Professional Development

Why I Value Professional Development

I have dubbed this year, “The year of education.” Not that I won’t work on being educated every year, but specifically this first year in business, I want this to be my focus. When I start to fret about, “when will I start making Money?” I remind myself, “This is your year of education.” This means getting out of my comfort zone, saying yes to almost everything, taking as many classes in person and watching lots of Team Flower Youtube videos late into the night and early in the morning.

I trained with a florist 15 years ago which was a great education in flower care and some basic floral design techniques, but I have to say, I have learned more in these last few months I’ve been in business than I could have possibly imagined. I am so thankful for local workshops, online tutorials, and the amazing group of ladies in my Rising Tide group. I have been awed by the love and support and community of the small businesses and creatives that I’ve been so privileged to get to know and work with. They have helped shape my business plan and how I brand myself and how I think about business in general. Is this just a way to make a living or is it turning my passion into something I can share with my community, being inspired and inspiring others?

I love the attitude of the leadership of my Rising Tide group,it’s also my answer to why I value professional development “We are not in competition, when we help each other we all get better.” Taking every opportunity to get education, honing our skills, helping each other to get better, it raises the bar, it offers a better experience, for us and our customers and helps us sleep at night being confident we did our best work.

At one of the workshops I went to I made friends with this bright and bubbly blonde who owns a succulent business. What do you know, the next week I get a bride who wants succulents in her bouquet. I ‘d never done that before. My new friend is more than happy to come over and show me how best to attach succulents into a bouquet and then we spent the afternoon having tea and getting to know each other. My daughter asked me to make her a flower curtain for her baby shower. I’ve never done this before, so once again I look for a YouTube video about how to make one. I then get a bride who wants one at her wedding, so I get to use my daughters for practice. I get a call from an event planner to do a bouquet for a photo shoot, I remember another Team Flower Video called “ step by step summer bouquet,” that I’d like to use as inspiration. Next, I get a call for a 6 foot flower garland. I’ve never done one before, I think you know where I went to find out.

The workshops I’ve gone to have given me confidence to have my own workshops. I’d never done this before, but I went for it. I taught a centerpiece class right before Easter, and a flower crown class to my daughter and her lovely band of hairdressers, and everyone really had a great time in both classes. I was welcomed in to two different women business owners’ businesses to have a Popup Flower Shop. I got to plant seeds at a Dahlia farm. I did a design demonstration for a widows group. I have two fairs coming up for Mother’s Day. All of these

experiences and growth in just 4 months because people are supporting and giving and teaching what they know.

Just as I have grown and benefited from others willing to educate me, I will also share my knowledge, time and talents, when ever I can. It’s so important to me to be a giver just like others have given to me.

I set a goal for next year to go to an actual, in person, Team Flower workshop in Boone, North Carolina. Well it just so happens, they are having a scholarship contest for one lucky winner who writes a blog titled, “Why I Value Profession Development”. I’m just getting to know Team flower, but they have tons of free resources, and videos, podcasts and they have some online classes and then their onsite workshops in Boone. I know something like this will be so valuable, improving the quality of my design work, time management and business practices and that the information I learn and the people I meet will be an unforgettable experience of a lifetime.

So, here’s to education, collaboration, helping your fellow man, setting goals and being the best you can be in life and business! Cheers!:) 

Hannah ThompsonComment
Flowers from the King

Have you ever wondered why we give flowers, for loss and birth and love? Honestly, I’ve never thought about it. Well, there’s actually a science behind it.

The night before my wedding I was up all night sick with nerves. The next morning I went to the church. I needed to keep busy to distract myself so I started vacuuming the church. I was still a ball of nerves until the flowers showed up. As soon as they arrived and the room filled with the color and smells of all those gorgeous blooms, all of my nerves disappeared. I was filled with joy, I could eat and relax and look forward to the day.

I was reminded of this just before Valentine’s day this year. This was my first Valentine’s day as a flower shop owner. Leading up to the big day I was so nervous. For several nights in a row, I couldn’t sleep. My mind was filled with all the what ifs. What if I didn’t order enough flowers, what if I don’t get over this sickness that is plaguing my family, what if my flowers die? Then the day came to go pickup all of the flowers and at the sight of them all of the nerves melted away.

This weekend I attended a women’s business summit and my newly made friend, Misty, was speaking. Misty has an amazing testimony about how flowers were the life line that helped her get up and live after the death of her son. She now has a huge garden of Dahlias that have given her this new business adventure and catapulted her into the community where she uses her grief and healing and love for life and people to encourage and build up others, including me.

