I wanted to dedicate this first blog post to the time I spent in Maryland for The Intrigued Experience (organized by Sarah Campbell) and all the lovely things I took away from it!
This past February I attended a Floral Conference called "Intrigued Experience" and let me tell you ..WOW..Learning from ladies like Francoise Weeks, Nicole of Soil and Stem and Katie of Ponderosa and Thyme was amazing!..And If those ladies names meant nothing to you, that's completely fine..think of it this way...It's like meeting all your instagram celebrities in one place!
Let me start by telling you the reasons I went on this little self improvement adventure! Since rebranding to my married name, I felt like I needed to do more and learn more! After years of calling myself a "self taught" florist and having retail experience, I took a leave from work as a Medical Lab Tech to attended the Canadian Institute of Floral design. That was the moment I was able to officially and confidently say "I am a professional floral designer". It was a great experience and re-enforced my skills, but I didn't want to stop there, I learned through trial and error, and a whole lot of you tube videos. I wanted to know how to make luscious arches, tall arrangements, and fabulous garden style bouquets that I had been seeing on Instagram for years. I wanted to see it done in person so when I finally got a request for these, I knew I would be able to execute it with the proper mechanics! However, I couldn't find a workshop/conference within Canada that was as all encompassing as Intrigued Experience. I had to act fast since this conference sells out within weeks... So I bit the bullet, signed up and flew to Maryland!
I learned floral costuming and woodland arrangements. We made two styles of bouquets, garden style and ones in european bouquet holders, learned tons of tips and tricks for styling and photographing our work, social media advice, and we worked with the most beautiful flowers I have ever laid eyes on! But I didn't only learn from the best of the best, I came back with so much more! I felt rejuvenated! I came back Inspired and excited about this small business of mine! I met others in the same boat, wonderful florists who had the same passion I had. Florists with home based studios that were successful without a store front! I met "Part-time" florists who juggled a day job with a weekend passion. They all shared stories of struggles and stories of accomplishments and it was really inspiring and made my short time there unforgettable!
One thing I took away from the conference and really wanted to work on was how to FOCUS. Making time for important things and getting the most out of my time. So as much as I wanted to book a ton of weddings, truthfully... I couldn't! I want it all and for that to happen I had to set limits, because I am a one woman show. I am the definition of a small business...I'm the secretary/assistant (I answer all emails, calls, send quotes, and TRY to keep on track with my social media) the buyer (it takes time to research what's in season, and buy the right amount of product with the least amount of loss), I process everything (hours of unpacking and hydrating flowers), I'm also the creative (the best part!), the clean up crew (sweeping up after my mess and washing buckets and vases to be ready for the next wedding) and the delivery driver (self explanatory) I knew that deciding to start my own business would be ALOT of work, I went down from a full time, well paying job, not because I had visions of grandeur about making it rich as a florist. It's because I love it! Because I still get excited opening a shipment of flowers. Because I can spend hours and hours on a wedding and not feel the time passing. Because the gratitude from my clients make it worth it!
So if you have decided to book your wedding with me...please know that even if you chose a small home based business, you chose someone who is formally trained but won't pretend to know it all. You chose someone who is still growing and learning. You chose someone who will focus on you and most importantly someone you can trust!