Leading your Client with Lauren Wiebe

Kelly Perry - 00:01 - You are listening to the team flower podcast where we talk about flowers with the people who've dedicated their lives to sharing them with the world. We believe that your work with flowers matters and we are cheering you on today. Hi, my name's Kelly, and in this episode we're talking with my friend Lauren of Stone House Creative and began working in the wedding industry for Bridal magazine and then moved into a wedding coordinator position for a local flower shop. She started her own business, Stone House Creative in 2014 after attending the first Team Flower workshop, and her business has been growing ever since. Lauren launched her sister companies Stone House Consulting this year where she works with creatives in the wedding industry to help them grow their businesses and reach their ideal clientele. In this episode, Lauren shares the story of Stone House Creative. We're chatting about the process of starting a side hustle and transitioning to full time.

Kelly Perry - 00:49 - Lauren went from booking 30 weddings or first year to 60 in 2017, so she's sharing tips on how to stay organized when business increases. We're talking about the importance of leading your clients and we're sharing a few of our favorite must have inventory pieces. This podcast is brought to you by Team Flower, an online support community dedicated to educating, connecting and empowering flower lovers worldwide. We provide online classes in person events and free weekly resources like this podcast designed to support you in your journey with flowers, whether you're a professional florists, flower farmer, or you just slept bars. There is a place for you here. Come join the party at teamflower.org. Lauren, it's so great to have you on the podcast today. Thanks so much for hopping on with me.

Lauren - 01:38 - Oh, thank you so much for having me here, Kelly. I'm so excited.

Kelly Perry - 01:41 - Oh, it's always fun to chat with an old friend and while we're not like old old friends, we are like in terms of our life with flowers, you know, trends kind of since the, since the beginning. And so it's so fun to have you on today. I met Lauren for the first time, um, through, I guess, we were on a phone call and I was just kind of like thinking about hosting the first team flower workshop and I was like explaining it to Lauren. She was working in advertising and so she was going to maybe do like a little bit of advertising for the event or help get the word out about it or something like that. I can't remember all the details surrounding it. Maybe you can fill them in if you want. But anyway, she just personally was like very interested in the event and what I was talking about and all that kind of stuff and I was like, whoa. Like this person's interested. Like maybe this could be a good thing, this could be a good idea because at the time it all felt very.

Kelly Perry - 02:39 - Anytime that you're kind of like dreaming up an idea for the first time we were like, wait, is this thing. Could other people like this? Could other people, you know, you're just asking all the questions right? And so I just will always remember you as being somebody who was so interested and truly supportive and all that kind of. So Lauren is the first Team Flower member she came to and was it part of the first Team Flower workshop too. So fun.

Lauren - 03:11 - Oh Great. So yeah, I was working for an American wedding blog and um, yeah we were talking and I had previously worked as the wedding coordinator at a local floral shop here in Winnipeg and I had always known that I'd wanted to run my own business. I just had no idea what it was going to be and even when I was initially talking to you it was like maybe this could be it, who knows, but I just wanted to go to have fun and like, you know, take some time for myself and then I got there and realized that I could actually do it and do it well. So that was very exciting.

Kelly Perry - 03:50 - Yeah. And I think you like wrote Your Business Plan on the airplane

Lauren - 03:55 - Yeah, ride home

Kelly Perry - 03:56 - and yeah, just jumped into it after, after that. And you called Your Business? Um, Stone House Creative. Tell us a little bit about the name. I know that that holds some kind of like inspiration and some sentiment there. Tell us a little bit about the Stone House and kind of what. Yeah, what.

Lauren - 04:14 - So the Stone House that is actually my logo is actually the house that I grew up in. My parents still live there. They farm there. My mom grew up in the house. My grandma, well, her cousins grew up in the house. She grew up just down the road and it's just this beautiful, wonderful place. Like I grew up on a farm. I think every kid should grow up on a farm. It was just magical and both my mom and both of my grandmothers are wonderful gardeners, so there's always flowers all around. That was always just something we helped weed in the garden and all those kinds of things. So that's kind of how I started getting into flowers. But with the house, my mom is, she's an art teacher. She's incredibly creative. The ideas that come into her mind always just blow me away, but she, uh, when I was growing up, had a small business called From the Stone House and she has the house, has her logo as well.

Lauren - 05:12 - And she was doing like quilts and cards and so and so. Her business was also was called from the stone house. So when I was naming my business I thought how nice it would be to kind of reflect on, you know, that's exactly where I came from and kind of honor my mom that way. And my dad's still likes to say that I owe him royalties, but yeah. So yeah, I love the house. The House has always been special. My husband and I would love to live there one day and yeah, if you, if you go onto my site, there's actually a, a couple pictures of the house there too.

