You tend to often hear about how owning your own business can be "awesome," "amazing," "the best thing ever" ...but business owners tend to not share what it can really be like. It's an extreme challenge, even when you are doing something you truly love.
Creating flower arrangements and working on events and weddings are not our only responsibilities behind 1209. We have part-time jobs (plural... jobs), on top of motherhood, personal obligations, random life events that come out of nowhere... all while juggling a very real and very important career path in this industry. I literally LOL if the term "work-life balance" is tossed our way. Work-life balance? Ha! Don't make us laugh. Learning to master that would just be another thing "to-do" on the already never-ending "to-do" list.
Never-the-less, when you're a small business owner, you just gotta keep it together. Don't let the people see you sweat because no matter what, you got this. It's what you signed up for; it's what WE signed up for. No one told us it was going to be a cakewalk. And in all honesty, I don't think I fully thought it was going to be as difficult as it has been. I've learned that when you start something of your own, you don't get to pay yourself right away, and you work harder than you have ever worked, AND you most certainly do not have an abundance of free time for yourself. Did someone say vacation? Nope. I think they actually said overtime... all the time.
Time is of the essence, and time is probably one of our most valued possessions. We do what we can in our time because after all, it's OUR time. It belongs to everyone, yet each individual has the choice to use it how he or she chooses. So here are 7 ways to use your time while running a business so that you can stay mostly sane and (almost) never lose your cool.
7 Ways to Not Lose Your Cool As a Small Business Owner
- Creative Outlets: Do something creative when you have the chance. Bored? Build something, write something, draw something, cook something, plant something... DO SOMETHING. And whatever it is, make sure it's for fun. For example, when we're bored we tablescape and play with leftover flowers. We are humans and need to find healthy ways to express ourselves other than working.
- Keep Up on Communication: Ummmm... it's everything to us. It's what makes the world go round! Don't get behind on emails, follow-ups or phone calls with clients and colleagues. It will all catch up with you, and even if you hide under your bed, it's allllllllll still going to be there when you eventually crawl out. An email a day keeps the headaches away! Just sayin'.
- Coffee Breaks: Caffeine? Foam? The smell of cinnamon and nutmeg wafting in the air? We're there... first in line. Oh, but have you tried spicey coldbrew?? If you haven't, you've been living under a ridiculously heavy rock... literally, in the depths of an undiscovered crater. You'll find this amazing bad habit at Be Coffee. Life is not the same without it.
- Schedule In Finances: Ok, it's not exactly fun or glamorous, but "Finance Day" is the best day because once it's over, there's an over-sized glass of wine filled to the brim waiting for you... *clouds parting* and *rays of sunshine* happening. There's a light at the end of the tunnel... until the next month when it starts all over and you want to run away. Just keep up on your expenses, taxes and all things dollar bill related. It's important to get better at that boring stuff because you learn the ins-and-outs of what's going on within your own business. Organized spreadsheets will (may I repeat, WILL) become your besties.
- Networking: Chances are there are people out there just like you... trying to make a dollar doing what they love. And chances are there is a possibility that you can work together and somehow help one another out. AND chances are they love alcohol as much as you do. So we say go out, have a drink and make sh*t happen!
- Pet Therapy Sessions: At the end of the day, no matter what, hanging out with your pet is pretty chill. They don't judge, they don't talk back, and they think that you're the best ever. Don't have a pet? Go buy (or better yet, adopt) one. You'll have something to vent to 24/7, and they always think you're right. And the best part is you don't have to pay for them to listen (because you'll probably be broke for awhile being an entrepreneur). It's a win-win!
- Netflix Binges: Sometimes we need to escape reality and give our overworked brains a rest... soooooo, what better way to do that other than to find a new show on Netflix to binge watch until 4am?! YAY! It's the only way to keep some sanity and partly escape dealing with the outside world. Shameless, Blacklist, Peaky Blinders, American Dad, Stranger Things... give us all of the shows!
