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December 31st 2014

2014 the year in review

Written by
Floret

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Looking back on 2014 it’s feels nearly impossible to wrap my head around all that has happened. Really, as I started writing down all of the amazing encounters, new opportunities, and enormous blessings that I was so fortunate to experience this year, I found it hard to believe that any of this actually really happened. If you were to tell me that even a quarter of this would occur in the coming five years I would have laughed out loud, but the fact that all of it happened and in such a short span of time, well it’s nothing short of a miracle.

It’s not that I didn’t hustle for it. I’ve never worked like I did this year. Never. And trust me, I’ve worked hard for many years. But it was a different type of work. Less physical toil and keeping my chin up when things were hard and more steadily staying the course, facing my fears and actually asking for what I have always wanted.

This year I finally stopped waiting for the things that I’ve dreamt of to happen, or for the people that I’ve wanted to take notice, to notice, and instead put myself out there, took the risks and asked for what I wanted. It was nerve-wracking, terrifying, stomach churning, humiliating and oftentimes unbearably hard. But you know what? It was totally worth it.

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Not because I got what I wanted or because things turned out in my favor, even though it was a wonderfully successful year, but because I faced many of those nagging fears that have haunted me for so long. Fears like…

Who do I think I am to try and create the life of my dreams? What if I put it all on the line and I fail miserably and everyone sees? What if I have nothing to offer, nothing to contribute, nothing of any value? What if I’ve been kidding myself all along and this is all that there is?

The voices of self doubt and negativity are still very real and seem to walk with me always, but slowly their deafening roar is beginning to fade.

Most days I wake up wondering how the hell I’m going to face another day of decisions that I feel unprepared to make, conversations that feel so far outside of my comfort zone and risks that seem beyond my ability to take. But each day I somehow make it through, thanks to the Floret team and my family, and little by little I’m learning to trust this path.

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I’ve collected quotes and inspiring phrases for as far back as I can remember. My Mom used to write them in eyeliner on our bathroom mirror when I was a kid. They always seem to have a way of crossing my path at the perfect time, saying just what I need to hear in that moment in order to keep going. The following are what have been taped above my kitchen sink this year and are what have helped me to remember the truth even in the darkness and uncertainty.

“You know all those things you’ve always wanted to do? You should go do them.” ~ Lara Casey

“For heaven’s sake, let yourself really fail once in a while- not some tiny little mistakes here and there, but big, glaring, confidence-shaking, dark-night-of-the-soul-inducing failures. Understand that no one-especially folks who are truly successful-simply coasts from achievement to achievement. The most accomplished people in the world fail and fail big. That’s how they learn so much and grow so quickly and become so interesting and wise. In short, stop trying to be someone who will impress everyone else, and just focus on being and becoming fully, sincerely and passionately yourself.” ~ Michelle Obama

“Risk is the price you pay for opportunity.” ~ Tom Selleck

“It was not by my might but by my surrender that everything changed.” ~ Lara Casey

“The voices we listen to will determine the future we experience.” ~ Steven Furtick

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Here’s a recap of 2014, in no particular order. I’ve included everything that felt like a true triumph to me. The little and the big, the personal and the professional.

Getting my very first book deal with Chronicle Books.

Doing my first out of state wedding with my dearest friend, Sue Prutting of White Magnolia Designs and demonstrating what is possible using only locally grown material. Many photos to come.

Getting to work with some amazing photographers including Heather Payne, Michele M. Waite and Joy Prouty .

Having features in numerous magazines and books including Gray, Taproot, Country Woman, Portrait, Seattle Bride, Fresh From the Field Wedding Flowers and Art Flowers.

Launching our brand new website this June.

Bringing my husband Chris home from his 9-5 job to work for Floret full-time.

Letting my daughter Elora move to the city and live with my Mom to attend high school after eight years of homeschooling.

Winning the 2014 Martha Stewart American Made award in the floral and event design category.

Meeting Martha Stewart in person. A twenty year dream in the making.

Writing an official business plan.

Getting my first business loan from a bank.

Visiting NYC for the first time and meeting so many inspiring people. Especially Jenya Tsibulskyi and the Putnam boys.

Doing my first radio interview.

Finally allowing myself to delegate much of the field work to our staff and instead focusing on bigger, scarier things.

Building six new greenhouses.

Growing lisianthus successfully.

Traveling without having any anxiety attacks. Something I never thought possible.

Speaking in front of 750 people, on stage, while standing next to Martha Stewart. Then sitting on a panel the next day with Martha, in front of 400 people and being interviewed by her.

Wearing a dress and heels for the first time since my wedding, 15 years ago.

Teaching five sold-out workshops here at our farm with attendees flying in from as far away as Brazil, England, northern Canada, Mexico and the east coast.

