I’m officially obsessed with flowers. I’m so glad Farmgirl Flowers exposed me to this amazing network of florists, and their incredible work! Welcome Love ‘n Fresh Flowers, I’m so glad to have them on the blog!
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS : I love so much about my business. The beauty of being at my flower farm every day would be an easy answer to this question. But going a bit further beyond the obvious, perhaps my favorite thing about running my own business is that there’s always a problem to be solved. Flower farming requires a lot of ingenuity on a daily basis. And of course being a wedding florist takes a lot of creativity beyond just designing beautiful bouquets. Chuppah set up on a steep hill, anyone? I love the challenge of problem-solving and how it requires my brain to fire on all cylinders to figure out a smart solution quickly.
FAVORITE CANDY/TREAT : Dark chocolate anything is my perennial favorite. My current seasonal sweet treat obsession though is pavlova with fresh seasonal fruit. I first tasted pavlova while doing a solo cycling tour in Ireland in my early 20s, and a bite of it always takes me right back to that wild and fun adventure.
WHAT’S A RECENT FAVORITE FIND : It’s been a couple months since I downloaded it, but I’m still loving Angel Olsen’s album Burn Your Fire for No Witness. I love that her songs are equally great for taking a walk on a sunny afternoon and for late-night designing. Other great music for designing is the Zero 7 station on Pandora!
TELL US HOW YOU GOT STARTED WITH YOUR COMPANY : I’m the fourth generation in my family to farm so being a farmer and an entrepreneur was pretty much inevitable. What wasn’t clear for several years was exactly how my dreams would manifest. I was hell bent on getting out of my rural hometown and experiencing life in the “big city”. So I spent about 10 years in corporate marketing and management before ditching a desk for the dirt. I had saved up a nice nest egg so I was able to quit cold turkey and start working on my own business full time from the start.
I often get asked how I got into weddings. The irony is that I never intended to become a wedding florist. I simply wanted to be a flower farmer who grew beautiful flowers. I started out selling at farmers markets and was asked to do a few small weddings my first season. I soon stopped going to farmers markets and focused on custom-growing flowers for our amazing wedding clients. Five years later, my team and I do over 70 weddings of all sizes and styles each season. It’s amazing to see the growth of the business and to turn around and share my knowledge with students who come to our many on-farm workshops and professional classes.
ANY ADVICE FOR FELLOW ENTREPRENEURS : It’s been said before but I’ll say it again: Do not compare your journey with someone else’s. There is a quote that I’ve had clipped and hung by my desk since I first started.
“Your journey has molded you for your greater good, and it is exactly what it needed to be. Don’t think that you’ve lost time. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. And now is right now time.” – Asha Tyson
I am a huge fan of social media, particularly Instagram, for growing a business. But it can be one of your worst enemies if you follow lots of people in your industry and get caught up in the classic game of the “Jones”. You can feel inadequate or be trying desperately to make someone else jealous. Frankly, it can become a pretty bloody psychological battlefield, and I’ve heard many, many students at my professional classes comment on how this comparison of their journey to others can really take its toll. Yes, it’s great to have idols who inspire us and lift us up, but there’s just so much room for envy in the social media arena of “InstaFame”.
Instead of focusing on keeping up with stats, little pink hearts, and emojis, focus your energy on figuring out what makes your business really unique. There are a lot of copy cats out there, but there can only be one you. Build on that. And do really good work, whatever your work is, and focus on that. Focus on making your clients/customers happy, not your “fans”. If you have to, muster the courage and unfollow people on social media that make you grind your teeth in frustration. Why add that little tinge of stress to your day every time you open up Instagram?
By the way, it may not be popular advice, but I also highly recommend writing a business plan when starting your business. I did and I’m so glad I had that playbook to help guide some critical early decisions. After you launch, you may never look at it again, but you’ll have thought through all the big questions that are so critical to a small businesses success, like who is your target customer and precisely how do you reach them.
WHO’S A FELLOW ENTREPRENEUR YOU’RE CRUSHING ON RIGHT NOW : Doreen at Asarum Designs is a jewelry artist here in Philadelphia. She makes these earthy/modern pieces that I’ve become obsessed with, so much so that I actually recently designed an entire photo shoot around them. I love to connect with creatives outside of the flower industry so I can get inspiration from other formats/media.