Wednesday, March 20, 2013
I'm holed up in my office at the farm watching a snow storm unfold outside. A ladybug has landed on my computer screen, I move it to the Aussie Tree fern sitting next to me. Good deed of the day, check!
Sounds peaceful, but I'm at ground-mother-effing-zero of a shit storm of plant research, and not just for the plant sale....no no no no no no. NO! That ground work is mostly done. This is for hellebores - the ultimate hellebore endgame.
Five minutes ago I was begging someone in Michigan to send me Hellebore plants even though we're weeks away from being able to plant here. She's figured out I'm in zone 5 and she's not giving in easy. I NEED THEM I tell her. And then suddenly I am trying to explain to her that I am also a florist and that I just need to cut the flowers... how I might do great things if I could just get one of Chris's yellow crosses...a plant I spied in a corner at Peace Tree, a gift to them for their garden (from his crossbreeding reject pile!). It's just that I can't stop thinking about it. I know I sound crazy to this good midwestern woman on the phone as I try to coerce her to tell me the exact stage of the flowers in the greenhouse, have the petals dropped yet? Are the sepals rusty? Has she even been out to look at the plants? I sadly realize that I am that person on the phone. Shit is real, friends. Shit is real.
I have been hustling a lot lately, something I promised I would quit. It's just that there's too much at stake, every week things present themselves. Nothing fancy or really that important. No celebrity weddings or dream jobs. Mostly just plants I need to travel for or flowers I have to pay attention to. Lots of driving back and forth between the city and the farm unfortunately.
A shift has been in the works this year, and I'm realizing it now as I try to find the words to describe my feelings. I am less interested in events and more interested in flowers. Maybe it's always been that way but this year it is crystallizing. Asheley and Deanna try to talk to be about linens, about props for events and my eyes glaze over, I can't focus. There's something to this, you have to follow me...
I have had the pleasure of meeting lots of florists from different parts lately. They casually come say hi at the studio or we meet for coffee. These are some of my favorite days and I always end up talking very fast and getting very excited. Similar to when I meet growers. I notice I work out ideas that have been kicking around in my head in these conversations. A few weeks ago I met with a couple of southern florists. We were talking about business, of course. And how you have to stick to what you love to do. (ARE YOU WORRIED that I'm going to try to bring the m-fing inspirational rain on you this fine spring morning?)
Adding this mammoth farm project to our business has made me look hard at my role in this monster we've created. It's the first time I've really planned, or thought about the future, and it's uncomfortable, I hate it. When I sit down to write business plans for loans I end up on spotify crafting mixtapes that connect 2 Chainz and Barbara Streisand. That's not a good thing, friends.
What I realize I don't want to do is sit in lots of meetings. I don't want to suck up ever ever ever to people who don't really understand what we do. I don't want to plan details for table top. Sure, I want those details to be incredible, but I don't really want to personally be that involved with it. I don't want to look at tent schematics or talk about the marshmallow roasting fire pit after-party. Especially if I'm not invited to said fire pit after party. I don't want to do photoshoots I don't have full creative control over.
All I really want to do is scour the country for the best flowers, Orchid Thief style! and god that sounds like a reality TV show, which I definitely do not want to do. I want to make flowers for myself, take pictures of them and share them with you. I want to buy flowers. A TON of them. And I want to make so many arrangements for ... yes ... weddings and events. And I want to awe those clients with the most unusually beautiful, delicately nuanced flower compositions.
But I personally, as the owner of this monster, I really just want to do the flowers, and nothing else. So Asheley please don't make me go to Mood again. Ever.
As I'm writing this morning I'm also trying desperately to track a box of baby chicks that was supposed to arrive yesterday. Can you imagine baby chicks being born into a USPS box and then getting stuck somewhere in a snowstorm on the back of a truck. It's killing me. But I digress...
I think the things we love the most are the things we do best. When I clutter my business with shit that bores me or worse -- things that I think I am supposed to do as a floral designer -- I suffer and Saipua suffers. We live in an age now where we can invent, each one of us, what our personal industry looks like. So I may not take my clients shopping for linens, but I will provide them with a full tutelage on flowers, invite them to come see how we grow flowers and ideally inspire them to start their own gardens and begin their own experimentation with flowers.
Someone emailed me from Oklahoma this week. A picture of a little arrangement they made with a lenten rose from their garden. Told me they were planting lots of hellebores in their yard this year. Do you know what a big deal that is to me? It means more than you know.
I want to wish you a happy vernal equinox. Equal parts day and night.