Being filmed for two entire days by the Martha Stewart crew. Can’t wait for you to see our mini movie!

Shooting four very special editorials that will debut in the coming year.

Launching a product line and online shop.

Giving my first keynote speech.

Seeing over 3,ooo bouquets created around the world with local flowers through The Seasonal Flower Alliance.

Getting to interview nearly all of my floral heroes through the Farmer and the Florist interview series.

Building a dream team here at Floret. In a nutshell, allowing myself to be supported and backed up.

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Thank you for every ounce of goodness that you’ve brought to this space. Your enthusiastic comments, heartfelt emails, unwavering support and well wishes were felt and cherished. Every single day.

Here’s to making 2015 the richest year yet. Deeper, more meaningful, more authentic and even more magical than ever before!

 

Images by Joy Prouty of Wildflowers Photography.

33 Comments

  1. Amy on

    It is comforting to know that despite suffering with chronic self doubt and worth it is still possible to achieve a dream whatever that may be and hopefully in my own miniscule flower journey that is just beginning, that despite everyday, having those nagging thoughts seeping in that actually it just maybe possible. My only frustration I find is to learn in a practical way from workshops, costs so much money and makes it out of reach for many of us just trying to start which is when we need it. most. That is why it helps so much being able to refer to all your blogs. They are so invaluable. Thank you. x

    Reply
  2. Viv on

    OMG!! I’ve been off the grid for awhile. I see all your hard work has brought you some awesome results. I still love what you guys do, and WILL do. Chris home on the farm,-a book,– a shop, the kids have grown so much,—and Martha Stewart!! I’d say you have arrived, girl. Also, in the process, you have inspired and taught others along your life path. Including—–me. I sold cut flowers from my mini farm market patch this year. Never saw that one coming !!! All I ever knew,- was ordering from wholesalers and wedding events–which was ok . But,–it wasn’t as fulfilling or as satisfying as I thought it would be. I even went to school. Now– I have returned to my roots, and I’ve never enjoyed anything more than this!! Good Luck, and keep blooming. So glad I found Floret!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  3. Shari Zimmerman on

    I am inspired! May the new year be a blessing for your business and family.

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  4. Trina Coombes on

    Wow, you achieved so much, well done. You really do deserve to be the success you are.
    I found the fact that you are often questioning yourself very reassuring, hope for me yet, thankyou. And thank you for making the world of flowers an even more beautiful place to be part of.

    Reply
  5. susanna todd on

    Erin,you are truly an inspiration with such a big heart.I have absolutely adored your posts,they are the best tonic!I internally squeal with excitement when I see another one has come through from you,so full of beautiful pictures and incredibly generous information.A huge thank you and congratulations on your successes,you are truly deserving.Keep it up!

    Reply
  6. Leslie Emanuels on

    Thanks for sharing. You are amazing. You give so much that it is wonderful to watch your succeed. Blessings and wisdom in 2015.

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  7. Corinne on

    Thank you! I have the same thoughts and was sitting here at 11:30 pm wondering if I should keep going. I am having a hard time getting answers from grocery stores and wholesalers on sellng to them. Do not know what to do.

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  8. Katie on

    Your year in review post was simply wonderful and inspiring! I’m so happy for you and your family that Floret is doing amazingly well. And I have to say as someone just starting out in the floral industry and hopefully one day having my own flower farm, reading your words made me feel less alone and be okay with feeling scared and overwhelmed. Thank you for sharing! Congrats on everything that happened this year! You deserve it! Can’t wait for your book!!!

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  9. w fox on

    Erin, thanks for sharing so much. The fact that you “retired” your husband to work harder than he has probably ever worked is amazing. This is my goal! Wanda

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  10. VillageKid on

    Erin,

    Thank you so much for sharing these!! From the little things, or at least how some might look at them, to some of the bigger possibly longer term impacting successes.

    To me reading a few, like traveling without panic attacks, bring the hubby home to work full time and sending your daughter off to live with her grandma for school are HUGE in my book and give me the strength to keep working on the items on my list.

    Here is to a 2015 that is spectacular for you and the entire local flower ‘movement’!

    V

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  11. Alam Imsamut on

    I’m from Thailand. I must say your life inspire me a lot! Words can’t explain how much i appreciate the post you made. Congratulation, Happy 2015!

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  12. Violet on

    Beautiful post! Congrats on all your accomplishments & can’t wait for your upcoming book! Many blessings & wishes in the new year.

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  13. Jenny on

    Erin, you continue to inspire me. This dream of having my own business has had many forms and shapes but this one seems to be sticking. Life is allowing me to take the time to experiment with what works for our area of the country and continue to raise my family. This is awesome. The fear thing I get. So keep on inspiring!

