I came across this post on Katie Elfer’s blog and it really resonated with me. I found myself nodding & saying, yes that’s happened to me. I asked Katie if we can post it here, as an inspiration to other floral designers currently caught up in the 2011 wedding season!
I don’t know that it’s possible to sum up the entire year and all that’s happened without utterly boring you to death. Perhaps in quick summation I can tell you that I designed some of the largest and most creative weddings and events yet. I brought in new hands to help with designing and in July said goodbye to the privilege of working with my dear friend Anne every week as she returned to finishing her degree (go girl!!). I moved the design studio out of my tiny basement to an amazing studio space.
My preferred local wholesaler closed their doors abruptly and in the process I was forced to quickly learn some major lessons in sourcing and pricing great product.
I’ve learned what sheer exhaustion feels like having to break down an event until 4:30 in the morning.
I’ve learned the importance of a working GPS system.
I’ve learned to always double check that the bride hasn’t changed the ceremony to an hour earlier since the last time we spoke.
I’ve learned to strongly encourage a bride to avoid tall centerpieces when the dining tables are on an uneven lawn.
I’ve learned that I’m really terrible at keeping up with email in the middle of wedding season.
I’ve learned that I have a lot to learn when it comes to letting go and not trying to control every little thing.
I’ve learned that when the power is out in a venue with no windows, my cell phone makes a great flashlight to setup by.
I’ve learned the importance of water-proof shoes when setting up in a torrential rain.
I’ve learned the importance of managing client expectations of exactly what they are (and are not) getting for their money.
I’ve learned the importance of really loving this job… because when the novelty wears off, it takes a lot of passion and determination to work so hard and stay committed to doing the very best job I can for my clients and myself.
2010 was a year of LOTS of growing pains and great successes. But most importantly it was a year of learning the value of me and what I bring to the table. I realized that I had gotten lost in trying to be everything to everyone… bidding to win the job not to be the right designer for the job. A little bit of the soul of what made my business special was suffering. Any florist in the city can sell you flowers and plop them in a vase. The value of what I offer is my time, my creativity and my desire to truly use my talents to love all over my client’s wedding day. If I lose sight of that, I need to close the doors and go back to my 9-5 job. Not only do my clients deserve my best, I deserve my best. So expect great things from me. I do.
2011 will be a year of taking back the reigns on this machine. I will be taking fewer weddings to allow for more time with each client and more balance in my personal life. I will be charging a reasonable rate for my products and services without apologizing for it. I will be giving this business it’s voice back by continuing to blog not only the work I’m producing but offering my insights on the industry and sharing creative ideas for taking a design from concept to completion. I will be seeking out education and mentoring from talented designers both locally and from around the country. And I will find some cuter clothes and shoes to work in, damn it!
Those of you who found me and followed me in 2007/2008 will recognize the old Katie. Those of you who know me from 2009/2010… you’ll like this Katie much better. I’m not dead. In fact, I’m better than ever. I am refocused, re-energized and renewed in my naive belief that I can do and have whatever I want out of myself. I want this business to work and I want to be a great designer. This time, I actually know what I’m getting into!!