Flora Pop founder Victoria Hogan—who just happens to be TJS’s resident Flower Goddess, supplying our stores with weekly vases of beauty—depends on bees more than most: Those black-and-yellow buzzers are responsible for pollinating the very beeauty with which she works. Learn about Victoria, her affinity for juice, her reverence for farming, and what she loves about helping folks tie the knot.
I’ve lived…all over the Southern United States, but spent the majority of my time in Alabama, and I moved to Las Vegas to stay in…2008 (with a short stint in NYC that ultimately brought me back for good).
What brought me to Las Vegas was…graduate school. I attended UNLV beginning in 2008 to obtain my Master of Fine Arts degree. It was an extremely influential experience that aided in the development of Flora Pop, because it taught me to be a dynamic problem solver and think outside of what’s typically expected from an artist or “florist” or “gardener.”
In my experience, the biggest misconception about living in Las Vegas is…that the Strip is the only place that exists and that people don’t really live here! “No, we don’t live in casinos!” and “No, everyone isn’t a blackjack dealer!” But the thing I secretly love most about living here is…It’s no secret: I absolutely love the surrounding natural landscapes. I appreciate the ability to get lost in Valley of Fire, or hike in Mt. Charleston during the warmer summer months. And, not to mention, the ever-amazing community that continues to grow here. The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and bright, it’s nice to be around such creativity.
My daily mantra or “quote to live by” is…I can’t emphasis this enough: “Fake it ‘til you make it!” and “Positivity will take you far.”
If I had to pick a theme song for my life it would be…Coal Miner’s Daughter by Loretta Lynn. Humble beginnings have kept me grounded and thankful of everything I have accomplished.
Don’t get me started talking about…my hobbies…probably. Having grown up in rural Alabama I found numerous ways to entertain myself. I helped my grandfather build houses, herd cattle and plant huge watermelon patches. You know, these “hobbies” of mine eventually found their way into my adult and work lives.
I would say that when I began playing with flowers and gardening, it was for sheer enjoyment and creative expression. One day, I decided to make it my career and the pop-up wedding aspect of my business just sort of fell into place. All in all, anything that involves traveling or meeting new folks will probably have me talking a mile a minute!
Every day I strive to…be better than I was the day before. To challenge myself in a new way, or try something I’ve never done before.
A place I love is…Asheville, North Carolina. My favorite aunt has lived there for over 15 years. It’s this beautiful, quaint, artistic liberal bubble in the otherwise saturated Bible Belt. There is huge emphasis on environmental rights and using locally grown and sourced foods. Although I’m not a vegetarian or vegan, if you are, this place is a haven for you. Annie, my aunt, owns and operates a small dahlia and goat farm. I guess these sorts of traits run in the family! If I were ever to move back South, this is where I’d want to be. Blue Ridge Mountains, comfort food, and a wonderful small-town spirit.
Looking back on it now as an adult, I can say that the influence my granddad’s Alabama farm had on my adult life is…it has made me so appreciative! Especially when it comes to organic farming. Take, for example, his pig farm. Pigs are such intellectual creatures that have distinct personalities and apparent emotions. After becoming attached to almost all of them (especially as a child), when it came time for their slaughter it was quite emotional for me. How best to honor their lives than to do it humanely. And then, how to prepare the meat? Think: After raising a piglet from birth to its final days, you wouldn’t even think about leaving that chop on the grill unattended. What if it got burned! Then, after months of coddling, it would have been for nothing. I believe experiences like these have made me very mindful about my impact on the environment and have allowed me to cherish every action or emotion that I can.
About Flora Pop
When people ask about my job and what I do every day, I tell them…that I do pop-up weddings. I typically get a very perplexed look and a, “Well, what is that exactly?” Well, I have a teardrop trailer that serves as my mobile chapel. I bring elaborate flowers, wedding cake doughnuts and Champagne; and to top it off, I can legally make your marriage official. There is a tiny bit of planning involved. But the nature of my business takes the headache, cost and worry out of the process. I like to think that the couples I work with put more effort into their honeymoon plans. (Which, let’s face it, that’s the best part!) My ceremonies are about the couple and the love that they share. “Getting hitched” has taken on a whole new meaning!
