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Alumni Spotlight: Candace Noel

A Q&A with Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts, Arts Leadership Alum and Floral Designer, Candace Noel.

Q: What was the year and degree you received from The University of Houston’s College of the Arts? 

A: In 2019, I received an M. A. in Arts Leadership. 

Q: Where has your [arts] career taken you since graduation? 

A: A few weeks after graduation, I started laying the groundwork for Flora Noel. I aimed at getting all the proper paperwork to launch my business as well as working on branding. Luckily, the process was smooth since I was able to utilize the detailed business plan I created while in the MAAL program. I am so grateful to the Entrepreneurship and Alternative Business Models course instructorAndrea Lazar, for her assistance in developing the business plan. 

Q: Is there one thing that has surprised you about a career in the arts that you didn’t expect? 

A: I was surprised at the immediate support. As soon as I started posting my work on social media and people started to become aware of my new venture, support started outpouring.  

Q: What accomplishments in your career do you feel most proud of? 

A: I am most proud that I did not give up. My business started ramping up right before the pandemic and then everything came to a halt. The core of my business is providing florals for events. Due to Covid restrictions, all events were cancelled. So, instead of quitting, I decided to pivot my focus on floral deliveries until regulations eased. I am also proud of the collaborations I have had with local art galleries and emerging artists who I have been able to design event florals for during the crisis. I hope to get more opportunities like those in the future. 

Q: Are there specific skills or things you learned at the McGovern College of the Arts that you find valuable in your career now? What are they? 

A: One of the valuable skills I learned at the McGovern College of the Arts is to be flexible. Many times as artists, we already have a desired path planned that we would like to take. I decided to be open to the many opportunities that may arise. That approach has taken me to places and put me in spaces that I never imagined. Becoming a floral designer is something that sort of just happened. I fell in love with flowers and ended up here. Another cherished lesson I gained is to create your own lane if you do not find one that fits. This was major for me. I started to realize that what I wanted for my life did not exist in a specific job. I wanted creative freedom, flexibility, and passion. I could not find it anywhere, so I created my own path. 

Q: Has there been any press coverage that you would like to share? If so, list links in your answer with any helpful descriptions. 

A: Last week, I was featured on to promote Flora Noel and to discuss my journey as an artist. I was also recently spotlighted in the University of Houston’s ALASA Newsletter. 

Q: What is coming up for you in the future that we should watch for? 

A: In the future, I will get back to designing event florals, launch a floral subscription service for private homes and businesses, as well as floral therapy workshops. 

Q: What advice would you have for incoming students who are focusing on a career in the arts? 

A: My advice is to be open to endless possibilities. You never know where your love for art will take you. 

Quote: When I decided to join CoTA, I was looking for a career change and new avenues that would allow for creativity. I did not expect to be completely transformed. My experience felt like a form of therapy, where each instructor saw you at your core and asked you to shed everything you thought you knew about yourself. I gradually felt myself growing into the person I desired to be through each course I took. At times, it was difficult to be vulnerable, but as I moved through the program, it became easier and easier because of the genuine support of my classmates and instructors— for that, I am truly grateful. 


IG: @flora_noel_design 

Facebook: @floranoeldesign