In the early days I found that I really needed to focus, I had gozillions of ideas but just had to start somewhere. So I chose weddings, events and workshops, concentrating initially on weddings. Working in a shop, you'll find that some florists prefer the larger scale funeral work and others the smaller, more intricate, fiddly wedding work. I've always fallen into the latter group. I love wiring and taping tiny flowery bits and bobs quietly in a corner somewhere!
So the next question was how were people going to find me? I knew that starting a business in the present climate was risky enough, so didn't want the added burden of the cost of retail premises and commercial rates. Besides, I had a purpose-built workroom, crammed full of floristry sundries, in my basement - just waiting to be used to its full potential! Without a 'shop window' I decided on using social media to build up a 'presence'. Great idea, Tracey, I hear you say! Absolutely. However, I had no knowledge whatsoever of how to use any form of social media.
I had a personal facebook profile which I never ever used. That was it!
So, I jumped on the steepest learning curve I've ever been on and signed up to a couple of workshops/training courses. And learnt lots. Very fast!
I started a blog which I used in lieu of a website, opened a facebook page and twitter account and entered a totally new world. I then made all the mistakes that I'm pretty sure anyone new to social media has made. I searched out blogs, facebook pages and twitter peeps I thought I'd like to work with and said Hi.
Cue tumble weed!
In my naivety I thought if I was nice to people, they'd be nice back. What I didn't understand is that there's (a bit like any community) quite an established hierarchy in our Wedding world and newbies aren't always terribly welcome! But, I'm a quick learner and since those early days have forged some really fantastic links with some truly amazingly creative people - all through social media - many of whom I've met up with and now count as true friends.
Just over a year ago, I wrote a kind of wish list cum marketing plan and set myself some goals. I'd hate anyone to think me smug, but I can tell you things have happened to me and the business, the jobs I've worked on, and, more importantly the people I've worked with, have far, far, far exceeded any expectations I could ever, ever, ever have had, even in my wildest dreams!
Here are just a few highlights of our year ...
British grown flowers from farm via the workroom to Bride on our first shoot 'Best of British'