Women in Business Q&A: Inna Marzan, CEO, Marzan Flowers

Inna Marzan is the definition of the american dream. Born in Russia during very trying times, her family moved a few times and ultimately ended up in the U.S., where her parents hoped to provide a better more stable life for their daughters. Inna was taught determination, and never to stop until you succeed. She prides herself with taking a leadership role in her floral boutique; Marzan Flowers developing a niche clientele that appreciate the quality and artistry in her work and setting the bar at a new high in her industry.

How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?
I grew up in a family that didn't have much, but my parents made sure to give us plenty of love, confidence, education... In order to lead us to the point where we could be successful on our own.

Ever since I was a small child my father had a tradition the morning of our birthday, to surprise us with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. I remember each birthday looking forward to, and waiting for my bouquet of flowers that he would create especially for me. He would brighten up my whole week. I learned from that the effect flowers can have on a person.

I was always surrounded by nature. When I got married and formed my own family I continued this tradition by marking every occasion with flowers. To me flowers represent warmth and happiness.

How has your previous employment experience aided your position as a businesswoman?
My previous degree in accounting and employment at Morgan Stanley/ Dean Witter helped me develop the skillsI needed to handle the accounting effortlessly, as well as managing and delegating tasks to the rest of the team so we can maximize productivity.

What have the highlights and challenges been during your tenure as CEO of your own company?
Part of the allure of what I do, is the thrill I get from seeing my arrangements at various venues & seeing my customers expressions once their arrangements are installed at their homes or venues. They are impressed that we always manage to outdo ourselves. Outdoing ourself is part highlight and part challenge, but I'm not one to back down from a challenge. Its always a pleasure to see how far we can push the envelope, thanks to our amazing customers !!! I am so lucky to be doing something that I love everyday.

Tell us about new projects you are working on?
Some of our current projects are our unique eye-catching installation at various hotels, galleries, as well as businesses all over the city. We work very closely with many top magazines, publications, online and social media, to help enhance their space, photo-shoots, offices, events etc... We also collaborate with many event planners throughout NY for business events, weddings, media coverage and much more.

What advice can you offer women who are seeking to start their own business?
There is a quote that goes something like this " there is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve; fear of failure." - Paulo Coelho. Never be afraid to fail, be afraid not to try, maybe you are stronger than you think, and you will succeed.

How do you maintain a work life balance?
I am really lucky to be surrounded by my amazing family, and a husband who works with me side by side. we are not always perfect, but lucky enough to understand each other. If I need help with something my husband sees it right away and picks up right where I need him to. We have a great working relationship.

What do you think is the biggest issue for women in the workplace ?
The biggest issue most women face is separating their work and personal life. There is so much overlap when women have families and try to have it all. We can have it all, and we deserve to have it all, we just need to be very organized and need to show the world we can do it, and we do it better!

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life ?
I was lucky enough to be with my husband, who was already in the flower business. He showed me the ropes with lots of patience and encouragement to branch out on my own and shine. He wanted me to express myself artistically through flowers, and taught me that if I'm true to myself, my creations are like artwork, something to be valued and coveted. For that I look up to him, appreciate him, and credit him with my/ our success

Which female leaders do you admire ? And why?
My mother is my role model in every way! She taught me the meaning of hard work, never giving up, and kindness; without kindness the world would be a dark place. She taught me that giving back is the key to your success and happiness. I make sure that we are involved with many charities that better our local community as well as many worldwide efforts.

What do you want to accomplish personally and professionally in the next year?
Professionally I hope to keep making waves in my industry and constantly setting a new standard for amazing floral arrangements, in homes, at events, for publications, magazines and media.I hope I can keep helping people with my philanthropic efforts, and help change lives.