so long, valentine’s day.

flowers

We’ve put another Valentine’s Day to bed. All I can say is, [insert giant sigh of relief].

I’ve been wearing the same pair of jeans for six days, I can’t remember the last time I washed my hair, and it’s been at least three weeks since I’ve had a day off. We expected to spend this post-holiday weekend all snuggled up and lounge-like, but the work just keeps coming with weddings, bridal/baby showers, dinner parties, and memorials and it looks like we’ll spend the better part of today and tomorrow in the shop. To complain would seem ridiculous; we’re so grateful for the business we’re afraid to even utter the words, “I need a break,” for fear of jinxing all this good fortune.

Owning and operating a flower shop is the hardest thing I’ve done in my life. It’s physically demanding — standing 8-12 hours at a time, awkwardly hunched over a counter-height design table, lifting 10-gallon buckets filled with water and flowers, hauling giant arrangements to-and-fro, and loading and unloading delivery vans — and some days my body aches all over, from the tips of my fingers to the arches of my feet. Managing fresh inventory is both a science and a gamble, and if you mess it up you could lose your shirt.Β In this industry, sales are seasonal and hard to forecast, making my hours unpredictable; though it may say 9:00-5:00 on the door, I rarely have the pleasure of a 40-hour work week.

And that’s just the tip of the {sometimes terrifying} iceberg of small business ownership…

Despite all of this, owning a flower shop is also the best thing I’ve done in my life. I love the constant buzz of energy around our little shop as we take new orders, work with clients, and brainstorm for upcoming projects.Β I’m thankful for a career that lets me be creative and keeps me on my toes, even if it does wear me out completely. And just when I think I can’t muster the strength to crank out one more arrangement, a sweet customer calls to tell us the flowers we designed for her mom’s memorial service were perfect and brought the family so much joy in a time of grieving. Or I run into a bride I worked with, and she shares that the bridal bouquet I made was her favorite part of her big day. We get to play a little part in some of the most monumental experiences of people’s lives, and I feel so honored and lucky every time someone says, “I choose you to design the flowers for XYZ.”

Even more than that, I’m so overwhelmed by the incredible support of our family and friends. C’s mom spent the entire week with us to help with the holiday. My step-dad took Valentine’s Day off work and delivered flowers, after spending the night before helping C route and organize orders until at least 10:00pm. Our friends ordered arrangements for their Valentines, dropped in with treats, and sent encouraging texts offering to help any way they could. If you’re reading this (and you know who you are) it means the world to us and we love you so much.

So, even though I’m completely exhausted and can’t imagine anything better than a hot bath and a 12-hour nap, I’m grateful for the pile of orders sitting on my desk and the chance to keep doing what I love and growing in this crazy business.

Now, pardon me, but I gotta get back to work.

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4 thoughts on “so long, valentine’s day.”

  1. Hi Keira, insanely great work on this post. genuine, honest and strait to the point, and most of all filled with happiness and excitement. Your’re right: you are very lucky to have such a job, family and support. It’s clearly that you love the ups and downs of your work, and the struggle to do a great job inspired us, while reading this together with my team. Please check our work out and drop us a few lines of how you liked our posts. An honest, constructive and critique comment will make our day and if you can consider a follow will honor us. See you soon, N. Merrynote – founder and CEO of Coffeebooksong Studios

  2. Love this entry. It takes away my excuse of being to busy during Mardi Gras to work on my blog. I’ve owned a business in the French Quarter pre hurricane that changed everyone’s life and currently manage a well known world wide make up store. You are so right about how demanding, stressful, and rewarding it is all at the same time. Now that Mardi Gras is over ( we spent the greater part of January and beginning of February doing make up for balls and parades,) prom season starts, thank you for showing me that if I want to start my blog, I can’t let business and work be an excuse.

  3. I really like the honesty you have in your blog posts…it’s good to hear that work challenges you, and also that you have great support! Love, love, love the Valentine’s flowers you posted photos of :)

    <3 Cambria
    jupefashion.blogspot.com

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