Monday, January 25, 2016

It's been awhile!

I've been MIA for quite some time from here. Partly because I think I've done this blog mostly for myself, partly because I moved, partly because I took a long hiatus from doing any design work to help out with family medical problems- I'm that nice sometimes, and partly because I've been doing a lot of thinking over the past year or two about what I really want to do with my creative energies. I don't want to seem unappreciative of some of my "supporters" who have promised their support and been very encouraging to my face but I also know there is a lot of backstabbing in the female sphere and in the design world. I've had to toughen up my sensitive little feel-bads, learn who is genuinely supportive of me and my efforts without being jealous or spitefully negating my efforts to improve and be successful, overcome my own insecurities about sharing my abilities, and lastly, figure out the direction I want to go. With that in mind- I think I'll be changing out the cutesy little logo thing on here I was talked into doing when I first started this since it doesn't actually display my style or show what I do- plus that Rosehip and Tulips thing is too country cutesy artsy fartsy for me personally!

All through school, in your art and design classes you'll hear the derisive phrase, "Those who can- do, and those who can't- teach." Which is really incredibly ironic and hypocritical of these teachers to say since they claimed to be professionals in their fields who decided to stoop so far beneath their superiority to show us impressionable students how to be just like them when we grow up. Hahaha! But if you only have crappy, mediocre, non-professional, non-talented has-beens or those who have never been in the field teaching about the field you're pretty much screwed if that's all you have to learn from! That's why to this day I laugh about Hillbilly trying to teach business when she had never actually run a successful business, nor did she know the first thing about business. I digress. There is nothing wrong with teaching. I think you can be amazingly talented and successful in the creative field and also be an incredible teacher. There is a lot of hands on learning through trial and error and through natural talent and ability but you also have to have some basics and fundamentals that you don't necessarily learn through experience.

I love teaching! I love sharing my knowledge and skills with others. I love seeing when someone gets that look where something in them clicks and they finally really get a concept. I like getting people to think in various ways, instead of seeing just one option to solving a creative problem.

I would still like to do flowers for weddings, but I cannot give away that service for free or at a personal financial cost to myself as several clients and possible clients wanted. Let me explain something that Hillbilly never explained in our business class. When you are doing business with an individual or a small business that has anything to do with the visual arts (or performing but my focus is in visual), you cannot discount their training, their time, their cost for supplies, etc. I am not a factory powered by a force of slave labor to mass produce my finished products for next to nothing. I am a one woman army.

Let's pretend that you come to me asking for simple flowers for your wedding- you want "garden roses that look like peonies", calla lilies, and hydrangea in your 8 centerpieces, 1 buffet piece, 1 bridal bouquet and a toss bouquet, 8 boutonnieres, 3 corsages, and 4 bridesmaid bouquets, and your colors are coral, white, periwinkle blue, and mustard yellow.And your budget is $500 total. And you show me these inspiration pictures you found on google....

You have beautiful taste... but here's the thing. I work from home- I don't have a huge walk in cooler with a huge quantity of product on hand and a whole bunch of other customers besides you. I buy my flowers as needed, per job. I don't keep stock on hand that I can pull from and I can't offset my cost by making arrangements out of your leftovers for others to buy. When I go to the wholesaler for my flowers, there are maybe a handful of flowers and greenery that I can buy by the individual stem- most everything comes in bundles of 5, 10, or 25. Flowers are seasonal- for example, bulb flowers will always be cheaper in spring and certain berry sprigs are only available in the winter. Also, certain holidays dictate supply availability and pricing. For example, red roses are kinda scarce for a while after Valentines Day and are usually more expensive then too.

Every flower is priced differently- factors included are where they're being shipped from, how the crop did and what the weather was like, the season, and if its near a holiday with a specific demand. Garden roses, also called Austin roses, are incredibly expensive. Hydrangea and calla lilies are also expensive. Your cheapest flowers are usually carnations and button mums. For that green and pink tiered centerpiece, my cost just for the flowers for that single centerpiece would be about $80. That is not including my time, gas money, wear on my car, the tools, supplies, and accessories required to put together the arrangement securely and properly, or the tiered platter if you're not providing it for me.

When you read in a magazine that keeping to one type of flower keeps your floral costs down for your wedding, that can be true to an extent. So lets look at the white and yellow center then as your cost saving idea. are you okay with me using mums for everything to keep your cost down? (A lot of people hate mums! And I'm going to guess you only want the mums in your pomander balls not in that lovely vase. You're back up to 2 flowers then.) It takes about 80 blossoms to cover a softball sized ball. I only get about 30 usable  blossoms on 10 stems in a bundle. You want 4 balls on 8 tables and each table also has to have a vase of regular roses- about 20 stems in each vase you decide. Pricing for those flowers alone on that will cost me about $400-500. That's not including any of your other flowers. Flowers add up quickly!

So you're probably now thinking, "Well, why should I bother using you since you're so overpriced in comparison with what I can get at Sam's Club and do myself, or what I can get from my local chain florist?" Because my focus is solely on you! I try to do exactly what you want. I will take the time to let you know cheaper alternatives to try to help your budget while still giving you the look you want. I will try to get to know you and understand your vision and style. I'm not going to be able to do an elaborate wedding that requires a staff of 20 to help me make your 30 centerpieces and 4 buffet pieces and 10 bridesmaid bouquets, 16 boutonnieres and 4 corsages, 3 child size floral crowns and a flower necklace for your doggie ring bearer, and chair swags for 242 chairs, but I can give you a beautiful small wedding with gorgeous quality flowers, designed specifically with you in mind.

And when I am helping someone with their home beautification, my thought process and work ethic is very similar. I have been educated and trained in what I do. I have been practicing it for quite some time. It takes me time and effort to help you. I research and explain things, I shop for and with you, I make drawings to help you visualize ideas I've described. I show you options. I explain things on the phone or in person. I welcome you into my home or come to you. I cater to you and personalize the design to you. I don't dictate my personal taste to you, I don't insist you only follow the trends or spend more than you can afford. I get that your sister or uncle or cousin or neighbor or whoever can probably do what I do. If they want to gift that to you then great- I will let them do that for you, but my business is my livelihood. You wouldn't expect a musician to come to your event and play for free. You don't expect the cabinet installers and carpet layers to do their work for free. You don't expect the caterer to proved free food. You pay the painter and carpenter and the brick mason- even the landscaper. You even pay teachers- either with your actual tuition or through your taxes. Whether they are a one person business, a small business, or a chain- you pay them and you pay them for their services. That helps a small business stay in business, which helps the local economy, which helps the overall economy. And when the overall economy is doing well, cost of living goes down which means your dollar goes farther.

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