Why North Carolina – An Expose

Why pack up and head to North Carolina - Introducing Jaclyn Gough

DID YOU KNOW that our state now ranks #3 in Migration to the state. People are moving to North Carolina from all over the United States. Some of the top states people are moving from are New York, New Jersey, Florida, California, Virginia, DC, and Maryland. Because there are so many transplants in the state, you’ll notice people eager to make friends and learn about each others culture and traditions. This migration has fueled North Carolina’s rapid growth making the state one of the top US states to move to and live. NC offers enjoyable weather year round with four distinctive seasons. You can travel to the mountains for a brisk visit or you can travel to the beaches for ample amounts of sunshine. You’ll find some of the top colleges in NC’s Triangle which is what brings many families here. The “Triangle” is known as one of the best places to live and work. The overall cost of living compared to other states is very competitive and one reason why the state is slowly becoming the place to either settle in and work or retire. What is so great about these facts is that this gives our association the opportunity and staples to become the leading florist association in the nation. Talented designers will want to move here to begin their new adventure and the opportunity to be amongst the state’s top talent is just a plus. Our first expose is a product of just that.

This will be our initial offering of a new feature on our website. A person or business expose. In this edition, we’ll be featuring one of our newest member additions to our association who has packed up all their belongings and made the move to our great state. Welcome Jaclyn Gough and we’d like to thank her for providing us with her story.

If you’d like to be featured in our new expose section, use the CONTACT form to send us your request with a brief description and we’ll read it over and try to add you to our future editions.

Why pack up and head to North Carolina - Introducing Jaclyn Gough

DID YOU KNOW that our state now ranks #3 in Migration to the state. People are moving to North Carolina from all over the United States. Some of the top states people are moving from are New York, New Jersey, Florida, California, Virginia, DC, and Maryland. Because there are so many transplants in the state, you’ll notice people eager to make friends and learn about each others culture and traditions. This migration has fueled North Carolina’s rapid growth making the state one of the top US states to move to and live. NC offers enjoyable weather year round with four distinctive seasons. You can travel to the mountains for a brisk visit or you can travel to the beaches for ample amounts of sunshine. You’ll find some of the top colleges in NC’s Triangle which is what brings many families here. The “Triangle” is known as one of the best places to live and work. The overall cost of living compared to other states is very competitive and one reason why the state is slowly becoming the place to either settle in and work or retire. What is so great about these facts is that this gives our association the opportunity and staples to become the leading florist association in the nation. Talented designers will want to move here to begin their new adventure and the opportunity to be amongst the state’s top talent is just a plus. Our first expose is a product of just that.

This will be our initial offering of a new feature on our website. A person or business expose. In this edition, we’ll be featuring one of our newest member additions to our association who has packed up all their belongings and made the move to our great state. Welcome Jaclyn Gough and we’d like to thank her for providing us with her story.

If you’d like to be featured in our new expose section, use the CONTACT form to send us your request with a brief description and we’ll read it over and try to add you to our future editions.

What is a girl from Maryland doing in North Carolina? Please allow me to encapsulate my thoughts in a brief explanation to tell you why. The time is May 18th, 2017 and the post from Doug Odom in NC stated, “We’re Hiring”. I sent my resume and some links to my published floral work to Doug. I instantly received a call from Doug and we chatted about my future in North Carolina. At the end of May I visited Doug and Robert at the Purple Poppy Florist in Wake Forest. I knew immediately after walking into the design room that I wanted to work there and it was only a matter of when! Doug then says, “so when can you start?” And on Sept. 1, I became a full-time employee and will be glad to divulge more over wine and flowers at the next convention.

Below, I’m gonna give you a brief history of myself and why I decided to devote my future to floral design. I was born and raised in Maryland. I’m a fraternal triplet but we’re all completely different and no, we don’t have psychic powers or can we read each other’s minds. Growing up, I love nature, playing in the ocean and dirt and rolling down grassy hills with my shoes off. Let’s fast forward to high school when you’re in the beginning stages of figuring out what you want to do, how you’ll make a living while doing all things amazing in life. I wanted to study Art Illustration at the most expensive art college, Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and draw illustrations for children’s books. But with a 40k plus annual tuition, that dream was quickly shut down and I soon found out that I enjoyed drawing more as a hobby.

