Reflections on Year One

Well, I've been so busy getting back in the swing of things post-holidays that I totally missed my 1 year business anniversary on January 9th. This year has flown by. It's been a blur, really. A ton of late nights, super early mornings, hard work, and a lot of love. It feels like just yesterday that I was sitting at my desk in my house, drinking my coffee slowly at 8am, getting stoked to get just one little wedding inquiry, and trying to get in the swing of this new "work for myself" thing. I laugh thinking about how little was on my to-do list in those first 2 months. Man, if I could've seen where I'd be in one year...

  said desk area (and my baby, Theo)

said desk area (and my baby, Theo)

I'm not going to lie to you and say owning your own business is amazing and fun and freeing all of the time. I've had highs and lows. I've been on cloud nine and I've shed a lot of tears. I've seen very little of my friends and family (P.S. I miss y'all.) It's been so hard and it's a grind. But it's my grind. It's my baby. And that's what makes all of this hard work count for me. At the end of the day I make the rules, I can set my workload, and I get full creative freedom. Those things make every sleepless night worth it. Also, that look on the bride's face when she sees and loves her bouquet. That helps, too!

  HiFi Fest 2017

HiFi Fest 2017

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When I started this business I had one word in mind that I promised myself I would follow in this first year - ADAPT. If something wasn't working, I would change it. If I didn't like the way something was going, I would turn the other way. If someone hurt my feelings, I wouldn't take it personally. My biggest fear in the beginning was that my skin was too thin. That I wouldn't handle rejection well, wouldn't be able to take criticism, or wouldn't be able to handle unhappy customers. I am so happy to say that it wasn't even an issue for me this year. My skin is thick, y'all. I don't know how that happened. I guess that's what owning a business will do to you. You can't take anything personally. Issues roll off my back like I'd never even believe these days. BRING IT, 2018!

  Cleveland Avenue shop, pre-opening

Cleveland Avenue shop, pre-opening

I've been thinking of my word for year 2 and it is pretty obvious for me the changes I need to make to have the life and business that I want. I said yes to absolutely everything in 2017. It led to a lot of exposure and amazing opportunities that I am so thankful to have had, but it also led to zero free time, not taking care of myself, and extreme burnout by the end of the year. For 2018 my word is PRIORITIZE. That means carving out the quality time I so desperately need with the people I love, setting better work-hour boundaries, and quality over quantity in every aspect of my life. That means making sure (most - 'cause a girl has to make money!) every wedding, project, collaboration, and work-related thing that I take on is important or exciting to me. Saying "no" is hard, but I am slowly learning and getting better at it every day. 

I feel like I owe a lot of credit to a lot of people for getting me through this year. Let's just go down the list, shall we? (Go ahead and skip this part if you don't want to listen to me gush about people I love)

-My husband, Luke. I mean, duh. How this poor man loves me after all of the work I've asked him to do on top of his day job as a teacher, I will never know. He's supportive, an eternal optimist, and I am so lucky to have him.

-My family. 100% supportive, all of the time, and has believed in me since the beginning. They've been totally understanding of how little I've seen them lately. Sure do love them.

-Michaela - my amazing main employee who keeps the shop running and gives me a day off every once in a awhile - and all of my other shop and wedding help this year. You know who you are! Literally couldn't have done it without y'all. These ladies worked super hard and logged so many hours with me just to help my little business thrive. I am thankful for each and every one of you. 

-The Huntsville wedding vendors, all who have been so welcoming and kind to me. I am thankful for all of the business advice, referrals, collaborations, and all of the friendships I've made this year! I feel lucky to be a part of such a supportive and uplifting community.

-And last but not least, my clients and customers, of which this business would not exist without. Thankful to every single person who trusted me to be a part of their wedding and/or bought something from my shop this year. You are supporting my dream with your dollars and I could never thank you enough!

 

Okay, novel over. I love y'all. I'm getting teary-eyed writing this. I'll update you this time next year when I inevitably learn a bazillion more things about life and business after year 2. I have so so so much more to learn. Onward and upward!

2017 Holiday Wreath Workshops

I had the privilege of gathering two groups of ladies into my shop to build wreaths the week after Thanksgiving. I rounded up tons of greenery - evergreens, magnolia leaves, eucalyptus - and mixed it with pods, berries, and other textures to give them a variety of materials to choose from. We listened to Christmas records, drank hot apple cider, and it was all so festive! Every single wreath took on a different personality, and it was fun to watch everyone dive in. 

