Makini Regal Brereton had gotten her dream job when she realized she’d rather be in business for herself. After getting a love of flowers and nature from both grandmothers and working with a floral design company, she realized she wanted to own a floral design company. She’s now one of the hottest floral designers in New York with her work recently featured on VH1 and Bravo. See her strategy to growing your business from seed to success.
Name: Makini Regal Brereton
Title: Owner and Lead Designer, Makini Regal Designs
Location: New York City
The Gig: As a floral and event designer, I am responsible for selecting all of the visual elements that make a wedding or event beautiful, whether its flowers, linen, furniture or lighting. I also do interior projects. One of the best things about my job is that I get to play such important role in the happiest days of people’s lives. One of the other amazing things about my job is being around so many beautiful things, especially flowers. Being surrounded by thousands of gorgeous blooms is a divine experience.
The Journey: Both my grandmothers are avid gardeners and flower enthusiasts, so I always appreciated the beauty of flowers and nature. After completing graduate school at Columbia University and landing what I thought was my dream job, I realized I wanted to be in business for myself. After writing a few different business plans, I asked myself, what was I good at? I enrolled in a course with a floral and event design company and loved it! So, I took a leap of faith, left my job and started Makini Regal Designs. Once I launched my website and created a social media presence, I began receiving inquiries and was officially in business.
Being A Black Woman Florist: It is wonderful being a Black woman floral, event and interior designer! Entrepreneurship isn’t for the faint of heart but Black women are intuitive, resilient and tenacious and make phenomenal business owners. My race and sex are assets to my professional career not barriers.
Her Best Tip: Unfortunately, in our communities, entrepreneurship isn’t something that’s always instilled in us at an early age. Push through those fears and doubts that are preventing you from making that leap to start your own business. On the other side of fear and doubt, is a place of peace and happiness. It’s worth everything in the world to get to that place. The sense of accomplishment that you will feel once you start your business surpasses every doubt and fear that you will ever have.
Her Biggest Lesson Learned: The mistake I learned from was under pricing and undervaluing my services. When I started my business, I allowed my desire to obtain clients overtake my need to profit. I was afraid to say no and accepted less payment for my services than I should have. I recovered from that mistake by researching pricing within my industry, as well as, reaching out to fellow designers. The information I obtained helped me to create pricing that was more reflective of my talent and hard work.
The Best Advice She’s Received: The smartest business advice I received was to not become complacent and to constantly search for better ways to serve my clients. Starting a business is one thing, but taking your business to the next level isn’t easy and it requires a lot of work, and diligence. It is imperative to find and create innovative ways to improve your services if you want to remain successful.
Her Biggest Career Accomplishment: My biggest career accomplishment has been successfully executing a live wedding special on VH1. As the floral designer for Yandy Smith’s wedding, I was responsible for creating a high-impact design plan that would not only satisfy the bride but that would also read well on camera. Having the opportunity to showcase my designs to such a large audience was a milestone in my career. I also designed the flowers for Demetria Lucas D’Oyley’s wedding, which aired on Bravo’s “Blood Sweat and Heels.”
Her Stress Relievers: When I’m not designing, I spend my time traveling and gathering inspiration. Whether I’m exploring the Tropics or the Motherland, I find travel to be relaxing and a great way to relieve stress.
Her Tech-Must Haves: I love Instagram to engage and Statigram, which provides statistics on your posts and followers. Having that information better helps me to tailor my images for my audience.
Her Beauty Bag: I am a product junky. Some of my staples include 100% pure aloe for my face, honey-based lip balm and Jamaican black castor oil for my hair. I also can’t live without my Makeup Forever concealer and my Mac Ruby Woo lipstick!
Her Boss Accessory: I live for a large pocketbook or tote. My Louis Vuitton Trevi GM is my favorite.
Her Work-Life Juggle: One tip that works for me for juggling my personal and professional life is to build a strong work team. Having a strong team affords me the necessary down time I need. And no matter how much my business grows, I’ve made a promise to myself to prioritize my health and well being by always making time for relaxation and re-energizing.
Her Theme Song: “Like Ah Boss” by Machel Montano.