7 Things I've Learned in 7 Years of Business
May 29th, 2020
We’re celebrating 7 YEARS of business on March 9, 2019!! Wow, it’s amazing to me how it’s been this long! Over the years, I have learned a lot of things (more than seven, that’s for sure! It was hard to nail down my list)! In honor of the celebration, these photos are also a little throwback from when my lovely friend Heather Cherie took some behind the scenes of me designing (in our kitchen at the time!) for a wedding backing in 2014. He Loves Me Flowers has come a long way and I’m so thankful to share these learning experiences and lessons with you.
Seven Things I’ve Learned in Seven Years of Floral Business:
Just be you. There will be competition. There will be people who try to duplicate or heaven-forbid steal your work (trust me I know, I’ve been there). But in the end, no one can be YOU so be true to who you are, your passions, and your calling. Only YOU can be you.
Running a business is hard work! It takes a lot of grit, a lot of dedication, hours and hours of time, financial investment, experiments, and failures along the way. And then after all the time, work, (and money!) you’ve invested you may not feel like you’re nearly closer to where you want to be! That my friend can be discouraging! Starting a business is hard – I know – we’ve started five different businesses over the years. But the reward is so great and the refining process is even better! After seven years of hard work, I’m really happy to be where we are.
- Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not snap! :) But for real, being flexible is key in the floral world! It’s a rare occasion when a flower order comes in exactly how I ordered. Haha. There’s typically always something that has to be substituted, adjusted, or altered in some way, shape or form. That’s just the nature of working with fresh product. There are times when mother nature has her way and that specific flower I ordered, is just not available. Or there are times when wedding day setup doesn’t go as planned and we have to adjust, recalibrate and figure out plan B. When those things happen, staying flexible is key!
- Learn to say no. In order to get to where you want to go, you have to say no along the way to opportunities that don’t align with your passions and business goals. When I first started in the business, I took every opportunity that came my way. When you start you have to start somewhere and every opportunity is a good opportunity. But as your platform grows and your influence increases, it’s necessary to say no and decide on those specific things that you want to focus on. For me, this meant focusing on florals for weddings and events exclusively. That’s where my passion is!
Be a lifelong learner. I love learning new things, that’s just how I’m wired. But when it comes to the floral world, there is always something new to learn. There are always new varieties of roses, new novelty blooms or cutting-edge dried and bleached products. It’s the nature of this industry; it’s always changing. But that’s what keeps this job exciting and fresh! I love the newness of products, trends, and styles. Continuously learning is essential to staying relevant.
You can have your dream flowers. Even if you have a small or tight budget, you can still have your dream flowers at least in your bridal bouquet! We may have to cut costs in table centerpieces or in the bridal party florals. That big floral arbor that you saw on Pinterest may not be able to be that elaborate or over-the-top, but we can still do something! I’ve learned that when my clients trust me, things always work out better in their favor and they end up absolutely loving and totally thrilled with the end result! So trust your florist, we’re here to help!
- Be kind, confident, and humble. In my first years of business, it took some time to get my business confidence built up. I was young, and I looked even younger. I remember meeting with potential clients and they would ask me how old I was — I think some thought I was in high school! lol! After 4 years in business, another vendor really made me feel inferior and acted as if I had never touched a flower in my life. I felt like this person had no faith in my skills, experience or business and here I was supposed to be working with them on this specific client’s event. I felt intimidated and so small. I felt like I had to prove myself to this vendor. So the event week came and I was so stressed out. It felt like I had a heavy weight on my shoulders which restricted me from designing my best work with joy, creativity, and passion. I remember thinking, “I could walk away from flowers and never touch one again if this is how this pressure, stress and ‘proving-to-be-somebody’ makes me feel.” But then, while I was arranging I had a God-moment. I felt like the Lord say, “Arrange for ME, design for ME.” And then this verse popped into my head, “Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people.” (Colossians 3:23 CSB). Tears streamed down from my face. From that moment forward, I designed to please God. I was designing this floral arrangement for Him. I was creating to give Him glory. I can’t begin to express to you the way my heart changed when my perspective switched. Instead of bitterness and this striving, I felt peace, joy, and creative freedom again. Well, the end of the story goes like this…everyone was extremely pleased with the florals and this vendor was blown away. They even stated that they wanted to work with me again. Haha. I have to admit, I didn’t reciprocate the feelings. Even though people may be unkind, unpleasant or heaven-forbid just plain mean, be kind back. It doesn’t do anybody any good to be unkind. Be confident in your God-given abilities and gifts and for goodness’ sake, stay humble.
All photos by Heather Cherie.