Side Hustle to Main Hustle: Petite Floral Creations

The Cubicle Life had the pleasure to sit down and talk with Hagar Duel, Owner of Petite Floral Creations. While she enjoys her corporate career, her side hustle as a designer florist provides a therapeutic outlet to create beautiful arrangements. Learn more about how she got started and how she balances her side hustle and her main hustle. 

Hagar Duel, Owner, Petite Floral Creations

Describe your business
I specialize in impressionable and whimsical floral arrangements for all types of events and occasions servicing Greater Chicago and surrounding suburbs. I like to position my business for the gift-givers, those that admire home decorating, entertainers, and lifestyle enthusiasts.

How did you get started?
I began designing flowers arrangements for small family gatherings, meetings, and dinner parties about four years ago. As I began to teach myself on various techniques used by expert and seasoned florists on YouTube and other media outlets, I realized that I had opportunity to provide beautiful creations on a larger scale.

Where were you working before starting your business?
Although I enjoy working with Mother Nature’s most beautiful accessories, flowers, I still enjoy working my current as a Talent Acquisition Specialist for a Media and Technology giant. I never envision leaving one career for the other.

Floral arranging has gifted me and other with emotional relief. These benefits include overall attitude, stress levels, self-esteem, and happiness. This therapeutic angle was exactly “the why” for creating flowers for myself and others. The floral craft is an outlet that allows for me to decompress and exercise my creative right freely and without any stress. My day to day corporate job gives me the ability to impact the overall organization and the business partners I work with closely.

What impact has your business made for others or your clients?
I believe that my business has allowed for access- Access to beautiful creations that otherwise would be opted out of due to location, price point, personal appeal. Arrangements shouldn’t be a frivolous luxury. Of course there are hundreds who are in the FloralCulture $7 Billion industry, but aside from its lucrative opportunities- flowers have healing and beautifying power which my belief, everyone is deserving of accessing arrangements – not just those who have the resources to pay the excessively high amount which is catered to more affluent clients. My business attracts a wide range of clientele which I pride myself on.

Floral design has provided a therapeutic outlet for me – very low stress. I am able to share my work with others, balance an HR career, and most important still remain present in the lives of my husband, three children, and family.

What effect has it had upon your life?
Floral design has provided a therapeutic outlet for me – very low stress. I am able to share my work with others, balance an HR career, and most important still remain present in the lives of my husband, three children, and family. I feel incredibly grateful and blessed to be gifted this talent in such a short amount of time.

I market my floral arrangements on Instagram and Facebook — which provide and experience to capture the attention of all generations imaginative creativity.

How do you balance your business with a full-time job?
Although the demands of family, work, and now this new business venture can be at most times unpredictable and challenging I find myself driven by this and ensuring that time management and organization with schedules and requests are all within view.  

My career in Talent Acquisition requires forward thinking and planning and those competencies that I’ve learned to perfect over time and error has provided me confidence that I can also stretch myself and tap into a hobby and passion and turn it into a profitable business. Most of the events and orders are within the evening and weekends which is perfect.

Taking on one email and conference call at a time during the work week and work hours is a safe pace for me and the excitement of the creations I’ll pull together for the weekend keeps both responsibilities mix dedicated attention.

Did anyone help you develop your business or was an influence to you? If so, what role did they play?
My husband is my biggest supporter. As a professional and seasoned salesman he’s assisted me with business plans/contracts. My twin sister provided a marketability point of view- assisting with marketing material content for Social media pages, workshops, etc.

What do you love about being an entrepreneur and what are some of the challenges?
I enjoy being in control of my own capacity. I can turn on and off at any time. I operate business out of my home and depending on the scale of job, I yield the assistance of family to pull together beautiful pieces. Otherwise, I am the only designer. This flexibility is also an advantage and as I am able to sell at a wide range price point.

What advice would you give to inspiring entrepreneurs? Especially ones who are still working, but want to start a business?
I’m still a little new at this as I’ve been official for about 11 months now, but nonetheless, seek and trust advice from the wise (those who have skin in the game and are established in the business), do your research even it means dedicating 3-6 hours per day, and trust your gut instinct on big decisions. Inspiration comes from those from within your industry as well as what will make life’s day to day operations much easier or beautiful.

What do you do when you’re not working on your business?
When I’m not working on my business or at work, I’m spending time with my very active little familia– I truly enjoy those treasured moments and are never to be taken for granted.

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