My City Series | Jessica Farrell
No one knows a city better than its people. Consciously Connected Travel shares with you our global fam and friends through our My City Series. Unmasking some of the coolest places and it’s people and giving you a deeper more connected insight.
Jessica Farrell is the creator of Royal Bee, a unique, full service, floral design and event styling studio, catering to the unconventional client that wants to tell their story through floral art. This native Angeleno has a passion for flowers and compassion for helping others, which both developed at a young age. Now, she is more than happy to call herself a floral artist and Royal Bee is blooming just like her arrangements.
1. Born and Raised or Expat?
Born and raised in Los Angeles
2. What led you to choose your current profession? What steps did you take to get there?
After graduating with a degree in Cultural Anthropology from USC, I needed a break. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my degree, I had a part time job that paid the bills, so I wasn’t desperate. The more I thought about it the more I realized that storytelling was a lot like anthropology, it too taught compassion, through hearing a different perspective. It also had another component that called to the innate psychologist in me, in that stories create relation, and help people feel less alone in life’s craziness, which can inspire spiritual and emotional healing. …So what does any of this have to do with flowers??—While my life was happening I had hobbies, lots! Baking fancy French patisseries, scrapbooking and paper crafts, oil painting, and of course flower arranging. All of my other hobbies came into my life later, randomly. But I have had a love affair with flowers since I was a child. I have always loved all animals, including bugs. As a child I would watch, gently catch, and be captured by wonder and awe of their beauty. These little friends kept me in the garden, and because of which I was equally enamored by the intricacies, of the incredible flowers surrounding me. As I got older, I’d collect and fuss with the flowers, until they were just so, it was as if the flowers called to me, I always knew how to make them go together beautifully, it just came naturally.
3. On your Day-to-Day routine?
My days vary drastically, from up bright and early to head to the flower market to pick up flowers for the start of 3-4 day work week processing , conditioning, designing then delivering flowers for a wedding or event. To working in cozies on the couch on computer admin, having phone consultations with potential clients, creating proposals, designing recipes for future jobs, squeezing in client meetings and juggling errands between jobs. Always with a little time and there loving and playing with my cats and dogs.
4. What is your favourite brunch spot?
I love Poppy and Rose, the cafe attached to the flower market in DTLA. It’s not only delicious, but super convenient. And they are one of the few that have veggie biscuits and gravy!
5. When you have guests, where in town do you like to take them for dinner?
My fave place to take guests is Little Pine in SIlverlake. It’s a vegan spot that would trick even the biggest meat lover. It’s owned by Moby, so sightings of him as well as other stars are frequent. On top of that Moby donates 100% of profits to animal welfare groups.
6. How has your city grown and changed since you’ve known it? Which changes did you like best?
I’ve seen many parts of Los Angeles become gentrified over my lifetime. Along with sections shift from one culturally similar group to another with the influx of different immigrants due to world events. LA is so big it’s hard to pinpoint any change as good or bad. But at one time I lived in Echo Park, a now gentrified area. When I first moved there we had relatively high crime, with lots of gangs, grafitti, and nightly helicopters. As the neighborhood became gentrified and wealthy white youth pushed out the established latin community, the neighbourhood became more stable and a bit safer. On the flip side many poor people were removed from the homes they had lived in their whole lives, with nowhere to go. All societal changes come with good and bad sides.
7. What cool festivals, if any, happen in your city?
There are hundreds of festivals and public events in Los Angeles every year, naming them all would take days, but a few of the big ones include:
DineLA Restaurant Week
Chinese New Year/Golden Dragon Parade
Fiesta Broadway (largest cinco de mayo celebration worldwide)
Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire
& many others
8. Where do you go to escape? How does this space bring you peace?
I’ve been gifted to find work that I am passionate about. Floral designing for me is meditative. Not every job is relaxing, but when I need some me time, I buy some flowers and spend the afternoon creating something new, something that I want to create from the soul. This resets me and I feel connecred to myself, and the world around me. Followerd by a massage, flower designing is a back and foot killer!
