Business, Events, Flower Designs

Review of My First Show

As you know, from all my posts of late, I set up a booth at my hometown’s Art & Garden Festival. It was a lot of prep work, long hours, and hot weather…and extremely fun.

The first question I’m asked is “How did it go?” And that is hard to tell…I have mixed feelings.

I barely sold anything. And even though I offered to hold items until the end of the show, not many wanted to buy fresh flowers especially on such a hot day. So that was disappointing.

However, I got a lot of business cards and postcards into people’s hands. People I hadn’t ever met and do not follow my social media accounts. So that was a big plus and pretty much my main goal.

I also gained some potential business contacts of which I’m excited about. Even if they don’t pan out…at least I know that something I created was appreciated.

Janis, my booth mate, and I were asked to participate in a craft show in November because we had very unique items. A huge positive to the day.

What did I learn? Well…pardon the expression…but a shit ton. I learned you can never be too organized. Even with the trial run through the previous weekend, we still scrambled through some of the set up.

Also, know your product. I had a beautiful arrangement at the front of the booth that was very unique but I could not tell people what one of the flowers were (it’s not a commonly used one) and I struggled until I was lucky enough to have my grower come through the booth. So I asked her and wrote it down! After that I confidently told everyone that asked.

The white airy flower to the right of the pic is called Agrostemma.

I learned a lot about myself and what I’m capable of doing. Faced the unknown of running a booth and put myself out there like I have never done before. Yay, me! Look at me…adulting again!

The best part was meeting people and talking with them about anything. People in my community that I see as I drive around town and some that I’ve never seen before. People from all walks of life. Watching the diversity of my town…it may not be a huge diversity but it’s there if you are paying attention.

The third question I’ve been getting: “Will I do this again?” Yes, but in a different way. What that way will be I’m not sure yet. I still have a little work to do. Gather thoughts and ideas. But yes, I will be there next year…so be sure to look for me.

As always, the love and support of friends and family was wonderful and I am forever grateful for it. It’s easier to make the decisions to step outside my comfort zone knowing there is a support system there for me. I love you all. ❤️

Please follow me on social media:
Facebook: @marmaladeskyfloraldesign
Instagram: @marmalade_sky_floral_designs
Website: marmaladeskyfloral.com
Email: marmaladeskyfloral@gmail.com

May your day be filled with flowers!

Business, Events, Holidays

Happenings (and Happy 4th!)

Just a quick little update on a few things…then I’ll let you get back to your holiday weekend.

Website Updates

The subscription service page is up and running. I’ve been wanting to start a delivery service for a while now so beginning the week of July 22, the service will be live…but you can order now, just click on the link above. Are you an enthusiast, a lover or a fanatic?

Art & Garden Festival

Petaluma’s Art & Garden Festival is Sunday, July 14…just a little over a week away. I’ll be sharing a booth with my friend Janis from Living Miniatures. Our booth number is F73…located on Kentucky Street close to Washington. Please, please, please come see us!

New Family Member

My friend and fellow floral designer Carolina just added a new member to her family. Meet little Charlotte.

Carolina, Diego, Chloe & Charlotte

Carolina has been with me on this floral journey since the very beginning. We met in our first class and quickly became the dynamic duo. She helps me with wedding work and recently stood for way too many hour doing arrangements for Mother’s Day…while 7 months pregnant. I am hoping Carolina’s incredible designer talent has been passed along to the next generation!

That’s about it right now…told you this would be quick.

Please follow me on social media:
Facebook: @marmaladeskyfloraldesign
Instagram: @marmalade_sky_floral_designs
Website: marmaladeskyfloral.com
Email: marmaladeskyfloral@gmail.com

May your day be filled with flowers!

Book review, books, Flower Designs

Flower Color Guide – Book Review

Since I started designing flower arrangements I have gathered a nice collection of books on flowers. From gardening to arranging they range from instructional to coffee table, I love them each in their own way.

So I thought every once in a while I’d do a little book review and maybe you’ll find one that peaks your interest. And by all means, if you have a favorite please tell me about it. It may be one I don’t have…yet!

Today’s review is of my latest purchase that I bought at the deYoung Museum during Bouquet To Arts. It was a book that kept showing up in my Instagram feed in an advertisement and had quickly been added to my books to purchase list. The book is called Flower Color Guide by Darroch and Michael Putnam.

