I am a shopkeeper.
Since the age of 5, i dreamed of being a shopkeeper. When i was 7, i made little crafts and my mother sold them door to door to my neighbors. i kept the nickels and dimes from those sales in my fisher price cash register. when i was 17, i sold wigs at marshal fields. at 22, i worked in chicago as a graphic designer and spent evenings and weekends selling soaps and lotions at crabtree and evelyn. age 26, i worked in san francisco at an ad agency, and the same story, i worked weekends at a chocolate boutique in the stanford mall. while i was living my normal life, i was dreaming the same dream.
on september 15th, 4 short days after september 11th, i opened the painted primrose. i was warned that i shouldn't sell flowers, candles and soaps. that i should sell gasoline and groceries. i should sell things that people needed. for two weeks the shop was quiet. the locals were glued to their television sets, there was huge unrest and we were all living in great fear. but then they came. they came to my shop, they shared stories, they cried and they bought. they bought candles, soaps and flowers. lovely things. feel good things, and i realized that i had things that people both wanted and needed.
shortly after the shop's opening, a friend asked me if i could design the flowers for her son's wedding. i thought it was kind of a random question. but in high school i learned how to make a corsage and boutonniere and in college i took an ikebana class. how hard could a wedding be? so i agreed and i designed my first wedding.
following that wedding, i enlarged a portrait of the bride with her bouquet and hung it on the wall of my shop.
a short time later, another woman walked into my shop and asked me to design the flowers for her wedding. once again i agreed. but six weeks later the groom died and i designed the flowers for his funeral. months later, the lovely bride had a baby boy and i designed the flowers for his baby naming ceremony.
then her mother died.
all of a sudden, my life had changed and i realized that i had become a florist. but most importantly i realized that being a florist was more than designing pretty flowers in a vase, it was about celebrating the circle of life.
well those first five years of being in business for myself was difficult. it was really hard for me to turn a profit. i was working long hard hours with little or no return, so i made the tough decision to close the shop. i felt like a failure.
all my life i had dreamed of being a shopkeeper and had no idea what to do next. i shared my story with a friend and he told me to dream it again..... so i did.
i got a job at a flower shop in the next town. i learned, i listened, i took notes and i dreamed.
after three years of working for someone else, i decided it was time to go out on my own again. so i rented a 325 square foot space and with $3,000 in my pocket, i dreamed it again.
that first year i designed flowers for 35 weddings.
the next year was 75 weddings.
it is now 7 years later, and the painted primrose is listed among the top 5% wedding florists in the nation. we have also won top wedgewood florist two years in a row among a field of 20 national florists.
i consider myself so blessed to work among beautiful blossoms everyday of my life. my colleagues are my friends. and i have the most incredible primrose team.
i encourage you to follow your dream. never give up on it and dream it again if you, like me, need that permission.
#ibelieveinlove Sarah the shopkeeper
Labels: dream it again, female entrepreneur, flower shop, never give up on your dreams, painted primrose wedding florist, story of my life, wedding florist. boulder, wedgewood on boulder creek