Who said running your own business was easy, life enhancing, time freeing and stimulating?
No one in their right mind, that’s who!
Sometimes I think about ripping off my apron and throwing the towel in. I rarely get a day off and when I do I’m still answering emails, ordering stock, arguing with John and chasing up invoices. The dream of spending the week arranging flowers, creating gorgeous floral tributes and sharing in joyous occasions often turns into the nightmare of stressed brides, 4am trips to the wholesalers and evenings in the shop preparing arrangements that need to go out first thing the following day.
This generally leaves me in a constant state of panic and disarray (flapping like a baby penguin trying to fly). Thanks to my wonderful team of less flappy florists, my scattiness has never affected our service, although I have learnt to feign a lack of surprise when the odd customer calls to check on their order and I have no idea what they are referring to.
"Oh yes, that's all in order Madam. Pick up at 3pm? Yes that's fine, everything is almost ready, I'm just adding the finishing touches to the button holes now....sh*t, stuff a duck arrraghhh!!!"
All this stress is easily swept to one side when you have lovely customers. Deceased ones are generally best, but I’ll come to that in a minute.
Customers that pop in to say thank you, handsome young men who bring me chocolates (usually as a thank you for wowing their partners with fabulous bouquets, not because I’m such a gorgeous image of womanhood) and neighbouring businesses that bring me wine, they are also lovely!
Weddings are the most stressful and unprofitable, only made worse by onerous brides with obstreperous mothers (obviously I’ve never met one of these, but other florists tell me they exist). Funerals on the other-hand are a joy to work on.
I will always do my best to make every funeral unique and I love to hear stories about whoever has passed, so I get to know the person, to know what they would have liked and what their passions were and I have come up with or have been asked for some interesting tributes, including:
- A cricket ball
- The Soccer World Cup
- A bicycle
- A typewriter
- A cat
- A Victoria sandwich
- A teddy bear
- A pair of Wellington boots
- A piano
- A dragon
- A pig
and a few sheep.
If you are after some further inspiration you can see most of these on our website https://www.theflowershop-pulborough.co.uk/funeral-flowers/
Getting back to the general stresses and strains of running a small business, before I lose my marbles completely, and start sticking ‘Wotsits’ up my nose, I need to find a release. Someone mentioned ‘Mindfulness‘ a period of peaceful contemplation, 5 minutes sitting the garden, breathing in the fresh air and smelling the flowers. It sounds great but I’ll just sit there feeling guilty, thinking about all the other things I should be doing.