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Angelica Chacon taps into her creative side for home and floral design

Angelica Chacon

Angelica Chacon, administrative assistant for Communications Infrastructure

Angelica Chacon rarely slows down.

At work, she’s the administrative assistant for Communications Infrastructure in the Chief Technology Officer organization. At home, she’s married with two boys and seven dogs. She’s also a part-time florist, dog breeder, aspiring interior decorator, home renovator, and avid thrift shopper.

With such a wellspring of interests, Chacon has been able to earn some extra money, and help family and friends with their events or home projects. She, however, views her hobbies rather simply.

“I just love being creative,” Chacon said.

She always has been. As a child, when she spent the night with her friends, she would redecorate their rooms or move furniture around. Now that she owns her own home, she said she often switches up her front room, office, and spare bedroom. “I’m always rearranging, creating a different vibe or mood in a space,” she said.

When updating a room, she considers the entire space, bottom to top. She’s not afraid to hang art, décor, or photos on the walls or move them around.

“Sometimes that scares people, to create a bunch of holes, but for me, that's not an issue,” she said. She just fills them in.

In fact, she and her husband, Martin, know how to use drills, hammers, levels, and other home improvement tools because they remodeled their house. Some of the work included rewiring the electricity, redoing the handrail and stairs, and installing carpet.

Her bedroom is her favorite room. Using vintage light bulbs, various artwork, and a lot of different textures, she created the space to feel comfortable and peaceful, a place where she could escape. It includes mirrors and thrifted or refurbished pieces, which Chacon loves to incorporate into her spaces.

“Mirrors are my absolute go-to. I get so excited when I find a cool vintage or ornate mirror,” she said.

Chacon estimates that she owns about 30 mirrors, some of which are on display and some of which are stored. She got all of them secondhand from thrift shops, classified ads, estate sales, or social media posts or groups — like she does with most of her décor or furniture. Sometimes she’ll keep or refurbish the items for herself, give them to family or friends, or sell them.

“I find deals all the time, all the time. … This big grand ornate mirror, I found it at the DI [Deseret Industries] for $30, and I could sell it for $500, easily,” she said. “… People are so shocked when they come to my house. They ask, ‘Where did you get that?’ I say, ‘The DI.’ And they’ll go, ‘No way!’”

Her favorite stores include Deseret Industries Thrift Store, Goodwill, Lost and Found Thrift, Salt & Honey Market, and Savers. She also shops on KSL classifieds, Facebook, and Instagram.

“I always just go in to see what they have. You never know. And I go to different locations: Riverton, Provo, Bountiful, wherever. For example, if I'm in Ogden and I don't normally go to Ogden, I'll try to stop in at a one or two thrift stores to see what they have,” she said.

Unfortunately, she falls in love with so many pieces that she can’t display or keep everything she finds. Although she sells some of the items, she tries to hold on to most of them, storing unused decor in a designated room. Still, she runs out of space.

“Every year I have a yard sale because I have so much décor. I have to sell it because I don't have the space. In April, I made $1,100 off of my stuff. So, that was a good yard sale for me,” she said.

Angelica Chacon does floral design part time.

Angelica Chacon does floral design part time.

Floral design

About seven or eight years ago, Chacon developed another passion:  floral design. Her mother, Denise, and Aunt Cerise, who both previously worked at the Floral Patch at Fifth South and State Street, taught her the ins and outs of the trade so she could help with events.

“Floral design is fun,” she said. “There are a few techniques and some standards that you should know, but other than that, you have a lot of freedom to be creative and design something that looks good to the eye.”

Chacon and her aunt can do it all — bouquets, centerpieces, oases, sprays, and more for all types of events, such as anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, and weddings. Last summer, Chacon designed the floral arrangements for three weddings, including a wildflower arch ofblue eryngo, peony, aster, cosmos, larkspur, astilbe (false goat's beard), amaranth, kangaroo paw, and agonis flexuosa (peppermint willow).

Unfortunately, funerals have accounted for most of their work in the past couple of years. Many of their clients include family and friends, and Chacon and her aunt procure and prepare the flowers at a discount for them.