Kelly Perry - 05:46 - That's awesome. So fun. So tell us about how your business has kind of, I guess like what year, maybe what your original business plan looked like and you feel like that shifted over the last several years. I think you're in. Are you in your five or six, somewhere in that sort of like neighborhood of.

Lauren - 06:04 - Yeah, I just celebrated my 4th anniversary.

Kelly Perry - 06:08 - Okay. So headed into, headed into five.

Lauren - 06:11 - So when I first started my business I was still working for one full time, so I had a lot of flexibility to do a, to only take on weddings that I was really excited about. So that set me up really, really well. Um, and now that I'm full time with stone house, now I have all these fantastic weddings to back me up, things that were beautiful and I got to actually really be creative and didn't just have to do whatever the bride wanted me to do, even if it was a knock off of Pinterest from 2004 that no one wants to do. So having started that way and kind of growing over the last four years in taking the business full time, um, it's evolved really nicely. I still get those clients who want me to be creative and I feel like because I was able to be in my first couple of years when I wasn't consistently relying on only my Stone House income, that made a big difference in just helping me be able to attract those people that I really actually want to work.

Kelly Perry - 07:16 - That's such a good perspective to take because I think that a lot of times it can sometimes happen in reverse or that fear of somebody saying no or walking away or whatever. Like it's real and it's really strong, but I love that you are looking at it from that perspective of I had this full time job that I was working on and so I was really focused and really on target with this kind of like one specific kind of client or design or look or whatever. Which then you feel like gave you a good foundation to sort of launch from whenever you did go full time. I feel like it kind of often will happen in reverse or it can be a little bit more of a confusing process, but that's really interesting to me. Do you want to talk a little bit more maybe like about that and like kind of like that shift that maybe happened from whenever you went to serving maybe more than just that one type of client or maybe you could explain a little bit more about who that first client was and now the different types of clients that you serve.

Lauren - 08:23 - Yeah, so previously I had mentioned that, um, before working at the blog, I worked for a local wedding, uh, sorry, a local florist shop as the wedding coordinator and I mean there, it's retail, right? So you're pretty much taking anything and everything. And so the very first bridal bouquet I ever made was actually made of rainbow roses

Kelly Perry - 08:41 - Rainbow Roses. It was,

Lauren - 08:48 - um, yes. So definitely when I started my business and I loved my job at the blog too. So I knew that if was going to do this, I was really gonna want to spend my time wisely. So yes. So then I, I started that off really well and I had great pictures from that team flower workshop from the very first workshop I was, I was very specific to only show, you know, specific things that I was interested in doing and those brides just came out of the woodworks for me and my city is a little bit smaller and wedding trends just seem to take a little bit longer to get up to Canada. But it was like all of a sudden these people were just like knocking down my door and wanting me to do creative and interesting thing. So that has been so fantastic. I also got a lot of referrals from other vendors who were excited that well these brides were in Winnipeg in and yes, they really did want these exciting things and not just dated ideas that had been done and redone before.

Lauren - 09:53 - Yes. So that all started off really well and I mean I don't always get my ideal client with every single wedding now. Sometimes you just have to pay the bills and so you just have to take a wedding. That might be a little bit more boring or not up my alley, but that's perfectly fine because I still have such a good ratio of things that I'm really excited about all the time. Um, so yeah, I'm, I'm fine with adding in those extra things here and there that don't necessarily get me creatively. I'm excited but they feel the bank account too. So that's awesome. Always necessary

Kelly Perry - 10:25 - and the balance is really important to like. I think that especially depending on what your model is, like if you are doing, I don't know, 30 weddings or something in everyone has to be, you maybe exhaust your creativity on all, like there's like 30 is a lot to be really intellectually engaged with if you're kind of doing that sort of like type of model. So it's good to have like a ratio of almost like some things that do take. Yeah, just that balance. Like right now I will do things that are either high or like pick up things that are just here at the studio or whatever. And so I feel like that that finally gave me that little bit of who that I needed from moving from doing like all of them and having them all be so different and just a lot to, a lot to keep track of for sure.

