Chyrel Gomez: Flower of the Flock

Share on facebook
Share on twitter

“There’s a lot of coffee involved,” Chyrel revealed when asked about a typical day in her life. “And working with flowers is only one part of the job.”

She was already surrounded by a lot of dried flowers, strewn artfully all over her makeshift studio for this virtual shoot. As the Founder and Creative Director of Dried Flowers & Lifestyle Store, Chyrel was in her element that afternoon, arranging her backdrop with a sure hand while checking her laptop screen every-so-often and occasionally asking us for input. “Should I get more flowers?” she would occasionally wonder out loud.

According to Chyrel, dried flowers are considered a ‘quarantrend’, but she’s also quick to point out that they’ve always been around. “They are going through a styling resurgence.” 

It goes without saying that Chyrel has played a pivotal role in making them popular over the pandemic, especially in the local scene. A longtime passion of hers, she would bring home leftover flowers from the weddings she’s worked in before the pandemic. “I personally dry them myself. I sometimes give them to friends, and some I keep for personal use kay sayang bah,” she said. “And who would have thought that I would be making a ‘career’ out of it?”

Her breakthrough came after Rejzl Awit, the owner of Bicester Café, saw Chyrel’s Instagram post of dried flowers and asked if they were for sale. “They were mostly flowers from a wedding in March 2020 and I didn’t even want to sell the flowers kay I know it was hard to get them during that time. But the rest is history…”

As with anyone starting a new business, her biggest challenge back then was money. Having worked in events that were strictly prohibited early on in the pandemic, Chyrel had seen her finances and savings slowly going down the drain. “I needed capital, and I even had to borrow money from friends just to keep things going,” she revealed. “Then manpower—more orders were coming in and the demand was so high, I could not handle it all by myself.”

We learn as we go… Trying things that I’m not sure I’m capable of doing surprises me — sometimes delightfully, often regretfully. Trying, failing, trying some more just to create even more beautiful things.

“It’s no secret that there is so much work that happens behind the scenes,” Chyrel continued. “From answering inquiries, scouting and handpicking the right vases; to matching what flowers compliment them, sourcing materials for a product shoot, picking up the calligraphy note, personally dropping deliveries to out of Cebu orders, inventory, curating the feed, and other daily business-related tasks.” 

When she started, Chyrel did everything by herself. These days, with Dried Flowers blooming with over 3,000 followers and a lot of daily orders, she still does the majority of the work but now has a wonderful team to help her with some tasks.

Though her hobby has blossomed into a business that keeps her busy every day, it remains something she’s passionate about. “My breaks a little when I say ‘no’ to your custom requests […] There’s only so much time in a day — I wish I had more to arrange for you,” she wrote in a recent heartfelt post on the official Dried Flowers Instagram. Even with the demand, it’s something she does to relax. “Creating pieces in between custom work is my way of unwinding plus a glass of wine,” she shared.

Given her success, Chyrel makes sure to give credit where credit is due. “I am thankful to family, friends, and to everyone who supported and followed my journey in Dried Flowers. So grateful to each and everyone who watched me ‘bloom’ even during the toughest of times. It was such a huge risk — it was all or nothing,” she concluded. “The world is a disaster at the moment, but it has also given me plenty of silver linings.”

Something that surprised me about myself: The ability to take the high road and be the better person in a situation. I am so selfless man diay and I’m able to consider the greater good over my own interest. It surprises me how much I’ve matured in over a year. 

Something I’m looking forward to when it’s safer: I would really love to travel again. Or spend a month at the beach and not think about a quarantine or travel pass. 

Wise words for people who want to do more with their hobbies: Love what you do and why you are doing it, and the rest will follow. I know it may sound generic but it’s really important to give it your all for it to work. It’s not going to be easy, and there is so much work, and it can even get lonely sometimes. That’s why you also need to have a solid support system. And take your breaks seriously.  

Chyrel Gomez is the Founder and Creative Director of Dried Flowers & Lifestyle Store. Follow her on Instagram at @chyreloftheislands.

Wearing Tony linen puff top by Let’s Stylize. Photography by Rae Cabradilla-Padin | @raecabradilla

More Food For Thought