Behind the flowers

Behind these flowers.

Behind these flowers.

Hello out there! 

Having made it to my website through a sea of sites, I am super grateful you are here right now.  Welcome to First & Bloom. My name is Tammy Myers.  I am the owner.  First & Bloom has been in business for 5 years.  Starting off slow and meandering my way through the floral industry, I have picked up the pace in the last couple years.  It was right about the time when my son entered school that I had more time to dedicate to my other baby… my business.  Like a lot of small business owners, I was testing the waters and finding solid ground in the world of flowers. 

If this isn’t your first time to visit First & Bloom, then you also might recall I had a blog called, This Country Life.  You might be wondering what happened to it.  Well…. And I say this with a sheepish smile on my face, it kinda disappeared didn’t it? 

Like all business owners, we juggle a lot of hats… too many hats, in fact.  To be honest, I’ve been running myself ragged for quite some time. For too long, I felt I had to say yes and be everything to everyone.  I felt if I didn’t say yes, then it meant I wasn’t really committed to my business, like I didn’t want to put the work in.  I’ve learned that is not true at all.  I’ve learned I have to be savvy and smart.  I’ve learned I can’t do all of this myself and work all hours of the night.  Sure, I could do it. But, in the process I would be killing myself.  So, I had to start thinking smarter.

One of the first changes made was switching website platforms.  My husband is in ecommerce. He had been encouraging me to switch over to Shopify for quite some time.  There are many options out there, but I really wanted the ability to expand my product offerings beyond fresh flowers.  Shopify had a very unique capability.  Allowing businesses to drop-ship products, it meant I could offer products in my store without actually having the inventory.  These products could then be shipped directly from their source.

Secondly, I fully accepted and acknowledged out loud I was not good at bookkeeping.  I dislike it immensely.  I can find any and every reason to just not do it. However, I knew this would bite me in the behind eventually.  It did.  When tax season rolled around, I spent countless hours loading expenses and sales receipts into QuickBooks.  Previously, I had been tracking my finances on a spreadsheet.  I thought to myself, how could I let this happen? However painful, it helped me realize how managing this aspect of my business wasn’t working.  I had to find a solution.  So, I hired a bookkeeper.  Hearing her say I no longer had to log all my receipts was music to my ears. 

There have been many other improvements and efficiencies made along the way, but probably one of the most impactful has actually been painting my workspace in the garage.  For years, I stressed over having an inspiring space to design in.  I tried telling myself it didn’t matter. No one was going to actually see the space.  Over time, I found the space very confining and difficult to photograph in.  It was an unfinished garage.  The walls showed lines of spackling and all the normal clutter one would expect in a garage. Every time I would step back to admire my work and want to share it on social media, I would see this ugly wall in the background with bad lighting.  It was frustrating.  Finally, after having some pretty heavy discussion with my husband on remodeling the house and building a new barn, we decided to slow the conversation for a bit.  (BTW- construction projects right now are insanely expensive!)

The plan to build a barn was still in the works, for a lot of reasons, but I had to do something in the meantime. That’s when I thought back on a little phrase I kept in my mental rolodex. “What can I work with right now?”  Staring at my garage for hours, I came to the conclusion that with some intense decluttering and a fresh coat of paint on the walls and ceiling, I would feel much better.  It took me several weeks, but I finally finished.  What a HUGE difference this made!  Luckily, my garage has good natural light.  By opening the doors, even on a rainy day, I could achieve the right look in my photos…. taken with my cell phone!

In conclusion, you might read this and think… Why is she telling me this?...What does this have to do with selling flowers?  Well, I could see how you might think that.  I could only tell you the good parts of the floral industry.  I could only share gorgeous bouquets of flowers held in my arms smack dab in the middle of a flower field with my head cocked just so, but that wouldn’t be real for me. I want to share the good, the bad, and the ugly because it’s real.  Because if I only shared the good, it might go unnoticed that a real story happens behind these flowers.     

Stay tuned for more stories like this.  Next week, I plan to talk about dads.