I never thought I would make it this far and sometimes I’m still not sure how I’m holding on. Taking a leap to start and run your own business takes some serious guts. There have been days where I wanted to give up and work the regular 9-5 job, but something has kept me from that grueling life. I decided to take a leap of faith and immerse myself in this industry. I wanted to be creative and try new things without being told what to do. I take direction quite well, but I tend to follow the beat of my own drum to complete the job properly. I never liked the idea of working for “the man.“ I wanted to be my own boss. So here I am: being creative, running my own business and not hating everyday life.
It hasn’t been an easy ride. I have made some poor choices and let my naivety get the better of me. I’ve been taken advantage of due to my sweet disposition and had to learn the hard way that other individuals don’t have your best interest in mind. Since starting my business, I’m not as trustful and willing to bend over backwards as I used to be. I realized people used my knowledge and skills to only benefit themselves with no intention to give me any thanks. Yes, people have used my services for free and I tend to regret it once I see there’s no benefit from being helpful. It has made me a bit callous over the last few years, but, in all honesty, I’m making way more money than I used to. Apparently confidence is quite profitable.
I initially started in retail flowers working for a young, female flower shop owner. I had so much fun making arrangements and delivering flowers; it was the best job in the world! Business was always kind of slow, but I was genuinely inspired to find ways to make the business grow. The owner soon lost her drive to keep the shop open, so I decided to purchase it from her without any knowledge on how to run the business.
I quickly found out that it was definitely not easy and flowers were just a footnote in keeping the shop afloat. The previous owner managed to keep a lot information about the business from me and was quick to cut me off with no sense of sympathy when issues arose. I felt like I dug her out of the hole just to be thrown into it. I felt angry, betrayed, and lost… What did I get myself into?
After the burn, I could only keep going and make this place better than what it was. For anyone who has ever worked in retail, you already know the kind of stress a regular retail job can cause. Now imagine that, but it’s your design and experience that’s constantly on the chopping board. The shop wasn’t in the most promising of locations, mostly due to close proximity and heavy competition among local florists. Let’s not forget about the Trader Joe’s across the way as well.
As the year quickly progressed, I couldn’t believe the kind of craziness I witnessed within my own shop. For as much as I worked and adjusted, it never seem to be enough. Hardly any foot traffic, and when you would get some, it was usually for very inexpensive arrangements or a sigh if you didn’t have exactly what the customer wanted. Had a lot of crazies and lonely people who just wanted someone to talk to. The kinds of insane stories that happened in that shop… but that’s for another blog post.
I soon realized, this wasn’t going to work for me the way I wanted it to. I wanted to be my own boss and not let the customers become my superiors. I hardly ever slept or ate anymore. I dropped so much weight that year, I was almost unrecognizable. I felt like I was losing more of myself each day, no longer the person I thought I could be. I decided, I needed to get out.
By some miracle, I found a buyer for the space who wanted nothing more than to have her own flower shop. I could tell this type of retail would suit her well and she would have the kind of support & backbone I just didn’t have. So I paid off all the debts and gave her a clean slate. I said farewell to the shop and decided I was going to do things my way.
Fast forward to now. I don’t have a brick & mortar storefront anymore, but I am a one happy florist! I decided to cut retail out of my life and just focus on weddings & events. It took some time for me to figure out how to do this without the shop, but life finds a way! I now work from various locations all over the San Fernando Valley with so many other creatives!
Since I’m no longer in a store 6 days a week, I have the time and energy to meet other like-minded entrepreneurs in the wedding industry and connect with them. I’ve joined some wonderful groups that have helped me grow my business exponentially. I go out and freelance with other florists to learn more about our ever-changing art. There’s so much opportunity to grow and I have so many dreams I still want to accomplish.
Three years later and I’m going into the 2019 wedding season full force, one of them being my own! I’m a married woman now, with my amazing partner in crime. Before I got too busy this season, I was able to set up an ethereal photo session with the amazing Trista with Trista Maja Photography. I found this dress at Sidecca in Burbank with the intentions of wearing it during my dinner rehearsal, but that didn’t happen. The two of us decided to chill at a park, make a large flower crown and play with some smoke grenades to make this magic happen. I wanted to channel a few things during this session: nature, freedom, power, confidence and beauty. In essence, I wanted to channel my inner Goddess, Khaleesi and Stevie Nicks all in one shoot. Maybe I can be as powerful as all these icons one day, until then, I’ll just keep being the boss babe I already know I am.