Wow…You are kidding me…I don’t believe it.
These are three sentences I said a lot in the last month.
Three major events took place in the last 30 days. One, the Valentine’s Day Pop-Up Shop did very well. Two, First & Bloom won the People’s Choice Award at the 2016 Northwest Flower & Garden Show. And three, I took a vacation.
Valentine’s Day Pop-Up Shop Recap
Where do I begin? There is so much goodness that happened, it’s hard to summarize. As you recall, I set up shop for three days in Downtown Issaquah at the historic Hailstone Feed Store/Old Shell Gas Station. Such vintage charm and instant character all wrapped up into a cute little yellow gas station from the early 1900’s. Several weeks were spent in preparation, but the real work began on Wednesday a few days before Feb 14th.
There was much to be done. Picking up the flowers, processing the flowers, storing the flowers. Multiple loads of supplies were brought over, signage to be hung, process and flow of the store to be discussed and decided upon. How were we going to handle this? Where were we going to put that? Who would cover what? Who can go get cash? Are we going to be inside or outside? When was the teddy bear lady arriving? Where would the chocolates go? How many prearranged flowers would I prepare? What do we do with the weather?
The list went on.
It was A LOT to consider.
But we made it.
“We’ve been following you on this journey on Facebook and wanted to come out and show our support.” ~Curtis, Emily and the kiddos, who I hadn’t seen in at least six years.
Of course, like all new experiences, there are always the things you can’t plan for… like the weather. I was hoping for cool temperatures, partially sunny skies, and no wind. Instead, much of the weekend was blustery with wind, rain, and the sporadic sun burst. These bumps in the road are just part of doing business; I had mentally prepared myself for this.
There was one thing; however, I had not planned for.
I had no idea my vision would move so many people in my life to show their support. It was absolutely overwhelming. At one point, I almost broke out in tears. (I held it together… I was so busy there was no time for tears!) I truly have an amazing circle of friends. Some I see on a constant basis, others I connect with every couple of months but for some, it’s be years! To every single person who came by, called to leave a message, or shared my Facebook posts, I am truly touched. It means the world.
Lastly, I can’t finish without talking about my volunteers. I had several girlfriends- Denice, Heather, Lisa, Missy, Nicole, Reiko and of course my husband Bobby who helped make this pop-up possible. They always say never go into business with a friend. Honestly, it’s what made all the hard work so much fun. Each are incredibly smart and talented. We put our heads together and pulled off an awesome three days!
Thank you for believing in me.
“I saw all these posts on Facebook and looked up how close you were off of I90 on my way home.” ~Natalie who I went to high school with, lives in Eastern Washington, was passing through town from her son’s soccer game in Everett, and hadn’t seen in over 10 years!
I don’t believe it, still. I don’t believe First & Bloom won this award! Utterly exhausted from Valentine’s Day, I was just trying to make it through the week. I was asked early in 2015 to be a competitor. Of course, I was delighted but had no idea I’d be running a pop-up shop just two days before!
When I learned the theme was America the Beautiful, a tribute to the National Park Service, the very first vision was of my dad’s old camping box. My dad is quite the outdoorsman, always has been. Most of my early childhood memories are of being outside- camping, snowmobiling, fishing, riding horses, driving a tractor, road trips in the middle of nowhere! Once I get a vision in my head, it’s hard to go back. I’m so glad I did.
If you haven’t been to the Northwest Flower & Garden Show, I highly recommend it. It’s huge. There are so many vendors! It’s a great place to gather ideas and inspiration. The landscape displays are unbelievable! Entire front yards set up in the middle of the convention center!
I also want to send a shout out to Debra Prinzing. If it wasn’t for her, I might not have actually set up my flower display in time. You see, she stopped by my pop-up shop on Sunday. Thank goodness she mentioned set up times, as I thought Wednesday was the day. Big Whoops! Tuesday was the set-up day! Oh boy! There was no time to rest. I immediately rolled into full blown design mode… with my little red wagon packed to the brim and a whole lot of “Get ‘Ur Done!!!!” Thanks, Debra!
Lastly, a big thanks to all the people who voted for First & Bloom! I felt honored to be included, but winning an award...I’m bursting with gratitude! Thank you!
There’s really no exaggeration on the level of exhaustion a girl can have after a three-day pop-up shop and floral competition. I was pooped! My brain was buzzing around like a bee on American grown flowers, but my body was moving at the pace of a slug! It took several days to feel somewhat “normal.” The house was in disarray. Let’s not talk about the smell of my car. Yes, I even needed to shave my legs in a real bad way!
Overtop of all this excitement, my husband too experienced some amazing changes. He accepted a new position and had a couple weeks of down time. It’s been nearly 2 years since we’ve been able to take a vacation. This was our chance!
I’m a firm believer in taking a vacation a year. The body needs down time. It needs to wind down and recharge. So within a couple days of booking our trip, we were off to the Big Island of Hawaii! I think everyone has that special place in their hearts. Hawaii is it for us.
Hawaii is not something to be described. You just have to experience it. Smell the air….Feel the warmth of the sun….Close your eyes and listen to the rhythm of the waves softly crashing on the sand.
There’s also such truth in the term, “island time.” It’s real, and it’s hard for me to think clearly. I literally feel like the sun is sucking the energy out of me. I need coffee multiple times a day to think clearly. (Wait… this sounds like home!) I think this is detox mode. This is what a real vacation should do. It should slow a body down. Allow the mind to process in a calm and collected manner.
By the end of our 9 day trip, my mind started to think of home. What was everyone doing? What was the weather like? Were the trees blooming? Had the tulips emerged from the cold brown earth?
Yes, it was time to come home.