I started taking notice of flowers when my dad retired and got into gardening. I was about 24 years old. I helped a lot in the early days – built him some raised planter beds and together we dug out a pond.
I bought my first house a few years later and that’s when the real obsession with gardening took over. Let’s say it was a healthy habit to counteract some of the bad ones. It was until much later, in 2015 (ish) that I quit a full-time, well-paid job for a stab at flowers. I started part time in a retail boutique that sold more of everything else it stocked than the flowers, but the flowers were what I was interested in most. I had thought I would learn what I could and then see about going out on my own.
I quickly learned the start-up costs for the shop I thought I might like to have were beyond my reach. So I dug in hard and I turned that part-time job into a full-time, lead designer position.
A big one! Like so many, I lost my job during Covid. I started the job search, but quickly, with the support of my partner, realized it was time to believe in myself and do what I had set out to do when I took that first part-time position. That was to figure out my own business in flowers.
I had knowledge (or so I thought), experience (50-plus hours most weeks for years) and passion. But I still didn’t have funds for those hefty start-up costs. So it had to be something I could start at home. I set out to build a nice weekly floral subscription business. I had lots of inquiries for freelance work, so I started doing that too. I had DMs and emails asking if I taught or offered workshops. Though I never considered myself a teacher, I sold a workshop. And I realized I liked that a lot, so I booked a private one-to-one.
So now I’m doing all those things, and I do small, private and corporate events from a small home studio. Oh … and now I have posters available, through a licensing agreement with a sustainably-minded printing company in Sweden.
The flowers give me all the joy and satisfaction and inspiration. I stick with it because I am the best version of myself when I am working with flowers. I feel at peace.
There are many, but, no lie, I fell off my chair when I got a DM from a florist/garden designer I had admired for many years asking if I’d be interested in co-hosting a creative workshop. I feel incredibly honoured to be asked to present or teach my approach to flowers.
I struggle with every part of it that isn’t design related – accounting etc.
My husband would tell you I am charming, but I think my biggest strength is my ability to foresee potential problems and solve issues quickly when they arise.
I think my main impacts have been sharing my passion for local and seasonal flowers and helping florists find ways to move from floral foam to more sustainable mechanics. I know where I have made a difference simply through a willingness to share, inspire and help.
It’s easy, always fun and healthy.
I think there is a lot of work to be done. It’s easy to feel like you’re winning the fight when you’re surrounded by like-minded people, but I fear the majority of florists are still uninformed when it comes to floristry’s impact on our planet
I look for problem solvers and open minds – or I will when I need to hire; right now in these early stages it’s me, myself and I).
I’m not perfect, but I try to make improvements daily. My business is 100 percent foam free. My florals almost exclusively locally sourced or American-grown, then composted. I feel it’s one of the business’s missions to share what I learn and try to inspire others to learn more and take steps. Even little ones count!