Lauren - 11:21 - And I think it's so important that people figure out what that looks like for them individually, you know, next year for me is going to look different, like my husband has a new job and so we're not relying on my income quite as much, so I'm actually going to be able to take a little bit more time off during wedding season, which is going to be amazing. So yeah, I mean not everybody's looks the same, right? My city, our weddings tend to be. Or like our wedding budgets tend to be a little bit smaller. So I doing 30 weddings, I'm actually doing 60 weddings. Yeah. But they're all, they're not enormous wedding so I'll do. And it works itself out perfectly fine. And for some people it might be three weddings in a month and that's awesome. But just knowing that not everybody's path is gonna look exactly the same and that is perfectly fine.

Kelly Perry - 12:15 - Financial support for the production of this podcast is brought to you by Team Flower's business foundations, and online class. It's designed for anyone looking to start or streamline a wedding florals business. In this comprehensive course, we'll discuss getting started, drafting contracts, estimates, and proposed healthy client florist processes. We'll also cover business plans and income projections, sourcing supplies, building a portfolio, and so much more. If you're just starting out, this course will equip you to start your dream business on solid footing instead of doing hours of guesswork and making all of the common mistakes, or maybe you're already pursuing your dream, but you're feeling a little flustered on this business side is classes for you to guide you through getting your products and policies in place so you can focus on your customers and doing what you do best. Creating beautiful designs for them in addition to over six hours of instructional videos. This class also includes 16 helpful business documents like a sample proposal and contract budget planning guide in cashflow spreadsheet. If you're ready to build the flower business of your dreams, you can find out more at teamflower.org/online.

Kelly Perry - 13:24 - Do you you have any tips for staying organized? Moving from 30 to 60. That's a pretty big. That's a pretty big jump.

Lauren - 13:32 - Well, I mean both my parents along with farming, they are also teachers, so I have a fairly organized brain to begin with and I'm pretty type A dot. I still do everything by hand. I write all my quotes by hand. I have a day planner that I just know exactly which tasks I need to put in every single week. I'm looking at my day planner so you know, I haven't tried any of those online systems because a lot of them like they don't work with so it doesn't make sense for me to try something else. But you know, it's just finding a good system. I am all about systems. And what works for you and what works for you is hiring someone to be organized for you or for me it's like it's email templates. I barely ever send an email that's actually like, that's right. Just as a response, you know, it's always an email template so it's just finding those good systems to keep organized and you have fine.

Kelly Perry - 14:24 - The systems are really powerful tool, especially any, I think. I feel like the place where we lose a lot of money is in the lack of time budgeting, you know, we, we get, I feel like we get the like money budget thing like that makes sense. Like we see the numbers like rolling around or whatever, but time can be like a little bit more elusive but also like an even greater commodity. And so that is one of the things that you and I both have in common that we're always thinking about like how can we systemize some of these tasks that are repetitive or really like that business model piece of like understanding and knowing like very quickly how you can sort out if you're able to meet the needs of the client is bringing to you or just leading them through like the needs that you do mean. So they can sort of like self identify with like, oh I'm here, I'm here and these are the two things. These are the two areas, that philosophy of our serves or whatever it is.

Kelly Perry - 15:25 - Like I just feel like streamlining some of those things are, oh, it's just so invaluable. It is. It's, it's the piece that, that if it gets away from you that that's where you can really lose the money. Like for every hour that you put in that can't be supported by client job, like your per hour rate goes down and the bottom line goes down and it can be very difficult to sustain and keep around. And that's what I'm so excited. I'm Lauren's going to be at the conference, the 2019 Conference in Waco. Yeah. And she has a session about client communication and she is going to be talking about educating your clients about like flowers in your process and just sort of like outlining this process that she's leading people through. Lauren is a really great leader and whether you realize it or not, as the wedding florist or a farmer or whatever it is that your life with flowers is leading your customer through what it is that you offer is really that key. It makes everything so much easier before they happen.

Lauren - 16:32 - Timelock your shoulders and maximize your profitability. I love your phrasing, Kelly. When you say leading the client and sometimes that's leading them to somebody else, sometimes that's just leading them along your process and yes, I will. I'm so excited to talk about that at the conference. This is like what gets me the most amped up and super excited, but for example, I was just talking with another florist the other day and she says she'll often have like a chain of 15 emails back and forth between her and abroad before she's even booked. So many that's never need it, but you know what? Sometimes it's just because that person has no idea what it is that they need from us or what it is that we do. I don't go to my mechanic and tell them this is what you're going to do and here's all the no, they tell me what to do.