“We want to help them,” she said. “We know that it’s a tragic time. They're already spending money on the funeral and all these other expenses so that's why we're like, ‘Let us help you.’”

No matter the event, floral design is time consuming and time sensitive. An oasis, Chacon said, requires more time to create because the structure needs to soak for a few hours and, depending on the desired shape, it may need to be molded differently. The type of flower also determines its care and treatment. For example, roses and tropical flowers must be stored at different temperatures, she said.

To keep the flowers fresh, Chacon prepares her designs as close to the event as possible — the night before or day of.

“You don’t want to do it at 9:00 a.m. today when the event’s tomorrow at 3:00 p.m.,” noting that the flowers should last for at least two days. “I would probably wake up early the day of the event so I could start working on it by 9:00 a.m. and be done by 1:00 p.m.”

Chacon said she and her aunt have received more orders in recent months, just through word of mouth. She’s hopeful they can build a business from it.

“We haven't come up with a name or business plan yet, but we plan to,” she said. “We just haven't put it into words yet.”

The Chacon family breeds French bulldogs.

The Chacon family breeds French bulldogs.

Dog breeding

Chacon already runs one successful family business: breeding French bulldogs.

Her family decided to raise and sell the dogs about five years ago, after falling in love with the breed. Now, they have Rocky, Rosie, Remy, Pork Chop, Benji, Suga, and Honey.At one point last fall, though, they cared for 15 dogs after welcoming a litter of seven puppies and driving to Las Vegas to pick up another one.

Chacon estimates that they’veproduced about 50 Frenchies, including a litter of 10 pups.

“We used to have three females, so each year we would have three litters,” she said.

After the dams produce three litters, the Chacons spay them (they remain family pets). The Chacons sell the puppies through the American Kennel Club (AKC), Instagram, Facebook, or other social media platforms for $3,500 to $6,000 each. Their dogs are registered with the AKC, which means that they have paperwork establishing the dog’s pedigree or purebred ancestry.

“A lot of people expect and want AKC-registered dogs. They want the paperwork to be with their dog. It makes it more valuable,” she said, noting thattheir buyers come not only from Utah, but Idaho, Wyoming, California, and other nearby states.

Chacon said her family loves caring for and working with the dogs — especially her boys, Arsenio, 8, and Aniceto, 5. It’s the perfect family project.

“I love watching my kids be so gentle with the dogs and be responsible for giving them food and water. They love these little creatures,” she said. “The dogs have taught my kids so much responsibility, and they've given our family so much joy."

They also keep her busy. With a husband, two boys, six or more dogs at any given time, a full-time job, a part-time floral business, and her personal hobbies, Chacon almost always has something to do. It would be weird if she didn’t.

“When I'm sitting down, I feel so strange,” she said. “I'll take a deep breath or I'll try to relax, but I feel like I should do something. It's how I've always been — go, go, go.”

And she loves it.

Chacon's sons, (from left) Arsenio, 8, and Aniceto, 5.Some of the decor inside Angelica Chacon's home.One of Angelica Chacon's vintage mirrors.Some of Angelica Chacon's vintage mirrors, which she has stored for now.One of Angelica Chacon's vintage mirrors.

Some of Angelica Chacon's vintage mirrors.One of Angelica Chacon's vintage mirrors.One of Angelica Chacon's floral designs.Some of the flowers Angelica Chacon has used in her floral designs.One of Angelica Chacon's floral designs.

One of Angelica Chacon's floral designs.One of Angelica Chacon's floral designs.One of Angelica Chacon's floral designs, in the shape of a heart.One of Angelica Chacon's floral designs, in the shape of a cross.One of Angelica Chacon's floral designs.

One of Angelica Chacon's floral designs.Angelica Chacon and her family own and breed French bulldogs.Angelica Chacon and her family own and breed French bulldogs.Angelica Chacon and her family own and breed French bulldogs.Angelica Chacon and her family own and breed French bulldogs.

Angelica Chacon and her family own and breed French bulldogs. 

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Last Updated: 4/11/22