Q&A WITH LESLEY FRASCOGNA, owner of TULIP
What exactly is Tulip?
Tulip is a floral + goods shop where I am able to create and sell things that I love to a super supportive community. It's a shop where I get to express who I am. We sell a selection of curated florals, gifts, and home goods mostly made by small batch domestic artisans. I love the idea of supporting other creative small businesses. TULIP started as a wedding floral and event design company seven years ago and has since transitioned into a retail shop where clients can get a little piece of TULIP five days out of the week. We are open Wednesday - Saturday 11-5, and Sunday 11-3. We are located in The Town of Livingston in Flora, MS.
How did you get started and what was your inspiration to take the small business leap?
I got started in the event industry at a young age working catering jobs in the Chicagoland area with my Mom. I was always fascinated with the floral aspect of events and I found myself working in a small floral shop in Chicago in my early 20's. I quickly realized I found my passion and I opened my own flower shop shortly after that. I just sort of jumped into it… something I do often. I am a little impulsive when it comes to business decisions, but so far it has only led to success!
Having a shop is truly my passion.
How does Mississippi play a role in your business?
The sense of community here has played a huge roll in the success of my business. I moved here in August of 2008 for my husband and I booked my first wedding a couple months later. That's all it took for my business to take off. Everyone knows each other here (I mean everyone!) and they will spread the word if they like what you have to offer. Lucky for me, people seem to like what I do. It's really unlike anywhere I've ever been.
What are your goals for your brand?
My goal is to continue to grow the business while I maintain balance as a working mom and remain authentic as I do so. Easier said than done right? I want to start offering more workshops, grow my team so we can take on more, and eventually sell online so that we can be more of a national brand. Locally, I want to be the go to place! Where people come for gifts, unique florals or maybe they just want to pop in for some inspiration or to learn.
Where do you find inspiration?
My creative mind is constantly on the go, so I really find inspiration everywhere. I can walk into the grocery store and feel inspired by a piece of produce….. my mind seriously never stops. And then there are the typical places, nature, textiles, magazines, other artists, etc…
What do you like to do when you aren't working?
Spend time with my family. I have a pretty rad husband, a 4 year old boy, a 1 year old girl, and 2 dogs. Marty, Frank, Birdie, Fran, and Lucy. We are completely insane most of the time, but I love it! We like to vacation and travel as much as possible and we spend the weekends pooling and boating to stay cool in the hot Mississippi heat. We are in the process of building a house, so that's a fun project to work on together.
What are your favorite local places to shop and dine?
I actually hate shopping (yeah I know… unless it's for the shop or house, forget it!) so I do most of that online, but I do love to eat. Like really love it! Our local favorites are Walkers, Caet, Aladdin, Bravo, Sakura Bana, Saltine…. I can keep going.
What are some of the reasons you call Mississippi home?
For the longest time I only called Mississippi home because that is just simply where we were. I longed so much to move to a bigger city where I could feel "more normal". I don't always feel like I fit in here, but that is slowly changing. We almost took the leap and moved to Austin, TX several months ago. Something didn't feel right about it so we decided to stay and commit ourselves to MS. Since that decision, I have really come to appreciate so many things about it. I call MS home for my family, my business, the people, the connections, the art community, the restaurants (some of the best!), and the beach is SO close! Too much to give up right?!
How do you think what you are doing is helping to shape your local community as well as the image of Mississippi?
I think the perception of Mississippi is pretty conservative, traditional, and maybe dated. I believe I bring a modern, fresh perception through what I'm doing. People outside of MS seemed shocked that my husband and I are from Mississippi, we love to break stereotypes.
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Want More? Follow along with Lesley and Tulip in all these places:
and visit Tulip in person at:
1130 Old Cedars Lane, Flora, MS 39071
HOURS: Wednesday - Friday 11am-6pm Saturday 10am-5pm Sunday 11am-3pm