Featured on Martha Stewart Weddings

I was over-the-moon excited to recently find out that a bouquet I had designed in 2015 was selected as one of "The 50 Best Spring Wedding Bouquets" on Martha Stewart Weddings! I mean, Martha-freakin'-Stewart! I'm still unsure how this happened, but hey, I'm pretty happy about it. It took me back to when I first met the couple of that wedding, Katherine & Anthony. It was in 2014 and I had just begun to expand my services to include fresh flowers (I began as a planner / coordinator in the industry). Katherine really took to my ideas and designs and was such a pleasure to work with (we are still friends today)! She wholeheartedly let me design and plan their wedding to the best of my creative abilities at the time. I distinctly remember during the planning process that I kept telling myself - "give this your all", "go above and beyond", "you-do-you", "standard of excellence"...things I tell myself on a regular basis because I truly believe that what you put out there, will come back to you tenfold (positive or negative). The work and heart that went into K & A's wedding has resulted in such an outpouring of blessings for me, I cannot even begin to list them. This recent accolade, along with a few others I received for this specific wedding, validates my belief that hard work and smart work result in long-term success. Even though when I look at this bouquet now, I see various things I would maybe do differently, I can't shake the feel-good-vibes that I accomplished so much with this wedding in my first season of exploring and expanding my business.

I've attached the link to the Martha Stewart Weddings feature here, along with the entire wedding gallery as shared on Style Me Pretty + a few more images from this gorgeous wedding, all photographed by Reid from When He Found Her (he makes everything look amazing!)

A Year of Firsts

Typical me that I should title my blog post "a year of firsts" since this is my first blog post. I consider myself the household comedienne (despite the lack of enthusiasm from my husband, James), but the title truly reflects what this post (and series of posts) will be about - my first year as a full time #bosslady. Hopefully, sharing my experiences, as I navigate through the ups and downs of this journey, will impart some wisdom, entice some feedback and hopefully illicit laughter from those of you who read this. I am by no means an expert writer or vastly successful in what it is that I now do (wedding florist / stylist), but I know I've read a TON of blogs and connecting to the heart of other business owners, particularly other #bossladies, has helped me get to where I want to go. So, with all that said, I hope you join me on this journey of newbie blogger / full time boss(y) lady and see where it takes us. 

Okay, so yes, I left the comfort of a secure, full-time-salary-plus-benefits job that I loved to finally pursue my business full time at the end of February 2017. This was a very difficult decision to make, but I was burning the candle at both ends all of 2016; trying to fulfill my responsibilities as a manager in my job and to my clients in my business. This culminated with burn out, exhaustion, weeks-long pneumonia and resting orders from my doctor in January 2017. It was during this time that I made peace with the decision to finally take the leap and resign from my job. Surprisingly, it wasn't as terrifying a thought as it used to be. Perhaps it was the prescription meds or the exhaustion, but I was actually eager to leave. Even though I didn't have everything quite figured out (and still don't), I had the entire support I needed of James, my family and I just knew in my heart that God will provide; He always has. This doesn't mean I don't expect challenges and adjustments, but I was really tired of feeling like I lived a double life: manager extraordinaire by day, wedding florist and stylist by night and on weekends. Not living fully on purpose was making me sick - physically, mentally, emotionally. I was miserable and I'm pretty sure I was making everyone around me miserable too!

So, with some new courage and excitement in my heart, my last day of #joblife was Friday, February 24, 2017! Freedom, living with intention, living with authenticity, pursuing my dreams on my terms, etc, etc...all the typical things I read and think about were now happening for ME. Whoa. And the best part about it all? Aside from the support of family, friends and community, it was happening for me because of ME. I believed in myself enough now to take the leap. I believed I was good enough to live a life that meant something. I believed I could, so I did.

Building a foundation of self-belief on principles that I hold near and dear to my heart is what I know will take me through this next chapter. We are each created for a purpose and as I'm sure you can relate, when you are not living according to your dreams, you feel like you are not really living at all; you are surviving. I could not stand the thought that I was merely getting by! I believe we only live once, so let's live while we are alive! All that said, I know that it's sometimes difficult, next-to-near impossible for some people to figure out what that purpose is. Living life on purpose has always, always perplexed me, even since I was a little girl. Why am I here? Am I doing the right thing? Am I doing what I am suppose to do?  One thing I know from my years of searching is that my purpose is fundamentally evolving as I learn and grow from my experiences. My purpose is not stagnant; it is revealed through the trials and challenges and in the experiences that bring myself and others joy. For now, my purpose is to allow my heart to flow into creating beautiful flower designs for couples during one of life's most special occasions. Bringing people joy through design and flowers, while teaching others the same is enough for me right now. I know because I am happy (did I just say that aloud)? What my purpose will be in the future, who knows? I have plans, big plans, but they too change as I learn and grow...

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It's now the end of March, and I'm still trying to figure out this new world of working in my business full time, but I'm giving myself the space, time and patience I need to figure it out, one day at a time. As the title of this post indicates, I am SURE this year will be a year of many firsts for me and I am excited about it. A little nervous, but excited and hopeful. Picture the sun shining, wind blowing and me running through the fields barefoot kind of excitement! Yes, that's a good day to me! P.S. - this GIF is not me and she is not barefoot, but nonetheless, you get the picture...

What are some firsts that you've recently experienced? How do you handle changes in your life and lifestyle? What are some firsts that have really impacted your life? For many, the first of anything can be terrifying, but how you use that experience to make a positive impact on your life or the lives of others will determine if you get that second, third or fourth opportunity. I would love to hear more about your firsts throughout this series!

xo,

Alex