired by renaissance and Catholic art. I specialize in everything if it concerns flowers. Flowers are definitely my aesthetic. I’m a flower addict.
There’s a wealth of academic research that suggests that a lack of mentors and networking opportunities for women has materially affected the number of women in leadership roles. Smart organizations and industry leaders are working to change this, but in the meantime, do you have any advice for finding a mentor and building a network?
I found my mentor by networking and just being myself. She changed my life and taught me so much. I still can rely on her for help when need be. Don’t be afraid to just ask, the worst thing someone can say is no. There are a lot of people who are just willing to help and help other people succeed.
- Website: Blumenhausaesthetic.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: Blumenhausdenver
- Facebook: Blumenhaus Denver
Noah Berg photography