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Conversations with the Inspiring Sarah Francis

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sarah Francis.

Sarah, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’ve always had a passion for flowers and creating beauty around me. My mom was an artist during college, and perhaps I inherited my love for art through her. To me, floristry is a type of art and something I take great joy in.

I began doing flowers back in college and the years after, first for friends and family, for various weddings, showers, events, or just for fun. The business side of florist began for me this past May- which was an exciting and scary step for me! So far, it has been an amazing experience, and my past five years working in administration and event planning has greatly helped the planning process with brides and various events. Also, having gotten married almost three years ago has given me perspective as a bride and all that day entails! I wanted to make that process as easy for the bride and provide everything they need.

The name of my business, Wildwood Floral, reflects the style of floristry I love- something a little bit wild, similar to the natural beauty we see in the world around us.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
My business is just starting off, but even still I have faced a few things already. I think one of the biggest challenges has been not comparing yourself to others and where they are on their journey. Especially with the advent of social media and online images, it’s so hard to feel like you’ll ever create something as beautiful as you can find online. But you can’t compare yourself to others and you have to focus on your own growth, otherwise, your business loses all enjoyment. This is something I’m still working through, and it applies to all of life. We cannot celebrate others and enjoy where we are if we are striving to compete or be perfect.

Another interesting thing I’ve encountered it not only showcasing my services and flowers but also bringing knowledge and education to others. The flower business can be greatly underestimated, the time and work and cost that goes into purchasing, processing, and creating florals. It can be hard at times to truly realize what your work is worth, which I think every new business faces. There is a sense in which you must earn the ability to work as a professional, and sometimes it takes lots of time and patience to get to the place where others can also believe in you. But you must believe and trust in yourself- that if it is your passion and your talent, it may not always be easy, but it will energize and inspire you!

What should we know about Wildwood Floral? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
My work is floristry. It is anything from created bouquets, boutonnieres, arrangements, installations, and arches for weddings and events. It also includes consulting about florals for events and weddings.

I believe my business stands out as I seek to provide flowers that are both pristine in quality, but also affordable in price. I also seek to run my business in a very organized and personable way, so that the client feels confident that their vision will get delivered down to their exact specifications, while also reflecting the beauty that art provides.

Who do you look up to? How have they inspired you?
Growing up, I have also been inspired by women who face all odds, often alone, for that they believed in. I remember reading biographies about women such as Amy Carmichael and Gladys Alaward. These women, because of their faith in God, traveled to far away countries to spread their faith and take care of many in dire situations, running orphanages and saving children who had been abandoned or neglected. I grew up wanting to be a woman who made a change in the world around her, who truly cared for others.

I also have been inspired by women in my life, who have faced adversity and come out even stronger and softer to others through it. One such friend experienced a life-changing car wreck that put her mother in a coma for months. The doctors though her mother would never make it. After many prayers, she woke up several weeks later. Although she had lived and remained herself, she had to relearn to walk, speak, and eat. I have watched my friend struggle through this with her family, where her mother lived, yet her old life and abilities died in many ways. They recently moved to Spain, where her mother and their family are impacting people with their faith. Because of her story, she is able to take the time to sit down and encourage and meet with many women. Another friend that has inspired me is my sister-in-law. I watched her go through two miscarriages and incredible pain. Despite all this, her faith and relationship with God did not waver, in fact, it grew! She has been an advocate to women also going through similar things, to not be afraid to speak out with your pain. She has researched many different natural ways of helping your body recover and even became and ADAPT health coach. She is now expecting her baby girl in the early spring.

These women have faced incredible things yet persevered.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Madison Olling Studio- personal photo
Floral bouquets- David and Belen Rose Photography
Close up pink bouquet- Madison Olling Studio
Arch- Mackenzie Kelly

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