The work I do for The Juice Standard is…so close to my heart! Jamie and Marcella are two of my very best friends. When I do flowers for them, I always feel extremely lucky to be adding flora to this beautiful business that they’ve created together. I find inspiration from seasonal produce and sometimes incorporate that into their arrangements. I never make the same thing twice!
I decided to launch FloraPop because…after a floral shop opened in the area that I had worked so hard to call my own, I was challenged to look at my life and career from a different perspective. Instead of giving up, I brainstormed really hard for almost two weeks after I learned the news about the new shop (a floral shop was my dream and it got taken out from under me). I had already started building the Teardrop to be my roadside flower stand, but something still wasn’t sitting right with me. It’s too hot in Vegas to try to sell flowers in the summer and there just isn’t enough foot traffic, like when I lived in New York.
One day, the light bulb went off: I live in the wedding capital of the world! I can be an all-inclusive mobile wedding company. Nobody was doing it, [so] I had a blank canvas to experiment as I saw fit. Now, I can’t thank that flower shop enough. It pushed me to stand outside of myself and become what I feel I was destined to do.
Marrying people makes me feel…so happy! And, grateful for true love. The fact that these people chose me to honor one of the milestones in their lives is truly a gift to me and a humble reminder that life is short. I honestly believe that the folks I marry are like-minded. All the ceremonies I’ve ever done are civil and I feel lucky that we can speak solely about the couple’s love and future intentions. If I were ever asked to do a religious ceremony, I would be open-minded, but my sights are generally set on praising the couple and their unique experiences. It might sound crazy, but every couple I’ve had the pleasure of officiating for will be friends of mine for life. I have an open invitation to travel the world to visit them whenever I like. That Is my favorite feeling of all!
What makes me happiest about working with flowers is…there is no pressure when creating with flowers. I let the materials speak for themselves and I often joke that the flowers made all the decisions for me, I just place them where they can shine the brightest.
The number one thing I’d tell my younger working self is…to be patient and trust the process. It always turns out for the best and putting your thoughts and aspirations out into the Universe will allow them to come back as you need them. I’ve worked really hard in my life. Ever since childhood, that, I would never change.
The most rewarding thing about my work with Flora Pop is…that it’s completely my own. I created this “thing” from nothing. I didn’t have a manual telling me how to do things. I failed a lot, but got back up and strived to be better. I don’t have to answer to anyone, I am my own boss. I attract very chill clients, and I can travel at my leisure. Most of all, work, does not FEEL like work. It’s my passion turned paycheck!
Flora Pop On Juice + Healthy Lifestyle
The fruits or vegetables you’ll always find in my pantry are…mangoes and tomatoes!
The first time I realized I loved cold-pressed juice was… back in my undergraduate days at this place called Golden Temple in Birmingham, Ala. I’ve always sort of been a health nut! After having open-heart surgery, twice. It’s something you consider daily. I have congenital heart disease, so keeping my heart strong is a No.1 priority.
Today, I drink cold-pressed juice because…it’s healthy for my heart, helps support organic farming and that it tastes yummy is just a bonus!
This is how often I drink juice: I drink juice every single day! The greener the better! And the Bee Chill reminds me so much of my Grandpa Roo (short for Rooster). Every summer we would pull up to the watermelon patch in his farm trunk and pick the first one. He’d slice into it with his pocketknife and then we’d section it with pieces of grass. All while sitting in the bed of his truck. Those were the best summers of my young life.
The thing I love about TJS juice is…the company’s mission, recipes, personality and most important, the heart and soul that goes into every single bottle. It is SO incredibly apparent when you sip. No other juice spot in town has this special ingredient: Love.
The funniest thing that ever happened to me while drinking juice OR when I was on a cleanse, was…Well: TJS gives you straws for a reason! Drinking juice from a glass bottle in a moving car could end in disaster…for your front teeth! Let’s just say, I lost green juice and not my pearly whites.
My advice to a newbee juicer is…don’t be afraid. It’s possibly one of the best things you’ll ever do for yourself!