About the photos above: We did a styled photo shoot with BTS Event Management this past April (photos soon to come), but had a ton of leftover flowers from it. We hate to see flowers tossed away when they are still so beautiful, so we decided to do something with these super cool carnations. We will be the first to say that carnations definitely get a bad rap (seen as the sad grocery store flowers) BUT carnations are making a comeback. We've been seeing a variety of them coming in from our wholesalers in these amazing colors... plus, they last forever and are easy to work with. As florists, we're into all of that. So for fun (and #1 on our list above) we chose to partake in a creative outlet and create a Southwest-inspired tablescape with these carnations, a vintage China and crystal set, Crate & Barrel napkins and silverware, copper mugs, and a few decorative pieces from our 1209 decor collection. Ta-da!
photos by Nicolas Alexander
There is a special connection we have with each and every wedding we are a part of. Every bride and groom's personalities, styles and overall visions for their wedding day are always different, which is why our job is far from dull. Each wedding we do never looks the same as the last, and each team of creatives and vendors we get to work with changes. A couple's wedding day seldom goes forgotten, and we make it a mission to provide flowers and decor that is fitting to who our clients are as individuals.
On the day of December 31, 2016, Erin and Patrick were married at The monOrchid... where they also rang in the New Year with their loved ones by their side. These two worked closely with a team of people who came together to create a wedding to be remembered. One of the reasons why this wedding came together seamlessly was because of the quality relationships the vendors already established with one another. With the help of Kris and Tyler from Konsider It Done, a dream team was literally created. When you are working alongside your friends (those who just understand your style and trust in your work) it makes the process that much more amazing. We admire the efforts that every single vendor put into this wedding, especially Kym Ventola. We go wild for her work! She pays attention to the details, the moments, the light, the emotions.... to everything that truly matters in a photograph. She has been featured in countless print and online publications, and once again her work (and the team behind Erin + Patrick's wedding) was highlighted on Junebug Weddings this week! It's always an honor to know that one's work is being seen by people across the world... it's a trippy feeling.
Photography: Kym Ventola Photography ❖ Event Planning: Konsider It Done
Venue: The monOrchid ❖ Floral Design: 1209 Creative
Catering: Conceptually Social ❖ Donuts: Welcome Chicken & Donuts
DJ: Ingram Entertainment ❖ Videography: Love Story Films ❖ Invitations: idieh designs
Makeup: SN Makeup Artist ❖ Hair Styling: Vanessa Yvonne Hair ❖ Nail Art: Chica Artista Nails
Wedding Dress: Rime Arodaky via LOHO Bride ❖ Bride’s Ear Cuff: Ryan Storer
Bride’s Shoes: Free People ❖ Custom Leather Jackets: Bananna Bones
Flower Girl Apparel: Carken Design (Leotard), Design by Erica T (Skirt)
Groom’s Apparel: Brothers Tailors
Rings: Hamra (Engagement), House of Diamonds AZ (Hers), Shane Co. (His)
Rentals: Tremaine Ranch (Ceremony Backdrop + Benches), Courtesy Coin, AZ Pro Rents
This was a very special 2016 wedding for us. It signified the start of our very first spring-season. As time continues to pass by, and as we continue to learn and grow, we want to sincerely thank each and every bride and groom we have been able to work with, along with all of the amazing vendors. It's been way cool spreading our floral and design love all over these events and weddings! It's what we obsess over everyday, and it's what we are good at. We will continuing serving our 2017 bookings with so much heart, while staying true to the 1209 quality and style.
The styling, the model, the makeup + hair... the entire crew involved in this smokin' hot photo shoot did a crazy-amazing job. Although we played a small role in this shoot, it was still so refreshing to create some floral flair outside of our norm. We are so used to creating centerpieces, decorating tables or styling events. We look forward to exploring more of this kind of creativity with our fellow fashion friends.
We couldn't pass up combining our love for fashion + flowers, especially knowing that Thomas Ingersoll was the photographer behind this shoot. I met Thomas through mutual friends a few years ago and modeled for a photography workshop he hosted with a colleague. Since then, we have worked together on a few other photo shoots building up my personal portfolio. He has also worked with some of my favorite Agency Arizona models, and we are all big, big fans of his work and creativity. Thomas is always sharing his knowledge of photography with others, He's such a down-to-earth person and pleasure to work with... and definitely easy on the eyes (just saying). He's an overall true professional at what he does.
Mante, the Creative Director behind this shoot, is probably one of the coolest stylists in Phoenix (sadly soon to leave us for Austin *tear*). Her brain is constantly filled with ideas and inspiration, and it seamlessly translates into her work. We reached out to her last year to work with us on our 1209 holiday shoot, Sweetest Romance. My heart skipped a beat when she agreed to style the shoot... she delivered EXACTLY what we envisioned. We couldn't have pulled the shoot off without her insane eye for style. She has also worked on countless shoots with fellow Agency Arizona models. Mante knows what's up when it comes for creative direction and fashion.