The whole story
I firmly believe with all my heart that I was put here to share my story to help other wedding floral designers.
I always knew I wanted to own my own business.
Let me give you the background: When I was just three years old, my sister died in a car accident. My mom, naturally, put all her energy into me, her only living child. She attended every event, drove me to all my practices, and was a very attentive parent. However, when I went away to college, I saw how tough this was for her. Suddenly, her daily life was completely different. Her job of taking care of me, was no longer needed.
Owning my own business became my only goal. It didn’t matter what it was, I just wanted it to be mine
It was during my first year away at college that I knew explicitly that while I wanted to be as devoted a mom one day as she was to me, I also knew I needed something that was mine, separate from my family.
I’ve never shied away from hard work, but what I instantly knew was how miserable the corporate world felt to me. You see, I really value my time. Two weeks off a year just never felt quite right to me. I didn’t want to have to ask permission to get off work to take my daughter to the dentist or to attend a holiday party at my kids’ school. I also wanted the freedom to implement an idea without having to jump through a bunch of hoops to get it approved. You see, owning my own business was my only goal. It didn’t matter what it was, I just wanted it to be mine. Only problem was I needed to learn how a small business worked.
In 2005 I went to work for a successful small business in my town.
I quickly became the manager and buyer of the store. I learned about bookkeeping, placing orders, working with vendors, how to treat customers, and tons of valuable lessons. I also learned what kind of boss I would want to be one day and how I would want to treat my employees.
After four years, I was going to purchase this store and become the new owner.
Thank goodness God’s plan is so much better than our own!
In 2009, a few days before Christmas, I found out the exchange in ownership wasn’t going to happen. I was devastated. For nine years, I had worked towards the goal of owning my own business and I felt like it all was ripped away from me in a matter of minutes. There was nothing left for me to give to that store. I left that day, without anything else lined up. It was just too painful to think of going back. The next day I went to a Christmas party and a lady who owned a little wedding rental store came up to me and said, “Hey! I know you love your current job and you’ll probably never leave, but I’m looking to sell my business and if you’d like to, you can come work for me for a year then I’ll sell it to you.”
I went to work for her immediately. I learned about wedding rentals and we created flowers for a few weddings that year.
January 1, 2011, I purchased the business.
(I always knew something special would happen with the date being 1.1.11)
For a couple of years I was on a hamster wheel. I worked day and night. I had zero money to show for it. To the outside world, I portrayed a successful business woman, but each night I would go to bed feeling like a fraud. There was never enough time to get it all done. I was handling every division of the business myself from cleaning lady to salesperson to bookkeeper.
I had my daughter & I was still on that hamster wheel.
I missed a lot of those first six months of her life because I was always working just trying to keep up, but somehow never getting ahead.
I knew my business was something I could no longer play around with.
I had to make a change. I had to figure this whole thing out. I knew my monthly expenses were averaging $15K a month. I knew if I could just cover my expenses for a few months, long enough for me to catch my breath and figure all this out, I could make this thing successful. I was determined. To be completely honest, at this point I cared more about not failing then I did about becoming wildly successful. I went to the bank and asked for a loan. The man looked at my paperwork and I'm sure he was laughing on the inside because my business showed no signs of success. He looked at me and said, "How much do you need?" I said, "How much can you do?" He explained how he had the authority to write $100k loan but nothing larger. I couldn't believe it. I gave myself four months. I would use $60K to cover my expenses and I would use the other $40K to get my hands on every bit of education I could to succeed at this business. I had worked too hard to fail.
In the fall of 2014, I realized rentals did not fall in line with my value of time. I completely revamped my business changing it from a storefront to a by appointment only floral studio.
For the next two years I invested over $40K in education to really learn how to run a successful wedding floral design studio. I traveled to workshops, hired professionals, read many books, listened to countless podcasts, and gained several mentors along the way, mentors I still am close with today.
I truly believe I went through all the heartache, all the failures, and all the hard lessons so that I could share my story with you.