Lauren - 17:25 - So it's exactly the same thing in weddings. Just because we have a small business doesn't mean that we can't run our businesses in a large business way to know that you, it's okay for you to tell your client this is how the process works. I'll be in touch with you at these points. Will go through your confirmations at this point. So No, you don't need to send me 15 emails updating me every single week on the guest counts, you know, so it make such an enormous difference for your business or your personal life, the amount of time you have all of that stuff.

Kelly Perry - 17:55 - Yes, and even just like last week that workshop we were talking, we were kind of like brainstorming, talking through like a couple of different scenarios and someone said that they had a client that was like emailing them and texting them and calling them and like all the different channels of communication. And I was like, Whoa, I'm feeling really stressed right now because that's a lot of responsibility to whenever you have to maybe go back through the end of your process to confirm that you've gotten all of your details straight or whatever to remember. And then text messages delete after 30 days and all these things. So. But we can lead them through and we can say these are the, these are the channels that exactly that worked through in, it's to everyone's benefit so that nothing falls through the cracks. And like I will often encourage, I have like different. And I imagine you have something somewhat similar like different check in points kind of like along the way of like you really can't do a whole lot, you know, to finalize anything until you do know what the final guest count is.

Kelly Perry - 18:57 - And so there are these different check in points. And even just like when you write proposals, you don't have to write the design proposal as soon as you book somebody like you can schedule a time or a month that like that. That's all you do for the month is like right. Design proposals or whatever because it's too hard when you're like actually implementing people's design work to then it takes all the different parts of your brain. Right. And so I think it's so good if you can somehow just get into some kind of like a flow or some kind of a rhythm. It can just be really, really, really, really helpful. So anyway, well, Lauren, maybe you can tell us a little bit. I know that you have like a brand video where you're kind of like talking to people and introducing them and showing some of your work, different things like that. Tell us about your process for coming up with that video and like what should be, what you know, how you feel that maybe that's helped you or just tell us a little bit. I've never done a brand video like that before, so I'm really curious to hear a little bit more about it.

Lauren - 19:58 - I think that everyone should have a brand video made. It's not an inexpensive investment and I do think that you should have a very professional looking brand video, but I loved having mine and passionately tell anyone and everyone that they need to have one. I mean not only does Google love it and it will rank you higher for having video on your site, but I just learned that it shares more about me and what I do before a client even considers hiring me and the process of working on it was really interesting for me. I thought that I would know exactly what I wanted to do and say, but it was a little bit more challenging that it was kind of forced me to really dig deep and figure out, you know, what I wanted in my business as a whole, you know, what type of client did I really want? And because it's an expensive investment, I knew I couldn't afford have a new video made every year. So I had to nail this one.

Lauren - 20:49 - So when I was planning it, I got really specific from everything from the flowers, the colors of the flowers that I use to what I was wearing, to the words that I wrote in my script, just because I really wanted to make sure that everything I was saying and doing would be attractive to my ideal client. And so the year that I had that made, I also added a second service. Um, so along with floral design, I now also offer event design services as well. So at the same time as having that brand video made, I had the photographers also, sorry, the videographers put together a second video that highlighted my event design services, which was such a good idea because at least here in my area, event design is not something that people understand. A lot of people will come to me and think it's day of coordination or just rentals or they have weird thoughts about, about what it is.

Lauren - 21:44 - And so this video is just such an easy way for me to. When I get that inquiry saying they're interested in event design, I can send them this video so that they understand it right off the hop, um, and I can educate them before they even know if it's something that they really even want. And the videos as a whole, they just helped me in more random ways that I wouldn't have expected. Being a studio florist in a market that's predominantly filled with retail shops can be challenging. You know, I've had some pushback from mothers of the bride that the video shows me working in my space. It shows my bosses, my rentals, all of the space that I have my walk in cooler. And I think people really like to see that. And I really like having people see that so that they know, no, it's not just a little backyard little business. Sure it is in my backyard, you know, that it actually, I'm legit. You can trust me. We're going to be fine. So yeah, I, I think that everyone needs to have a video. It's so good for your business.

Kelly Perry - 22:45 - That's really interesting. I would have, I love kind of like those random side shoot things that maybe you weren't expecting to have happen, but that, that can happen like that, that piece with the mom and I would, that's not something I would have thought about that weakness I guess you could say, of not having it in your particular market. It's not. I mean it's not like a true weakness but a perceived weakness of it being like all of retail shops in that like legitimacy factor or whatever like that. So interesting to me. Yeah, I'm really intrigued by that. Okay. So another thing that you are really good at is ceremonies and it was one of your favorite things to design. Um, I'm a centerpiece girl through and through. I love my centerpieces. Everybody has their different thing that's kind of like their, their thing that they really enjoy doing. I think for me with ceremonies, I need to work through some trauma guys when I was just kind of getting started with weddings and you're bootstrapping it and you're doing on your own.

