Workshop Alumni Interview: Lillian Dompe
Florida-based Lillian Dompe has a degree in English Literature and a concentration in Art History. Lillian has an eye for beauty and design and has found she is most at home when living a life surrounded by blooms. She currently works at an arts college coordinating events, managing volunteer boards, and working with development full time. After attending the 2017 Team Flower Workshop, she launched her floral design business, Hallwood Floral. Her journey is one that is both inspiring and relatable!
Where were you when you attended the Team Flower Workshop?
Before attending the Team Flower Workshop, I didn’t have a business and had absolutely no idea or confidence on how to build one. Then and now, I feel lucky to be working in higher education at an arts college, but being hands-on and tactile was missing in my life. I think there are a handful of times in our lives that a shift happens, and you cosmically know there is a paradigm change available. We all have the choice to answer that or push it down. I was going through one such transitional time in my life when I decided to respond by taking a leap and making the investment in the Team Flower Workshop.
I truly cried tears of joy and release on the final day of the Team Flower workshop, and honestly, I'm tearing up now thinking about it. I finally felt at “home” when I was surrounded by flowers and given the tools and permission to create. It was as if the practical side of me had been denying a part of myself that I thought was frivolous, but bringing beauty to the world isn’t something to be taken lightly. As the saying goes, ‘be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle,’ so why not bring a bright spark of joy into each other’s lives? If we don’t do it, who will?
Where are you now? What has this year held for you?
Though I’m still not sure what my path in flowers looks like, ever since attending the Team Flower Workshop, a HUGE shift took place in my life: I suddenly felt completely free to take the step into the unknown. I entirely give Team Flower credit for this new confidence. I was emboldened by the practical knowledge as well as the emotional support and decided to establish Hallwood Floral. The other benefit is being a part of Team Flower, and the confidence of knowing an army of women stand ready to encourage me and answer any question I can think of in the forums.
This year I am excited that I have two weddings, partnering with a local flower farmer (shout-out to Mariana from Ladybug Blooms!) at a spring flower workshop, as well as a couple of booths with local vendors!
What would you tell someone on the fence considering joining a workshop?
I know it feels like a big financial commitment. It is! But I truly think I wouldn’t be where I am, or have the mindset and tools I have today if I had not gone. I cannot overstate how valuable the resources, hands-on learning, and connections made are.
In retrospect, all of the materials and marketing hint at this, but it wasn't until afterward that it really sunk in. This is a holistic, immersive experience. If you can cut out distractions and drink in everything, you will be changed. This is about your body, mind, and soul.
Describe a few of the key items from the workshop that you have implemented into your business.
There are day and night differences in my arrangements, as well as understanding how flowers and plants function together after working with Kelly and learning the Principles of Design. Although my background is in art history, and I had some instincts, I couldn’t hone in on what was “missing” until Kelly was there to guide and instruct. My confidence level has gone up, and although I’m still nowhere close to where I’d like to be, I’m positive I now have the tools with which to practice and draw closer to my goals.
Another huge boon for me was the incredible practical knowledge she shares: everything from meeting with potential clients, invoicing, and contracts to managing expectations with clients and your team.
Tell us about some of the flower pals you made at the workshop.
Very lucky to meet a posse of incredible women! Jana from Bluffton General Store, Kristen from Everbloom Design Memphis, Amanda from Amanda Day Rose, and Dafni from Bon Vie Floral Design have all been such wonderful friends. They are incredibly encouraging, and they are out of this world generous with advice and insights. I feel so blessed to have made connections with each of them.
The beauty of the Team Flower Workshop is that it is for everyone. Whether you've been living a life with flowers for 20+ years or you're simply pursuing a dream, you are welcome. There is room for you! To learn more and to join this year's workshops, click here.