• BIG news,  Shop Talk,  The Flower Business

    A Wee Update


    Yes! I have news! Sorry to leave you hanging in my last post.

    First of all, the flower business is going strong. I’m averaging 2 to 3 bouquets a week, which is really all I can handle because my business is based in San Clemente, and I still live in Irvine, which is a 30-minute drive. I do plan to move to San Clemente but I’m locked into my lease here in Irvine until April. I’ve been trying to find someone to take over my lease but that is not really going anywhere. So it’s good that I can learn the ropes, establish my reputation as a florist and keep things kinda slow until I can make the big move, AND OPEN UP A REAL FLOWER SHOP!!  I’m so excited. Baby steps though.


    The Big NEWS is I’m going back to school for another completely new career. It was early days last time I blogged, so I was afraid to mention it too soon. I’m studying to be a behavioral therapist for autistic children. Plot twist, I know! But it’s something that has interested me for a long time, and when I put the word “creative” on a job board, it came up! Who knew? It turns out that being creative is a highly sought-after trait when it comes to being an effective behavioral therapist. It’s a really new field for me, with lots of *science* and data collection and a whole new dictionary of jargon, BUT I am loving it so far. I love learning, and this job is paying to train me. I’m going to school (online) and getting paid, and I love it. The classes are long, though, and if I don’t watch my schedule, I can get stuck watching videos and taking tests long after my bedtime, so it’s lots of coffee for me and drawing while taking notes to keep me alert and paying attention.


    In other news, I’ve set up a fundraiser to get Florita some brakes. As you know, this is the little Cushman one-wheeled truck I’m hopefully converting into a little flower shop truck. Unfortunately, she’s just sitting in the Rasta Rita parking lot, rotting right now because she has no brakes, and no one knows how to get her to a mechanic to get her fixed. Mario has put it in my court. He’s done paying for things.  I’ve got no funds for tow trucks or mechanics. I’m barely paying my rent. So I thought I’d make some t-shirts and sell them here, and maybe you guys would like a cool pink t-shirt with my logo on it and help the cause! A few of you have already helped me behind the scenes. (THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!) I am continually amazed at how my friends (the readers of this blog) send love and funds for coffee and even money to get this flower shop up and going! Hopefully, I can return all the love with more regular writing, cool t-shirts, stickers, and who knows what else. I want to create more t-shirt designs, maybe some fun mermaids with flowers…but I thought I should make a classic one first. I’ve also bought one myself that I’m going to model and switch out for that Dad Bod picture ASAP. If you buy one and take a cute photo of yourself, send it to me!!!

    I need all the good hype I can get.  Please pass it on to your friend. Let’s make Rasta Rita Flowers a really cool place that people will want to visit when they are in town! You know it’s going to be that bookshop/antique store/thrift shop/art gallery/flower shop/coffee shop/sticker store/cat hangout/plant-lover vibe. I’m so excited.



  • Shop Talk,  The Flower Business

    News from the Baby Flower Shop


    Things are rocking and rolling here at Rasta Rita Flowers. Despite having no real shop or place to make my bouquets other than my own kitchen sink, I am doing about three or four deliveries a week. It’s been very exciting. I have so much to learn.


    Cody came with me on my first delivery, and while he’s super cute and helpful, I’m afraid my first bouquet might have had a few long Golden Retriever hairs delivered with it. Nobody left a bad review or complained, but I think I need to be more careful in the future. Often, when I take Cody with me in the car (his favorite thing ever), I roll the windows down, and his long golden hair flies all over the place like he’s Linus with his personal dust cloud. Oh, Golden Retrievers… if you know, you know.


    I delivered a homecoming corsage wristlet and a boutonniere.


    I also delivered a Twentieth Anniversary bouquet to my good friend whom I did the flowers for twenty years ago! Isn’t it cool that here I am doing flowers again after twenty years, just in time to send the bride a remix of her bridal bouquet? It was a blast. I put peppers in it because I know her, and she’s always up for something fun and different. Bug said I must tone down my Rasta Rita aesthetic, but I disagree. I want people to hire me because I put crazy combinations together, and everything is bright and colorful. But I do have a bereavement bouquet coming up on Monday, so we’ll see how Rasta Rita toned down will look.

