In this Weddings on the Mind blog, we chat with founder of Leafy Couture and all-round amazing lady, florist and businesswoman, Sarah Richardson.
How does nature help emotional wellbeing?
Nature is a great force to help me maintain my emotional health. I’m lucky to have chosen a profession that means I get to work with natural beauty daily and I try to work mindfully with the flowers, taking the time to really look at them, smell them and the way they make you feel. I love the effect flowers have on people and how they transform a space, whether it’s a bud vase at home with a single hydrangea or a whole marquee of blooms. I usually take a bucket of blooms home after a wedding so I can have my own play and creative time; not working for a client just playing. I love this time and it’s my moment of calm.
What mindful activities work for you?
I find a walk always clears my head. I have dabbled in running but the pace of a walk is more me. I like forests, the sea is always a delight but we live near a forest and I’m always calm there. I also enjoy cooking, the constant chopping of veg or a salad – something easy and repetitive but something that will nourish me is good for my wellbeing.
What’s your perception of wellbeing in the wedding industry and how do you prioritise wellbeing?
The wedding industry is a wonderful place to work but comes with its own stresses. I find setting clear times of when we work help. I made the decision a while back to not see clients on an evening or Sunday as that works for my family.
Restricting time on social media can be good to keep yourself sane! Use it wisely and with purpose, as a connection and business tool. We are all too often available in so many ways – phone, email, messages, social media – so you need to set the tone for when you are available. Your clients need to know and understand your boundaries.
We set out how we work in a wedding guide that we send to all our prospective clients, that way we cut down on wasted email time and also expectations on pricing, appointments and our processes are all laid out.
I have regular meetings with my team and set work days to make sure we are trying to lead a balanced life. I am a firm believer in integrating work and life so that you don’t feel guilty doing one or the other. My team is small and tight. I have always felt people should be encouraged to follow their passions so I try to encourage that where I can. We use a Google calendar to plan so we all know what is happening and feel in control.
What top tips do you have for wellbeing?
Make sure you have time for you, whatever makes your heart sing, your head clear and you feel good. Pilates has been great for me, calm time and body health. Having a good support network is invaluable. I have purposefully set up a network of florists in Yorkshire that can network, chat and refer work to each other. I have found lots of people who work alone benefit from back up.
How did you handle business life in lockdown?
Lockdown was hard as I am used to being a social bunny but it was good for re-evaluating what I want to do in life moving forward, and to have the space to plan. We grew the retail and postal side of the business which brought new challenges and reached new clients.
We also launched our Leafy Couture Business Club…..
Leafy Couture Business Club
A 9-week course where we delve into your business workings and share our knowledge and tips along the way. This is suitable for creative business owners who are open minded and ready to spend time on developing their own business. The weeks will comprise of:
Unit One: FOCUS
This week we will focus on ‘Who am I?’
Looking at your brand, branding and mood boards. Delving into your company values and all things ‘YOU!”
Unit Two: BUILD
This week we will discussing ‘The bones of the business’
Looking at the ‘back of house’ workings of your business. We will take time to look at the processes you have in place. This includes costing, pricing, spreadsheet software etc.
Unit Three: GROW
This week we will touch upon:
- How to find clients
- Types of revenue Streams
Unit Four: BLOOM
This week is all about finding your tribe and building your community!