As for many of us, our life acquaintances as well as family and friends tend to discourage us from our dreams and goals to our
demise and it was no different for this lady. I have had the pleasure of talking with her and following her career on FB for several years. She has an incredible story and I would like to introduce you to Jaclyn Gough. Jaclyn is a creative floral designer and award winning Body Builder. I had to do a double take myself! When I think of a floral designer, I didn’t picture a beautifully sculpted muscular body, but hey why not!
I have followed Jaclyn’s evolvement through floristry to now into bodybuilding. I believe she has a remarkable story and her results in both disciplines are incredible!
WS: How long have you had the passion for floristry?
JG: 9 years.
WS: What background, education, floral design experiences or blessed natural talents, have help helped you develop into an expert in the floral design industry?
JG: Wow, where to begin with the first question! Attending college for Floristry and learning from some of the top educators helped create my foundation for the designer I am today. I’ve always been interested in horticulture and design in general and believe this has impacted my floral career profoundly.
WS: What is your “WHY” to pursue this floral design as a professional person?
JG: My “WHY” to pursue floral design as a professional was simple, I always believed that whatever I studied in college I would pursue in life. I go full force in anything I do, and I was determined to strive to be the best as a professional floral designer. Many hours of studying in school, attending flower shows, workshops, money spent so I may as well put it to good use, right?
WS: Talk to me about your commitment to your profession, floral design. Professionals from all industries talk about the theory of “10,000 hours of Practice” to be great at their discipline. Do you support that belief or do you use another strategy or combination of theories and strategies?
JG: 10,000 hours, that’s the number for greatness right? For me this is not necessarily accurate. When I was 17, I was in college for floral design. I was also working in a flower shop and learning in both places, I was always practicing my skill. Once I left work or school, I went home and did my homework only to study the latest trend or the history or floral design then to practice design techniques. Day in and day out I was staying committed. Put simply, we will never stop practicing so this 10,000 hours can go out the window now.
WS: How did you get involved with floristry? I’ve seen some of your floral creations on FB and they are beautiful. Your creative eye for colors, textures and adornment are a thing of beauty!
JG: I’ve been blessed with a creative eye and always had a love for nature, plants, design, color and texture.
There were 3 women in my life that were strong influences. My grandmother, my mother and Faith, without there direction I not sure I would have experienced success as quickly. Don’t misunderstand, I am still ‘a work in progress,’ I’ll never stop growing.
My mom was the one who saw that the community college
My mom was the one who saw that the community college was offering floral design classes and with my artistic eye and love for nature, she thought I should give it a try. I was outside working on a pond I built in her yard, and then discussed what the floristry course involved, and then later signed up.
My grandmother has been a huge support system throughout my floral journey and the first to call me with congratulations through my many successes! She passed away in December 2016, she was my biggest cheerleader! I will miss her deeply.
WS: From my memory, I have not seen floral arrangements you have created elsewhere! Where does your floral creative inspiration come from?
JG: I’m inspired by nature, but those who I learn from also inspire me. I’ll never copy someone’s work as it belongs to them, so I will take my own interpretation and create something new, awesome and fun. I’m inspired by prints on clothing, window displays in the mall or on the street. Most of my designs and creations are bold and some would say Avante Garde which I’m okay with. I enjoy creating interesting works of art while staying within the guidelines of floral design. There are elements and principles all professional florists should abide by. These can be found in The AIFD Guide to Floral Design. I like to design how I feel, but also know that “Design How You Feel” is not a design style
WS: What are your business goals for your floristry?
JG: To gain more exposure and clients in the wedding and event industry.
WS: I would like to understand your mindset for Body Building. In a recent FB post there is a photo of you flexing which accentuates your upper body. It’s a great photo depicting the muscles and muscle tone of your upper body. When I think of a creative floral designer, artist, a perfectly toned muscle body does not come to mind. I don’t profess to have a total understanding of the body building discipline, but I do know that there is a huge time commitment to achieve the results I have seen in your FB photo.
JG: As with anything you want to succeed at, you must be determined. When you are determined there will always be a driving force to push you forward to achieve your goal. Whenever I go into the gym whether I’m preparing for a show or not, I strive for greatness. Sometimes that greatness is to be better than my competitor but it is always to be a better version of myself.
WS: What intrigued you about bodybuilding?
JG: I struggled with having a distorted mindset with my appearance and food growing up and thought if I went to the gym and watched what I ate, I would be able to attain a healthier lifestyle. I found a girl in TX who competed in fitness shows, talked to her and then decided to choose a show and run with it. I love the look of fitness and bodybuilding. It takes a very dedicated individual to compete in the sport and it is not for everyone. Also, there’s more than just dieting and training for a show – I loved the fitness apparel worn, the sisterhood within certain organizations and the friendships created.
WS: What was your “WHY” that drove you to achieve the results we see in your FB photo?
JG: That photo was taken during a photo shoot for the cover of a fitness magazine, Fitness For You in Palm Beach, FL. Interestingly enough; I was not in competition shape and was learning to accept my body in an “off season” condition. I got a phone call that morning asking if I could model for the magazine and it went uphill from there.
WS: What is your personal commitment to body building? What’s your commitment to maintain your current muscle tone?
JG: Right now, I’m training and eating for life. I want to be healthy and feel good! I want to lift heavy if I want to and also have my “high rep” days if my body feels like going that route. Right now, I’m doing 30-45 min. cardio a day and lifting weights – I do yoga at home and just recently joined a gym. Would you believe I have not been to a gym in 6 months since moving back to MD from FL? It’s true.
WS: Are you going bigger?
JG: Bigger? Well, my arms for instance used to be 16” years ago. That was an accomplishment to have biceps that big. Now, If I get bigger muscles, awesome. If not, I’m not sweating it
WS: In a lot of cases, when people have more than one full time discipline something suffers. How do you balance your time with the floral design business with bodybuilding? Is this happening with you?
JG: I’m still working on building a business with floral design so balancing the two is not an issue. Even when I worked for a floral company full time, I was training for a fitness show and seemed to be pretty successful as I got 1stplace in my show. I do a lot of writing and connecting with others in the industry so I set out a couple hours a day to do that. I set aside 1-2 hours for ME time which can be going to the gym, yoga or taking a walk outside. Balance is so important and very possible. If you let something suffer, it most likely will.
WS: Can you tell me what your professional and personal goals are for the next 12months? How often do you go back and re-evaluate your goals and adjust your actions if you determine that the course you are on is not producing the results to achieve your goal?
JG: I’ll answer the second question FIRST! It seems like I re-evaluate every day! I’m always looking for the next place to live, the latest wedding and flower trends and where I stand in the industry. I ask myself “ Am I making an impact and am I creating something different If I see something is not taking the course as expected, I do re-evaluate afterwards and plan ahead whether it be to take a flower test, attend a conference, freelance or business goals.
JG: Professional goals: Connect with hotels and venues for wedding and event business, write for flower magazines and blogs and of course, make money Personal goals: Write a book: This goal can be a professional goal as well. You’ll have to stay tuned and keep following me to find out what the book is about, but it’s going to be so awesome and a real in depth look inside my life through all the trials and tribulations.
WS: Do you have and will you share your long-term goals for the next 5 years?
JG: Well, I think I’ve answered that in the question above however, finding a life partner would be grand.
You can see additional floral inspirations by Jaclyn at www.theskinnyvase.com.
Jaclyn’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org