Last April I took a leap of faith and gave myself a new title: Ami Reist, Florist.
It all started as a New Year’s resolution. I wanted to take some classes, learn a new craft, and do something that I enjoyed. After looking through the local community college’s class catalog and seeing Floristry classes offered, I signed up immediately. It was only a few weeks later and I had not only completed the necessary classes to receive my florist certification, but I had also traveled to Philadelphia, Trenton, and Gettysburg to take more classes. I had even helped a few loving and gracious florists create bridal flowers and set up weddings.
I distinctly remember asking my professor, “So, if I wanted to become a florist professionally, how would I go about it?”
Her response, “Either you make flower arrangements that people like and they buy or you don’t and no one buys anything. That’s how you can tell if you’ve got the potential to be a florist or not.”
My next thought was, “I need to sell some flowers.”
Fast forward two more weeks and I had ordered flowers from a wholesaler, planted cutting gardens of my own, put together dozens of flower arrangements for no reason at all, and set up a stand at the Salisbury Festival. I did not sell out of flowers during the festival, but I did have an immensely enjoyable time selling flowers. That night, I went home and started transitioning Little Miss Lovely Vintage (my up-cycled wedding dress hobby and bridal blog) into just Little Miss Lovely (my soon-to-be-floristry and decorating business).
I entered college as a Nursing major, switched my focus to Fine Art, and then graduated as a Communication major with a degree in Broadcast, minor in Women’s Studies. I spent the next four years in office environments working for decent-sized corporations on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Where did floristry fit into that sequence? Specializing in web writing, online marketing, content creation, and design was pretty cool - but I was more than ready to “claim my freedom” from the 9-to-5 and take my creativity to a new level.
During April 2013, I resigned from my office job. It was one of the best choices I have ever made. Leading up to my resignation, I daydreamed about flowers, bouquets, weddings, even teared up thinking about seeing my flowers in a bride’s hands as she walked down an aisle to her charming new husband. I thought about all of the tricks, tips, and skills my flower-loving family members have shared with me throughout the years. It had all made sense. The only question left to answer in my mind was, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?”
The experiences I have gone through during my first year of business can only be described as “life-changing”. Never would I have ever thought that I would be working for myself, making a living doing something I love and working with individuals who are so supportive. I work with beautiful specimens every single day and get to share my creations and these beautiful flowers with individuals who I know will enjoy them.
I am so thrilled to be chasing my dreams and am honored to share the product with you.
I’ve just booked my 38th wedding for the year. I have put together more than 600 flower arrangements during 2014 (and it is only April!). I own an LLC and have a trademarked logo. Never would I ever imagined this would have been possible within my first year of holding the title “Florist”.
I am excited to see where this next year takes me, who I will meet, what new ideas I will envision, and who’s lives will be touched by a few flowers tucked into a vase. I am beyond grateful for your support and encouragement and always will be.
Thank you for choosing Little Miss Lovely as your local florist. You’re so lovely.
p.s. My 2014 New Year's resolution was to start and get really good at yoga. Lets see where this one takes me...