Kelly Perry - 23:47 - And now I always say like take somebody with no matter what always, but a lot of times I was doing those ceremony installs like by myself and of course I'm like running behind and always early on, like very optimistic with time naturally. And so I would have this moment under the ceremony arbor where I would feel like my heart just completely stopped. And so that was just, yes, sheer panic. And so just weekend after weekend of that happening, I think I kind of started blocking some of those things from my memory. So I'm hoping that our discussion today will help me start peeling off some layers so that I can recover and actually just had another experience not too long ago where I had another like super stressful ceremony thing. So maybe in addition to telling us like what kinds of cool things you do for ceremonies that you love, you can tell us how you handle the stress of it having to happen that they never go away.

Lauren - 24:52 - But yeah, no, this ceremony pieces are always. It's always my favorite thing to design. I mean, aside from the bridal bouquet, just because I feel like, you know, a lot of these wedding venues get used over and over and over again and I'm thinking the ceremonies, the most important moment of the day, so it should feel unique. It should feel, you know, special and customized to you and even if it's just for 15 or a 30 minute ceremony, but it should still be something magical. So I really try really hard to make my ceremony designs feel and you know, look unique for each couple and I mean sometimes people want the exact same thing that they've seen someone else has had and that's okay. Um, I would love to always be coming up with something unique for them, but you know, it's what they want. But yeah, you know, I just love, I just love ceremony spaces. And a couple of weeks ago I had three weddings on one day and I had been dreading this day for like a year trying to figure out how on earth am I going to do all of these things.

Lauren - 25:53 - The first wedding, the first ceremony was outdoors. It was a huge, really tall arch and we did two like cages for them, so it was kind of, was ended up being a corner piece and I actually had to do those all in advance. Had to do it. I'm in the studio, I wish I could design it onsite every time, but you know, unfortunately, like my budgets just don't really allow for me to spend that much time on site and if I can do it in advance, you know, sometimes you just have to do it that way. So that was the first one and then the second one we were doing like a vine wall inside of a chapel and I was just so sweaty because I didn't know for sure if the mechanics that I had planned, we're actually going to work and it worked great in the end. So that was awesome. But while I was there, I got a call from the third bride asking what time I was coming. You said I didn't need to be there for two more hours. Do I didn't mean to cut it, but it was fine.

Lauren - 26:54 - And then I went over to that third bride's wedding and their ceremony arch didn't realize that it was like 10 feet tall, so tall, and I had to borrow this like 25 foot ladder from the venue and climb all the weight up and have one holding that it was. And you know, one person's holding the cage and those were predesigned pieces as well. But you know, the weight of those cages while I'm trying to zip tie it on is so heavy, so much sweat and so much water trickling out of the oasis and then just running down your arm. Yep. So yeah, no, the stressful moments never go away. But um, I think it's, it's worth the stress to be able to, to create that space for that couple.

Kelly Perry - 27:49 - Well you guys will definitely have to hop on Lauren's Instagram because you can see like if you start hopping through here like this one venue that you work at quite a lot that has some stone and some like white beams that are suspended. You've done so many different really different designs with these different windows that they have. Like in some pictures it looks like the windows could be squared and then other ones you're like framing them with garlands, but it's all like hanging and there's like fabric treatments and chandelier kinds of treatments and so many different kinds of things. Do you have like a favorite one in that space that you really just loved how it came from like imagination to being in the space?

Lauren - 28:33 - That is a very good question. I so I work at this venue all the time. I'm one of their preferred vendors and actually my very first year I had a wedding there and I did a beautiful hanging piece that no one had. No one in my city had done a hanging piece in that venue before and it's really one of the only venues that has open rafters that you can actually hang something from. So on a side note, you're planning on ever building a wedding venue, make something with open rafters because the options for us is so much more interesting. But yeah, I. In my first year I had done this beautiful wedding there and then it just kind of kicked it off and then I just started getting tons of referrals and inquiries for that venue. So every year

Kelly Perry - 29:15 - know doing something really special in a place that's never been done before. Like yeah, that's so cool.

