Earlier this year as I sat in my new office, the sixth address I had opened in a little over three years, I realized something. I hated it. With every ounce of my body.
I felt empty. Numb. Tired. Burnout. I felt like a fraud. Telling myself, "when are you actually going to fess up and tell everyone you actually hate what you do and stop putting on this charade?! When are you actually going to be honest with yourself?"
But I kept going. I hung the frames, painted the walls (multiple coats of paint) opened the doors and kept buying and slinging the stems.
It took a stranger, who I asked to come into our new location to help me with our offering, to finally bring the truth out. As we began the meeting, he looked at me and said, "so tell me, what do you love about the current status quo?!". It was in that moment, I couldn't lie anymore - to myself.
As tears streamed down my face, I looked at him and said, "nothing. I fucking hate all of it". My husband, who sat next to me, shifted uncomfortable in his chair and put his arm around me. It was one of the few times he had seen me cry in our nearly decade of marriage. The advisor then looked at me and said, "well, it's simple. You need to turn of the lights, lock the door, turn the phone off, let your employees go and cancel this lease." He went on to explain that we have the choice to decide if we keep perusing something we love or hate. As children, when we are finished playing with a toy, we move on to the next one. We aren't forced or taught that we have to play with that toy because we picked it up first. Sadly, we forget this as adults. Thanks to capitalism, we are programed to never look back to constantly grow and do more no matter how we feel about it. Otherwise, we're lazy.
How humiliating. I sat there shocked. Thinking, I've made a mistake. I didn't mean it. I could take back what I said. But I did say it. And at the same time, how freeing. That it was that easy to make the changes I had been fighting so hard internally by feeding myself the lies - do more, be more, show up more, sling more. Otherwise, you're nothing.
So I did just that. And it sucked. A lot. I was embarrassed because suddenly I felt exposed and who would like the "real" me. The one that struggled behind the scenes but lit up any time I needed to prove everything was fine. Shortly after that I took my annual solo trip and took some time to reflect on what I should do next. It was hard to think of what would make me happy so I started making a list of all the things that made me unhappy (that's easy!). Once that was clear I tried again to make a list of all the things that would make me happy. It looked like this:
January: New Zealand
September: Nova Scotia
October - December: Open
I laughed. Hard. Then paused and realized something. I did have a proven track record and talent that I could take anywhere in the world. I loved what I did, I just didn't love the logistics of trying to run a traditional floral design studio. Of trying to do all the things.
My goal for 2020 was to be able to support myself through my talent and craft by living and experiencing a destination as a local for one month at a time. Sounded crazy, but also for the first time sounded exactly like what I wanted to do. In that moment, self doubt crept in. I reminded myself, "Franceska, you created your current floral design business in the middle of the desert in the United Arab Emirates, buying flowers from the back of white minivans from wholesalers who didn't speak English. The only education you had was a two week "course" that was somewhat helpful. To date, you've brought in almost seven figures in sales generated. It's time to go from good to great."
So I created a plan around this concept of traveling and slinging stems. I've been to forty-six countries to date, designed hundreds of floral installs for the most prestigious brands and have a background in luxury hospitality. How could I combine my passion of traveling, hotels and flowers?!
The Hotel Florist was created and introduced earlier this year. A curated lifestyle brand focusing on offering turn key floral solutions for luxury hotels, travel influencing and international freelance opportunities.
What does that mean?
I specialize in turnkey floral solutions for luxury hotels, am a travel influencer as well as available to freelance internationally.
By being able to travel and sling stems, it offers me the opportunity to pursue all my passions at once. I have the opportunity to keep my finger on the pulse of the latest trends as setting some of those trends myself. This not only is fulfilling personally but I can offer better service to my clients and colleagues.
Why have I chosen this role and what does it mean to do what I do every day?! Especially on the hard days or lonely ones? Let me share my why.
We all want to have money. However, more important than money is that we all want to have influence, purpose, leave a legacy - whatever word you want to define it. It's hard determining how to go about doing that. By traveling and slinging stems, that influence and purpose becomes more clear to me. Designing and being surrounded by beauty on the daily while learning about and walking in others shoes along the way. It's an absolute gift that I have been able to choose this path and explore it further. There are concepts such as sustainability that are very important to me and that I wish to support more through education and direct involvement. When I'm traveling, I'm learning how I can be better and how I can make places better when I leave them than when I arrived. I ultimately have a sense of greater purpose.
I hope you continue to follow me on this beautiful journey.