Business, Disasters, Fall, Fire, Flower Designs, Uncategorized

Fires

Unfortunately, Northern California officially has a fire season. Not the kind of orange and reds we want to see in the fall. But it’s becoming the norm here and it truly saddens me. We are spoiled here in NorCal. Rarely do we have extreme weather or disasters. While other states deal with hurricanes and tornados we are sitting in beautiful weather, wine tasting and eating good food. However, the last few years have changed that. Quite literally the winds have changed. Every year people are losing their homes, businesses and even worse their lives.

At the time that I write this the Kincade fire has spread to almost 77,000 acres and is still only 30% contained. Mass evacuations occurred in the hopes of getting people to safety before the fire was upon them. Luckily, we had notice of the fire and people were able to evacuate, unlike the fires from two years ago when they were awaken from their sleep at 1am and had no time to pack anything.

I’ve been one of the lucky ones. The only affect this has had on my life is that my town is the evacuation site. Oh and the smoke I’m breathing. But really, I’m charmed compared to what others are going through. I didn’t even lose power during the shut offs.

Though I haven’t been impacted in these ways, it has hit me emotionally. I worry for friends and colleagues who are in the fire zone. It saddens me that my county, the place I’ve lived my whole life, is in this seemingly endless battle and that the landscape I once knew is changing forever. I worry for the first responders. I stop breathing for a half a second every time I hear a siren (as I listen to one go by right now). I feel like I live in a war zone…and in a way I do.

It is also affecting me with growing the business. To be quite honest, growing my business right now seems quite trivial, which makes it very hard to think about social media, classes I’ve scheduled, etc. Why would anyone care what I’m doing right now with all this going on around us?

Then I think about comedians after 911. How some had a hard time getting up on stage and making jokes while the nation was mourning. But then we found it can be quite cathartic to laugh when we are sad. It helps us to heal, to pull ourselves from the quagmire, and to move on.

So I hope if you were temporarily displaced during the fires or if you are just feeling a little blue, that you put a bouquet of fresh flowers in your home. I don’t care if you get them from the grocery store or a florist, flowers will help to lift your spirits and fight depression. Plus they add a little color to our currently ash colored state.

I want to say a great big, huge, ginormous, thank you to all the first responders who have put their lives on the line and have had to leave their families and homes to fight these fires. You will always have my gratitude and respect.

To everyone else out there, things are chaotic and emotions are strained, so be safe and be kind to one another (stole that last line from Ellen).

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

Top 3 Ways to Push Through the Road Block

More times than not, I find myself not fully engaged. Whether it’s hiding myself away from the world (I.e. chain reading…literally starting another the minute I finish one) or avoiding doing tasks that need completing. This is my automatic. Meaning when I’m feeling overwhelmed, depressed, tired, bored, etc….I hibernate. Unfortunately that can last weeks at times. Sometimes I don’t even know I’m doing it.

Trust me, I’m working on not withdrawing into my cocoon…it’s a main topic of discussions with my therapist. We talk about recognizing that is my state of mind and giving it a time limit. Because it’s totally OK to hunker down and hide for a day. My problem is it can last weeks.

I especially hate that I let my hibernation, affect my business and my health. But this is a business blog so we will focus there…not saying your health doesn’t affect your business…

So what do I do to push through that block?

Make Lists

While I may shut down at times, my mind may be going a million different directions. Right now, I’m coming off of the Art & Garden Festival and moving into doing a few craft festivals for the holidays. So my mind is doing a post mortem on the Festival: what went wrong? what went right? what do I want to do differently? However my mind is also in November (shutter) on a craft show and now I’m thinking about what to make, how to display, how much to make, etc.

What clears my head are lists. A list for just about anything. It can be a to do list, an inventory list, a shopping list, whatever it is that will clear the clutter. Maybe a list format isn’t for you. Maybe your a more brainstorming or mind mapping type person. Maybe journaling is better for you. You do you…just get it out of your head.

Do One Thing

So now that your list or brainstorm is done…do one thing on the list. You’ll be surprised how doing just one task, no matter how small, will kick start you again. There is nothing more satisfying than checking an item off your list. Confession time…I’ve been known to write something on a list that I’ve already done just so I can check it off. Even if you skipped the list making part, just doing one task will get you past that block.

Organize

I like my ducks in a row…sometimes to a fault…but when I’m unorganized I don’t think as well. I’m not one of those creative people who thrive in chaos…not judging at all. As anyone who has ever worked with me knows…don’t touch my freakin’ pencils. I want be on the phone and blindly reach for a pencil knowing exactly where it is. Don’t move anything on my desk either, it’s where I want it, you don’t sit here so don’t move it.

A lot of time when I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed is when I’m not organized. Taking some time to put things away where they belong, doing my filing, or…going back to step one…making a list.

So that’s my three things that get me past my blocks. Get me moving forward. Get me out of hibernation. Word of warning though, do not get so bogged down in writing lists or organizing that you use it as a tool to procrastinate your end goal.

What gets you past your road blocks? I would love to learn some tips from you!

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

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!

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, 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

Floral Business Start Up

When I received my certificate in floral design, I thought, “This is it!  I’ll start the business and I’ll get to play with flowers all day.” Little did I realize that I am really good at the set up and planning but poor at the execution.  I used to watch my son during play, where he would set up the Legos or his train tracks but never actually play with the toys.  Now mind you, he doesn’t have a creative bone in his body, so I always attributed it to his lack of creativity or imagination when in fact he has a little of me in him.  He is 27 and I’m just finding that out about myself.  Learn something new every day.

It has been a year since I started the business.  I registered Marmalade Sky Floral Design with the county and then got to the fun stuff of designing business cards.

business-cards

Side note:  I have to say, for a startup company, Vistaprint, or any similar print company, is a lifesaver. I could have spent thousands on a professional designer, but instead I was able to use a template and for a reasonable rate, have business cards printed and mailed to me.  So simple and so pretty!  I love them.

Easy stuff done, like Face Book page and Pinterest account, now I just have to promote, right?  Should be easy peasy, right?  Nope…enter brain freeze, or self-doubt, or nervousness…or all of the above.   And life. Let’s not forget that fun thing.  Yes, some of its fun…like traveling.  However, spending half the year with a sick and then recovering mother was not how I anticipated my first year of business.  Please note, I work full time, so my thought processes on starting my business, was to build slowly and gradually be able to cut back my hours at my current job and then after several years be a full time florist.   The problem with that…the new business will take a back burner most times.  So now, if I truly want this…it’s time to be like Nike and “Just Do It”.orange-roses-and-dahlias

Even deciding what my blog topics will be.  Will it only be flowers?  Do I include tablescapes, too?  What about business? So I finally settled on ‘all of the above and more.’  Sometimes I get a little tunnel vision and think it has all or nothing (guess that is something else my son inherited from me), but I’m going to let my business build organically.  Sure, I will set it off on a course, but if I find something that will steer it in another direction that I think will be beneficial, I’m going to let it happen.

Would love your comments as I build my business and share my designs with you.

 

May your day be filled with beautiful flowers.