When we started Wldflwr.ink Workshops, Em had just started Consider The Wldflwrs and I was finishing up school and beginning to dig into my world of writing and photography. I always think about the day the thought of teaching came to our minds - even though I can't remember specifics, only that it was an afternoon and I believe we were setting up for one of our many shoots we used to throw together in my light-filled, attic bedroom. We would go and buy a few bunches of greens or "fluffies" as I like to call them, and spread them out on the white floor and take photos of whatever newly developed piece she had made in Fort Houston the night before. I like to think of it as my-loans-hadn't-kicked-in bliss. But it was bliss nonetheless and we found ourselves constantly repeating "we love flowers, we love arranging, this is so fun, I'm in heaven." Pretty much word for word, every time. And then we thought why don't we just put together a workshop? Let's invite our friends and have champagne and choose a color palette and create arrangements. So we did. We made a mile long pinterest board and went several times to what would become our favorite flower shop - Import Flowers - and started a tradition that, at the time, we didn't even know we had started.
The weeks before were spent getting into the palette as if it were it's own world, learning names of flowers and greens, and researching terms for arranging. We spent the days before prepping and making sure we had tables and food and glasses and gifts and the entire time we were too excited to contain it. We spent all morning planning the space and imagining how people would feel as they walked in, as we taught, and as they created. It was intentional and we paid great attention to every detail.
That first workshop was a blast. Really no other way to describe it. We felt connected to our friends and the new faces we met in a whole new way. We taught confidently and passionately and felt that burn of inspiration well up as we walked around and saw how different and unique everyones creations were. It was all a dream and we were onto something.
So we did what anyone would do and we planned and turned on our business minds and figured out how to market and profit (ie break even) and share this crazy experience with more than just our friends. For several workshops after that first one we were head over heels in love. We had met so many wonderful women, encouraged each other, created beautiful things together, got our hands dirty, and tried to plant that seed of inspiration we felt in the beginning into everyone we met.
After about a couple of years, we had been invited to design florals for a number of events and our workshops became a business of their own. But in the swirl of it all we were, even if subconsciously, feeling constrained by finances and the entire "business" side of it. We wanted to provide that authentic experience but the stress over money was getting in the way. We had drifted from that flame, from that initial spark, and we were trying in all of the wrong ways to rekindle it.
When I got married the summer of 2014, we did the flowers together for my wedding. It was an amazing experience and when I say we, I mean we picked them together, designed the bouquets together, and then Em doubled as bridesmaid and sole stylist and florist for the wedding. She's a rockstar. But that added an entirely different element to the mix. We aren't florists, in technical terms, but we're good at what we do and once we started spreading the word in the wedding and private event world, we had the opportunity to do a few private bridal party workshops. If we thought the first workshop was inspiring, this was in a whole other ball game. It wasn't even necessarily the fact that it was for a wedding or for a bridal party. It was intimate and personal and I truly don't think there's anything more bonding than creating with those you love, and even more so creating with living breathing materials. The spark was returning and we didn't really have to try.
So here we are. The summer of 2016 is rapidly approaching and we have the excitement and the flame that once led us to be a part of so many amazing people's lives. In the past couple of workshops we've done we've been asking people at the beginning to share what refreshes them. We get answers from iced coffee on a sunny porch to swimming to listening to music to working outside. The answers are so colorful and unique yet the one thing everyone has in common is when they speak their refreshment they smile and pull themselves into that experience. It brings everyone together and puts us all in that place of refreshment and inspiration and comfort right alongside them. It prepares us for the amazing act of creating floral arrangements and doing it alongside the beautifully individual minds of everyone around us.
No matter what there will be ups and downs in anything that we do but one thing we've realized is that we're here for that moment. For that moment of connection, of deep inspiration, of feeling refreshed and comforted. We're here to build relationships and build a community that sees the artist inside each and every person, and invites them to come and play and be free to be who they truly are. Wldflwr.ink Workshops are not just for creative women, they are for everyone and anyone who wants to find something in themselves they haven't yet discovered. And we're discovering right alongside you.