9. What’s a local brand in your area that we must know about?
10. Where and when is your next adventure?
I just returned from a 10 day trip where I studied flowers with two world renowned floral designers in Amsterdam, with another adventure to Scotland to study under two other favourite designers in October.
11. Does Travel breed creativity?
Travel is life. As a Cultural Anthropology major, I am drawn to new cultures and experiences. Traveling opens up opportunities to see the world from a different light that expands the mind and creates compassion and empathy. Creativity comes from the soul, which thrives on compassion and empathy. Exposing oneself to new experiences and learning expands one’s cognitive abilities i.e. makes you smarter. This leads to new inspiration, fresh ideas growing ones creative abilities.
12. As for connecting the mind, body and soul, what do you do to promote self-love?
I literally smell the flowers all the time, seriously. I dedicate time and invest my bodily health with yoga and exercise, along with a monthly massage and mani-pedi.. I spend time with my boyfriend and always stop to love my critters. Having animals is some of the best therapy that exists. Sleep is also critical to my well being. I do my best to sleep 7-8 hours a night. On top of that I don’t let negative things others say or do, affect me. I hold dear a life tip that my mom taught me as a child… “If it’s not deserved, negative words or actions from another person is their problem, not yours and usually stems from jealousy.” This has been a great “rubber band” I bounce unnecessary drama off of. I also spend time connecting with past loved ones in my mind. Talking to them and asking them for guidance or help in a difficult situation always calms me.
13. Who is one famous figure throughout history that has particularly brought you inspiration?
I love Einstein, he had a creative and scientific mind, as well as a deep understanding of our connection to earth on a compassionate level. One of my favourite quotes from him is “Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatires and the whole of nature and it’s beauty.”
14. Are there any philanthropic programmes or projects that you’re passionate about or would like to shed some light on?
I donate to save The Honeybee Conservancy. There are so many great foundations out there, but bees go unnoticed more than other bigger groups. For that reason I feel the need to spotlight them. The planet as we know it needs bees, and they are dying at unprecedented rates.
15. Entrepreneurs, Tastemakers and Trailblazers, where do people like you hangout in your city?
The Wing, it’s a womens club and has become a leading spot for up and coming female movers and shakers of our community.
16. What is the importance of global connection to you?
Nowadays we can work all over the world, one of the great things about social media is networking with people all over the globe. If success in your industry is important to you, there are a few industries that don’t benefit from being renowned globally. It’s also exciting to collaborate with people from different cultures/countries, they can bring a fresh eye and new ideas to projects due to living in a completely different environment.
17. Give a shout-out to someone in your city that is doing groundbreaking things, and what is it that makes them a trailblazer?
I love Holly Gray and Anything But Gray Events. She’s a blooming wedding and event planner that is a leader and a proponent of equality and community over competition. Definitely a bright future for this one!
18. Advice for budding entrepreneurs?
So much. But the most important advice is there is no secret to success. Sucess requires tons of work, unless you’ve been gifted with a slew of wealthy clients. But if you are jumping into deep water somewhat alone, be sure what you’re doing is what you’re passionate about, because it will take almost all your time and energy for a long while. It’s such hard work that to love it, is crucial to your wellbeing, otherwise you’ll be burnt out in no time.
19. We’re living in a world where our attention to new innovation doesn’t seem to have longevity, how do you find your inspiration to make new waves with long-term prosperity?
Staying on top of trends through research, but having a timeless style to begin with, helps. Mostly though, creating multiple streams of income. In my case, launching different types of workshops for different clients, existing alongside the events that I do.
20. Please share a playlist that embodies your work. What about this particular music brings you inspiration?
My favourite music to design to would be classic soul. Artists such as Sam Cooke and Aretha Franklin. I feel that these artists have created timeless music that is mostly universal in appreciation, romantic, bright and fun, similar to my style of floral design.