At first sight, you would think of Xerxes Bernadez as a reserved guy. Dressed in a plain grey shirt sipping a frappe on a hot day, he is unassuming. However, he starts to warm up after a few minutes when he answers your questions in high spirits.
X, as his friends would call him, made a name for himself in the blogging world. His flair for words, fashion, and food prompted him to create his own dotcom even before blogging became a trend. Twenty blogs down the road and the rest, as they usually say, is history.
An innate entrepreneur, X has dabbled in different businesses. Blogging is now a way for him to earn passively while making his way into other profitable projects. He has a spa and a wedding-giveaway business with friends and is still on the hunt for more ventures.
A drawback led X to pursue the fragrant world of flowers. When his partners backed out of an investment on a physical shop, X dove head first in operating the business.
Maison des Fleurs Cebu was born out of X’s go-getter attitude. With little knowledge of flowers but armed with an eagerness to learn, he set out to study floral arrangements. He researched, read e-books, took webinars, and trained with florists to master the craft by heart. It didn’t take long before he discovered his own magic touch with blooms.
Two days before Valentine’s last year, he soft opened his flower shop and was flooded with more than 50 orders of bouquets that he had to arrange on his own. This put him on the spot and honed his newly-acquired skill.
A year after, X still does everything for Maison des Fleurs Cebu. From the arrangement down to marketing and logistics, his is a one-man flower shop.
His savviness in business and passion for the online platform led him to create a unique business model for Maison des Fleurs Cebu. X has a physical shop in Talamban, Cebu City and a website where he delivers anywhere in the country. Flowers Café Cebu, the online component of the flower shop, allows him to reach more customers and spread the love to greater regions by positioning his shop to cater to every budget and need.
However, he is not your usual right-brained creative. He admits that his floral shop is backed by research and a sound business plan. He knows his market well and understands that balance is the key in the tough world of creative entrepreneurship. “Passion is nothing if you don’t do research,” he adds.
An unconventional florist, X calls himself rebellious. He mixes both classical and modern designs to create his fragrant masterpieces. He does not focus on a trend and believes style is personal and cannot be attached to the ever-changing trend. “Flowers are avenues for me to explore my artistry,” X thoughtfully noted.
His creative process? Stare at the flowers. Enjoy their colors and fragrance; and, be inspired by these objects of beauty. Clients also pitch in their ideas to create floral arrangements that are personal and unique. X ensures that every flower delivered is different from the next so an extraordinary design comes with every order. “I want to give a different flavor to each table,” he said.
But X also digresses. As an artist, he says, one needs inspiration. With a secret formula up his sleeves, he has a weapon on days when the muse is nowhere to be found. Sprinkling a few personal touches here and there, his creation is complete and ready to be delivered.
With his versatility and imagination, he continues to tread uncharted territories while pushing his boundaries. His defiance against the norm of floral arrangement is taking him to greater blooms. Expect a lot from this hungry up-and-coming florist. He is a dreamer who sees greater things for the future in the fragrant world of flowers.
MAISON DE FLEURS
Gov. M. Cuenco, Talamban
63. 929 798 2124 | website
photography Mark Philip Dales grooming Arnauld hair Gino Fonghe
Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, May 2016. For back issues, subscribe via Magzter.