Lauren - 29:21 - But every year kind of. Well it's usually more like in the fall, as my wedding season winds down and I'm thinking more about next year, I always make a kind of a wishlist of things that I wish that I could do so that when I'm in consultations with couples, you know, I don't necessarily have to think on my feet quite so much because I already know what I really want to do there. So I still have a pretty big wishlist of things I want to do in there. The wishes keep getting higher and higher budgets, so whether or not I'll ever be able to do them, I don't know. But what I love about that space is the ability that I have to do something different every time. It doesn't have to be the same, so it's very refreshing to work in a place like that where you can just reimagine it every time and I would really encourage people to make that wishlist. If you're a preferred vendor for a specific venue, just spend a few minutes imagining it in different ways, sketching things out, whatever works for you so that you can have that in the back of your pocket when people ask you for ideas.

Kelly Perry - 30:23 - That's a really good idea. Just to kind of have that in the client's present themselves like they appear and you're like, I already made made that for you. You know, a while ago I kinda had a chance to do that little bit of dream because it is a little bit difficult to think on the fly when you are in a, you know, a design consultation kind of situation. It just depending on how you work or whatever. But that's such a great way if you aren't an on the fly kind of person to appear that you

Lauren - 30:50 - Especially, I think when you've like build yourself as a creative. I love unique things. I love to make different designs for everyone and then if you can't ever come up with any ideas, no. So I think sometimes you need that advanced preparation and then you'll be fine.

Kelly Perry - 31:06 - Yeah. That's so good. One of my favorite color Palette arbors that you did, and I'm not sure, I'm not sure where this was, if this was at a summit have been like at a workshop or something, but it's like all these really like you have like in theory, these really bright like peonies and things against this backdrop. That's really fun. I think that that's, that's one of my favorite pictures of you like designing

Lauren - 31:32 - that was at a workshop. I ha. I did it two on one workshop with a girlfriend of mine who's coming to the conference in the spring, so.

Kelly Perry - 31:39 - Okay, cool. Who's your friend? I can't wait to meet him.

Lauren - 31:42 - Oh, Linda from webfleet. Cool. But we had done this too on one workshop with bows and arrows and so Alicia had chosen the color Palette and like it was kind of corals and peaches and which is like my very favorite color Palette. I think you will be

Kelly Perry - 32:01 - You look so in the pictures

Lauren - 32:05 - Oh, I loved it and especially because you know, when we did that, a lot of my brides were still asking for blush and white or white and green, and I was like, please, can I have anything vibrant? Yeah. Yeah, so that was a lot of fun. That was a lot of fun.

Kelly Perry - 32:18 - Financial support for the production of this podcast is brought to you by the principles and elements of design, an online class by Team Flower. We believe that in far ranging, there aren't rules to be broken, but principles that act as a guide to the choices we make in the risks we take in this class. You'll learn these elements and principles of design and discover the amazing freedom that awaits when you understand them and move towards them in your work balance movement, rest, repetition, proportions, symmetry, color, texture, shape. These are just a few of the principles and elements will cover in this comprehensive class. In addition to these, you'll see step by step implementation, the mixing and marrying of these powerful concepts. By the end of the class you'll be well versed and underlying design theory and ready to explore the infinite number of ways the elements and principles can be combined in your work with flowers and beyond to learn more had to teamflower.org/online.

Kelly Perry - 33:18 - Well not just takes it kind of like in a deeper way. Tone wise, which I feel like is a bridge. Like sometimes people will ask me like, well actually I feel like you and I maybe have had this conversation where it was kind of like color are kind of boring. No, no, no. How do I like to encourage a client maybe to know that there's other options out there because like frankly we are the same way. Like it just, it just manifests in a slightly different way. So like we get comfortable with things that we see or that we hear often and so it's no different with the client whenever they see a color palette or they see a bouquet or whatever over and over again, like you get more comfortable with it and so you're ready to commit to it or whatever. But sometimes I'll just ask like, are you open to the deepening your color palette or something like that. Some people will say yes and some people will say no and then you know whether or not to spend that creative energy, like if they're even open to it in the first place.

Kelly Perry - 34:14 - So I feel like if he did have like a blush guy, this could be like, oh, would you be open to. You seem like a really like bright and cheerful person. Like there's a couple of flowers that I think they just like scream you to me. Like would you be open to seeing them? And I think it's important that it's always driven by the client and not just something that we want to do because then we totally shoot ourselves in the foot anyway because it's all about how our. I feel like the most important part of our brand is how we make people feel. I mean plain and simple. And so for a while in life I was just like thought it was the other way around. And so I look back at some things and I'm like, did I push that on them? I think I pushed that off. I think I pushed you hard with that. So an interesting process. But that's so fun. That's fun that Alicia was there too. She'll be at the conference as well. So you guys will get, you'll get to.

