If you’ve been following along with my personal flower journey, #alitheflorist, I’m happy to be back with some updates! It’s been a minute since my last post, but like I said before, this has been a slow journey. However, things are beginning to pick up little by little, and I’m excited to fill you all in! Over the past month, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in some really cool experiences that have reignited the floral spark and continue to help educate me and grow as a budding designer. This may take a few blog posts (I tend to be an over-sharer at times – hope you like reading!) so stay tuned for more #alitheflorist updates!
The first experience sent me on a Wednesday morning jaunt down to the Seattle Wholesale Grower’s Market to see the incredible Ariella Chezar speak and do a centerpiece demonstration. I first heard about this event after Slowflowers.com creator Debra Prinzing and I discovered that we lived about ten minutes away from each other, and with our newly formed business relationship as a sponsor of American Flowers Week, decided that we must obviously meet in person to discuss that and more over croissants and avocado toast. Well it turns out, with Debra’s passion for flowers and amazing ability to connect people within her large network of friends and colleagues, what I thought was just a casual advertising inquiry for Mayesh has turned into much more, as Debra has now begun to play a small role in my own personal journey. And that, my friends, is what is so cool about this community! The people you meet and the connections you make are so important, and I’m starting to learn that everyone is in this together. BUT I DIGRESS. Back to Ariella. The original point of that tangent was to give a little intro as to how I ended up at the Ariella Chezar talk, which Debra had invited me to over that delicious avocado toast (if you’re visiting Seattle, go try it here!)
So, the talk. The only other time I had been to the grower’s market was for Lisa Waud’s talk about the Detroit Flower House, so I was excited to have another opportunity to go down there and see Ariella in a cozy, intimate setting. It went down something like this: Ariella was mic’d up, and set to work designing her centerpiece. She explained the what’s and why’s as she worked (proportion, color, why this branch went here, that flower there…) as well as opened up the floor to answer any questions we might have, which varied from design to business to pricing. Watching her design was inspiring in itself, but I walked out of there most inspired by some of the things she said.
As a complete newcomer to the industry, and never having owned my own business, I truly appreciated Ariella’s willingness to talk about the side of things we don’t always discuss: making your business profitable. As creatives, we tend to let that side of our brains dictate the way we do business. However, just because we know an arrangement would be that much prettier with that extra peony, does not mean we should add that extra peony. I’m also in the phase of my journey in which 1) my Facebook newsfeed consists mainly of engagement photos, and 2) those engaged friends having begun noticing all my #flowergrams and are reaching out to me to do their weddings. It’s an awesome way to jumpstart one’s career, but I have to remind myself that the work I’ll be doing and the time that goes into it is valuable, and while doing favors for friends feels good, it also feels, no, IS, expensive. KNOW YOUR WORTH!
The other thing that stood out to me was in reference to trends, and how popular the whimsical garden style is right now. While this is technically a ‘trend,’ luckily for us it is a trend that is here to stay. To quote Ariella, and I’m paraphrasing here, “to those of us passionate about nature and plants, this is logical and natural and beautiful.” And that is so, so true; this lovely, wild style that incorporates more foliage than we’ve really seen before, is what Mother Nature intended for plants and flowers to be. I’m lucky enough to live in Seattle where, although the rain can be a drag at times, the rain also provides the most beautiful, overgrown, lush gardens. Walking my dog through Queen Anne is my favorite time of day; I’ve even started carrying around my clippers to bring some of the beauty home with me! But don’t worry, I’m very conscious of what’s available to take and what would be considered trespassing… most of the time 😉
Student work from Ariella’s workshop
I gotta say, attending Ariella’s talk was a fabulous way to jump back in the game. I left the Grower’s Market that day with four pages of notes and a signed copy of Ariella’s new book, The Flower Workshop. Which by the way, I would highly recommend for anyone in the same boat as me. Not only is it a beautiful book, but it is crafted as if it were a workshop, giving you concrete how-to’s, step-by-steps, and floral recipes. I can’t wait to dive in and soak it all up!
That’s all for now, thanks for checking in! I hope some of Ariella’s words have inspired you like they did me.
Coming up: #alitheflorist learns to make wedding boutonnieres & corsages. Stay tuned!