Family. Flowers. Sweets... And if I'm being totally honest, reality TV.
Hi, I'm Atelier Ashley, at least that's what my friends have been calling me lately. But that's ok, I like it. I also like desserts, emails and a hundred other things I could tell you about. Instead, I am going to try to focus on why I decided to open my own shop.
My son Finnley will be a one year old on June 21. I insist that he is a Gemini (like his mama) even though it could be argued that he is technically a Cancer.
To say that life has changed would be cliche, to say that having a baby rocked my world in ways that I couldn't have imagined would be an understatement. Recently, I learned that the brain literally changes after childbirth. Hmm, good to know.
For the last 10 years, I have been perfectly happy being a lead designer in other people's shops. Life was easy. Go to work, make beautiful things, go home, paint and craft. No real responsibility, no real reward.
I had planned to take a year off to just be Finnley's mommy. But about three weeks in, I knew that without flowers and a creative outlet, I was not my best self. So I started scrambling.
I tried this, then that. Planned for this, then planned for that, but nothing was really coming together. Floundering, it soon became clear to me that the time had come to take a chance and go all in on starting a studio of my own.
That was in January and it has been full steam ahead. If I'm being 100% honest, I will tell you that it has not been entirely easy to find clients. I spend a good part of my days reaching out to wedding planners, venues, photographers and other wedding professionals to let them know I have gone out on my own and would love an opportunity to collaborate with them.
Surprisingly, or not surprisingly, it has been the love from other established florists (shout out to Lisa Sommer of Petals and Promises in particular) that has sent brides my way and helped me to start filling dates on my 2017 calendar. I couldn't be more grateful.
The autonomy of being my own boss is motivating, but the ability to offer designs, creative ideas and budget friendly solutions is even more empowering.
It feels good to say "yes" and know that I can deliver what I have promised.