Lauren - 35:02 - I can't wait to hear her.

Kelly Perry - 35:04 - Yeah. Yeah. She's going to talk about some large scale design work and things like that. So I'm excited to get a good crew for for sure. Um, one other thing that I noticed that it seems like that you use a lot. I have like one arbor that I, that I use and you can do so many different things if you've got like a good basic structure here in the mountains. I used to have another one that was like more wood based, which everybody loves those kinds of liquid based things in the mountains, but they're very heavy and kind of dangerous I think to an extent. Um, we have a lot of wind up here too, but have this sort of like of like a lightweight metal arbor that I have a piece that can extend that this piece can actually go out to be like 10 feet wide and 10 feet tall. I mean it's, it can be huge and it can also like come and be like more narrow and then had some legs like welded so it can go, like inside it can go outside and like be staked into the ground.

Kelly Perry - 36:07 - And I love that piece because yeah, I can put a smaller version of it up like just with myself now when I go 10 feet tall. It's good to have somebody good to have somebody on the other side.

Lauren - 36:20 - You're so tall, Kelly.

Kelly Perry - 36:23 - Kelly. She's like Goliath, but yeah. So anyway, I love that. But are there any pieces that you have that you just feel like, oh, like I could not live without this? Maybe there's somebody listening who's like brand new and trying to decide like what their first piece should be minds from a rose garden. Um, if you're looking for like Ann Arbor or whatever, just four pieces, but yeah. Is there something that you have that you just really love and would recommend

Lauren - 36:48 - I think in terms of rentals as a whole? I would say and especially because like I had mentioned my city is a little bit smaller. We have most smaller wedding budgets. Yeah. You know, like we're not all in LA, right?

Kelly Perry - 37:02 - Most of us aren't.

Lauren - 37:04 - Yeah. I am not the very, the very first rental that I brought in and so that was almost five years ago and I have made so much money off of renting these is just a beautiful stem vase collection, um, because you know, like it can very easily be, go as low as $30 a table or we potentially even lower if they just want a single boss, I totally where you can go really full with them or you can tuck them into cake tables or you know, whatever. So I would recommend to people invest in a pretty stem boss collection. I, I now have two different sets and then also just like one set of a really pretty votive cause again, it's an easy add on for people. They're going to have candles anyways and if you can find something that's really pretty and you can rent or you know, a dollar or $2 each, it's such an easy way to make money. So that's that. That would be my advice.

Kelly Perry - 37:59 - Yeah, the bud vases. That's a really good idea. I [inaudible] you can, you can just do three on the table with a little tray or you can do 10 on the table. Like they're so flexible and I actually I need to place another order because I had a box that I, I just, it was so funny. I had just talked. I just showed the, the collection of them at the last workshop and set up a whole table with them and it was actually, it was my favorite little like welcome breakfast table that had done it a really long time. It's just so sweet and so just so sweet and easy and everybody has a flower in front of them. Something to look at that's interesting and yeah, so I was just talking about, I was like the strong survive because anytime you have things that are glass, like when you first get them, like you'll have a lot of things that break because some of the glasses like the strong survive so the strong survive and then once you know that that night it was so late and we had the car back so tight and so that box came rolling out of the top of the car and like all of them broke. I was like, no,

Lauren - 39:07 - but you want to quit.

Kelly Perry - 39:10 - Like they've been with me. They'd been with me for such a long time too. And I was like in Telco guys, don't they? They totally, they have hung on for so long but they could not take that five foot drop just to the back of the car onto the pavement. They couldn't take that. But oh gosh.

Lauren - 39:29 - So you know what makes me more upset, which is totally ridiculous, is when venues throw out my boxes. Like if I have a box that perfectly fit for votives and it has all the rapping in it and it closes up and then it stacks inside of other boxes, not throw that

Kelly Perry - 39:52 - organization piece. Very important to have a really hard time. Even if I don't like if even if I don't plan to ever store anything in the interim again, like when I get like a box from accent to something that has all the little boxes inside the big box that like you're talking about sex, I have such a hard time like letting those go because I'm like,

Lauren - 40:15 - exactly. I would rather have a vase break that costs me $15 and the free little piece of cardboard that I got with.

