Reflecting- as one does this time of year, I sit here trying to sum up my first year as a business owner, the word that comes to me is, “unprecedented”. I’m not saying I didn’t work hard, because I did, I worked my ass off, but I never expected to be received so fully and graciously by the community.
My year started out with a short list of goals I thought were optimistic, yet practical. Some goals where small achievements, more of ‘to-do’s’ than anything, and other, larger goals, I perceived as “unreachable”. I sometimes chuckle at how naïve I was; for example, I one goal I wrote down was that I would like to book 6 wedding/events throughout the year. Little did I know I would more than triple this goal I set for myself, appear on TV, have my work featured in blogs and magazines, feel the love and support from over 7k instagram followers, and work with so many talented photographers, stylists, designers, florists, HAMU, bakers, editors…the list goes on and I am literally blown away.
There are a few exceptional people I can undoubtedly say, trusted in me completely. Being totally honest, I wouldn’t be where I’m at without them. Firstly, Erin Gouveia. I came across her work through some instagram hashtags (which is the norm these days, right?) and fell in love with her clean, unfiltered style. When I look back at those early months, I cannot believe she agreed to work with me. With just a few photos of flowers on my instagram page, no website, no credibility, and no connections to speak of, she still trusted in me. We began a beautiful series of shoots varying from smaller ‘Vessel of the Month’ pips, to larger scale themed productions. Erin (probably unknowingly) has taught me so much. There’s this one phrase she said to me back on our first meeting in January that has always stuck with me, and I think about it a lot. It was one of those things that always lingered in the background and I believe this helped me create and portray my work the way I wanted it to be seen. She said, “Whatever you put out there is your brand.” It’s such a small and simple phrase, yet what I took away was this: Soil & Stem is me. It’s an extension of me anyway. So whatever I sent into the void of onlookers, I needed to stand by it with no reservations and accept it as my brand.
The next person that I am forever grateful for is Emmily Jones. She let me intern for her, where I absorbed as much information as possible, and she even booked me my first wedding of 2014. It is so fitting that I will have my first wedding of 2015 with her as well! Em is my go-to for advice and help, or even a good ‘ole fashion vent session. Love that girl!
There are an abundence of incredible and talented people who gave their time, blood (literally), sweat and tears to help me this year. Kaylee, Jamie, Breaunna, and Tess to name a few! These girls rock! But the most unwavering, unfailing, and iron-strong support was given by my husband, Skyler. It’s as simple as this: There would be no Soil & Stem without him.
The last reflection of 2014 is both a reflection and beautiful beginning to a new year. In June, When Nicole Traveller approached me about a brand film for Soil & Stem, I was nervous but also very excited. I have a hard time putting myself in the spot light, and this brand film turns that light right on me. Not one of my lush hand-tied bouquet of flowers, but ME!
So here you have a small look into my world of Soil & Stem. I wanted to keep things simple and true. No gimmicks, no styling, just me. I took these ladies to my usual foraging spot and then invited them to my garage studio where we played around with flowers, chickens, ribbons, and my dogs. I can’t thank Nicole, Mary Claire, and Tia enough for their talents, but mostly, I can’t thank them enough for pushing me out of my comfort zone and working around my awkwardness in front of the camera; these girls truly have hearts of gold.
Thank you everyone, for an unprecedented 2014 and wishing you a New Year full of creativity and love!