So Many Exciting Things!
Psssst….Psssst! WE’VE BEEN NOMINATED FOR AN INDIE AWARD!!! Yep, Esscents of Flowers has been nominated for the Innovative Newcomer category at the 11th Annual Oakland Indie Awards. The awards ceremony will be held at the Oakland Museum of CA on May 18th. Regardless of the outcome, you are more than welcome to come celebrate with us and support other small business rockstars, from 5:30pm - 9:30pm. You can purchase tickets using the link above.
Ready for more??? YES!!! Esscents of Flowers turned one and is officially a LLC! I received all the papers last month and when that package came in the mail… I had so many emotions. It was similar to when I first decided to start on this journey a little over a year ago. It’s a certain kind of commitment where everything isn't quite clear, a bit terrifying, but you want more. Yeahhhh, that's zone where I often reside. Whenever it get's a little uneasy, I’m reminded of this quote by the legendary Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Faith is taking the first step even when you can't see the whole staircase.” And so, we must continue!
The start of the year has been a bit challenging as the weather has not been particularly conducive to being outside, but we’ve started testing out other markets this year. We have popped up at the Jack of All Trades and the Treasure Island Flea Market. While we haven't seen a huge boost in sales while popping up at these markets, the brand awareness has definitely taken off. There’s been a few opportunities to provide flowers for upcoming weddings and baby showers, so I won’t complain. Of course, we will resume popping up in the Laurel District in front of The Laurel Cyclery! They have been extremely gracious to us and I could not let this moment pass without acknowledging them. Also, please look for us as we will begin to pop-up in front of Super Juiced on select Saturdays. Check the website for dates.
If you haven't had the opportunity to read these articles, I ask that you dedicate 10 minutes max to enjoy them both. I had the honor of being featured in a couple articles over the past month and I would love to share them with you. The first article was written by the incredible Rani Langer-Croager, co-founder of Uptima Business Bootcamp. I'll simply state this and leave it alone - if you have an idea, toying with it becoming a business AND you don't look at this program, you are doing yourself a huge disservice. The second article was written by Chisom Oraedu for the Peninsula Press, a project of Stanford Journalism. Chisom reached out to me asking if it was possible to hear how Esscents of Flowers was created and the plans I had moving forward. We had several great phone conversations and she turned it into a wonderful read. With that introduction, here you are -
You know I couldn't get out of here without addressing Mother’s Day. Well, May 14th is quickly approaching and flowers are an absolute must. We are working with Piikup to deliver a fresh, full bouquet to the special mother(s) in your life. The exciting part, for me at least, is that you can order directly from the website :) Here's the link for your convenience - Mother’s Day Delivery. The ordering process is painless and you can pay with either PayPal or your credit/debit card. Just please make sure you plan on having the flowers delivered to the following cities: Oakland, Emeryville, Alameda, Berkeley, San Leandro and Richmond and select delivery times between 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm.
As promised, the last newsletter I asked for you to submit stories on your personal connection to flowers as I would love to feature them in the upcoming newsletters. Well, here is the story I chose for this month-
"Flowers are relatively inexpensive bright spots for me that provide an appreciation of learning and life. I didn't grow-up learning the names of flowers, and --as far as I could tell-- they were items that only rich folks (which my family and I were not) could afford, so I really paid no attention to them. When I got older, though, and started receiving flowers as gifts, and could afford to buy flowers for myself, the names seemed to make a difference. In learning the names, I feel validated; it's as if a puzzle pieces get placed; there are a fewer things I don't know. Flowers represent life, too. When I buy a couple of bunches of mums, I'm buying a pretty treat, but I'm bringing beautiful, living things into my space that remind me to breathe and grow, and long after the flowers have died (mums, anyway), they're still beautiful, and they're still teaching me: there's a cycle to everything. One last thing: Buying flowers helps curb my junk food intake. When I want a pick-me-up, I'm prone to buying sugary snacks, especially if I only have a few bucks on me. If I catch myself quickly enough, I back away from the snacks, put on some shoes, trot to the farmers market or other flower distribution spot, and buy a bunch of flowers. I get to treat myself without rotting my teeth or making myself sick."
You can have your experience with flowers highlighted as well. Please click this link to submit your story.
As always, thank you for riding this out with us.
Love and Peace,
Esscents of Flowers, Ariana Marbley