    Side note: I got so tired of wrestling my big pink wooden headboard back and forth between my bedroom and dining room for flower photos I decided to hang it on the wall in the dining room instead!  Then my bed looked naked, so I hung a tapestry behind it, dorm-room-style. I think it works great, especially since I have no idea whether or not I will be moving in a month. Everything is up in the air.


    Here is my future shop space. I mocked up a rough idea of my thinking, but I’m not 100% on it yet. I need my dad’s help to come up with a functional workspace that also looks cute. The city rules say I can’t pass the property line, where you see the brick letters spelling “real estate.” (You have to look hard to see them.) I’m thinking of an expanding awning, and then everything wheels back in, past that line when I’m not “open.”  I won’t be open every day since I don’t live in this town (yet), and it’s a bit of a drive for me, but at some point, I could be. I also need to think about refrigeration and somewhere theft-proof to work with my laptop out of the sun, but those puzzles will come in time. For now, it’s baby step by baby step.


    Speaking of baby steps, I’ve finally gotten around to getting my resale license. It was a super cinch. I don’t know why I put it off so long. Probably because back in the day, it required putting an ad in the paper, going down to the courthouse, paying a fee, and then waiting for the paperwork to process. Now, you can get one in minutes online. It’s so weird. Of course, that also means I now have to keep track of taxes and have proper profit and loss statements, which is a real drag for me and my non-existent bookkeeping skills, but I’m promising myself I’m going to be much better at keeping track of everything this time around. The last time I was in “the flower biz,” I was a mess of receipts, and taxes confounded me.

    Getting into wholesale markets can be extremely fun. Not for buying things (see above note about keeping track and taxes) but just seeing the behind-the-scenes of where everything comes from.  I had to buy brown ribbon for my homecoming corsage, and when I went to the local fabric store, they only had two shades: beige and goldish brown—no normal chocolate brown ribbon. When I hit up the floral supply store with my resale license, there was a section of about fifty different browns!

    That pretty much wraps up my flower shop update.


    On the way back from a delivery, I did some recon at The Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano. They have the best wild and crazy bouquets. They also have excellent dried flowers. I really want to up my game when it comes to dried flowers. I’ve seen some amazing bouquets on Pinterest. If I’m going to be doing events in the heat of the desert in Joshua Tree, where my boss’s venue is, I need to have a strategy to combat 104-degree heat and lack of humidity, a natural enemy of fresh flowers. I also need to get a new car. My car is 17 years old and breaking at every plastic point, but I’m getting a little ahead of myself.


    There are a lot of things to worry about when you are starting a new business with no capital. Bug and I have significantly cut down on the little things, like going out to eat and treating ourselves to lattes and pastries… But last Sunday, we broke down and had dinner in a little cafe in South Laguna. I have raised my own perfect dinner companion. We like the same places. We like the same treats. We like to spend money, and it is disastrous. But she’s also my best pal and sounding board. She is rooting for my little business. I know at some point, I can count on her to help. She’s already a great source of advice. I can’t believe I am so lucky. I want to be careful that my dreams don’t steamroll her dreams.


    We walked around Laguna and visited a local community garden until dark. It was lovely. A break that I needed.


    In other news, Halloween season is here!


    The days are so much darker. I’m glad I not racing the sun like I used to. Remember when I was doing craft photoshoots daily and trying to get everything shot in before my natural light disappeared? I don’t do that anymore. My life has evolved. I miss it sometimes. I gave away 80% of my crafts, and my closet has much more room. But now I’m filling it with dried flowers and floral supplies. I’m trying to streamline so that moving won’t be a huge hassle, but you know how that goes.

    Until next time, pretty people! Thank you for cheering me along. It’s really helped!

Secret Agent Josephine
Creative Agency
© Brenda Ponnay