• Buddies,  house stuff!

    We’re in the Thick of It!

    susans-house

    Last Wednesday, I flew into Sacramento to stay with my good friend and fairy godmother, Susan, for a week in Grass Valley. She’s hired me to help *organize* her house with her. Yay!

    I love to tidy. It’s an obsession. I drive people around me crazy with my ability to hyper-focus for days on end. I don’t relax until the task is done and it can be hard for others and my body! I absolutely love The Home Edit  (RIP my Netflix subscription, sniff).

    fall-at-susans

    So Susan and I set an intention to reorganize her beautifully eclectic home and have a good time while we do it! How is it going? Well, I’ll get to that.

    friends-forever

    It’s a good thing Susan and I are such good life-long friends because we are in the THICK OF IT.

    getting-down-to-business

    Stuff, stuff, stuff and more stuff. We’ve even opted to skip our usual outings to fun restaurants and thriftstore shopping because WE ARE FOCUSED. Okay, I lie. We hit five thrift stores really quick on one day when we dropped off a full load of donations but other than that we are staying home and working our little squirrel hearts out.

    working-working-working

    Everything always looks worse before it gets better.

    in-the-thick-of-it

    We’ve been having a good time as we go. Lots of jokes and spontaneous dance parties to 80’s music to keep our energy up.

    I’m just worried one week isn’t really enough time to get everything done. It’s going to break my heart to leave without everything perfect. But such is life, right? Not everything can be perfect. Wabi Sabi.

    fall-showed-up

    Sigh.

    But I do miss Bug and the Zoo. There is so much on the horizon for me to worry about (Where am I going to move to??? and when???). I’m starting training for a new career next Monday and I haven’t even told you about Homecoming, the school night concert, or the night Bug and I fooled around in Ikea just for photos.

    Stay tuned!

  • Shop Talk,  The Flower Business

    News from the Baby Flower Shop

    RRF-first-delivery

    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-the-delivery-dog

    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.

    homecoming-season

    I delivered a homecoming corsage wristlet and a boutonniere.

    erika-bouquet

    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.

    rasta-rita-flower-shop

    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.

    floral-supply

    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.

    ecology-center

    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.

    ahba

    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.

    sunset-in-south-laguna

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

    feeling-like-halloween

    In other news, Halloween season is here!

    dawn-at-the-lake

    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