Today we’d like to introduce you to Sofia & Victoria Avila.
Sofia & Victoria, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
We started our company when we were so young! We were in college and in high school, respectively. We are proud to be a woman-owned, Hispanic, family-owned and operated company. Our mother and our uncle Tiburzcio are also part of the executive team. They are both extremely talented artists, and we are beyond blessed to get to learn from them and work alongside them every day.
Our business has evolved greatly over these last 15 years. We started as a floral design company, and for many years we specialized in wedding and event design. Then we began taking on corporate clients, mostly hotels. After a few years, our corporate clients started asking for plants and holiday decor. Before we knew it, plant design and holiday décor had become the main part of our business, so we began to phase out the floral design portion of our services.
When the pandemic hit and all events were cancelled, we needed to pivot quickly. It gave us the final push to make the full transition to plant care and holiday décor services only, so we said goodbye to our floral & event design days. Today, we do only corporate plant design, plant care, holiday décor, and custom fabrication of select decorative items.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Not smooth at all! There have been so many challenges every step of the way – from our early days when people thought we were too young; to the day-to-day unexpected changes of plans. You learn to adapt and be flexible, there is no other way. However, although nothing challenges you like running a business, it is also true that nothing is more rewarding.
As you know, we’re big fans of Mandarin Design Lab. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
Beyond providing a product or a service, we become true partners and problem-solvers for our clients. We don’t just offer product “A”, “B”, and “C”; we specialize in customizing design solutions for each unique space and aesthetic.
Can you talk to us about how you think about risk?
To us, being a risk-taker is inherently embedded in the definition of being an entrepreneur. It is this constant stepping out of your comfort zone that propels you forward, because in many instances, you don’t have a choice if you want to grow. You take risks big and small on a daily basis – whether it’s cold-calling a prospective client; or suggesting an idea that’s outside the box; or trying new ways of doing things.
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Cover photo: VSGFX, Inc. All other photos: Alejandro Silveyra