I’M NOT A FLORIST
I'm not a florist. Weird, right? I own a floral company, but I don't consider myself a florist. When I had the idea to do a flower truck, I asked a friend of mine, Laura (who is a florist) to be my partner. She decided to pass and for me that was a huge obstacle to tackle. How was I going to start a flower truck with zero floral experience? Since I was just starting out, I didn't have enough money to hire a florist. It felt like obstacle after obstacle. At this point in time, my Dad came to the rescue (of course) with his wise words of encouragement; My Dad told me to learn how to own a Flower Company or Flower Truck on my own. With endless resources at my disposal, he had no doubt that I could tap into knowledge from all over and obtain enough information to get started. I want to be clear: he never told me I could learn how to be a florist in a few months. We both understood then, and still do, that being a florist is not something you can learn how to do in a few months. It takes time to cultivate the skills needed to creatively thrive as a florist. But as a start-up, I didn’t have time to go back to school or to enroll in classes here and there. In order to keep the dream alive, I had to begin asking for help anywhere I could. Over the years I have learned that it’s so much better to acknowledge what you do not know and to ask for help, rather than to pretend you have it all figured out. In my experience, so many people were willing to share their passion for the floral industry and are a huge part of Ameila’s success.
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT – WELL, ALMOST…
I asked Laura for advice and guidance, I met with other floral designers in town and I read books about floral design. I can't say that I knew, or even know, everything I needed to open in March of 2016. Laura flew in from Charleston for my opening weekend to help me iron out the kinks. I'll never forget the first customer that came to the truck asked for my help in building a bouquet. I, with terror in my eyes, looked to Laura to help me build a bouquet for this women. Again, asking for help is such a humbling thing, but so worth it. I always wonder what her bouquet would have looked like had I just given it my best shot – HA. Since opening day was NUTS, I was kind of forced to learn quickly. Practice makes perfect – or in my case, practice was enough to help me feel confident in moving forward as the sole employee for a while.
As I have said before, I never imagined that the trucks would multiply within the first year. At the beginning, I expected to become a florist. I thought this would be a one truck operation and I would refine my floral skills and knowledge, maybe even take a course or two. As the truck gained popularity and the opportunity to expand arose, I realized that my passion wasn't solely in flowers, but instead the business development side of it all. I brought on more employees to work the trucks and I soon stepped into the role (one of the many I play) of Branding and Business Development. This step allowed me to really channel my energy into exploring all of the possibilities for the trucks and the brand.
I AM AN ENTREPRENEUR
For some reason it bothers me to be called a florist. I think it’s because I feel like a fraud. That may sound extreme, but I have so much respect for this industry and the people who have worked countless hours to make it what it is – blood, sweat, tears and lots of love. Yes, I've developed some really great floral skills in the past two years and I do enjoy arranging flowers and building bouquets, but I am not a florist by heart or nature. I thrive when I have the ability to build something out of nothing. To take an idea, no matter how small, and turn it into a profitable, reputable brand. That’s when I come alive!
This makes me an entrepreneur. I've always had a work ethic and a hunger to create, so right now I am living my dream. I own a business that allows me be creative and to be a part of putting smiles on so many faces. Even though I am not a florist, I still love being able to work with flowers and people. Every picture a customer posts and every comment left inspires me to dream up ideas to keep Ameila’s growing.
To all my followers, friends and family, I am just getting started and that is the best feeling ever. Thank you for the endless love and support!