So its been a good couple of months since my last blog online. Iv been busy with weddings, prep, photoshoots and getting hit with a 3 month bout of ill health, which was brought on by the stress of everything going on funnily enough!
I like to think im quite an honest person, i dont hide my emotions and i dont hide the truth. Id like to write an honest blog post on how its been being a florist and running my own business in 2015. The past 3-4 months have been really quite difficult as my business has expanded, bitter-sweet though as iv already trippled the amount of work for this new year but iv been feeling overwhelmed! I didnt think id need to expand my business this early on, after all - iv only been full time for 11 months.
I was never top of my class at school and didnt get amazing grades, so i wasnt given many options for after school. Iv been in every job imaginable, but mostly care jobs. I was a darned good one at that, I took pride in caring for people, and i was a loyal worker. none of this was ever appreciated, and in my last job as a florist assistant, id had enough of it and stood up to my awful manager with a very strongly worded letter/novel telling them all the reasons i was leaving (mostly to do with how badly treated i was by the manager at that point). It was a fantastic way to end employment!!
Finding floristry has given me the biggest boost as i now know i am capable of an awful lot, not bound to minimum wage jobs or no career - i'll make my own job!
As i started out, i was lucky to already have social media for Tupelo Tree under my illustration and had known a little on selling and markets already, so changing the field wasnt too difficult. It was a scary leap though, just me alone in my room and a broken laptop trying to find my way in the vast wedding world. I spent all of my time online promoting myself, creating a website, developing my signature 'style' of floristry (which really didnt take long!) but money was tight as id stopped working completely to do this full time and really give it a go. I only brought in cash from markets and odd jobs until id booked some weddings. The previous year id done a few weddings and had loved every minute of them, feeling at my most creative and happy sitting in amongst all the lovely flowers, getting to create amazing things with my hands. I knew this could be something great if i put my all into it.
So i did.
Over the summer i did an incredible/stupid amount of online research and promoting myself so i could be found (which is always a good start!). After my last wedding of the summer i had a couple of not too busy months, so i filled them up with photoshoots and collaborations with really talented artists and photographers. Iv had my work published in Italian Vogue, Jute Magazine, lots of wedding magazines and blogs in 2015 and i couldnt be prouder! ...it might have pushed me over the edge a little...
Just after my last wedding I had 3 months of being very unwell, a lot of back and forth to the doctors but we figured it out. Most of my symptoms were brought on by stress. Id always thought stress was a bad thing of course, but i had no idea how much it could grab hold of me like this! Iv been in 3 different houses in the midst of having my business, one we planned on being in for a couple of years but situations changed and it meant having to move out after just 6 months! Thats me tallying up to 19 moves in my 26 years!
Sometimes i go through phases of feeling really rubbish about my business, social media often gets me down, days of emailing people gets me down... Im torn between a life of solidarity and a life where i really push myself and try to be the best me in every sense. Its a hard business sometimes, things are expensive, flowers die eventually and at the end of the day - is all my work really worth it?
But I couldnt be more grateful than i am in this moment for all the opportunities and freedom i have to do my own work and make my own rules. Having worked for some truley awful bosses, people who have manipulated me, shouted at me, walked all over me, i feel so wild and free to have my own business! I will NEVER take it for granted.
Im gonna sound all soppy now - my heart feels so full. Im grateful for this career, im grateful for getting drunk all those years ago and applying for a floristry job!! If i hadnt felt so sorry for myself for not having a career, i wouldnt be here today! Funny how things happen the way they do!
Id like to be more open in my posts from now on, Iv spent too long rewording posts so they sound happy and business-like - its not me. I admire artists who just say it as it is, even the gritty parts that are hard to talk about, its what makes us who we are.
I love my job. I love creating beautful things for couple making a big step in their lives, i cant wait for this year to unfold - who knows what the future will bring, but as long as im surrounded by flowers... its gonna be good!
Here's some of my favourite photos of 2015... Thanks for everything you've taught me!