Last week, we talked about how the Chicago start-up, Flowers for Dreams, donates one fourth of their profits to local charities. Well, the donated buck doesn’t stop there. Amanda Forgash and Natalie Pappas are florists for this socially minded business. They are spearheading the movement of transparent pricing in the wedding market. You can now give back to your community as you plan your wedding and rest assured that there won’t be hidden fees or markups before the process is complete.
Take a peak at the Flower for Dreams Lookbook for some inspiration.
Tips from Amanda and Natalie about getting into the florist business:
- Begin working at a floral shop and see if it’s the right fit.
- Keep in mind you will be starting from the bottom and working your way up. Be prepared to get dirty!
- All florists started sweeping the floors of a flower shop, prepping vases, and processing flowers. Those are necessary skills needed to appreciate the end product and understand why each flower is important.
- Proper floral care is unique to every flower.
- Always explore different ways of doing things and share tips with your fellow designers through your own personal aesthetics.
- When creating a bouquet for someone in particular, allow their personality and traits to show through with color, texture, and flower type. Capturing the essence of a person through mother nature is rewarding beyond measure.
In today’s fast paced economy, there is a racing hope to become the next great app developer or CEO of a startup company to put you on the path toward riches and quite possibly even fame. Stories of success and brilliant ideas float around in the business world, and rightly so.
However, in this highly competitive space, there have been a few companies deviating from the standard of inwardly focused advancement, seeking to do good for the community and maintain a profits. Personally, those are exactly the kind of organizations I want to put my money behind—and I’m sure many of you feel the same way.
Steven Dyme & Joseph Dickstein started selling flowers at high school graduations as a college project. The goal was simple, to make a little money and to make a difference. Half of their earnings went toward buying backpacks for low income students in the area. After a few years, their efforts snowballed into a full fledged company, Flowers for Dreams.
Now they have a bustling staff, a well thought out service, and continue to give back to others on a daily basis. One fourth of all their profits go to local charities.
A couple weeks ago, I got to hang out with Angelica Ruiz. She manages the flower truck. That’s right! I said flower truck. Much like a food truck, Angelica drives all over Chicago, selling bouquets at markets and various events. (Follow @F4DTruck on twitter for more info.)
What better way to brighten the world around you than with a bundle of flowers doing a bundle of good in your own neighborhood?
We’ve still got snow on the ground, but it’s a good time to thinking about your garden and get some seeds started indoors. It’s simple and fun and it’ll save you some cash. If you don’t have a garden patch in your yard, there’s a lot you can grow a lot with containers on a porch or balcony. There are tons of ways to start seeds, but using eggshells is a great way to recycle. Plus they’re nice to look at, and they’re fantastic fertilizer.
Supplies: eggshells, needle, spoon, seeds, potting soil, plant hardiness zone map/calendar (available on seed packets and online)
1. Check out what growing region you live in and decide what you want to plant and when.
2. Treat your friends to giant omelets (they can repay you later by helping plant your garden). Save and rinse the eggshells.
3. Using a big needle, poke a hole in the shell to allow for drainage. I found it easiest to do this while the eggs are in the container.
4. Fill them most of the way with your soil.
5. Plant your seeds and put a little more dirt on top.
6. Use a waterproof pen to label the eggs.
7. Give your little seeds a spritz of water.
8. Place the seeds where they will get the appropriate amount of light. Cross your fingers.
– If you’re not a planner or you just missed your window to start your plants, don’t worry. It can be fun to just wing it and see what happens.
– Extra large or jumbo work best.
– It’s very easy to over water seedlings, which leads to moldy pots of dirt and/or death of your seedlings. That’s why I’m trying a spray bottle this year.
– I mostly started veggies but did a few flowers as well. Little sprouts in eggshells should make a good Easter or Mother’s Day gift.
Creativity is the root to any flourishing business. The idea is to grow a seedling of inspiration into something bigger that gains traction and draws people in. For Lisa, the fondness for flowers in unexpected locations was the fuel that started pot & box.
