Rice Village florist says flowers are her way of giving back to Houston after cancer


Folk rock plays as Thalia Jaguande, clad in a linen apron, artfully mixes soft lilac pinks with bumps of raspberry blossoms, tying a dramatically oblong vase into a shiny ribbon repeatedly embossed, “Let It Bloom” .

Opening the door to her new Rice Village flower shop, Isidora, Jaguande loads vibrant arrangements into her pink delivery van with letters that promise “Flower Vibes” inside.

For Jaguande, Isidora is a way of “giving back with flowers all the good things I have received in town”.

Jaguande first visited Houston at the age of 22, arriving from her home in Lima, Peru, to visit the MD Anderson Cancer Center after an alarming diagnosis of primary mediastinal lymphoma.

Settling in Houston for an aggressive treatment plan – each round of chemotherapy meant five nights in the hospital – Jaguande, homesick for friends and family in his coastal hometown, was surprised at how quickly Houston grew up on it.

She noticed how warm Houstonians were, she said.

“I didn’t have hair on any part of my body and people didn’t even pay attention to it,” she recalls. “I never felt uncomfortable. Everyone was ready to help me and it felt right at home.

She found Houstonians to be friendly and welcoming, she recalls. “It’s such a diverse city, you learn a lot from other people from other cultures. “

After her chemotherapy was successful, Jaguande returned home to Lima, traveling regularly to Houston for check-ups until her MDACC team declared her cancer in remission.

Free to focus on his future again, Jaguande began to explore MBA programs. The University of Houston’s Bauer College of Business quickly topped its list.

“I wanted to spend more time with the city and live in the city with me in good health,” says Jaguande, 30.

Focusing on marketing, Jaguande graduated with the goal of starting his own business. With an eye for design and the arts, the idea of ​​a floral business began to form.

Whenever she offers or receives flowers, Jaguande says she saw a void in the market for a style that resonated with her personally.

The pandemic gave time to explore floral design. Living in San Francisco, where she has family, Jaguande has spent days scouring the San Francisco flower market for inspiration and studying the evolution of selection.

She signed up for Skype classes to learn from a Brazilian florist she admires and began to perfect her art of arranging.

Using color theory and an arrangement based on opposing colors, Jaguande’s style is distinctive. She describes it as a “free garden style”, rich in greenery and striking with a palette of its own.

Deep violets contrast with chartreuse. Sweet lavender and pale yellow roses blend with sienna orange tulips.

The effect is consistent, and her customers tell her they’ve never seen the grape varieties she uses.

On her website – as colorful as her store – shoppers can shop by shade, choosing “Pink Fever”, “Vanilla Linen” and “Enchanted Pastels” or, instead, by style.

Who wouldn’t want a delivery from “Sunshine Feels”?

“I love that my arrangements make it look like they were in nature,” says Jaguande, who says she gives flowers freedom and space inside their containers.

“I like to feel the flowers have movement,” she says.

Jaguande sources flowers locally, with the exception of some from South America.

She gravitates towards the gigantic garden roses for their sturdiness, she says, arranging them according to the key. She also uses bellflowers, peonies and lisianthus.

Jaguande, who lives in Montrose, says she finds inspiration at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. Her location in Rice Village helps her meet new people every day.

“People are walking around in this area, and you don’t see that much in Houston,” she says.

“You have the big brands but also the family businesses that have always existed,” she says, referring to “cozy” cafes like Croissant Brioche.

“I find it very authentic and very unique.

Owners of neighboring businesses visit it regularly, she says, which gives the mall a small town feel.

Near the shelves of floral arrangements, plants and succulents, Isidora offers Peruvian chocolate, poppy seed folded soaps, bath salts, an instant champagne cocktail kit, baby diapers, petal-based lollipops. of daisy and other natural products that entice the customer to participate in daily luxuries.

Jaguande worked with a Texas company to develop an exclusive line of spark plugs. Scents include Spiritual Lavender, Homey Vanilla, and Woody Blossom. Others have names such as Breathe and Flow – Jaguande is an avid practitioner of yoga.

Jaguande is building a company around comfort and the pleasure of daily living.

Isidora translates to “gift from the goddesses,” an apt trade name, she says, for someone whose outlook has changed dramatically after being diagnosed with cancer at a young age.

“Every time you give flowers, you give life. Life is a gift from the gods, and today is a gift, ”she said. “It’s a celebration of life every day, that’s what cancer made me open my eyes to, every day you have to appreciate.”

Details: 2509, boulevard Riz; isidoraflowers.com


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