Kelly Perry - 40:23 - So got to keep things organized. Yeah, I mean with every wedding that you do. I mean there are these different inventory pieces sometimes that we need to buy or whatever. And I think I'm, I don't know about you, but I am like the classic. Well, I wouldn't say like I'm a class of minimalist because I feel like there are people who are much taken much more seriously than I do, but I think because I require so many things to be able to make my business run, like personally I'm very like let's clear all the surfaces and just put one plant in the, you know what I mean? Something like that. So anyway, I, I totally get it because it is, it's a lot to lot to look at. Yeah. And just to get that little bit of clarity of mind. Well anyway, now I'm just on a, I'm on a different topic or different topic altogether, but yeah, right now, right now the garage, Jesse and I are like need to get out of here because it is, it's, it's like stacked to the ceiling and there's tunnels that you kind of have to walk through at this point and things are looking. Things are looking a little bleak for Kelly over here. I'm just enough room for Jesse to like stand and make a video if we need to or something. But there are not multiple angle options right now,

Lauren - 41:32 - so sounds like it's time for a.

Kelly Perry - 41:35 - It's time for something to happen. Yeah. It's time for something to happen anyway. Speaking of something new happening, any new, any new ventures or anything new that's on the agenda for you before we sign off today or. I don't know, just anything you want to leave this. Tell me. Tell me

Lauren - 41:51 - something that I'm excited about. This past spring I actually launched a sister company, so my, my floral business is Stone House Creative and I just launched Stone House Consulting, which is, yeah, a consulting business for wedding pros, you know, helping them really figure out who their ideal client is and then the absolute very best ways to attract them. And so not pursuing it too heavily. Right now it's wedding season. Things are crazy and I don't intend for it to be as large as my wedding business because that's what I love the very most. But it's, it's awesome, you know, just being able to hear other people's stories and have those conversations and then, you know, ideally helping them narrow things down and figure things out is really exciting. That's a lot of fun.

Kelly Perry - 42:38 - Do like we haven't talked a lot, talked a lot about it on the podcast today, but you have a diverse set of experiences where he was all kinds of different creatives and in different avenues and facets and with different companies and things like that. So not all, it feels like a very natural fit in just like such a, such a great idea. Well maybe there might be somebody on here. He was like, Oh man, I think she needs to help me and that would be awesome if I could connect to you. I love the power of teamwork is just, Oh, I love it. Like there are things that we would not be able to accomplish without each other. There are things that we would have never thought of or never known about ourselves or realized or whatever and we just add so much vibrancy to each other whenever we open up and come out and those kinds of seeing. So I'm really thankful that you're opening yourself up and making yourself available, um, in that kind of way to our creative world as well. That's really awesome. Thank you for doing that. Thank you for doing that.

Lauren - 43:40 - And you know what, that's probably the perfect thing that you could say to somebody who's coming to the workshop are coming to the conference, like don't be afraid to talk about the problems that you're having in your business because somebody is going to have an awesome solution for you or just the right encouragement that you need. So yeah, that's, that's actually the thing that I love the most about workshops and conferences is just talking to people and hearing what's going on in their businesses and you know, sharing what's going on in mine and yeah, I think that is where the best things happen. Like you said. That's right.

Kelly Perry - 44:11 - Yeah, it really is. And I know that it's, I know that it's a sacrifice and it's hard to get away or whatever. And I've been planning events since I was in middle school. I've just always had this love of bringing people together in person because it is magic and I don't know what it is. I cannot figure out what it is. There's like a resistance. It, uh, for, for whatever reason, but it is always magic when I can just be like, no, they're coming. That's pushed through. Um, yes. Yeah, because it's important that we, that we come together. So anyway. Well that's awesome.

Lauren - 44:47 - Thank you for picking.

Kelly Perry - 44:47 - Yes, yes, absolutely. Well, thank you so much for hopping on here and chatting with me today. I always love talking to my flower friends and for all of you who are listening. Yeah, I just, this is a fun little form that we're able to connect to and encourage each other to keep moving forward and I just consider it such a privilege that you're here. I'm talking with me and that you're listening. Whatever it is that you're doing, I just hope that you'll have a great day to day, that you'll experience a lot of clarity and in any kinds of problems that you might be working through or, um, any kind of feelings that you might be experiencing. I just hope that you'll receive peace today and all those kinds of good things. So anyway, thanks for hopping on talking to us, Lord.

Lauren - 45:33 - Thank you so much for having me. Kelly.

Kelly Perry - 45:34 - Hi, everybody will text. Same. If you enjoyed today's episode of the team flower podcast, would you help us by leaving a rating and review the more ratings and reviews, the easier it is for other flower levers to find the podcast. Thanks for being a part of Team Flower and helping us build this dream together are so grateful.

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