being a beginner

Sometimes things happen right at the precise moment you need them to. After a particularly difficult week, I serendipitously came across this today:

Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.
— Ira Glass

via joy thigpen via melinda josie via nouvea romantics (who I love!)

I needed to hear that today. I needed to read it. 

I was definitely m.i.a. on the blog this week, feeling a bit down after getting some bad news about the shop hunt and facing a few setbacks, deeply missing a dear friend, and just generally feeling discouraged. 

This coming week looks a bit brighter, with lots of exciting projects and collaborations in the works, more blogging and the website... soon!

RIP Tanya. You are always with me, this week no different than any other. I wish you were here to be sharing this journey with me. Missing you.


delivered this week: fresh with ferns

This  arrangement was full of asaragus fern and bupleurum, giving it that really wild, but fresh look. Peachy pink garden roses, local red and fuschia anemones grown in greenhouses, and hot pink ranunculus imported from Italy


from tub to table

An impromptu arrangement that had to be made away from the studio, required the use of the tub for a night. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do! (Thanks SG for letting me turn the bathroom into my sweet woodruff studio for the evening)


the shop hunt: day 1

So, it's begun! The hunt for the perfect shop. I am excited and overwhelmed. Weighing some options tonight (location, price, storefront, pedestrian traffic, competition locations, interior details, timelines)

Shared some shots from day 1. What do you think?

More to come friends... Out again tomorrow. Yay! Can't wait



2011. Whoa what a year.

If I had asked myself, one year ago to this very day “what will you be doing in a year from now?” I’m pretty sure blogging about my very own floral business wouldn’t have been my answer. And here I am, blogging away!

This past year has been a blur. I sometimes don’t even feel like this is my life, I feel like how can this life belong to me?! To wake up to this job, to sweet woodruff has made me happy in a way I didn’t know I could be.

But it hasn't been all a bed of roses (haha flower pun, god you are so dorky) there have been bumps and struggles too. Mine, the same as any other fledgling business: not enough money, not enough time, some rookie mistakes, social life obliterated, how do I use this twitter thing?, and really not enough time, seriously not enough time. But all worth it. My best friend asked me the other day, have you had any moments of regret? Not even a twinge.

So 2011 has left me hopeful and very happy to say the least. But if I’m being very honest, it has also left me wantful. Oh, I am in such a place of want. I want so many big things for sweet woodruff!

My biggest want, is something I fantasize about daily, think about constantly, it keeps me excited and awake at night, it drives me: to finally open up a shop. A little place to call my own, a place for Sweet Woodruff to grow in. I honestly think about it so much, I can tell you what it will smell like! (beautiful and sweet, but a bit woodsy too) So the hunt continues for the perfect plot in the city.

Other wants for this year include some that are less tangible, some lofty, some less, some meaningful, some less.

In 2012 I want to
Take more pictures (and have more pictures taken)
Be inspired.
Keep learning (New York Flower School in February, here I come!!! Thanks P&G!!!)
Have a voice. Put myself out there. Be bold, don’t hold back.
Sleep earlier.
Finally get the website up!!!
Keep grounded and patient.
Waste less floral foam. Waste less everything really.
Keep loving big and hard and without reservations or fear.
Be brave.
Probably eat less sweets. Scratch that.
Be ambitious, but humble.
Blog more. 
Learn to tweet (ughhh)
Be proud. 
Probably hire someone to help with the numbers.
Be grateful and empathetic. 
Just keep going.

Thanks to all of you who kept visiting the blog, ordering beautiful flowers and spreading the word in 2011, you made it a pretty amazing year. To my brides of 2012, you have no idea - I'm so excited! I can't wait! To my future customers that I have even yet to meet, I can't wait to hear from you too!

I think 2012 will be pretty cool. Stay tuned.

Lise xo 


a month in review: december

Well December has come and gone and it certainly was a whirlwind! Since I was terrible at keeping up with the blog, I thought I’d give you a month in review: a quick glance at what I got up to with Sweet Woodruff in December. 

For the most part it was peonies, hellebores, ranunculus, and cedar… lots and lots of cedar. It was ‘thank you’ Frosty Ferns and Goldcrest Cypress trees. It was decorating homes and arranging lots of centerpieces. It was ribbon and tape and a little bit of shopping. It was orders for friends and family and new customers (so nice to meet you!) It was events and d├ęcor for parties. It was lots of driving and trips out the market. It was Christmas up north with both mine and SG's families. It was eggnog and cookies and 3 turkey dinners. Then finally it was a toast at midnight and a kiss to end the month and the year!