Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in floristry, but not sure what to expect? Then check out our interview with Hannah Rogers of Deer & Bee in lovely South Wales, United Kingdom.
Tell us about yourself and your journey to where you are today...
I'm a floral designer that specializes in weddings and events. My inspiration comes from nature, and I love creating wild, whimsical, and romantic floral designs that are bespoke to each couple and their wedding or event. I try to focus on and have my designs embody how that person wants to feel on their special day, and it truly fills my heart knowing that someone gets happiness and joy from what I do.
What motivates you each day?
I worked in the corporate world for many years, as an organizational and personal development specialist, In so many ways, I loved it, but the pressure and stress made me quite unwell, so I spent some time thinking about what made me happy, and I knew that retraining as a florist was the next step for me. I've always loved being in nature, and I find working with flowers such a mindful activity. I also wanted a career that still allowed me to focus on relationships that I work hard to build with my clients and enables me to draw on my coaching skills that I developed through my previous work. In terms of motivation, making people happy is my primary driver, and creating a space a place - I love designing in response to a space and its particular context. I also wanted to ensure that I developed a business around doing good, so I decided recently to donate 10% of all of my profits to local charities. This motivates me greatly, knowing that I'm making a difference.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I've always viewed success in non-traditional ways, so I don't see my accomplishments as just the number of bookings I get or how big a wedding budget is. Instead, I focus on how I feel in how I run the business, how happy I am, what I'm learning along the way, and of course how satisfied my clients are. It means that every project is an accomplishment and is a stepping stone in helping me to develop and grow the business further. There's no specific end goal for me, it's just ongoing learning and progress.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
What felt hard at the start doesn't feel quite as hard now. All of it is learning and adjusting, and with that comes confidence. Such as managing finances and admin, which have never been my greatest interest and strength, but I've found ways to make it a little easier. The ongoing challenge is juggling a business and being a parent. It's tough to compartmentalize, which is exacerbated as my workshop is at home. I regularly have to stop what I'm doing to pick the children up or make dinner before starting again after bedtime. This means there's not often much time off. I haven't cracked it yet, but I'm working on the positives that this offers me regarding flexibility to work around the children. I love that I still get to put them to bed most nights, and in a typical job, I wouldn't always have that luxury.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to launch, run and grow a business today?
Establish a clear purpose and values for your business - why does it exist, and what does it stand for? Without this, you don't stand out from others, and you won't get as much joy from it. Set boundaries to ensure that you get some form of work-life integration. I don't think there is such a thing as work-life balance when running your own business, as it's rare that you can ever entirely switch off. However, set some boundaries that make your business work with the broader aspects of your life. Seek help. The florist and self employed world in general is supportive, and I've often gone to other florists to ask for advice and support. We shouldn't be afraid to do this as there is enough work for everyone and the relationships and collaborations that we develop can generally make all the difference.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I always encourage people to first spend some time dreaming about what they would do if they there were no limitations and then find ways to make that happen. It may be that your business is a 'side hustle' for a while but find a way to make that dream a reality.
Where can people find you online?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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