This book is exactly what it’s named. It’s a guide to flower colors. The pictures are simple and allow you to see details of each flower. In the upper corner of each picture are the stats for each flower: common name, botanical name, variety, category of flower in an arrangement, and the peak seasonal availability.

In the appendix you can find info on how to buy, prep, and cut flowers. They also give a list of color schemes.

Finally, there are the flower “chips”. These are small little perforated chips that have the flower on the front and their corresponding info on the back of them. This would allow you to pull together a mood board or make a set of flash cards…hey I don’t judge. LOL.

My only complaint is that the book is super thick and therefore it’s hard to keep open while reading.

Definitely a great reference book and one I’ll turn to time and time again.

Please follow me on social media:
Facebook: @marmaladeskyfloraldesign
Instagram: @marmalade_sky_floral_designs
Website: marmaladeskyfloral.com
Email: marmaladeskyfloral@gmail.com

May your day be filled with flowers!

Business, Events, Flower Designs

Pop Up Shop – The Finale

Note: I wrote this last week and then forgot to post it! As I state below…I was exhausted. So sorry for the delay in my pop up shop recap.

I’m sure by now you’re tired of hearing about the pop up shop but I feel I would be remiss in not sharing how the event went and all the things I learned from it.

To be honest, it’s exhausting and stressful, but so very rewarding and worth every sleepless night.

First of all, the event was perfect and was exactly how I wanted it to be. There were many new people that I was able to meet and honestly I think that was the best part. I also liked that I was able to help promote my friend’s products as well. There is nothing like a good collaboration to boost sales for all parties involved.

I made more arrangements this time than prior and thus sold more. Had I made the same amount I would have been sold out by noon. While that would ave been nice, I wouldn’t have met the new people that came by the shop and I wouldn’t have sold more…yes more than the previous year. Yay me!

I always look back on an event and think about what went well, what didn’t, and what I would change next time. So here’s how my internal conversation went:

So what went well…a number of things actually. As stated previously collaborating with my friends brought in a fresh audience and gave me other items to sell besides flowers and added visual interest to the shop. It gave me another narrative to tell my guests. I really look forward to expanding on that next year. If there is anyone out there wanting to sell their handcrafted products, give me a shout and maybe we can work together.

Tiny nurseries by Living Miniatures. Livingminiatures707@gmail.com

My own narrative has improved. And I spoke to it probably for the first time. I have a vintage flair. My designs are classic and I like to use vintage containers and items. I will emphasize this more as I build the business.

Various vintage containers (Kraft cheese box, milk glass compotes, and enameled pot)

Marketing was better. As I said more unknown people came in because of my social media and others sharing it. Also, because I was selling items that were small, I had bags with stickers and I placed business cards and subscription postcards in each of the bags. Can I tell you that placing a bag with tissue and ribbon in someone’s hands just ticked off a bunch of boxes for me. I’ve stated before that I’ve dreamed of owning a shop…bags, tissues and bows go along with that…weirdly enough.

So what didn’t go as planned? I introduced two things that I thought might draw new guests in, the demos and the kid’s station. No one showed up for either of them. So ok..wasn’t the draw I thought they would be. Lesson learned…move on. Though I’d be remiss in not mentioning Miss Scarlet who came in with her grandma and was so shy she would barely speak to me. However after teaching her how to make a bud vase design and giving her a cookie she and I became fast friends and she waved goodbye to me from the car window. Worth it!

All-in-all I consider the day a huge success and am already looking forward to next

A few of the photos that Ann at @teadrinkertrixie took on design day. I love her perspective!

On to new business: the subscription service is just about up and running. There is a page on the website (just click on the subscription link at the top of this page) with the details, though right now it is under construction so please check back. I hope to have more info in the next week or so. I’m super excited about this…just think you can have Marmalade Sky flower arrangements delivered to your home or office on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis!

I had to post this last arrangement because I think it was my favorite of the day. I don’t normally name my arrangements but this one immediately was named “Little Poppies on the Prairie”.

Please follow me on social media:
Facebook: @marmaladeskyfloraldesign
Instagram: @marmalade_sky_floral_designs
Website: marmaladeskyfloral.com
Email: marmaladeskyfloral@gmail.com

May your day be filled with flowers!

