Veronica Spindola contributed to this blog. Para la versión en español de esta historia, por favor oprima aqui.
Yomara Hernandez has had a lifelong love affair with all things floral.
From an early age, she helped her mother make fabric flowers for bridal bouquets, and decorations for weddings with natural and artificial flowers. Her mother used to sell them as complete sets, and now Yomara makes her living selling flowers, too.
Owner of Florist Angel’s in Schuyler, Nebraska, Yomara started the business in 2013 as a sole proprietor. What began as selling floral arrangements to friends out of her garage has grown into a full-fledged business.
“Some friends used to ask for my help to decorate their parties, and they told me I should have my own business,” she said. “Little by little, I’ve expanded the florist shop space occupying my garage completely, and that is where I currently operate my business.”
And, Yomara, who is the only full-time employee, knows exactly what her customers want.
“In the area where I live, language is an important factor,” she said. “To speak Spanish gives people more confidence to order the arrangements to their liking. My arrangements are specially designed for each and every occasion, and my personal touch is what customers like.”
She currently offers flower arrangements for weddings and quinceaneras; bouquets for brides and bridesmaids; flowers for graduation, homecoming, baptisms, first communions, and holidays; and more.
And, though she’s come a long way, she didn’t arrive there without help.
Through the Center for Rural Affairs’ Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP), Yomara obtained financing to invest in and remodel her business.
“Through REAP, I received valuable information and guidance,” she said. “I also learned about marketing tools to promote my business, and many other resources.”
Veronica Spindola, Latino loan specialist with the Center, assisted Yomara, and has been by her side through the entire process.
“Yomara closed her first loan with us about three and a half years ago, and she paid it off successfully,” said Veronica. “She recently closed her second loan with us. Yomara was my very first client. I helped her build her business plan, and I’ve been her loan specialist since December 2017.”
The business owner has also attended business training courses through the Center for Rural Affairs.
“The business classes are very good,” she said. “They’ve helped support my dream to see my small business do well.”
In the business world, nothing is guaranteed, but Yomara stays optimistic about the future and grateful for the assistance she’s received to get this far.
“As everything, it has its ups and downs, but I have not let it fall,” she said. “I keep positive and facing forward. I hope to continue with the support of REAP and growing as a business.”
At a glance
106 W 18th St.
Hours: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.