This past April I was lucky enough to attend the Little Flower School‘s Wedding Masters Class in at the beautiful Ham House in upstate New York. For those of you who aren’t flower fanatics like myself, the Little Flower School is a joint endeavour of Sarah Ryhanen of Saipua and Nicolette Owen of Nicolette Camille Floral Design. And if you aren’t a flower fanatic, you might not know how crazy talented these two women are and what they have done to revitalize floral design over the past decade. Based in Brooklyn, Sarah and Nicolette are largely credited with popularizing a wilder more organic style of flower arranging. Besides their design skills, they have also worked to encourage a friendlier and more collaborative community of floral designers. I’ve admired their work from afar for years so the opportunity to take an intensive class with them was amazing. Overall, the workshop was an incredible chance to improve my design skills, delve into the business side of floral design (which was much needed!) and connect with other like-minded florists and flower enthusiasts.
A lot of the value of the workshop for me came from the discussions we had about our business practices and goals. These conversations made me really reflect on the elements I enjoy most about my job as a floral designer (picking the most amazing blooms, sourcing unique vessels and ribbons, foraging and designing) and to realize it’s o.k. to get help with other the parts of running a business. Since getting home I’ve acted on that and have enlisted the services of the amazing Becca of Wiseman Virtual Assistance to help take care of administrative things like quotes, contracts, etc. so I can focus on what I am good at and what I enjoy. The workshop also solidified for me the importance of valuing yourself as a creative professional and charging what you are worth. While I love what I do, we all need to make a living from our work. As a newer business I started out undercharging clients but I’ve come to realize that is not sustainable and I need to be fairly compensated for the time I pour into each and every wedding. I have no desire to be the cheapest florist in town. I want to be the one who makes the most breathtakingly gorgeous arrangements you can’t get anywhere else.