My New Boss Doug Odom

My interest for nursing was also shut down because I wasn’t as smart as other students who wanted to pursue nursing. I was too pre-occupied sketching in my notebook and trying to cope with the death of my father who passed away my senior year of high school. After high school graduation I was building a pond in my mom’s yard and she asked me what I thought about studying floral design in college. The job where you wear an apron and make wristlets up to your eye balls for high school proms and various dances. And run around with your head cut off for all major holidays especially Valentine’s day and Mother’s day. That’s what I thought because the only time I went into a flower shop was during school dances. It was never to just “smell the roses”. Boy, was I wrong about life in a flower shop. I ended up going to Dundalk Community College of Baltimore County. I graduated with an Associate degree in general studies (just in case that nursing interest came back around) and a Certificate in Floristry.

My first flower competition was in March of 2009.  Setting the bar high, I earned first place.  Throughout my studies, I cried a lot over imperfect funeral maches and throwing my knife because the orange gerbera daisies were not cooperating with the yellow rainbow foam.  Clearly the problem had nothing to do with myself and my incorrect stem placement.  Then I found out about AIFD, what it stood for and how to study to become an AIFD one day.  My teachers are AIFD and I still think highly of them and are sincerely grateful for all they taught me.  After working in a flower shop in Maryland, I wanted more so I moved to south Florida in 2011 to design weddings and events.  I also competed in more flower competitions earning top five and became a member of the Florida state florist association.  The benefits of being a member help one to take advantage of career resources, friendships that turn into family like bonds, workshops featuring key floral achievers and learning from like-minded individuals to become a stronger designer.

My interest for nursing was also shut down because I wasn’t as smart as other students who wanted to pursue nursing. I was too pre-occupied sketching in my notebook and trying to cope with the death of my father who passed away my senior year of high school. After high school graduation I was building a pond in my mom’s yard and she asked me what I thought about studying floral design in college. The job where you wear an apron and make wristlets up to your eye balls for high school proms and various dances. And run around with your head cut off for all major holidays especially Valentine’s day and Mother’s day. That’s what I thought because the only time I went into a flower shop was during school dances. It was never to just “smell the roses”. Boy, was I wrong about life in a flower shop. I ended up going to Dundalk Community College of Baltimore County. I graduated with an Associate degree in general studies (just in case that nursing interest came back around) and a Certificate in Floristry.

My New Boss - Doug Odom

My first flower competition was in March of 2009.  Setting the bar high, I earned first place.  Throughout my studies, I cried a lot over imperfect funeral maches and throwing my knife because the orange gerbera daisies were not cooperating with the yellow rainbow foam.  Clearly the problem had nothing to do with myself and my incorrect stem placement.  Then I found out about AIFD, what it stood for and how to study to become an AIFD one day.  My teachers are AIFD and I still think highly of them and are sincerely grateful for all they taught me.  After working in a flower shop in Maryland, I wanted more so I moved to south Florida in 2011 to design weddings and events.  I also competed in more flower competitions earning top five and became a member of the Florida state florist association.  The benefits of being a member help one to take advantage of career resources, friendships that turn into family like bonds, workshops featuring key floral achievers and learning from like-minded individuals to become a stronger designer.

After Florida, I moved back to Maryland in September of 2016 to be closer to family and work in another florist. I thought this would excel my career but it really just taught me how to not treat your employees. After being fired in May of 2017, I became a freelance designer once again. It was either great luck or great timing when Purple Poppy florist came into the picture, a REAL down to earth local flower shop who appreciate good designers and hard work which is another reason why I wanted to join the North Carolina State Florists Association. I love being part of a group or organization where other members are on the same page as I am.

I’ve done many photo shoots and enjoy creating flowers to wear. Finding a model is always good but since I love a good challenge, most of my pieces I will design on myself and model. I look forward to the competitions, winning, learning, participating in the DOY next year and more. Anyone interested in becoming a full-time designer should really consider becoming a member of this great association. The benefits far outweigh the price of membership. If you’re on the fence about joining, you can first become a member of “The Florists of Facebook” online or any of the other Facebook groups associated with the trade.

I’d like to sincerely thank our site’s editor and also the site webmaster for giving me the chance to share my story on why I came to North Carolina. Also like to thank Doug Odom for giving me a shot. I really look forward to next year’s convention in Greensboro and also socializing with the new friends I’ve acquired in this great state.

Jaclyn Gough, October 2017

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