Can you give us a small introduction to who you are and what you do?
I am the lead designer and creative director at Crossed Keys Estate & Crossed Keys Designs. I design the floral & decor for the weddings & work on the creative business aspects of CKE.
What does your professional history look like?
I have been working at CKE for 12 years. I started in marketing, then moved on to wedding planning, floral & event design, and business management. As a family business, I have done it all from bookkeeping to event management.
How did you get started doing what you do now?
I always had a creative background but learned floral design from professionals in the industry and various classes and took to it naturally.
Was there something in your childhood/growing-up that helped to guide you to your current path?
I was always into art, I began my college career majoring in art and wanted to go into the creative side of marketing post-college. Art was always my favorite class.
What’s the fuel behind your career?
Being able to create memorable and beautiful events for people. Seeing our clients smiling faces on their wedding day and being part of the whole special day.
What’s the big goal? What do you hope to achieve through your career?
The big goal is to always make my clients feel like they are part of the CK family. We hope to continue growing our business while always making it feel like a small family owned venue. I’d love to open a second venue for smaller event in the future.
What is something you always include in your finished products/services? Physically or emotionally.
We always go above and beyond. Even if the client never knows it, we always add extra floral touches here or there, a higher end bloom or some extra pretty candles. Anything I can do to give the client something they may have really wanted but was maybe out of budget.
Was there ever a time when you wanted to give up? Or maybe a tough obstacle you overcame in your career?
2020 was rough on everyone, but the sadness I saw our clients going through when their dream wedding just kept getting crushed – that was a tough one. Our industry of joy and love was sadly brought to a halt and it was hard to navigate that with our couples. This is such a day of emotions that it took an emotional toll on the client as well as the team members here. But it also fueled me to create options for our clients that would work for them and bring them back some of the joy they were originally feeling surrounding their day. That struggle continued well into 2021 as COVID still affected so many people and so many couples. We just worked hard every day to help in any way we could.
What are your favorite things to do to boost your creativity/motivation?
Taking a break in any capacity. Travel. Being alone. Reading a book. Watching a movie. Exposing myself to new places, ideas, and art forms can often bring about brand new ideas and designs in my mind.
What’s a day in your life like? What’s the daily routine?
Every day is different but most days consist of emails, phone calls, designing, planning, business strategy, problem solving, and getting my hands dirty in the floral room. Before and after work, I am home with my 3 little boys playing playdoh or digging in the dirt.
Are their places and people that help shape your business and you as a person?
My family shapes everything here. I work with my parents, brother and husband so we all have our input into the business. Outside of that, I really rely on my team to be the other side of my brain when I am pulled in a million directions. They are amazing. I have found many other wedding vendors to be a great source of inspiration and strength through the last few years of growth.
What are some books you’d recommend to the readers?
The How: NOTES ON THE GREAT WORK OF MEETING YOURSELF By Yrsa Daley-Ward. This one really fuels my soul, makes me think and take stock in what I am doing and how I am feeling. It’s a great one to keep by your bedside for a quick check-in and some spiritual fuel.
Who are some inspiring people you follow?
Other florists or flower farmers are my favorite to follow: Sweet Root Village, Very View Flower Art, Floret Farms, Native Poppy, so so many more
Do you have any big goals that you’re currently chasing after?
I’m honestly more focused on small goals. Every time my team and I have a new challenge before us, it means we are learning to do something new and that leads us to the bigger goals to come – making big installs, suspending flowers from the air and so much more
Any encouragement for a reader who may be at the beginning of their journey and growing discouraged?
Starting off is the hardest part. There is so much self doubt in the beginning. “Can I do it?” “How will I do it all?” “Will I make enough money to support myself?” And 100 other questions that can easily prevent you from just doing it. It’s important to at least have one person – a family member, friend, coworker, professional you respect – to bounce ideas off of and brainstorm with. If you don’t feel alone in it, it’s easier to pick yourself up when things feel really hard.
JESSICA RODRIGUEZ HANSELMAN
As the lead designer and creative director she is in charge of the design, florals, and decor for the weddings & work of CKE. When she isn’t working she is spending it at home with her husband and three boys.
A big thank you to Jessica for taking the time to do this interview with me. She is such a passionate and successful business owner that it can’t be helped if she is a huge inspiration to those starting out in the Wedding industry! You can find her on Instagram. Thanks for reading!