Photo of me curtesy of Ann. I love to hide.

Business, Events, Flower Designs

Antique Faire Find

My home town of Petaluma, holds two antique faires a year…and let’s just face it…it might as well be Christmas Day for me. Those days are marked on my calendar months in advance. I like to get an early start in the day, not to jump on the good deals but because I like it when it’s less crowded and the temp is cooler.

This past weekend was the spring antique faire and I have to say I didn’t find much that were must haves. I’m always on the look out for Royal Copenhagen or Bing & Grøndahl porcelain. Sometimes I find some linen and other times I find something unique to plant or arrange flowers in.

I was about half way through the faire and my reusable bag was still empty. I had a few ideas for things to go back and get if they were still there. And then I came across something that I have been searching for. My search had been for a chair that I could plant in. Something that wasn’t really usable as a seat any more but that wasn’t total trash…because let’s be honest here…I’m not a very good DIYer. Low and behold someone else had the same idea and had done some of the prep work, but hadn’t completed the planting stage. Score! There was no question about purchasing them and my co-shopper helped me carry them home.

Now my biggest dilemma is if I should keep them with this paint or should I repaint them…I’m thinking bright yellow! What do you think? I would love your opinion.

My plan is to work on these this summer and to post step by step instructions so you can do the same. Or maybe I should say we can learn together. Lol!

The next antique faire is in September…I can’t wait to find a new treasure!

Don’t forget we are only 11 days away from my pop up shop. I would love to see you there!

Please follow me on social media:
Facebook: @marmaladeskyfloraldesign
Instagram: @marmalade_sky_floral_designs
Blog post: marmaladeskyfloral.com
Email: marmaladeskyfloral@gmail.com

May your day be filled with flowers!

Business, Classes, Events, Flower Designs, Holidays

Pop Up Shop!

I’m so excited to share some details on my pop up shop. Conveniently held the day before Mother’s Day…ideal for getting your mom, grandmother, wife, or auntie the perfect gift. I started the pop up shop two years ago with just flowers and plants but always with the intention of expanding it to other items made by friends and family. I want to totally support the other creators in my life as they have supported me. This year, I’ve been able to do that! Without further ado, here’s what you’ll find at my shop.

Kid’s Make and Take Bud Vase

Bring your child in to design their own arrangement for mom! I’m so excited to offer this service. Nothing could be more special than a child presenting beautiful flowers in a bud vase that they designed themselves.

Mini Gardens

My friend Janis at Living Miniatures is preparing the most adorable creations to sell at the shop. You guys…I’m serious…just look at how adorbs they are. And they are all made from reclaimed materials.

Cards and Magnets

I’ve worked a few photo shoots with Ann from Trixiepix (see my masthead above) and I’m always amazed at the magic she makes with just a few clicks of her camera. I’m so very honored that she will have her cards and magnets for sale at the shop. The perfect item to round out your gift of flowers or a plant. To see some of Ann’s creations visit her website at theteadrinker.com or her check out her Instagram @teadrinkertrixie.

Jams, Jellies, and Marmalades

My friend Heidi is super talented in writing and singing, but her talents also lie in the kitchen. Her preserves are so delicious and unique. She is who makes the marmalade that I give as thank you gifts. I will have some of her jams, jellies and marmalades for sale at the shop. So many flavors to choose from you’ll have a hard time deciding which one to bring home…so you should get two…ok five jars.

Demonstrations

I will be doing two demonstrations during the day of the event. The first at 11:30am and the second at 2pm. I’m still working on the subject of each demonstration, so keep checking my FB page for more details. These demos are free, so just stop on by to watch and learn.

Flower Arrangements

Did you think I might have forgotten about the main event? Nope. While I never know what the final output will look like, as I am inspired by the flowers, I do know that I will have a full range of styles, colors and sizes to suit your needs.

Plants

I always like to have some plants available for those who want something more permanent. This year I’m going to try to have a bit of a variety instead of just succulents as I did in prior years. I’m looking forward to getting my hands a little dirty.

Preorders

Preorders are available just email me at marmaladeskyfloral@gmail.com and it will be ready for pick up on May 11!

I so hope you can stop into the shop on May 11! Even if it’s just to say hi! I would love to see you!

