Curious Lola

Quick Floral Demo!

Feeling rushed this week? Me too.  So instead of blathering on, here’s a super fast floral demo utilizing the techniques we teach in our recent Premium Skillshare Class.

Enjoy!

Mad Science Themed Photoshoot and Weirdos.

Brains1   The birth of my son had a dramatic impact on my business. I’m not talking about having less time (though that certainly is true as well). I gained a new urgency that every project I work on needs to be aligned with what our business is all about. It’s guts. It needs to be meaningful and for Lola Creative, that sort of means it needs to be…. weird.

Our clients… well…they are kind of weirdos.

Just like we are.

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I’m not saying we all are wearing our underwear outside our clothing or working our Halloween costumes into regular work rotation. It’s just that our clients seem to want to connect with a little bit of the delightfully unexpected. They want newness and imagination. Something that on paper, might seem a bit odd.

I’ve always known this about our people, but I got to thinking… maybe we are not clear enough on this.

So, to make sure our freak flags are big and loud, we’ve put together some new imagery for our main site that exhibits the values of our company.  They are:

Guts, Brains, and Imagination

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This mad science shoot is photographed by Easton Richmond and features the concept of ‘Brains.’ The brains component of our values identifies how essential research and planning is to our process.  Because weird without good planning can be, well, scary.

Enjoy the photos! I’m going to go nurture my inner weirdo.

Lola Creative Select_37 brains

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Lola Creative Select_43Lola Creative Select_28We’re pretty excited about it. Obviously.

Thanks to all who participated in this shoot!

Creative Direction, Set, Props, and Styling: Lola Creative

Photography: Easton Richmond

Hair and Makeup: Jamyrlyn Mallory

Location: Seattle Wholesale Grower’s Market

Model: Lauren M. Kulbeth

Floral Eye Candy by Lola Creative- Spring Flower Recipe

floral eye candy

Mmmkay. Local and West coast flowers right now have me smacking my chops. Sometimes you don’t have much to say, don’t have an event, just want to get your hands into some of those scrumptious blooms. So, without a whole lot from me, here’s some floral eye candy made with 100% local flowers all grown on the glorious, tide-licked, west side of the country. This spring flower arrangement recipe below.

floral eye candy floral eye candy floral eye candy DSC_0410 DSC_0404Recipe

5 Sahara Rose (grown in CA)

6 ‘Belle Epoque’ Tulips (grown in WA)

5 stems double Waxflower (grown in CA)

7 Lilacs (grown in WA)

10 stems Heuchera ‘Creme Brulee’ (grown uh… outside my door)

12 tendrils of Ivy (not the bad stuff. Also grown outside my door)

1 hunk of Carex grass roots bagged and staked(pulled out of my containers to make way for annual flowers)

 

 

What Does Business Related Fear Feel Like?

Mockup2 Before you can do anything about business related fear whether that be fear in starting your new business or managing your changing business, you have to first be able to notice that it’s happening to you. This is difficult, because the signs are sneaky. I just wrote an ebook that delves into my own experiences in fearing and learning to manage my business related fear. How do you know when it’s here? What does fear feel like?

In my new ebook “Be Fearless Scared but do it Anyway”, I talk about managing fear. A lot of it has to do with reorienting fearful or anxious feelings and sometimes recognizing when it needs to stop all together.

With the birth of my son, my husband and I are having to make some changes to how we live and work. I find that while my creative energy and ideas are at an all time high (joy= creativity?), my available time is at an all time low. I’ve estimated I have roughly 20% of the time I once did to dedicate any serious focused brain power. It’s forcing us to simplify and clarify our visions for our future and to strategize in new ways. With that, comes the uncertainty and unease.

I had never practiced managing fear much as it relates to my family life so I was surprised when I was barraged by a bunch of old, familiar feelings. Here’s what fear and anxiety looks like when it pops up for me:

Irritability– I’m irritated. I’m irritated at the dog, at the baby for crying when I’m not immediately in front of him. I’m irritated that I can’t get anything done, that dinner takes a long time, that the water is tepid because I used up the hot water doing massive quantities of laundry. I’m irritated at slow people in the grocery store, slowness with my computer. I’m irritated that I can’t find my keys, that I can never find my keys, and irritate that I haven’t found a system for managing my key losing situation.

Restlessness– always thinking- the inability to not turn off. Being lostin thought about your business. Pushing to go faster, be efficient- but perhaps for no clear reason than just to get to the next task. The feeling that you have to hurry through this tedious, uncertain part so you can get to the part that is meaningful/ profitable/ the actual work.

While I’m able to be present with my son, the few blocks of uninterrupted time are often wrought with these feelings. And obviously these feelings are counterproductive to working well.

I’m finding I’m having to reapply the tactics I wrote about in my ebook, readjust expectations, prune my efforts to maximize effectiveness. Some pursuits will be delegated, while others will be recycled.

I love this journey… even though the course is ever-adjusting.

Ivy and Tweed-203Oh go check it out silly kitty.

