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Alumni Spotlight: Lauren Bercier '08 and Laken Swan '09

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It takes one good idea to start a successful business. For alumni Lauren Bercier and Laken Swan, their one good idea ended up changing the trajectory of their lives. Bercier '08 and Swan '09 are co-founders of Something Borrowed Blooms, a rent-and-return floral boutique that specializes in premium silk wedding flower collections.

Something Borrowed Blooms offers the highest quality, on-trend floral designs at a fraction of the cost compared to a traditional florist. Since its inception in 2015, the company has grown to 27 employees and has been featured in publications like the New York Times, Forbes, and Elite Daily. Not only are Bercier and Swan business partners, but they're also cousins who both attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Bercier and Swan decided to attend UL Lafayette for its quality academic programs and rich culture. Set on studying public relations in college, Bercier was thrilled when she found out that UL Lafayette had an exceptional program. "The public relations program really drew me here," said Bercier. Swan attended the university a few years after her cousin and studied business administration, with a focus in marketing. Seeing how much her cousin enjoyed the university helped Swan finalize her decision to become a Ragin' Cajun. "UL Lafayette was the sweet spot for me," said Swan.

After graduating, both women had success in their careers while also getting married and starting their own families. Even though they both enjoyed their different jobs, they started thinking about creating something together. "I started thinking what else could we be doing and could it be more meaningful," said Swan. The two put their heads together and began brainstorming ideas for a new business. They were inspired by the company Rent the Runway, a subscription fashion service, and tried to think of ways they could apply a similar concept in another market. Swan had an idea that blossomed into their business plan — renting wedding flowers. "At first, I didn't know if it could work," said Bercier. However, once the two thought it through, they realized they had just discovered a way to revolutionize the wedding industry.

Something Borrowed Blooms has grown in ways that Bercier and Swan could never have imagined. "When we first started, we had a goal of doing just 12 weddings a month," said Bercier. The company currently rents florals to 1,000 weddings a month and is projected to hit almost 2,000 weddings a month by the end of this year. Both women are proud of the company they've created. They're also proud to be female co-founders of a start-up business. "It's very rewarding," said Swan.

Both entrepreneurs have big plans for the future of Something Borrowed Blooms. "We see opportunities outside of the wedding market," said Bercier. Possible endeavors include opening multiple distribution centers and expanding into private sector events. "Eventually, we'll become a brand that is much more than just wedding flowers," said Swan.

Right now, these business owners are focused on carving out a path for themselves in the wedding space. "It's important to own and define your own destiny," said Swan. As they define their path, Bercier and Swan hope they can inspire others to follow their dreams as well. "If you see it, you can believe it," said Bercier. This dynamic duo is taking the wedding industry by storm, and they're ready to revolutionize the market one bloom at a time.

Photo Caption: Pictured left to right: Something Borrowed Blooms founders Laken Swan and Lauren Bercier. Submitted Photo

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