Flowers and Becoming a Mum
When I first set up Floral Elegance back in September 2013, I even said then, that the only thing to slow me down in my career would be when the time came to start a family. I wasn’t wrong. When I say slow things down, I don’t mean in my pace of work, interest or passion, I mean in the quantity of work I would take on.
Through the 6 years Floral Elegance has been up and running, I finished with a bang in 2018 with my busiest year to date. I have been asked many times “why don’t you expand? Why don’t you take staff on, when you are not there and keep the business going at the pace it was before you became a mum? It’s such a shame to throw it all away?”
This is just a number of questions I have been asked during pregnancy and since becoming a Mum. Don’t get me wrong, throughout my pregnancy I was gutted I had to take a step back, but as time went on I accepted the changes in my life that were required to be, not just a Mum… but a really bloody good one.
The answer to the questions asked, is simple. I set up Floral Elegance to be a personal service. Clients come to me because it is myself that meets you, throws ideas around with you, prices for you, types up your orders for you, communicates with you, allocates for you, orders for you, conditions for you and creates for you… and 9/10 delivers for you – if it wasn’t or isn’t me delivering to you it’s safe to say that it would be Caroline, Inese or Fiona, who are not just colleagues but my very close friends and they literally know me so well, they think like me, when it comes to Floral Elegance. They know how I work. Caroline also has her own Business, CP Flowers, and is one hell of a talented florist, I am so grateful for her time spent over so many years freelancing with me! Thank you Caroline.
I am so lucky to have the incredible support from these amazing girls, as this year would have been even more of a challenge for me.
To answer the question of “It’s such a shame to throw it all away”, I disagree… I would rather take a step back with my name up there with the best in the area, and be known for my outstanding service than, allowing it to fall apart, because I now have other very important priorities in my life which I didn’t before. Children grow up so fast and it’s a small price to pay, so as to not miss these very special years I have with my daughter. That’s why I made the decision not to expand.
I decided to commit to the weddings that were already on the books for 2019 and accept the loss of those that weren’t… and I am very glad I made that choice. I went back to work when Isabella was only 3 months old, though part time… it still felt as hectic and as busy as when I was full time, due to when I wasn’t working I had “free time” before, which now I wish I hadn’t taken so much for granted, because 2019 has shown me that free time is a real privilege!
Though cutting back the annual bookings by a 3rd, it’s hard to believe the amount of communication, paperwork and planning that goes on behind the scenes with a florist, and trying to juggle that in with a newborn is definitely challenging.
Anyway to stop me from rambling I will pop down my main areas of interest to you in bullet points, otherwise we will be here all night! And I need to sleep before this little monkey wakes up!
• Priorities – I have 4 VERY important priorities, these are our daughter Isabella, my partner and family, and my business. Isabella is my world and she showed me love that I never even knew existed… I can’t even begin to put into words how blessed we are to have her, her smile is contagious and she shows you how fun life can be in even the simplest of forms. It is so important for me to be present when I am with Isabella therefore, I make time to focus on my business during Isabella’s nap times and have to be super organised when it comes to the physical work of being a florist. I ensure Isabella, is looked after by her Dad, our family or a first class nursery. This also keeps me at ease knowing that she is happy, comfortable and engaged. Then Florist Nikki comes out to play… and I love it! It’s also so important for Shaun and I to make time for each other in our relationship, as without each other, we would not be able to support the comfortable life we provide for Isabella and ourselves. Family is so important to me, it always has been and always will be and I really want Isabella to grow up knowing just how important it is to have a close family unit. Finally my business… it makes me… me! I love getting stuck into work, and I am so lucky that my career is my passion and hobby all rolled into one!
• Balance – When I am working, (I have to say I thought I was productive before… but once you have a child… you realise that you maybe weren’t as productive as you are now!!) I have those few hours of my time, I still love the fact that every event/wedding is different, and I simply fall into a world of flowers, foliage, arrangements, bouquets, candles, oasis, etc. I am so thankful that I can continue to run my business on a part time basis, to still be a part of the industry and offer the same high quality and standards without sacrificing the precious time I have with my daughter, as they do grow up so quickly!
• Juggling – I feel I have touched on this already, but have you ever witnessed what a parent can achieve within a nap time? I feel awards should be given! Every parent is a hero in my eyes, after having children it is a constant juggle of life… from engaging and playing with your child, to washing, cooking, cleaning, eating, shopping, living, working, sleeping, playing some more, walking the dog, activities, health, bills, bath-time, bedtime… the list goes on! It is a full on roller coaster but I love it!! (Sleep depravation is definitely an eye opener… or closer!!)
• Flexibility – This is one area that I have had to accept defeat on. I am an extremely independent person, I could be anywhere at anytime of day or night, I could be in Inverness one day, Glen Affric in the afternoon and in Fort William by the evening, and life just isn’t like that anymore. I would have the time and mental capacity to respond to any emails and social media messages within hours… Now it is a matter of simply being SUPER organised, ensuring I put time aside during nap times and evenings to respond to my clients emails and calls with my care and my full attention. I still want every client to feel special after being in communication with me, as the majority of enquiries are in contact with me to organise the most exciting and important day in their lives!
To sum up… 2019 has been the most incredible year of my life it has shown me, unconditional love, it has made me realise to enjoy every moment, no matter how small it is, it has shown me what being “exhausted” actually feels like, its brought out a side of me that I never even knew, it’s shown me what is so important in life, it’s shown me how lucky I am in all aspects of my life, it’s nearly broken me, but it has made me!
Thank you Isabella for making my life complete! Thank you to all our family and friends for your support as without you all, I couldn’t continue to do what I am so passionate about… and that’s Flowers!!
PS: I have had this website designed since the beginning of 2018… I naively thought I would have time to get the detailing completed whilst I was at home with a Newborn, when she slept!! HAHA!! How wrong was I!! 🙂