Have you ever wondered what your perfect wedding would look like?
Perhaps it’s the fairytale of your dreams: think of wispy white blossoms dangling from the ceiling; opulent pinks and purples in soft bunches by the tables; an unforgettable, magical bouquet held tightly between your palms. Or perhaps it’s something a lot more grand: golden chandeliers and glittering lights, the lingering shadows of soft candlelight, and rosy clouds of petals in swirls above your heads.
For event stylists like Jacqueline Wong Pascual, it is these kinds of dreams that feed the soul of their life’s work. Pascual discovered her passion for flowers while she was working as a graphic designer in Hong Kong. It was during this time that she ultimately decided to move back to the Philippines to pursue her studies in floral design at the Institute of Philippine Floral Techniques (IPhFT). Later on, she also completed courses at the Hong Kong Academy of Flower Arrangement.
All of these efforts then came into fruition when Pascual established Jacqs Floral in 2011. The floral studio offers an assortment of services ranging from bridal bouquets, entourage wedding flower arrangements, and event design. Now at the age of 35, Pascual has built a name transforming important milestones into the bestest of memories.
“Jacqs Floral is not a machine that grinds events day in and day out. It’s a labor of love for weddings that stem from the belief in God’s intention for marriage. It’s a labor of love for events and the belief that there is a season for everything in heaven, including celebrating life’s milestones. Being a part of different people’s lives even for a short time brings me purpose and joy. I do believe this is my calling, and this is why I do what I do,” wrote Pascual on her website.
Giving a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes magic of floristry, Pascual shares with CHiNOY TV the drive behind her passion in floral design and her work as a Chinese-Filipino event stylist.
Jacqs Floral was established in 2011, but prior to that, you took up a degree in computer science at De La Salle University and worked as a graphic designer in Hong Kong. How did your interest in flowers come to be?
When I was younger, I used to spend a lot of time in my guama’s garden. She grew a lot of orchids and plants. We used to pick flowers and give them to my guakong. During my contractual work in Hong Kong, I rediscovered my love for flowers when a friend of mine asked me to help him pick flowers to send to a friend. After my contract ended, I went back to the Philippines and enrolled in the Institute of Philippine Floral Techniques. It is a one year extensive course on floristry. Afterwards, I also took three short courses in The HK Academy of Flower Arrangement.
What made you decide to start Jacqs Floral?
I really didn’t plan on making this a business at the start. It was just a hobby while looking for work. I just regularly post my works on social media until people start messaging me. It was Mother’s Day 2011 when I officially decided to take orders.
You’ve styled arrangements for several tinghuns and weddings. What does your work mean to you as a fellow Chinoy?
I think being a Chinoy supplier has some advantages because I myself experienced having our own tinghun and wedding. I know the traditions and the symbolism. It’s interesting to see how different families interpret or modernize these traditions.
What do you enjoy most in your work as a florist and event stylist?
I enjoy meeting a lot of people, working with different suppliers, and being a part of their milestones. I’ve had clients where I’ve done their birthday, tinghun, wedding, their child’s first birthday, and even all of their sibling’s events too. I feel like a part of their family already. After their events, I [even] feel some sort of separation anxiety!
What difficulties have you encountered when in this field of work?
The most difficult aspect of my work is handling people. Event styling is labor-intensive and time-consuming. Not a lot of people can handle the long hours, so I found it difficult to find the right people at the start. I had to do a lot of things myself too, at first. I had to find suppliers and make relationships with them. I also had difficulty looking for clients at the start. I was young, and I feel like people didn’t trust me right away.
Flowers are often used to express meaning. What are your favorite flowers, and what do you think best embodies you?
My favorite flowers are roses, peonies, and gypsophila (baby’s breath). But if I were a flower, I think I would be a peony. They start out small, but when they bloom, they’re magnificent in size and beauty. This is why I chose the peony as my logo.
With your own personal experiences, what advice would you have for young Chinoys who wish to follow a similar path?
My advice to young Chinoys who wish to follow a similar path is to have patience and endurance for long hours. It may look like a glamorous job; but in order to succeed, you have to be willing to get your hands dirty. Honestly, the industry is very welcoming. Fellow Chinoy event stylists and event suppliers are very helpful, so don’t be afraid to reach out, too.