Femme Flora Design was featured in the Shoutout SoCal publication. Thank you to SoCal Shoutout for this opportunity. Read the article down below to get to know our story!

Meet Christine Almendras | Freelance Graphic Designer

We had the good fortune of connecting with Christine Almendras and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Christine, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Simply put, I pursued an artistic career because I refused to go into a field that my family wanted me to go into, which was either a nurse, doctor, or lawyer. When I was accepted into my university in 2015, I was surprisingly supposed to pursue a degree in Physical Therapy! Then, out of the blue and without telling my family, I changed my major to Digital Media. I later found out that wasn’t what I wanted to go into and changed it again to Journalism Visual Communications.

One quote I still remember to this day is when my mom told me, “If you want to pursue something that’s not as serious as nursing, you’re going to UNLV (University of Nevada, Las Vegas) instead of UNR (University of Nevada, Reno). No if’s, and’s, or but’s.” To that, I replied, “Well, too bad you’re not paying any of my tuition.” I was going to UNR fully paid with scholarships and financial aid.

I realize that I had a lot of privilege in being able to say that and make a decision for myself, but I knew that art was always my passion. I was the creative kid in school, being the go-to sign maker in my school’s student council, making cool art projects for my classes, creating graphics for Tumblr fandoms I was in, and even doodling since elementary school.

After that, my passion for graphic design took off in college. I would never get tired of making graphics/GIFS for my Tumblr accounts on Adobe Photoshop, and I knew this was something I could do for the rest of my life. My decision was again reaffirmed when friends and classmates started reaching out to me for design work and projects.

Graphic design has been the most rewarding and fun career I’ve ever dreamed of having, and I thank myself every day for taking the risk and pursuing a field I was passionate about.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My freelance business, Femme Flora Design, helps AAPI women in creative industries make impactful, authentic brands. In the other half of my business, I embrace and celebrate Asian culture by making aesthetic, trendy, and colorful stickers, prints, and more. The meaning behind my business actually means “female” in French and “flower” in Latin.” Together, it means female flower, which I want to help women bloom through their passions.

I believe what really sets me apart from other designers is my empathetic nature while also my passion for helping others in similar situations as me. Because I fought so hard to break the stereotype of Asian pursuing medicine for myself, I want to be there as a resource and guide for other Asian women so that they can do the same. I also grew up not loving my Filipino culture, so I now use my platform to celebrate every aspect of it and other Asian cultures. Because of this, I truly believe I am equipped to help women in creative fields due to my experience and empathy.

I am most proud of all of the progress and connections I’ve made throughout the years. As someone who is very reserved and introverted, I never once thought in a million years I could be someone who knows how to network and put myself out there. However, the more I did it, the easier it became and now I have met so many cool artists and been given so many awesome opportunities from it. It definitely wasn’t easy to get where I am today professionally. It took a lot of networking, applying for jobs, failing, and learning to make smarter business decisions.

I overcame a lot of my challenges by constantly reminding myself that every time I do something, whether I am successful or not, I always come out of it learning something new. There’s nothing anything wrong with investing time into yourself. That alone has gotten me through a lot of challenges such as imposter syndrome and negative self-talk.

If there’s one thing I want the world to know about my brand or story, it’s that it’s never too late to pursue your passions and do whatever the hell you want to. There’s also nothing wrong with fully embracing who you are and showcasing that front and center in your business. Because if you won’t advocate for yourself, who will?

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m a big foodie, so a majority of this itinerary would be based on eating really good food! But, because I would want my friend to experience most of what Reno has to offer, I would also throw in some nature/outdoorsy activities. Some restaurants we would definitely have to go to would be Kwok’s Fine Cuisine (Chinese), Arrario (Korean), Kauboi Izakaya (Japanese), Moo Dang (Thai), Süp (Soups & Salads), Royce’s (American Burgers), Tokyo Sushi (AYCE sushi), and Num Num Boba (Boba). For drinks, I would also bring my friend to one of the many cool bars in Reno such as Death & Taxes, Rum Sugar Lime, Piñon, Chapel, or ZBar.

For outdoor activities, I would definitely take them to Lake Tahoe, probably hang out on the beach or go on one of the many hikes up there. We would also HAVE to go to Base Camp (Pizza) in Heavenly Village; their spinach dip is to die for.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to dedicate my shoutout to all of the mentors, colleagues, and fellow designer/small business shop friends I’ve made over the years. Without their help, I wouldn’t be in the place I am today. When I became older, I finally understood the quote “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Don’t get me wrong, I’ve learned so much on my own, but I believe my success really started to take off when I began to ask others for help and invest money in myself through courses and workshops put on by others. The one thing I love about the design community is how everyone is so welcoming and willing to help you out; all you have to do is ask.

In no particular order, I want to thank:

  • B Is For Bonnie Design for sparking my interest and teaching me so much about Brand Strategy & Identity
  • Nesha Woolery for being my first freelance investment and teaching me how to organize and automate my business
  • All of the design/small business friends I’ve made online and at markets
  • My partner, Jacob, for being my unofficial design critiquer and #1 supporter in all of my career endeavors. And of course, Zula, my crazy Lab, for keeping me young.
  • My design mentors at various internships and jobs throughout the years for teaching me the ins and out’s of design

Website: www.femmefloradesign.com

Instagram: @femmefloradesign

Linkedin: Christine Almendras

Facebook: www.facebook.com/femmefloradesign

Other: Etsy: femmefloradesign.Etsy.com Faire (Wholesale): faire.com/femmefloradesign TikTok: @femmefloradesign Email: christine@femmefloradesign (for branding inquiries)

Image Credits
Headshot: Ashley Wartgow, Mabble Media

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