We’re certainly used to the idea of buying ice cream out of ice cream trucks, but what about flowers? Lisa drives her truck around to holiday markets and street fairs in the Detroit area, selling flowers and arrangements. You can keep on eye on the pot & box truck’s activity through the twitter page and follow it around the city if you so please.
When Lisa isn’t touring the city à la flower truck, she’s working on floral designs for weddings and other events. We caught up with her as she was setting up for one such happening. Her ingenuity shines through yet again, as she hung ginkgo tree branches from the rafters.
Here’s a bit of advice from Lisa to anyone hoping to turn a creative idea into a successful venture:
“Owning a business is all about being able to pivot. Trends, moods, and weather can change what I offer, and how I offer it. I used to want to have a traditional retail flower and garden shop, but I realized I have more flexibility to tackle different projects if I have flexibility in my schedule. That was a giant pivot. So, as far as advice, I’d suggest being open to change is really important. But also, go ahead and be stubborn when you think it’s important.”
Lisa is wearing: Carhartt Women’s Ravenden Sweater, Women’s Dodson Shirt, Relaxed-Fit Denim Jasper Jean, & Carhartt Weathered Wildwood Jacket.
After leaving the music industry to find a creative challenge, Caitlin Kerr founded The Foxglove Studios. She started small, maintaining part time jobs and freelancing while building her skills and learning the craft. Each gradual step made it a more manageable task to jump into a whole new career. With time her clientele grew and running the studio became a fulltime job. Starting over can seem daunting and even downright impossible, but Caitlin put aside those fears created her own dream job.
Another important part of starting a new career path is to remember your roots. The years you spent at your old job weren’t pointless. You put in time an effort that helped make you the person you are today. Music plays a large role in Caitlin’s job. She listens to songs, bands, and composers reminiscent of the mood she’s aiming to capture in her creations.
Floral Arrangement Tips from Caitlin of The Foxglove Studios:
1. Use chicken wire, floral tape, or both to create a base. Avoid the Styrofoam filled with toxic chemicals.
2. Use it all. The greens of a flower can also be utilized. Don’t strip off the leaves, they create texture and fill out the arrangement.
3. When arranging, start with the base of greens and foliage. Then add focal flowers and whimsical flowers (the whispy, airy, smaller, and more wild types of flowers like scabiosa and ranunculus).
4. Allow the focal flowers to stand taller. It creates a more interesting arrangement.
5. Make sure to cut the stems of your arrangements and change the water everyday.
A chunk of paradise in the middle of the big city, Common Good City Farm in DC offers so much to the community. Their goal is to grow food, educate, and help low-income members meet their food needs.
This is Anita, food manager at the farm. Her passion is to help repair the broken food system. Through gardening classes and other workshops offered at Common Good, steps are made every day to make the surrounding environment healthier and more connected. See how you can get involved.
check out what Anita wears while she gets the job done: Carhartt Women’s Annapolis Shirt, Norfolk Tank, Trenton Hoodie, Norfolk Henley, El Paso Shorts, and C-Grip Knuckler Gloves.
Today is such a gorgeous day! Get out there and enjoy it! Gardening is one of the best stress relievers. Bring some spring into your home today with this DIY. This is a perfect opportunity to wear something from the Carhartt Force line. The shirt I’m wearing in the photos above is designed for work. It wicks sweat, fights odors, and has stain release qualities. How cool is that?
shop this look: Women’s Force Performance Quarter-Zip Shirt, Straight Fit Jeans, Soft Hands Gloves, Women’s Carhartt Logo Loop Belt
It looks like the warm weather is here to stay. That means spring is here, and it’s time to celebrate! I’m kinda flipping out over how much I love this simple DIY. Think about the endless possibilities you have with the fabric flowers. You can attach them to headbands, gift bags, birthday cards, bobby pins, and clothes. I thought it would be a nice touch to add some spring to my Tomboy Denim Jacket.