A European-inspired flower cart bursting with bright blooms smack dab in San Diego’s Little Italy—could there be anything more charming? That’s the idea behind Claudia Cruz’s solo flower operation, La Belle Bloom, located in the pedestrian-friendly ‘hood, where customers become friends and people-watching is a wonderful perk of the job. But Claudia’s also a very in-demand floral designer, creating custom arrangements for special occasions (ahem, Valentine’s Day) as well as weddings. In fact, she designed the flowers for one of the recent weddings I blogged about in my side gig as a blogger for Exquisite Weddings‘ The Bride Suite. Oh, and she makes a killer Frida Kahlo costume, no?
Today she chats about chilaquiles and finding peace in tall buildings…among other things.
Name: Claudia Cruz
Neighborhood: University Heights, San Diego
Job: Owner/operator of La Belle Bloom
What did you eat for breakfast today?
This morning I ate chilaquiles (fried tortillas with a spicy sauce) with mushrooms and avocado. I’ve recently gotten into waking up early enough to make and enjoy a good breakfast!
What’s the best thing about your job?
Best thing about my job is getting to work and play with flowers all day, it really doesn’t get old. Having friends and regulars come by and have a coffee and a chat. I also love crazy go, go, go days (hello, Valentine’s Day!).
Interestingly the thing I like least about my job is being a business owner. You take your work home with you, there is never an OFF button. It’s also scary to never really know what kind of a sales week/month you will have.
How do you tackle a creative block?
The only way I can really tackle a creative block is to walk away from a project. Sleep it off and when you are ready, talk to people because even if they are not in the same creative industry, they have insight to offer.
What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital by Eric Manheimer, M.D. which are true stories by told by a doctor at Bellevue Hospital in New York about patients he has helped or failed to help. I love hearing/reading stories about people’s lives. I am also reading Mexico: The Cookbook by Margarita Carrillo Arronte. There is an entire section dedicated to sauces and salsas!
What’s your favorite spot in San Diego and why?
Anywhere in the city. I get a sense of calm when I am anywhere within the confines of the big buildings, it’s odd to describe. I’ve felt this way since I was in middle school and learned to ride the bus and could go anywhere I wanted! Downtown was always it.
What was the most awesome thing about today?
This is cheesy, but I am so so thankful for the opportunity to be alive. And an even bigger bonus, that I am healthy! Totally and completely priceless.
Photo via Claudia Cruz