3 Ways your Inexperience will Help You Succeed in the Wedding Industry

It sucks to feel like a sputtering, throbbing amateur. It can feel like everyone else around you has figured it out and you are still groping for clarity. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my last 7 years of event and floral design, it’s that, unfortunately, there isn’t a manual and there’s no right way. I get into wrangling these anxiety-inducing topics in my new ebook Be Fearless Scared, But Do It Anyway . BUT I also know that there are three key areas where you have the ADVANTAGE by being a newbie.

Hooraaaaay! Seriously.

Because in uncertain times we need to acknowledge and be grateful for all the wins we can muster, right?

This applies to you if you are a burgeoning floral designer, event designer, planner, invite person, or if you make things I can put in my mouth. (I especially love the latter). Basically any service or product you can take a picture of.

Apparently, my mouth is ALWAYS open and my glasses are ALWAYS halfway falling off my nose. Take action baby.

Oh look, here I am (again) with my mouth wide open teaching folks how to make gardeney bouquets last year.

These three ways where your inexperience helps you are meant to empower you to take action and feel willing (note I did NOT say confident) to put yourself out there. It’s all too easy to observe, not get in the game, and chalk it all up to quietly gaining experience.

BUT that’s just fear talking. The fact is, the faster you start digging around, the faster you will figure it out, the faster you will gain clarity, the faster you will be profitable. In my ebook, I talk about my journey and how it took me five years to feel like this business was going to be okay.

THAT’S FIVE YEARS OF SLEEP ALTERING NAIL BITING!

You can do it in less and I want to help how I can.

These three facts are based on my own experience. These are things I did and they worked. They are based on forgetting about your problems, and solving the problems of others.

So here we go: 3 Ways your Inexperience will Help You Succeed in the wedding industry.

  1. Local Wedding Media Loves the Newbies.It’s true. Your local wedding magazine loves to feature new designers. It’s how they feel they are staying fresh. As a crusty, well worn designer reading through my local wedding mags, young whippersnappers such as yourself make up about 30% of what I’m looking at. All you need to do then is be seen.

Oh, and you are in luck again because their staff and interns are clammoring for new media to put up on their online platforms. Be nice, be generous, take some great shots of your work, or write a little article about something cool for them to put up on their FB page….. like, how to use write guests names on clam shells or something. Or how to make a veil out of bark…. don’t do that. Mention that you would love to be considered to participate in an upcoming feature should they need help with anything.

We were lucky enough to be featured in Seattle Met Bride and Groom and Seattle Bride early on. AND far before we could ever afford purchasing an ad. So, it works.

2. You Are A Blank Slate and You Listen.

After nearly a decade of doing this, I’ve sort of learned a way that works for me. I’ve learned I need a minimum budget for me to feel like we can deliver a stellar product, I’ve learned that we need a lot of responsibility and creative input regarding the entire event. We’ve learned what styles and what sorts of folks are NOT a good fit for us.

But you may not know that yet, and at least for getting work and developing relationships with other professionals and venues, that’s a GOOD thing. It means you can be truly open to listening how the other person likes to work, how they like to run their events, what their clients and audience is like.

You are in a perfect position to let the folks you meet with to feel like you really understand them. You are their person. They WANT you to succeed, so they will likely push work your way.

PS, how do you meet these folks? You call them… or email if you are telephonophobic like me:) It’s a modern cold call… don’t freak out.

PPS, don’t ask to meet them and show them what you do. Ask to meet them to learn about their venue/ practices/ approach, etc. Then work in your stuff but it’s not the point of the meeting. The point is for you to learn about THEM.

The last one is a big one and is a little hard to feel comfy with but is so important. In fact, we talk about it a lot more in my ebook. (See giant link image below:)

StartHere

3. Sell What They Actually Want, Not What You Think They Want.

When I first began, I thought I knew what people wanted beautiful florals chock full of creativity, unexpected materials, and unusual flowers- preferably local. I was stressed out of my mind to make more stuff so I could have a stunning portfolio. After all, a great portfolio was going to get the work right?

Wrong.

I didn’t have a great portfolio, as a matter of fact my first floral designs were awful. What I did have was a background in project management. So I talked about that.

Ding. Ding. Ding.

As it turns out, my clients didn’t want the best floral designer. They wanted someone who was organized, responsive, who wasn’t going to make an ass out of themselves on site, someone who was going to show up, get sh** done and leave. They wanted someone they could trust to make their jobs and day easier.

I could do that. I could show that through my communication with them, by the way I presented my material, and later, in every aspect of the event day.

That right there was a revelation for me and became our basis for selling for years…. still is. Our process and execution is paramount. Are we the best designers? meh. doesn’t matter- at least not as much as trust to my clients.  (though we are pretty damn good…obvs:)

So think about the process, execution, client relationships, conflict resolution, all the things that can be trouble for your client and communicate how you plan to resolve them, or even just show that you take those aspects just as seriously as the actual creative work.

Get Deeper Into This Topic

If you’re interested in delving a little deeper into this topic and are curious about the challenges I faced starting out and how I dealt with them, check out my FREE eBook, “Be Fearless Scared, But Do It Anyway.”

This will give you some perspective, and will show you how this beautiful (and humble!) creative took action and worked her way through the maze and reached the other side.


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