If you are a flower lover...and who isn't...then I dare you to attempt a mere passing glance at the Instagram feed of the mama we are profiling today on Strong Mother Monday. You won't be able to navigate anywhere but forward, forward, into flowery, heavenly bliss. Her arrangements are so stunning, they almost emanate delicate fragrance from my screen.
The woman behind the scenes is as beautiful as the flowers she works with, and as ethereal as the crowns she fashions. Her maternal spirit, kindness and deeply held love absolutely radiate.
Mother of two (Harrison and Phoenix), 29 years old
Lives in: Los Angeles, CA
What is your mothering story? When and how did you decide to start your family, and then have a second child?
Both pregnancies were unplanned, though their little souls wanted to come in! With my first I went through my pregnancy alone as my partner at the time was not ready to have a child and was not on board. I had just started making a tiny bit of money through my business and decided to take on the challenge by myself. It was like walking into the dark alone and it made me so unbelievably strong and motivated to grow my business even more to take care of myself and my son on the way.
I was lucky enough to meet my now fiancee when Harrison was 13 months old and we fell in love! We both wanted a family and more children and that's how little Phoenix came into existence. It was easier to wrap my head around having two with a supportive and loving partner by my side.
How did you start your flower shop? Did you have any training in flowers, arranging, running a business, any of it?? (I SO WISH you lived here. Or I lived there. I would be the most regular of customers.) I'd love to know if it's simply as amazing to work with flowers and make your amazing creations, as it looks to me from over here on the other side of your Instagram.
I started my business from my love of going downtown to the flower market. Anything aesthetically beautiful involving nature inspires me beyond. I had no experience and running a business was really a challenge but somehow I managed to figure it out and teach myself all that I needed to know.
The past three years has been mostly learning and now in my 4th year I feel really on top of things and knowledgable about how things are supposed to run. Organization has been key for me (and not always the easiest feat).
What does your day-to-day routine look like, between kiddos and the shop?
Typically I will wake up to nurse around 5am, head out to the flower market to get the flowers I need for that day's orders and try to be home by 7 for the next feeding or to relieve Tyler so that he can get to work if he is shooting that day.
If I have a heavy day, my mom will then come over to help with the kids until I’m done with work. I am lucky enough to work in my backyard where my studio is, so feeding the infant and being around them does not cease really. It’s just nice to have extra eyes on the kids while I am doing business or computer work as I am easily distracted.
My assistant delivers all of the arrangements for me so that I can spend the rest of the day with my kids. We usually go for walks in our neighborhood, hang out in our backyard, do gardening projects together and watch movies depending on the weather and how tired I am. I typically run errands and prep dinner and Tyler or I will cook.
We usually end the day by getting in bed at 8 and watching a few episodes of something (right now it’s Ray Donovan- we're obsessed).
You are getting ready for a wedding!!! Can you tell us about this? When, where, how fabulous is it going to be!!??!
We are getting married in Makawao, Maui, Hawaii- a place that is very special to me as I spent a lot of my time as a child in Maui. My favorite aunt lives there and my grandparents had a place there so we were lucky enough to spend a lot of time there as kids. When I was 18 I moved to Maui and sold leis (the start to my flower love affair).
Tyler and I got engaged there last August and after realizing we wanted something intimate we decided to get married at this beautiful countryside art center at a gorgeous plantation house. I am in the thick of planning right now and yes, it will most definitely be amazing!!! I am planning and doing mostly all of the work myself so hopefully it will be a good representation of Tyler and myself.
What has been your worst mothering moment so far?
I don’t consider any moments bad, as becoming a mother is a learning experience and my brain doesn’t work that way.
What is has been your strongest mothering moment?
The actual delivery of both boys were my strongest moments in my life (and most painful). I had both boys naturally at home and it was very intense.
What do you wish moms would stop doing (to each other)?
I hate the competitiveness in my industry, we are all trying to support our children and I don’t like being made to feel bad by other moms who are unsupportive of the way I care for my family. There is enough business for everyone in LA, it's not a competition and we should be lifting each other up.
What is your mothering wish for other mamas? What do you like to impart or share with other mamas?
I try to be available to my mom friends to help share the things that I learned the hard way (if they ask). I can’t stand unsolicited advice, but when moms need advice and ask, it makes me happy to be able to impart anything I’ve learned along my journey. I also am really good at trimming baby nails hah! I always offer to do it for my new mom friends as it’s a very intimidating task!