Abigail Daigle

OWNER - STEMS FLORAL DESIGN + EVENT STYLING

We are a full-service floral and design company, producing stylish events in an organic and organized way that makes the entire process easy and fun. Going on our 15th year, our team is a carefully curated group of designers who take on a limited number of events to ensure top quality and top customer service.

What inspired you to start your business?

I was literally born into the wedding and events industry, with a long line of florists, caterers, venue-operators, chefs, wedding planners, and designers in our family.  My childhood home was, and still is, a prominent wedding venue here in Austin.  Growing up at a venue meant I was surrounded by lavish parties all the time, and I absolutely loved watching the events unfold... to me, it was truly mesmerizing and exhilarating.  I grew up knowing with every fiber of my being that I would be in this field.  I learned floral design from my mother and event styling from my father - both of which became pillars of the Stems business model as I launched my own career.

What is something you would say to someone who is struggling in their first few years of business? Is there something you struggled with and learned from in those first few years?

Struggle is absolutely part of the process, and we have all been there - it also never leaves to a certain degree if you continue pushing boundaries.  What I have struggled with has evolved throughout the years, but in the early years I definitely did not charge what I was worth.  This resulted in 20-hour work days with very little to no profit in the beginning.  In the wedding industry, clients often feel like pricing is inflated and there is a common theme across all industries of clients wanting more for less - I learned the hard way that competing on price was a race to the bottom.  What got me through that, and every other challenge that has come up thereafter, was setting clear, measurable goals to take my business to the next level.  Every year I write down specific goals and set measurable steps to achieve them.  I cross them off as I go, and if something isn't working then I change it.  I keep myself accountable by charting results and tracking everything.  I attribute my success to dreaming big, setting crystal clear goals, and then not being afraid to jump in and do what it takes to achieve them.

What hobbies, causes, or activities are you passionate about aside from your work?

I am a simpleton outside of work - I love spending time with family, gardening, cuddling with my dogs, and designing and executing projects around the house fixer-upper-style.

Credit: Abby Daigle, www.stemfloral.com, @stemsofatx, Keely Thorne Events