This week on Flirty Fleurs we bring to you the stories from 5 different floral designers who changed the way they are doing business to better fit their lifestyles.
Today Chuck shares his story with us:
When opportunity knocks….
This week we’re talking about making changes. Today it’s my turn, so here’s the story of how I ended up where I am today. In 2007, I finished design school and had applied for several jobs, but found the job market sorely lacking. So, I decided to create my own opportunity and in May of 2007, I opened Blume Haus Floral Design Studio!
I did 12 weddings that first year and I was so excited about my success. Fast forward to November 2010: Blume Haus was out of my house and in its own studio. I had just finished 63 weddings. I was doing pretty well for myself but I was working 12–15 hour days on average. The whole time I had been building Blume Haus, I always had one or two part time jobs on the side, including Starbucks, The Gap and teaching. Some weekends I never even made it home—I would push the chairs from my consultation area together and catch a couple of hours of sleep and then go back to work. I was exhausted mentally and physically. I had already started to book weddings for 2011 and was about to dive head first into the holiday season. One day as I walked out of the wholesale market, I glanced at their community message board and I noticed a job listing for a designer position at The Brown Palace Hotel. I thought to myself that designing flowers for weddings and events at a high-end hotel would be a fun job, and then didn’t think much more of it. A week later I was at a different wholesaler and the same job posting caught my eye as I was checking out. “I should really look into that—it would be so nice to work with a team,” I thought. The third time I came across the posting I realized that I was being steered toward something and I figured I’d better look into it further. After sitting down and writing my list of pros and cons I decided to apply. I interviewed, test designed and was offered the job! Yay! And then, oh god! Was I really ready to give up everything I had worked so hard to build? An inventory? A skill set? A recognized brand? Was I really ready to close the doors to Blume Haus? Did I want to work for someone else? What were my long term goals? I was giving up a lot. What would I get in return? Well, for starters, a steady paycheck, a benefit package, a team of designers to work with, and a steady flow of events, weddings, and hotel work. And the opportunity and resources to grow as a designer. Time with my boyfriend and my pets. I would work 40ish hours a week. YES! I was ready to make the trade. I accepted the offer and on December 14, 2010, I started as a designer. In March of 2011 I was promoted to lead designer. Although I gave up a lot to make this change, I am very happy with the decision. I now cook dinner on a regular basis—no more fast food! I have been to several movies this season (I loved The Help!). More time to blog here on Flirty Fleurs! And I’m so excited to be able to make the trip to Philadelphia for the 2012 Flower Show and the Chapple Designers in NYC next spring. All of these little luxuries are things I never could have made time for working 15 hours a day, 7 days a week!