Issue 01 - New year, new resolutions? No rush
Welcome to the very first issue of our monthly newsletter! Once a month you will be receiving one of these letters in your virtual mail filled with columns, interviews and highlighting new products, collaborations and sharing discounts with all you lovely readers.
I'm just going with the flow on this project - if any of you have suggestions, ideas or just wanna share this newsletter with your friends - please do! This project is connected to our zine that launches twice a year and will discuss several topics on mental health, body positivity and celebrate women in their total awesomeness.
First up is a column about the New Year - how setting goals is almost crucial but taking time off can be more productive in the long-term. And who am I kidding? This newsletter was obviously meant for January but I've been a bit too lazy and vey busy in other departments - so here it is!
NEW YEAR by OUT LOUD Studio
A new year always gives the space to reminisce and think back at all the good that has passed and all you want to change in the year ahead of you. A reflection of how to shape your lifestyle towards perfection, although perfection doesn't exist.
I believe in goals though - in my life goals replace perfection and every year I think back at all the magic that happened and try to plan out all the magic that awaits me. January is 'supposed' to be a month where productivity starts flowing and all these big plans start taking shape, but to very honest I haven't been feeling any of this these last couple of weeks. I'm mainly tired from the holiday season, could definitely use a ray of sunshine and am just all-round kind of out of it. And you know what? I'm actually quite OK with that cause 2018 is still long enough to kick ass!
2017 was a badass year that I'm very proud of, our very first year as a brand. Getting collections ready, interviewing and collaborating with so many inspiring women and organising events has been such a blast. Obviously as the obsessive planner I am I set goals for 2018 - from new products, to a monthly newsletter, a new zine, events and several different collaborations. But the most important goal is to give myself some time-off without feeling guilty. Life is to be enjoyed and I'm definitely not going to be rushing through this year. YOU DO YOU xo
For our very first newsletter interview we had a little chat with Sapphire Bates from both The Flower Arranger and The Coven. Not only does she arrange the most gorgeous bouquets and flower installations - she also helps out other female entrepreneurs by creating a community and sharing all her knowledge through offering business related services and promoting the fact that running a business doesn't have to be lonely nor confusing.
How and when did you decide to begin The Flower Arranger and what was your background regarding flowers?
This is always a bit of a complicated answer because I never set out with a plan to become a florist, I had no interest in flowers or even gardening - zilch. I ended up working with flowers because I needed a job but I was bored of retail and I was struggling to find a ‘real job’ aka a career. I’d toyed around with fashion, media, sales, recruitment and none of it was floating my boat. I didn’t feel interested in any of them enough to commit to that being my career. I asked a friend of a friend of my mums if I could sweep the floor and hang out in her flower studio. I ended up really enjoying it and asked her if she would consider giving me a job and training me up (my first lesson in asking for what you want). Two and a half years later I was fully trained, had quit my job and set off to travel Asia.
I didn’t actually end up travelling that much, I found a town in Northern Thailand that I totally fell in love with and made friends. I stayed there for a while just soaking up life and having a good time. Eventually money started to run out and I ended up getting poorly and doing a short stint in hospital. This was scary and I knew I wanted to go home to my mama! During this time as my money depleted I was trying to decide what I was going to do with my life and getting in a RIGHT panic about it. I’ve always hated being told what to do, its the Aquarius in me… so the thought of getting another florist job and having to work for someone else just wasn’t an option.
Long story kind of short: my mum (a serial entrepreneur herself and all round amazing woman) convinced me to set up my own business. Between myself in an internet cafe in Thailand, my mum on her sofa in the UK and a lovely web designer also in the UK we built my website and I came up with The Flower Arranger. Have I waffled too much?!
I have no business background and starting a business definitely came about randomly but here I am just a few weeks away from The Flower Arranger’s second birthday.
What made you want to create The Coven alongside The Flower Arranger?
My favourite part of running The Flower Arranger much to everyone’s surprise is the actual business stuff that most creative business owners see as a chore. I’m obsessed with it and have spent long hours trying to soak up as much knowledge as I can.
Alongside this during my entrepreneurial journey (can I call it that? Is that an egotistical word? I’m sure you guys get it) I felt at times really, really lonely. Running a business can be so stress inducing and hard and annoyingly your friends and family don’t always understand that. I would always have to turn down Friday nights in the pub on the beers having fun in order to work on wedding flowers or get all of my quotes out. It sometimes felt like I didn’t have anyone to talk to who really got it.
So this September I went with my usual life motto of ‘fuck it, i’m just going to do it’ and launched The Coven - a space for powerful and creative business women. A space to cure that feeling of being alone and also offering you all of the mentoring, workshops, panel talks and lessons that you could possibly need to be the best business woman you could be.
What is your experience as being an entrepreneur and do you think that this particular experience is what made you want to help out other entrepreneurs?
I do think my experiences of running a business are what have ultimately led me to launch The Coven however I’ve definitely always loved the role of teacher anyway. I love to teach the things that I’ve learnt to others whatever that might be. Business, flowers, how change a tyre.. ANYTHING.
I’m on this tight rope of not really being sure if I believe in luck or not. I think you make your own luck yet at the same time I’m so aware of how enjoyable my entrepreneurial ride has been. Don’t get me wrong it has been fucking stressful at times and i’ve cried ALOT but it has been so fun. 50% of small businesses fail within the first two years (I hope that fact is still correct in 2018) and i just feel incredibly lucky that my journey has been one of happiness and success.
I love how you always seem to have a next plan. What can we expect from both The Flower Arranger and The Coven in 2018?
Ooo, I love a good plan! In fact on the wall behind my mac as I type this is lots of A4 sheets of paper with all of my 2018 plans for both businesses!
The Flower Arranger launches Essex’s first flower school in March which I’M SO EXCITED FOR. The studio is being refurbished at the moment and it just going to be such a fun experience for everyone who attends (and for me too!). I’m also jumping up and down with excitement about all of our weddings and events we have booked for 2018… some seriously cool brides and some seriously cool installations.
The Coven has SO MUCH COMING FOR YOU GUYS THIS YEAR. Memberships are set to launch in March/April time and that will coincide with the launch of our first campaign #businessbabe which is a series of workshops and panel talks all aimed at teach you lovely people more business skills.
I’m currently building the website and i’m hoping to have that ready for you end of January AND the newsletter has so many amazing interviews that I cant wait to share with you.
Basically i’m going to be VERY busy this year. Ha ha ha.
A massive thanks to Sapphire for taking part in our newsletter. Go check out both her Instagram accounts The Flower Arranger & The Coven and her Facebook group The Coven
TOGETHER IS BETTER MUGS
It took me ages to finally list these beauties on the website but wait no longer - SHOP NOW.
Thanks everyone for taking the time to read this very first issue of our monthly newsletter! Now you've got a taste of what the future holds and hopefully you will stick around to see where this new project brings us. OVER AND OUT!
LOVE from OUT LOUD Studio