Home Studio Space vs. Rented Space
The time has arrived. You know, when you’re in that space where flowers are overflowing on your countertops, spread across the floors, flying out of the oven and hanging off the sofa. The time when you look around and say, “oh my! I need to do something about this floral coup d’état.” Anyone with me?
I quite dramatically reached this point a few weeks back, during the crazy spring wedding season. I had quarantined my two sweet girls and handsome husband to the upstairs playroom, forbid them to enter the downstairs “flower studio” (aka our home’s kitchen, dining and living area), took a moment to take it all in — then collapsed from overwhelm knowing something had to change. Thus, began my research and determination to find a new and awesome solution.
Through my research and discovery for what’s best for our family, I found a few questions that seemed to be universal for florists striving to find the space to not only work, but create and explore freely. So, if you’re at this turning point in your flower journey (or simply reserving information for the future), I hope you have a moment to explore what may be best for your business.
Is your current workspace holding you back from overall growth? My personal situation this year had me working from my garage when weather permitted or inside my family’s shared living space when the intense Arizona heat arrived. I have a small flower fridge, I have shelving for my beautiful vessels, and I have a designated work table. However the truth is, my efficiency struggled even amidst these conveniences I invested in. I felt like I needed to pass on opportunities and select a limited number of weekends to work because it was so obtrusive to my family. We didn’t have an extra bedroom, den, or workroom, therefore pushing me toward looking for some designated studio space. But, your situation may be different. Maybe you’re paying rent for a studio when you have extra space within your home that can be designated just for flowers. This rent budget could instead be utilized to further education, or fund marketing endeavors. These possibilities that you’re simply not including because of budget restraints. The first question to look at is simply, am I able to continue growing as desired within the workspace I’m investing in?
What does your life/work balance currently look like? Are you able to “turn off” work if your studio is in your home space? Are you a family member unable to fulfill family commitments because you’re constantly working miles away at your studio? Again, this is where each unique circumstance is going to make a huge impact on your decision, but it seems to be a place that universally needs to be evaluated. I truly believe having an intentional work/life balance greatly decreases overall burnout and frustration. When researching, I reached out to a few amazing flower friends to hear their thoughts. Malori Maeva, the owner of Hoot & Holler (which is housed in a shared warehouse building), revealed the following.
“When I started Hoot & Holler, I worked from my kitchen. I moved to a studio because I really wanted to separate my work and life. It was also really wonderful to have the extra space and to leave the mess at the studio when I was done at the end of my day.”
A separate studio space has allowed Malori to thrive, grow her team, and keep balance in her life while running an awesome business. Make sure you spend some time thinking through what your personal needs for balance are and what this translates to for your “studio space” selection.
What budget do you have to designate toward a studio? Ah, the dreaded “b-word” — it haunts me forever! I would strongly recommend creating a business budget that helps direct your income and cash flow in a way that supports your business’ plans. If you are not a numbers person (Me! Me!) search out resources that will help with this — a CPA, local SBA chapter, SCORE, or even a close family member or friend who would be willing to walk you through the numbers. Your business plan may be to provide only a limited number of weddings each year to help supplement your family income. Therefore your budget may not support a monthly rent to operate efficiently. Perhaps you want to build a team of staff members, include everyday deliveries and be able to handle multiple events each weekend? This budget would look vastly different. Either way and as dreaded as it may be, take some time to plan through business goals and a relative budget. The time and effort will be well worth it for the longevity and monetary success of your flower business.
Have you thought through a workspace creatively? We’re florists, loves! We think through arrangements, recipes, events and almost every other aspect of our business with a creative mindset. Don’t limit this portion of business from what is potentially out there. Your options may not be simply inside your home vs. rented studio space. Maybe your yard is big enough to build an incredible workshop. Perhaps a friend or family member has a casita they will “rent” to you much more affordably than most commercial spaces. There may be a local business that is looking to reduce their rent obligations with a spare room in the back that would be ideal. I have worked through utilizing my flower-truck, Ol’ Blue, as my studio. I park him, insulating and redesigning to make a unique free-standing and movable studio. Truly, our options are endless in this amazing business we’re a part of!
I know you have an unlimited supply of creativity, so take some time to truly use it. Scoot aside those flowers hanging from your sofa, settle in, and dream a little crazy. You never know the perfect solution that may be hiding in the corners of that beautiful mind of yours! Each of our situations are so vastly different and unique – a beautiful conundrum of life, not just flowers. In fact this morning, I was studying through encouragement to keep myself from comparing where my personal journey has taken me versus that of others I watch or know. The conclusion I came to was this — it’s a stunning part of this incredible life. Our situations, experiences, needs and requirements are so vastly different, it adds interest to each delicate intricacy of life. So much like the infinite and varying beauty of each flower! I would love to hear what flowering solutions you come up with as you dream, so please share with me, and in the meantime, keep blooming!