I kid you not, the months all seem to fuse together, especially now that I’m keeping a running newsletter chronicling my journey of building Esscents of Flowers. Let’s just jump into it, shall we-
Over the past month, I faced some challenges with securing my regular pop-up location. I was at a point where I was scrambling trying to find a new location because I could no longer count on where I was popping up for the past several months. To be quite honest, as if I haven't been since the beginning :), this sudden change of events shook me to where I started to doubt the existence of the business. The reason I say that is because for months prior to popping up, I invested so much time into researching the market in the Laurel. I called, followed people in parking lots (no judgement okay…) and so on. The need for access to fresh flowers was there and I was going to be the one to provide it. But, even with all that, in one swoop, it was seemingly gone. What was I going to do now??? I was going to have to start from square one. The entire time I spent building a customer base, everyone now coming to the aLaurel asking for fresh flowers because of me…gone.
Funny how, at least in my mind, I counted myself out. Thought, “Well, that was a fun ride.” I went through this for a few days and then decided to get out of my feelings. I moved from this funk and into action. I needed a couple days too see the value that Esscents of Flowers added to not only my life, but those that purchased flowers from me on a regular basis. I’ll spare you the details, except for one very important one. I was able to connect with a fabulous human being and business to host Esscents of Flowers on a regular basis. So, in case you haven’t heard, Esscents of Flowers will be popping up in front or inside of (weather dependent), The Laurel Cyclery, located at 3715 MacArthur Blvd. every 1st, 3rd and sometimes 5th Saturday! Literally, ten feet away from where I once was. Come check me out and do some browsing while you're a it! Also, be on the lookout on Esscents of Flowers website for additional pop-up locations.
The job training pilot is still in full effect! With the willingness of my niece, I am much closer to envisioning how I want this program to look. She’s been learning quite a bit and has also been experiencing a level of growth and maturity. Being out in front of everyone, with no where to hide, she’s had to step outside of her comfort zone and converse with her customers. I’m hoping this will start the process of building the necessary job, communication, etc. skills needed as she progresses in life. This is exactly what the program is intended to do. The objective of this job training program is to provide basic job skills to young ladies who reside in Oakland. As you can probably tell, staying rooted in Oakland is extremely important to me. I know she’s not going to like this, but thank you Za’Ryah for being a great student as well as an amazing teacher :)
Last, but definitely not least, I have been needing to grow the events side of the business. I now know how to run a successful pop-up shop, and with that I realized that I needed to place more focus on acting as a vendor for events. With the holiday season coming up and wedding dates being set for the next couple of years, I needed to tap more into this market. I realized I needed to spend a little bit of money in order to do this. So, I signed up to be a member a of a couple black business owner directory websites, BAOBOB and Bay Area Black Market. I also decided to splurge just a tad on Facebook Ads. I would also like to ask you, yes you, to pass my name along. If you know of anyone needing beautiful floral arrangements for any event, please send them to our contact page on the website. Thank you!
There you have it good people! In closing, I just want to say Keep Pushing, the journey is worth it!
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Love and peace,
Ariana Marbley, Esscents of Flowers