Friday, January 11, 2013

Thinking Of You

Oh boy…been feeling this post brewing for a week and today I guess it’s time to release my thoughts. You know how these kinds of wordy posts go…if you came for flower pictures, I’m not offended if you scoot along and catch up with me on Monday when we get back to beautiful flowers.

I often receive emails and phone calls from designers…which thrills me to no end! A large portion of the calls and emails are in regards to the stress involved in the flower business. I hear the same concerns, worries and doubts over and over. On the one hand, I am thankful to know that I wasn’t a strange bird when I was in the day-to-day wedding business. I realize now how “normal” and common my experience really was. Thank you for validating that for me! On the other hand, my heart aches for you designers when I hear your struggles. One designer said to me recently, “You can still remember the pain even though you aren’t still in the business.” I think she was surprised, but all of the feelings of owning a design studio were intense…both good and not-so-good… and have stayed with me since closing it 4 years ago. The business is a dance of elation, fear, creativity, frustration and pure joy. That’s why we have a hard time “quittin’ it” even in the moments we want to run screaming from the studio never to return.

I’m not suggesting that any of you quit. And I’m definitely not suggesting that you not contact me with your struggles. I guess I just feel a need to share a few words of encouragement with you. I admire each of you. Writing Botanical Brouhaha is a guilty pleasure for me. I think of you all as I write posts and get a thrill when you find the blog helpful in any small way. You are generous and kind. You work so hard and care deeply about your clients and the art you create. You encourage one another. You are generous with your time and knowledge.

And, still, for many of us there is an undercurrent of self-doubt and fear. The fear that we aren’t good enough, talented enough, hip enough, beautiful enough, young or old enough to compete in this intense industry….where someone is always a few steps ahead. Someone is always getting more weddings, bigger weddings, more publications, bigger budgets, hipper studios than we are…it’s intense! My heart beats faster just thinking about the breakneck pace and pressure of it all. And then, there’s me. It’s like I stepped out of the race and into the stands…and now I’m watching all of you participate in the race fighting for your place at the finish line. I feel like I can see the big picture more clearly now that I’m not actually in the race. And here’s what I see…

Each of you is uniquely you. There’s not, nor can there ever be, another you. You have the talent and the drive and the passion. If you work from the creative place deep in your soul, the well won’t run dry. Sure, people will watch you and might copy your work…and, honestly, some might view you as competition and treat you nasty. But, it won’t matter because you will be two steps down the road following your heart and creating something new…something you are proud to put your name on and something that brings joy to you and your client. I wish we could figure out a way to stay current with our industry trends without feeling pressured to always create within their confines. Don’t you feel most fulfilled when you are creating within your own personal style? Be confident in that place. You might just create a trend! The true measure of your success isn’t what place you grab at the finish line….it’s how you ran the race. How many lives did you touch? Did you run with integrity, compassion and perseverance?

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Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.” Galatians 6:4-5 (MSG)

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Release yourself from the expectations of others and go make an impact on the world with your God-given talent.

Love you and hope you have a great weekend!

0005-amy-merrick

image via Amy Merrick

21 comments:

Sherdon said...

Bless you and thank you!

Francoise Weeks said...

Thank you Amy!so well written and so true...

Angie Strange said...

Amy, Thank you so much for sharing your heart. This is one more confirmation for me. Love that scripture and I am going to write that down and keep it with me! hugs!

Terri said...

We can't all be stars :)

If your customer is happy with your floral creation(s) then you have done your job well.

Botanique said...

Thank you for this Amy! What a gift you are to the floral design community, for all your encouraging words and support, and the daily inspirations you provide.

Emelie said...

I love you long text posts! What you say is SO true. Thanks for the encouraging words, they are well needed!

Bare Mtn Farm said...

A special thank you to you for the kind words left on my post and these very encouraging words on your post. It is a great reminder that with all that is on my plate, perspective, honesty and being true to myself is the way to go. Self-doubt is shadowing me at the moment and it was your great blog that helps me to see and to start to move forward. I receive so many wonderful ideas from your blog and I thank you so very much!! Denise

Laurie (Fleurie) said...

Thanks for the right words at the right time. You have a gift, thank you for sharing it. I will write down the verse for future inspiration.

Laurie (Fleurie) said...

Thanks for the right words at the right time. You have a gift, thank you for sharing it. I will write down the verse for future inspiration.

Mona said...

I just simply LOOOOOOVE this post..
thank you for writing it....
Mona

Mimi said...

Wow! Amy even when you're not showing pretty pictures of flowers, you're hitting it right out of the ball park. I realized several years ago that I no longer wanted to create flower arrangements that I hated simply, because someone was willingly to pay for them. I began to pray that God would begin sending us customers who wanted our look. And that's been the case ever since. I even had a bride who trusted us so much that her reception flowers were a complete surprise to her until she stepped into the reception. Thanks for your support and encouragement. It means so much. Yes, there are days when I feel like if I knock over another bucket of water I will scream. But luckily those days are few and far between. It's all about the work/life balance I mentioned in my post the other day. Have an incredible weekend and thanks for always considering our needs. Mimi

marci said...

Amy, your posts wether they be florals or truth written from the heart, always resignate with us. All our love for what you do and for the times you uplift us.
xoxo

Julianna said...

Thank you for this! I appreciate your encouragement so much!

Tracy Huntley said...

Oh Amy, what a sweet and encouraging post! Thank you so much!!!

Kristy said...

Oh you gave me GOOSEBUMPS. How close you are to what I myself have been thinking and mulling over in my own little head the last few weeks. Thanks so much Amy. :)

Val Hunter said...

As a newcomer, just breaking into the floral scene, I am already experiencing these dreaded feelings. There is a ton of competition. It can be very, very disheartening. It is the life of a person doing business, though. I just hope that business doesn't muddle where art is made. I just want to make a living doing what I love. I think floral designers struggle because it is something we pour more soul into than most people doing business. Its more than just a means to an end.
Thank you for your words,
-Val

Emily said...

I love this post and I love the scripture verse! Thank you so much!

Denise Fasanello said...

simply, thank you!

Jessica Jones said...

Oh my goodness... you must be plugged into my head!!! The self doubt & frustration that comes with this business. Thank you for what YOU do & the teaching moments you create! And I love the Scripture... thank you!

julia's floral said...

Amy, thank you. Your reflection resonates the truth of a shared experience. Nobody really knows what wedding floral designers go through, besides other wedding floral designers! I am grateful for the reminder that in this business, I compete only with myself. That degree of passion and workmanship is enough to keep my clients deliriously happy. God bless you!!

Maureen deBruyn said...

Thank you! I was blessed!
Maureen deBruyn