We had the good fortune of connecting with Aileen Casillas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Aileen, what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
When looking back on the path that led me to where I am, I’d have to say the most important lesson I’ve learned is to not count yourself out. When I started in the floral industry I worked as a shop assistant to assistant designer. Most times I was in sink or swim situations! The end goal was always to have my own flower shop. As life happens, there was a career path diversion when I became a Firefighter/EMT. I never thought that path would lead me back to flowers, let alone my own shop.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
It is my belief that what sets me apart from others is my openness towards the consumer’s needs. Actively listening to those needs, to what they are trying to accomplish-explaining how we can get that done realistically, or offering alternatives. The path that led me to where I am today professionally certainly was not easy and I faced a lot of challenges in the process. Overcoming each challenge was accomplished by approaching it as though it was a puzzle to solve. Looking at it from different angles and options, fleshing out what the results could be if I solved it by this action or that action. I took them piece by piece and didn’t rush. Prioritizing definitely plays a role in overcoming challenges.
The lesson I’ve learned along the way is simple: “can’t” doesn’t serve you in accomplishing anything.
Our main purpose as a florist is to turn people towards flowers, not away from them. Flowers can be a part of their life in every day ways not just momentous occasions. From a simple bud vase on the nightstand to a statement piece in the entry way to gifting a small posy when meeting a friend.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There are so many wonderful places that are a must in this area. I love road trips so taking a drive from Prescott to Sedona is a favorite. Traveling through backroads and such is definite eye candy. Of course there are fantastic stops along the way. One such place is my friend Amber Godina’s Violette’s Bakery in Clarkdale… it’s in a caboose! Her pastries are just divine. Another wonderful stop is at my pal Traci Zitzer’s Modern Day Forager & Mercantile in Prescott with their delicious grab and go offerings of soups, sandwiches, quiches and more! I love history, film, and architecture so of course stops in Prescott at the Sharlot Hall Museum or Elks Theatre and in Jerome at the Douglas Mansion are a must.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Shoutout to my parents for standing by me through it all and believing in me on this flower adventure! Another shoutout to my “flower godmothers” whom are my prior flower shop bosses that saw fit to mentor me throughout my time with them and during the process of opening my own shop. In particular, Darlene Nelson, who provided gobs of wisdom, tips, and tremendous support in that first year of business.
Headshot with flowers by Sarah Seisinger Photography