    Reply
  14. Alisa Johnson on

    The panel discussion is wonderful! I’m so glad you linked it. You are all so powerful, doing such great things!

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  15. Lindsay ~ Green Creek Gardens on

    It feels to me that “Thank you” is just not enough. Sometimes I have to flip through my pictures and notes from your workshop to truly believe that I got to attend and learn from you and Sue. My time there is forever priceless to me. Thank you for your continued inspiration and most importantly your generosity. The best is yet to come for all! Happy New Year!

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  16. Caitlin | Our Natural Heritage on

    You have NO IDEA how helpful your words are. Thank you for being so courageous and honest. I can’t wait to follow your 2015 adventures here :) Happy New Year!

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  17. Becky Crowley on

    What a great idea to look back at all the things you’ve achieved alongside planning ahead!

    I’ve just purchased the growing guides on Dahlias, Sweetpeas and Foliage, which look excellent. I would also like to order the Zinnia guide but it is out of stock, do you know when it will become available again? Many thanks!

    Reply
  18. Diane Miller on

    Greetings Erin

    It is always a pleasure to follow your blog. May you know how inspiring your thoughts and ambitions are to people everywhere. Looking forward to breaking ground here in Craighurst come spring and implementing all the knowledge I’ve gained from your insights. Blessings to you, your family and staff. Cheers.

    Reply
  19. Yelena Shumakova on

    Wow, moved to tears! May 2015 be just as moving and heartfelt (More so!) than 2014. You’ve been an inspiration for so many and I’m so glad that you’re taking the time to recognize how much goodness and passion is coming out of you. Along with thousands of other readers out there, may I wish you the happiest of new years and new adventures to come!

    Reply
  20. Emma Sousa on

    Inspiring, brave and totally amazing…congratulations on all you have achieved and all you will achieve. Emma, UK

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  21. Cindy on

    Such brave words and work you have done! Much success in the coming year. Happy New Year from our very small flower farm here in Maine to your beautiful flower farm!

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  22. Belinda Norrington on

    Erin, I’ve followed your blog from the almost-beginning, and knew back then that you were creating something extraordinary- so exciting and inspiring to follow your wild success while seeing you stay absolutely true to your vision. Just brilliant! X

    Reply
  23. Kelly Sullivan (Botanique) on

    This all makes me smile so much. Congratulations on an incredible year, and I can’t wait to see where you go in 2015!!! Thanks for sharing the journey….. always an inspiration.

    Reply
  24. Virginia on

    Congratulations Erin and…wow! This amazing success could not have happened to a nicer, more talented and hardworking person. I am so happy for you. Your farm production and flower creations are amazing but what you have created here, in these pages, is the most beautiful creation of all. Your work and words inspire me to follow my dreams and not be afraid of the hard work or the inevitable setbacks. Rarely a day goes by that I do not visit with you via this site for inspiration, grounding, beauty, truth. Your generosity in sharing your story, your field methods, favorite flowers, successes and failures cannot be overstated and inspires me to be more open and generous myself. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Reply
  25. Val at Three Toads Farm on

    Erin, this is priceless. It was a treasure to come to the workshop, seeing you and Chris in action, meeting Sue and Kim, learning, learning, doing some things I never dreamt possible and coming away with permanent inspiration and confidence. This year, for us, has been amazing; the momentum crazy. Scary, but I’m not totally afraid. Thank you, my friend.

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  26. sonrie on

    Wow, what a year. Congratulations on all your accomplishments – big and small. It really is impressive when you sit down to consider how much a year holds. Cheers to 2015.

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  27. Jacqui on

    This is so awesome and inspiritational. Thanks for a lovely way to start the new year!

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  28. Alisa Johnson on

    You are an inspiration for anyone who wants to build a life around creating beauty.

    Reply
  29. Roxy on

    Beautiful post, inspiring and wonderful to read! Thank you! Blessings in the New Year!

    Reply
  30. martin and the magpie on

    You are, as always a total inspiration and I feel so privileged to have met you and seen the magic happening!!. XX Kay

    Reply
  31. Rona on

    Such a beautiful blog post Erin! Thank you SO much for sharing your year…you really are an inspiration to us all!
    Wishing you a Happy New Year and I very must hope that our floral paths cross in the not too distant future…
    Rona x

    Reply
  32. Carol Camp on

    so beautiful – all of it :) you deserve all the goodness coming your way. love + light in 2015!!

    Reply
  33. Mercedes Ivener on

    Dearest Erin, I was so moved and inspired by your words today. I am facing some big scary decisions myself in this coming year . May I find strength like you to do what I have always wanted…

    Reply

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