P.S. I accept cash, check and credit cards.

Please follow me on social media:
Facebook: @marmaladeskyfloraldesign
Instagram: @marmalade_sky_floral_designs
Blog post: marmaladeskyfloral.com
Email: marmaladeskyfloral@gmail.com

May your day be filled with flowers!

Business, Flower Designs, Table Designs

Collaboration – Fun for all

Sometimes I am so wrapped in my brain that I forget to look outside my box.  For some reason, on this particular day, my head popped up outside the box and I immediately texted my friend Anne and asked if she wanted to do a photo shoot with me.  Anne aka Trixiepix.com is an amazing photographer and loves all things nature, opera and tea.  She is a graceful yet vibrant woman, which is reflected in her photos.  She has just release the first edition of The Tea Drinker, a stunning booklet about tea, food, and other fun goodies.

After I texted her, she readily agreed and we started excitingly sending each other ideas into the late hours of the evening.  Both of us anxious to hear what the other had to say.   A date was soon set.  I mean really…like in just a few weeks we pulled this all together.

We met at my house, I had pulled out all my teacups and saucers, and Ann had brought some of hers.  Then the fun began, because even though we had texted each other ideas, we really just went with the creative flow.  No real planning, just building ideas on the fly.   Two creative minds at work…well really three as our mutual friend Heidi was there as well.   I had purchased a variety of flowers with no plan and it all just really worked out perfectly.

Anne took hundreds of pictures and I took a lot too.  Oh man, does she have the talent for seeing things through the camera lens.  My pictures are nowhere near as good as hers.   I’d be jealous if I didn’t like her so much!!   She really made the flowers look fantastic.

So here are a few of the pictures that were taken.  Anne is still editing.  I can’t wait to share more with you.

May your day be filled with beautiful flowers!

Business, Flower Designs, Table Designs, Uncategorized

Dream Becomes Reality

Pop Up Shop 1

I cannot tell you how long I have dreamt of owning my own shop.  When I was younger, it was a gift shop, and now it is a flower shop.  Two weekends ago, I was able to make my dream a reality…if only for a day.  I learned so much in just one day and those leading up to it.  It was a big success.  I went into the day with the thought that no matter what happened, it would be a success…because I had done it.  I had actually put myself, my designs, and my vision out there for people to see, so that was my success even if I didn’t sell a single flower.  However, it didn’t stop the butterflies in my stomach on Saturday morning.  I couldn’t wait to get to the shop to confirm that the flowers hadn’t died since I left them just five short hours before and that there hadn’t been an earthquake that toppled all my displays.  Once I had seen all that, I could finally breathe.  Of course, it also helped that I still had a lot to do before the doors opened.

Pop Up Shop 5
The table top is actually a backdrop my father made for my photos.  I just put it on top of a folding table.

 

Lessons Learned:  First and foremost, trust in yourself.  You must trust that this is really what you want (what you really really want…sorry..I had to go there) and that you have the talent and knowledge to go about doing it.

Secondly, trust in others.  Do not hesitate to ask for help or volunteers.   Honestly, the day wouldn’t have been the same without the help from my parents.   My father, for weeks leading up to the event, would build me partitions, bring things to the shop in his truck, or go buy materials for me.  And when the day ended, he loaded it all back up to bring it home.  He has always been my rock and I can’t thank him enough.   My mom is always my sounding board, my voice of reason, the one to say “do you really need to do that?” Then when I say “yes”, she just supports my decision.  At times she made me rethink things and move into a different direction that turned out better.   She worked the whole day with me speaking with customers and being my cashier.  Again, at the end of the day they both helped me clean up and put everything away.

“Have a good time.”

Friends were also a huge help.  Of course, my bosses, Wayne and Amy, who lent me the space to hold the shop, but who also came to help set up and do a little selling.  Wayne also went with me to the flower market at 4:30am.  He schlepped flowers around like a pro.   Carolina, a friend that I met in my very first floral class, came the day before to help do some design work.

Thirdly: have a good time.   Enjoy the whole process from start to finish.   It’s a lot of work…hard work.  You are exhausted and your back hurts, but underneath all that, is your dream.  There was a moment during the event, where there was a little lull in the action, and so I picked up my broom and started sweeping the foyer.  I had this moment of calm and just this thought that “this is mine.”  Just for that day, it was mine.

