I've always loved flowers and admired how beautiful they are. All of the different arrangements, the scents, and the wide range of colors. I remember when I was younger, about the age of five or six, all I would ask for as birthday gifts were red roses, nothing else. My favorite thing to draw or paint in any of my art classes were different types of flowers because I loved the way they looked. When I came across Sukii on social media, I discovered that she was a personal florist and I immediately wanted to find out more about her and her floristry business. Get to know Sukii, how she became a personal florist, motherhood, and the importance of spreading love and positivity despite tough times.
Were you born and raised in Miami or are you originally from somewhere else?
I’m born and raised in Miami but my family is from the islands so I’m super mixed. My family is from Jamaica and my Grandmother is from Guyana.
What is the definition of “Say Sukii” and how was it created?
It was a play on words at first. My nickname is "Sukii," I wasn’t named that at birth so one day I started to look into the meaning of what "sukii" meant. I stumbled upon the fact that it was actually a Japanese term. I’m not Japanese, though. I’m Chinese-Jamaican but all of my culture is Jamaican, it’s not really from China. I don’t resonate with that side as much as I should but I would love to look into it. I found out that “sukii” is Japanese and it’s a term that they use in Japan as a term of endearment, kind of. “Sukii” means, “I like something” or “I love something.” They don’t really say “I love you” or “I like you,” in Japan. It’s not customary there. So, to “say sukii” is saying that you like or love something, whatever the case is. I made it a play on words to SAY sukii as I want people to spread love and say that they like and love things because I feel that the problem right now is that people don’t really express what they like, everybody is quick to hate. But, if you like something, say you like it. If something is dope or that person is dope, say you love it. That somewhat plays in on the florist thing because that’s what a florist does. They are always involved in some moment where somebody is spreading love or giving flowers to someone because it is their birthday, they love them, nice to meet you, or even if it’s a funeral. You’re giving flowers to someone because of something good. I wanted “Say Sukii” to be that positive affirmation kind of brand. I also wanted to build something that I can create and do everything that I want to do because I’m not just a florist, I’m a creative as well. I like to dabble into a lot of things, but being a florist just happens to be my primary medium.
When did you decide that you wanted to become a personal florist and what other creative things do you do?
I actually stumbled upon floristry, so it’s not something where I was like, “oh I like flowers and I want to start playing with them, arrange them, and go to school for it.” Seven years ago, I landed a job at Whole Foods Market and they had an opening in their flower department there. I just needed a job and that was the available job. They were like, “oh, we can stick you in the flower section, do you know about flowers?” You know, as a girl, I like flowers naturally, or as far as a human I should say, because people love flowers. I said, “I can do this, sure!” So I started to learn a little bit there and then I really saw that I had a talent for it. I would make arrangements for the customers and they would love it. So, I just fell in love like that. I left the job about three years later and did my own thing but I always wanted to go back to flowers because when I started, I felt very at peace there and it was my thing. I was good at it. When the time came for me to build a brand and a company, for longevity purposes, I realized I had to do something that I was passionate about and I resorted back to the flowers. I’ve been doing flowers for about seven years and I’ve been “Say Sukii” professionally, without a degree, since 2015 on my own.
To you, what is the significance of flowers and what is your personal favorite flower?
Ah! I don’t have one. That’s so hard, I’m the flower girl, I like all flowers. I have a few, I’d have to say I love sunflowers. I love sunflowers just because they are so bright and sunflowers evoke happiness, off rip. They’re bright, they’re fun. I like that they are very big. Sunflower stalks are actually very strong and if you’ve ever walked through a sunflower field, it’s really powerful because they are very tall so that’s always something special. That was one of my mom’s favorite flowers so that resonates with me. Then, I like orchids and I like peonies. Peonies for the smell. When I was pregnant, I was working at Whole Foods and I would stand in the department and just smell them for about ten minutes. They’d be like, “where’s Sukii at?” Then they’d say, “oh, she’s standing over there by the peonies.” I just loved it so that one is special to me as well. It’s too hard to pick one but I like a lot.
You seem to always exude good vibes, your positive energy makes you very likable and relatable. Were you always this way or did it take some soul searching for you to really understand who you are in order to be an advocate for positivity and love?