I cannot thank these ladies enough for joining me! Loved seeing some familiar faces and meeting all of the new ones.  Also, a big thank you to my assistant Michaela and to the super talented Robyn Skinner (www.robynskinnerphoto.com) for taking these amazing photos for us. Hoping I'll get to crank a few more workshops out in 2018! 

Lisa + Philip

Well, it's been a while! Fall wedding season was absolutely jam PACKED. I feel like I am just now catching my breath. But, man, I couldn't have dreamed that I would be doing this many beautiful weddings this year. 

I met Lisa and her mom in 2016, and I hadn't even officially introduced my business to the world yet when they booked me. I will forever be grateful to these early couples who took a chance on me. They could've just as easily gone to someone who has been in business for much longer, and I so appreciate their trust! They were just the sweetest family ever, and I know I say that a lot but it's true. I don't know where these dream brides find me. I have yet to experience a bridezilla...there's always next year though, hah!

Lisa had the most unique vision for her wedding....jewel tones, lots of greenery, and potted herb centerpieces. I think it turned out beautifully! She also had some super special touches, like having her bridesmaids create their own bouquets. We got together the day before the wedding and had a little bouquet lesson, and they all did such a great job. She had a killer team of vendors, and it's always nice working with vendor friends. And also a big thanks to my floral sister, Tatiana, for partnering with me on this one. Full list of vendors below, along with some of my favorite shots. It was so hard to narrow down...they are just the cutest couple. Enjoy! And congrats to Lisa and Philip!

Photographer: W&E Photographie
Event Planner: Kathleen Bernal Events
Venue: Creekside Plantation
Invitations: Ledgewood Stationary
Catering: Ashley's Creative Catering
Dress: La Raine Bridal
Band: Utopia
Hair: Joy Williams of Mirror Image Salon
Makeup: Leslie Ware MUA
Wedding Cake: Mason Dixon Bakery
Ceremony Musician: Larry Mount

Styled Shoot

So excited to finally post a full set of photos from this shoot back in August. A super talented group of vendors came together to create this mauve and berry-toned fall wedding inspiration at Sacred Stone. If you haven't been to Sacred Stone yet you are missing out. It is absolutely beautiful, especially at sunset! I created a floral "nest" for the ceremony site and one of my favorite bouquets to date. The details in this shoot are to die for! And this fall color palette is getting me pumped for some of my upcoming weddings (wish I could have a redo on my wedding flowers--it would for sure be these colors!)

Thanks to all of the amazing vendors for contributing their talents. The full list is below, followed by a few of my favorite photos. Enjoy!

 

VENUE | SACRED STONE                                          

PHOTOGRAPHER | AIS PORTRAITS                          

STYLING | KATHLEEN BERNAL EVENTS                   

RENTALS | MULLINS SPECIAL OCCASIONS             

RENTALS | PROPS AND PALETTES                           

HAIR AND MAKEUP | OH DARLING HAIR AND MAKEUP  

FLORIST | OLD FROND                                         

BRIDAL SALON | WHITE DRESSES HUNTSVILLE        

CALLIGRAPHY | SEALED SHOP                             

CAKE | HAMLEY BAKE SHOPPE                           

DRESS DESIGNER | LEA-ANNE BELTER      

           

Floral Workshop

Earlier this month I hosted my first workshop. To say I was nervous is an understatement (hello public speaking anxiety!), but it was such a wonderful night. I am so grateful to all of the ladies who joined me, to the Lumberyard for hosting me, to my lovely assistant Becky, to my wonderful sister Katie of Linen & Leaf (www.linenandleaf.com) for making the place cards, and to the incredibly talented Abbie Bolton (www.abbieboltonphoto.com) for taking the photos. We used mostly seasonal ingredients and I guided my attendees through every step of creating a garden-style arrangement. They created some beautiful work, and it was so much fun to watch everyone dive right in and create something so reflective of their style and personalities.

Prepping for the workshop was a process. It forced me to take a step back and evaluate my design process, which I sorely needed. I can get stuck in design ruts, so figuring out the best way to explain my theories and processes to people who may know little to nothing about flower arranging was a perfect way for me to do some self reflection. I touched on shape, color palette, foraging, and flower types, then we went through every step of building the arrangement together. It was so much fun and I hope to host several more within the next year! Here's a few of my favorite photos from the class. Thanks again for such a fun night, ladies!