The truth is that I haven’t been honest about what’s going on in my life. Telling the truth requires bravery and it’s taken me a while to muster up the strength.
Yes, it’s true. After twenty years in in flowers, including thirteen years of operating my business (Mimosa Flower Studio), I’m getting out.
I’ve heard it said that the best time to quit is before you wish you had and while you still have a good relationship with your career.
I’m at the point where I am longing for change in many ways. Firstly, I wish to reclaim to those three missing seasons – Spring, Summer and Fall. I long to make spring plans, do summer-like activities and generally act like normal people do when the sun shines. It’s a small thing, I know, but something I will never take for granted. I look forward to this summer – the first in twenty years that won’t be bogged down with schedules and long hours on weekends.
Creativity. That’s the other big hole I find myself longing to fill. I know it may seem unbelievable to those who look at the floral business from the outside and assume it’s non-stop creativity, surrounded by fresh flowers, sunshine and rainbows. Here’s something that might shock you – the floral world is more about business than it is about creativity. At least that’s how it is when you are the owner. I recall many times in the studio, when I would be jealous of my employees who were able to design non-stop, while I busied myself with phone-calls, meetings and general organization (boring!). If you know me at all, you also know those are not my strengths. In fact, it’s kind of laughable that I have been able to manage a successful business for thirteen years with so little interest in administration. Go ahead, laugh… it’s okay. I don’t mind. We’re laughing together.
So, simply put, I am longing for more. More creativity and expression. I have spent my entire life dabbling in the arts (outside of the flower world). I sew, write and paint. I’ve tried my hand at many skills including stained glass, pottery and wood-working. I hope to do much more of all of these things in the future – to grow my skills and talents so I can be more expressive. Who knows what this will lead to. For now, I am content to enjoy the journey and see what comes of it. There’s a beauty in learning the art of play once again.
At the same time that I have been longing for more, I have also wanted less. Less business. Less busyness. Less materialism. Less ‘stuff’ that has, increasingly over the years, become shallow for me. I want to be less confined by the box that I’ve slowly allowed myself to become accustomed to over the years. I look forward to expansion by moving out of the box and testing the limits of what I’m capable of.
Shutting down my business has already been a year in the making. It was last April that I made the decision and since then I have been turning away clients on a daily basis. The truth is, my business is at an all time high. The amount of work I’m turning away is plentiful and it kills me every time. It’s not been easy … AT ALL. In fact, it might be the hardest thing I have ever done.
Something I wrote in my journal a few days ago: “It’s like saying “no” a thousand times. Literally”.
Here’s a quote which has helped to give me perspective: “It’s easy to say NO when you have a bigger YES.”
While it’s seems massively wasteful to close down and walk away from a perfectly amazing business, I am doing so with a bigger YES in mind. Every day I get up and tell myself that it all makes sense, that the plan is good and that the bigger waste is to NOT make a change with my life.
One of my hopes in sharing this very personal journey is to inspire you. Perhaps you have also been holding onto a pattern of living or a job and it’s not (maybe never has been) who you are or who you want to be. Maybe, like me, you have been too scared to jump out of the safety net into the big blue sky, stretch your wings and see what you’re made of.
I recently came across these words that say it all:
“It’s always better to be at the bottom of the ladder you want to climb than the top of the one you don’t.”
As I explore this new chapter in my life, I have a bunch of projects on the go which I am excited about!
- www.cherriesinthesun.com. This blog (which you are at right now) is a project which I started in order to expand my writing skills while learning how to express myself. It has reflections and stories of my own life as well as my mother’s. It’s a work from the heart, plain and simple
- A documentary. I am working with Mike Enns (www.ennsvisuals.com) on a project which involves a trip to Germany this June. We’ll be staying in a small town called Eutin and (in between beers and schnitzel) we’ll be putting together a beautiful film to share the journey that I have been on over that last few years. You can see a small teaser here http://www.cherriesinthesun.com/just-a-tease/
- The HandMade Market. Many of you know about this small artisan market that my husband and I produce here in Niagara (www.handmademarket.ca). This is a work borne out of passion for the arts which the two of us have built from scratch. The first market was in our home way back in 2009. It’s grown in leaps and bounds (to our pleasant surprise!) and we are very excited about what the future holds.
- If you are a florist or in the wedding industry, I have a project in the pipeline that might be of interest to you. Sporting a working title of “Love Letter to a Wedding Florist”, I’m writing a book of reflections and lessons from my twenty years in the industry. This project will be personal, raw and honest. Stay tuned for more details!
Just before I turn to step out of the world of flowers and weddings for good, I want to acknowledge my peers in the industry. I have made some incredible friends over the years – many that have been close, loyal, incredibly supportive and just generally amazing. It’s difficult to realize that we won’t be crossing paths regularly anymore … at the back of a church or a loading dock or at a wedding show or in the cooler in Mississauga amidst the buckets of blooms while we’re literally freezing our butts off.
To all my flower/wedding/event friends: I will miss our shared community terribly. I already do.
I’m filled with pleasant memories, fondness and hope for the future.
P.S. Clearance Sale. April 26 at the studio here in Jordan.
INVENTORY CLEARANCE SALE
ONE DAY ONLY • EVERYTHING MUST GO
Saturday, April 26 • 11:00–3:00
(Click here to view the pre-view catalogue > http://bit.ly/1oj3Sef )