At Garden in the Pines, we are coming up on our first official year in business as event floral designers and we felt the need to post a reflection. Be it for aspiring floral entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs in general, our amazing followers and clients, or for potential future workshops that we host. We hope to bring inspiration and joy to our community, and perhaps sharing our story can help inspire others to follow their dreams.
Please note: some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning that if you click through and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.
We are still working on our success story. But, we think that we’ll always be evolving and growing. We are still fine-tuning our process. We are still learning what we want to grow, how we want our business to grow, and how to create beautiful and amazing floral creations. When we began our business we knew that we needed to ‘bloom where we were planted.’ This meant just digging in and figuring out our process as it went- making mistakes and learning from each of them.
This year Alyssa focused on the floral event design and business behind-the-scenes while Larry focused on the mechanics and garden growth. Alyssa learned bookkeeping, SEO, website design, marketing, took every workshop she could to learn about systems, operations, client experiences, pricing, mechanics, and floral design. Being an entrepreneur means that you wear alllllll of the hats. So, it’s all on you to make decisions that will best impact your business.
When we began our business we weren’t quite sure what was going to be in store for us. We just knew that we needed to start. This meant making ‘Garden in the Pines’ official with the state, rolling out our website, and trying to get our name out there. We knew we wanted to grow as much as we could on our property (while still trying to keep it pretty for our neighbors). And, we knew we wanted to get into weddings and events. But, everything else in between was up in the air. This year we learned that we definitely aren’t the right match for farmer’s markets, that we love holiday pop-ups and fundraiser events (especially when people in the community pre-order), and we love doing give-aways within our community. We have gained such a strong support network and we are so grateful to have been welcomed into our community with open arms.
Some important lessons we learned in our line of business are:
To create a system. Honeybook is the best platform we could have found for our business needs. For anyone that may be interested, we have a discount code for 40% off your first year through January 2022! Check it out here.
This meant that we needed to define our process. Establish our procedures and how we wanted to do business. And, we needed to streamline our process to make it as efficient as possible. This is where honey book comes into play. We were able to create our workflows and automate them so that we don’t miss a beat for any event inquiries, we’re able to follow up in a timely manner, and we’re able to collect payments in the most convenient way possible for our clients.
As part of our system, we also use an email marketing platform: Flodesk. I have a discount code for you to save 50% your first year making it only $19 a month! Check out Flodesk here.
To establish ‘The Client Experience.’ Everything isn’t black and white these days, and that was the first lesson we learned in our very first event. We needed to ensure that our clients had a memorable experience and wanted to refer us to their friends and family in the future. So, we took the time to itemize exactly what we would want in a floral designer if we were on their end of the phone. And, figured out a unique to GITP experience for our clients. We are nothing without their value and support, and it is SO important to show that to them!
To price correctly. Floral design is a bit of a complicated industry when it comes to pricing- there are industry-standard equations to use to base your pricing. But, the cost of flowers and greenery fluctuates from week-to-week. Couple that with a global flower shortage where prices are THROUGH THE ROOF for everything (in many of the Facebook groups we’re part of, floral professionals share their stories with breaking even on an event- or even losing money on an event- because the prices of goods are 5 times greater than when they quoted the event two years ago when the client booked pre-COVID), you have to ensure that you are going to turn a profit to sustain your life and your business.
To network. Networking is SO important, especially, with other professionals in this line of business. Network with venues, photographers, hair & makeup artists, djs & bands, wedding planners, etc, to get on their “preferred vendor” lists. And do the same for them!
Also, making connections with your potential ‘competitors’ is just as rewarding. You can learn so much from them! You can help each other with your events. You can ask them for freelancer connections, or offer your services. You can place orders together to save on shipping costs. IT IS SO GOOD.
To just ask. It can never hurt to send an email to a potential client in your community, potential vendor you’d like to work with, etc. Sometimes just sending an email can establish a very good connection for your business. So, do it! The worst that can happen is they don’t respond or say no to your request.
We are so grateful for every opportunity we have been given this year to prove to our community and valued clients that we can create a beautiful experience for them- be it for a baby shower, bridal shower, wedding, anniversary party, delivering bi-weekly arrangements for your kitchen table, or gifting Mother’s Day Flowers. We are so excited to see how this business grows, the paths it creates for itself, and the impact that we are going to make in our community. Larry and I are so inspired by everyone around us, and we hope to inspire our community too.
Here’s to continuing to ‘bloom where we are planted.’
Live joyfully. Never stop creating. Love your family. And do all things with love.
If you are interested in telling your love story with us, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us to get started on your wedding planning journey!
Happy New Year!