I guess you can say I’ve always been, like in school or even as a kid, I’ve always been a fun person. I’ve always been that person that was kind of like the fun friend and people would sign my yearbook like, “stay crazy, girl!” It wasn’t on a soul level or “this is what I do” or “I'm an advocate for positivity only.” I’ve just always been a fun person. I’m trying to tap into my light more and more every day. In recent years, in 2014, I had a tragic experience that led me to a dark place and I wanted to come out of that dark place and I know that the only way out is in. I started to look deeper into myself and figure out what it's all about. What’s most important to me and what is it that really matters? Then I realized that positivity is what really gets you far and good vibes, those things are important to me. I just wanted to make sure that I can always be that way. Also being a mom, you’re around a kid all day and she’s happy all day, nothing bothers them. So I look at her and realize that this is what it’s really all about. We have to try to tap into that more often and just be more childlike. That innocent light. We all have it, but life taints us, life gets to us, and breaks that down. We always find ourselves in dark places, I get dark everyday but it’s important, and I found that it helps me a lot, to really try to be positive or try to think about what it's all about. For me, it all resorts back to positivity, vibes, being around people that are like minded, and that’s what helped me out.
You have a beautiful daughter named Amiyah Qi. What is your favorite part about being her mother?
There’s so many favorites, it’s the best thing really. The fact that I’m always learning from her and she makes me feel so important. She gives me the strength that I never knew I had. When it comes to being a mom, that’s important. I look at her and I just automatically feel important or know that I am here to do something greater than myself. there’s somebody looking out and looking for me to take care of them. That’s really awesome to me. It’s so fun, I’m learning from her everyday. She just turned five and the best thing about being a mom, to me, is how much fun you have and you get to be a kid again. I’m kind of goofy so it’s fun to get to be goofy all day. She’s five but she teaches me everyday about being a human and what it is all about. Being able to kiss a boo boo goodbye and then it’s fine in five minutes. If I really look and be patient with myself and really listen to her, there’s so much that she can teach me every single day.
Did your love of flowers transfer on to your daughter in any way?
Oh my gosh, she LOVES flowers. She’s so dramatic! She’s like, “oh this is a rose and I love this. This is my favorite.” and I’m like, “okay, girl.” She knows that she’s my helper. She’s like, “I’m the assistant for Say Sukii Flowers. I’m the ONE assistant” because I don’t have any employees yet, we’re still small time. She’s very connected to nature as well. I’m blessed, she’s such a good girl. She’s always trying to pick me little flowers off the trees like, “look at this beautiful flower. I’m going to take it home and make you an arrangement, Mommy.” I’m like, “oh my God, stop, I’m dying.” Haha!
Are you solely based in Miami or do you ship arrangements around the country?
As far as running the flower shop itself, I am based in Miami, South Florida and I service the area so that I can do regular deliveries and send arrangements to people in Miami and the surrounding counties. As far as shipping flowers, I don’t ship fresh flowers but one day maybe. I like everything on a personal level. I do all the deliveries myself and I knock on your door like, “hey, I have your flowers and here they go.” I like that whole personal aspect of it because it’s deeper. I’m not into the whole "1(800)-FLOWERS" or click flowers, add to cart, get an arrangement on the screen and you get that same arrangement at your door. I like it to be more like an artist experience or like you're ordering a piece of art for somebody. Give me your budget, give me what flowers you may want. I’m an artist more than a business. I’m here in South Florida because I want to do everything personal but hopefully with the growth of business, we can take that elsewhere. Everywhere.
What’s next for “Say Sukii?”
Right now, I’m starting to do more creative work as far as less deliveries and less arrangements. We’ll still be doing that but more actual projects. More installations. I love building really big things and using flowers as a medium to create some sort of piece that can be admired by others or evoke some sort of emotion for somebody. I want to do exhibits, I want to have my work on display, tap into galleries, and things like that. I want to do structures, of course for events, but, large scale things like weddings and I also want to do a lot of passion projects. If I have an idea for an event, I just want to put it together and have people come, like a party. Just come and see my work. People like flowers, they evoke something in people and they don’t really know that they love them as much as they do until they see them. I like that I can be a part of that and the vessel that can bring that to people. I want to tap into more creative projects and then years down the line, be a recognized brand for being able to create structures and installations with the use of flowers.
Keep up with Sukii on her website, Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube.
Miami, Florida residents, contact Sukii for personal floral arrangements and purchase her other products here.