I dipped my toe in the water and now I just want to dive straight into the pool.  Unfortunately, responsibilities prevent me from diving, but not from wading.  I’m saying it now…there will be a Marmalade Sky Floral Design Store opening…you’ll just have to have a little patience (just like me!!)

May your day be filled with beautiful flowers!

Business, Flower Designs, Uncategorized

Vintage Style

One of the many things I love about my hometown is that it holds an antique fair twice a year.  The city shuts down several of the streets downtown, which is brimming with antique dealers from town and afar.   Last year, I wasn’t able to attend either fair, so this year I was bound and determined to go.  Like a true junkie, I had to have my fix.  I mostly look for porcelain or china, linens, silverware, and home décor. However, with the focus on my business in the forefront of my mind and the pop up shop coming soon, I found my eyes wandering to other goodies.

Army Drawer
What should I plant in here??

Seeing all the dealers together in one place does allow you to see trends, as well and surprisingly the offerings are different every show.  This year, drawers were a big trend and are sold just on their own…no cabinets or dressers for them to set in.  They are great storage solution for a desktop, they can be hung to make shelves, used as planters, and whatever else your mind can think up.

 

Since it’s spring, there was a lot of outdoor and garden items; wire cages, plant stands, café tables and chairs, etc.

Box graters. Yeah you heard me, box graters.  I think I saw about 5 of them.

Lawn Seeder
I think some vines to trail up the handle are needed for this cool piece.

My creative mind was going a mile a minute throughout the 3 hours I was at the show.  I really wanted to find something very unique to sell at the pop up shop (being held on May 13 if you haven’t heard *wink*).  With all the drawers around me, it was inevitable that I would purchase one…a very cool metal army green drawer from a military cabinet.  The item I’m most excited about is this lawn seeder.   I’ll be getting my hands dirty this weekend getting plants in both items.

 

I’m already anticipating the September antique fair.  Anxious to see what treasures I’ll find!

P.S.  Look what delivered last night! My lawn signs for the pop up store. I think they turned out great!

Yard Sign

May your day be filled with beautiful flowers!

Business, Flower Designs

Pop Up Shop – Marmalade Sky Style

I took a leap and I’m opening a pop up shop the day before Mother’s Day.  It’s the perfect time as Mother’s Day is the second biggest holiday for flower sales.  The store is located in an open area of the office of my full time job.  I have very generous employers, who have agreed to let me host it.   You might be asking yourself why I would want to open a flower shop in an office.  You see, our offices are far from typical.  The building we are in was an old corrugated tin feed barn and as you can see from the pictures below, the inside has been updated using wood from an old chicken barn.  Oh…the best part…is that it sits right on the Petaluma River, so our view every day is pretty spectacular.   I thought this was the best location for my first pop up shop.

My mind, let me just say, is not as spectacular as the view I was just mentioning.  I cannot turn off my brain and it has been in a constant whirlwind for a few weeks now.   It’s not just deciding what I’m going to offer my customers, it’s determining how to display, how to advertise, pricing structure, and just a general idea of how I want the day to go.  I wish I could offer some insight to anyone reading this wanting to start their own shop, but I don’t have anything at this point…check back with me after Mother’s Day…hopefully I’ll have learned a thing or two!!

Along with all the brainpower is the nervous excitement.  I am truly excited to start this new venture in my life.  I’m actually acting upon it and not just talking about it.  I’m putting myself, my talent, my new business out there for people see, appreciate, and hopefully want to come again.  Sometimes I over plan.  I tend to make things a little more difficult than they need to be.  This process, since I have such little time to plan the shop, has taught me to hone in on the important things and scale things back the unnecessary.  If this is a success and I plan another event, then I can increase what I want to do, add more to the list, etc.

Postcard BackI will say, that social media has been a great way to determine if people will be attending or not.  Sending an invite out and getting RSVPs and even some pre-orders has been very exciting and comforting at the same time.

Please! Come by the shop on May 13 at 9am (until I sell out).  I would love to see you.   Bring a friend…or ten!!  Here’s all the info:

PS: the pre-order has been extended to Wednesday, May 3

 

May your day be filled with beautiful flowers!