We had the good fortune of connecting with Brenda Orozco-Rojel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brenda, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
I have had to ask myself this very question at different moments in my life. Through trial and error, I’ve realized that to live a truly happy and successful life, it is important to know when to keep pursuing something and when to move on or (give up). There isn’t one correct answer, because everyone is a bit different. We all have different thresholds for pain, suffering, and challenges. There are those that feel the need to quit after they experience their first failure. And then there are stubborn people like myself, that refuse to give up after suffering repeated failures.
Personally, I have found it is important to be honest with myself and ask; “have I truly put sufficient effort into making this work?”
If the answer is no, it means it’s time to do so. I evaluate my options. I make a step-by-step plan, then I invest all my time and energy into putting that plan into action. I never want to look back with regret and think, “if only I had tried harder”
Now, if the answer is yes, if I feel I’ve given it my all, and I’m positive there isn’t anything left to do in order to make the situation better, I can be satisfied knowing that. Failing isn’t always a bad thing. It means now I have an opportunity to move on and focus on my next endeavor. Giving up on something, doesn’t mean I have to give up on everything. There will always be more challenges to be conquered, and many more aspirations to reach.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I started Florals & Film officially in October of 2016, a one-stop shop for beautifully designed florals, and timeless photography. I’m fortunate that I figured out what I wanted to do with my life early on and that I had so much loving support; but the journey after that, definitely wasn’t easy. A few months later, my fiancé passed away in 2017 after a long battle with cancer. Those next few years were really difficult for me and I thought about giving up a lot. The losses didn’t seem to stop for a while; but my faith, my family, and Florals & Film saved my life. When I felt at my lowest, I’d pick up my camera to capture beautiful love stories and found real peace designing for hours at a time. Doing this helped me heal, and it gave my life purpose again after losing so much. I realized how true it is when they say life is fleeting and fragile. The loss taught me how to appreciate those around me more intensely; it turned me into the creative I am today. I understand first hand how important it is to have memories of your loved ones captured intentionally. I care how my images and designs will have a genuine impact in the lives of my clients for years to come. I’m passionate about what I do and that reflects onto my work. When you hire me as your floral artist or photographer, you get my empathy, my authentic interest in you, your loved ones & your story.
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.
Ah, there’s so many! I love road trips. So if my best friend was visiting, there would have to be a scenic drive up north, with awesome music and snacks. We would hike & explore places like Watson Lake in Prescott, the majestic Red Rocks in Sedona, the Grand Canyon in Flagstaff, Horseshoe bend and Antelope Canyon in Page. Now, if we are talking about local outings, it would definitely involve lots of food, coffee and sightseeing in Phoenix. Lola Coffee has awesome lattes, pastries and the most delicious Tortilla Espanola. You can take one of the most peaceful walks ever at Japanese Friendship Garden. Drinks and lunch at the Wren House Brewing Company is a must.
You can see the most beautiful sunset fall upon the city, from Dobbins Lookout at South Mountain. Another cool place to watch the sunset is Tempe Town Lake, the bridge lights reflecting onto the water is one of the best sights. You can also rent scooters, paddle boats or kayak there. One of my favorite places has always been The Duce, its a fun place with games, music, dancing, cocktails, the best mac & cheese muffins and caramel apple pie jar for dessert. These are just some off the top of my head, Arizona is such a beautiful place with so much to do!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My family is truly the best support system there is. I’m fortunate that they’ve always encouraged my photography & design. They allowed me to be myself and didn’t dim my creativity. My older sister saw how much I loved taking photos from such a young age, so she gave me her camera when I was 8 years old. It was a Canon Sure Shot 35mm point & shoot film camera. I still have it. For me, it’s the first tangible proof that someone believed in me so much they were willing to give me something that was so special to them. The love for photography only grew from there; everywhere I went, my film camera was with me too. I used to take pictures of friends at school, field trips, family outings, and I would even dress up and take self-portraits too.
Fast forward to 2010, and with the support of my parents, I enrolled at Metro Tech when I was 15. I moved to this vocational high school where I didn’t know anyone, just so that I could be in the two-year photography program the following years. Unfortunately, the program was cut. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement, but I decided to stay anyway and I took advantage of the Floral Design & Business Marketing program. The school was about 45 minutes from my house (longer with traffic) but my family took turns driving me and picking me up just so I could attend.
Once I graduated, I combined the art of floral design with photography. I realized I wanted to create beautiful intricate floral pieces for others, and to document authentic love & people. My family was fully behind this unconventional fusion of mine. To this day, they’ll stay up all night helping me clean flowers, so I can finish designing in time for weddings the next day. They always help me set up at events, and they assist & work hard along side me as I photograph full wedding days as well. I definitely wouldn’t be where I am without their love and support.