Misty has also done a lot of research on the power of flowers to make us feel better. She wrote a book about it appropriately called, Flower Power. There’s actually science and research behind this. Flowers cause our body to release oxytocin, the chemical that makes us feel good. There is a lot more to it than that, but it explains a lot.

In her talk she mentioned something about the divinity in flowers. I have thought about how God has given us beautiful things. Things weren’t created just for their practical use, but to be beautiful. Food doesn’t just sustain us, but it tastes good and looks beautiful. Flowers don’t just provide pollen for the bees to do their life giving work, but He made them beautiful and amazing in color and smell and design, and He made this chemical in our bodies to respond to this beauty to make us happy and feel better.

I went to a women’s event at Cornerstone church this weekend as well. When I sat down the conversation across from me was this woman talking about the flowers her husband gave her for Valentine’s day. She was beaming. It turns out he bought the flowers from me. She proceeded to show me all the pictures she took of her flowers and how the ribbon wrapped around them fell just perfectly and the flowers were so beautiful. This makes my heart soar, this beauty and joy.

Both of these events had a lot of similar themes, we are women after all, themes of fear and mom guilt but also of women loving and caring for each other, encouraging and building one another up. I am so blessed to be a part of this. In a world that sometimes seems too overwhelming with bad news, evil and sadness, my hope is renewed because there is, in reality, a lot of beauty still in the world.

In the broad sense, we have been given a world full of flowers from our King, our creator. In the smaller sense, I have been given flowers from my King. He has filled me with joy and lets me pass that joy to others, through flowers and through caring for and building up the other women in my life and they in turn do the same for me. My takeaway from the weekend and from a Youtube Video of Will Smith: surround yourself with people who fan your flame, people who encourage and build you up. And be one of those people for others. What’s paramount for me is that God has given me giftings and promptings and guides me. He promises me in Psalm 1 that if i do not take counsel from the wicked and I delight in His law and meditate on it day and night, I will be like a tree planted by streams of water thats leaves will not wither and all I do will prosper. :) 

Hannah Thompson
Priceless

I couldn’t be more excited about this new adventure in my life and my big launch into the community with my flower pop-up shop for Valentine’s Day at Fromagio Artisan Cheese, with my friend Lacey of Tiny Chef. I’ve had so much love and support from friends and family and other small business’. I am very thankful. This pop-up will be a fundraiser for Priceless Alaska, the anti-sex trafficking organization.

Why Priceless?

Last year I went on a baseball trip to Vegas with a bunch of rowdy 14 year old boys. I’ll be honest, Vegas is not my cup of tea.

One morning my husband and I paid a surprise visit to the hotel room that our son was sharing with a few of the other boys. Everyone soon realized that I had no sense of humor when it came to the hooker cards they had splayed all over the room and stuck to the walls and mirrors. I walked through the room gathering them up one by one, lecturing them about integrity and values and what kind of men do they want to be? Told them that I know that they thought it was funny and not a big deal but they should consider that these girls are someones sisters and daughters and mothers, embarrassing my unsuspecting son.

That night after the baseball games I stayed up all night researching the sex trafficking trade. I learned of a local ministry called Hookers for Jesus who had a ministry to help get those in the sex trade off the streets and safe. I learned about how the LVPD were having such a hard time finding the underaged, trafficked kids trapped in this industry. I learned about the high demand of 4 year old girls of a certain color. I learned a lot of things that I wish I could unlearn real fast. It all gave me nightmares for quite some time. I took all of this information and wrote a letter to the boys, so they could know. I explained to them that there are likely recruiters in their own high schools, and I don’t mean baseball recruiters.

After arriving back in Anchorage I wanted to do something proactive. I think I gave a little money to Hookers for Jesus and Priceless. I wanted to have some type of fundraiser but I just didn’t come up with anything.

And then came flowers. My business kind of happened over night with the idea to do some arrangements for Christmas and then the orders just kept coming in. I loved it and immediately started planning and reading and researching the flower business. If this could be successful I could give, like I’ve always wanted to give. I started to plan a pop-up flower shop for Valentines Day and I thought, this could be a bust. If i had left over flowers who could I bless with them, and I thought about Priceless and then I thought I could give some of the profits to Priceless.

So, that’s how the idea was born. I then invited Tiny Chef Confections to come on board and they were more than happy to support Priceless and then Fromagio gave us the opportunity to share their building. We are praying we can be successful and wildly generous!

Hannah Thompson