IT ALL STARTED with my love of the TV show Shark Tank. I saw a vibrant entrepreneur share her love of wood flowers and how she turned it into a million dollar business. As a woman, I was so impressed by her tenacity to not only make it as a successful businesswoman, but also loved the idea of flowers that lasted forever. I looked up that business and ordered a small arrangement for a friend. The arrangement I received was sad, overpriced, and months and months past the expected due date. I followed the story of that entrepreneur, Meagan Chapman, further and found that she had left the company to start a new one, where she would have 100% ownership and control. She had so many great ideas, marketing strategies, and grand visions, but was stifled in her former company. She wanted to see women bloom in their own businesses and focused more on distribution of the supplies needed to make your very own wood flower creations.
THAT'S WHEN I STARTED following her new company Sola Wood Flowers and was obsessed with learning more. I have always loved crafting, design, and art. I found an option on her website to order a monthly craft kit subscription. I was drowning in my other jobs and lost sight of doing things I really enjoyed. So, I decided to sign up and treat myself to a monthly creative outlet. I received my first craft and I was in awe over these beautifully-made forever wooden flowers. As many people do these days, I snapped a picture of my creation and posted it on social media. People went crazy over it. Someone offered to buy it! In my head I said, “Um, this is a decoration I made for my own house.” Then they offered me double what I paid, so I took it off my wall and delivered it the next day. That week, I got 10 more orders for the same thing. So in the fall of 2017, I ordered a bunch of flowers and made a few pieces to sell for my friends and family.
In 2001, I went on my very first mission trip to Romania. Since that time, I have been bringing friends and family back along with me to work with orphans and gypsies. Airfare is expensive! So one night, after I had been selling these crafts, I was laying in my bed and I knew that these flowers could get me to Romania. So, I started making more, running parties, having tables at fundraisers, and raised all of my money to take my children and I to Romania. I kept telling myself, I did not want to be a business and I definitely didn't want to do weddings. Well, God had other plans! I spoke often about my fundraising efforts on the Sola Facebook group and was contacted by a bride. She told me that she would love to support my Romania mission trip by hiring me to do her wedding. I was scared, but honest with her, that I would have to learn through the process. She was willing to let me try – I am so thankful for what she saw in me way back then. She wanted a cascade bouquet and had a huge bridal party - we did it! It was beautiful and so rewarding to see my work on her wedding day. But, here I was, still saying to myself, “I just want to get to Romania. I don't want to be a business and I don't want to do weddings.” I have found in my 38 years of life, that whenever we avoid leaving our comfort zones so fiercely, it's probably exactly what we should be doing. Here I was, getting order after order for weddings and home décor, so I decided that after my Romania trip, I'd just keep going. And I haven't stopped yet!
SO WHERE DID THE NAME “Cascade Queen” come from? Well, I saw a bride in the Facebook group telling her story of how her wedding date changed and her florist was no longer available. She had purchased and dyed hundreds of sola wood flowers, which her local florist was going to take and put into a cascade. But, here she was with many flowers and no greenery. So, an idea hit me. What if I made a shell of greenery and fillers for her to put in her flowers on her own? I offered it to her and my first cascade shell was sold. Then DIY bride after DIY bride starting buying my cascade shells. I was selling hundreds and could barely keep up with the demand. Then people started ordering fully completed cascades and I became dubbed as the “Cascade Queen.” It's been a crazy, fun, exciting journey – an adventure that I could have never dreamed up. My name is a household name now in the Sola world and I wake up amazed every morning. I went from a small Facebook group of about 65 of my friends and family, to having over 6,000 followers. I am so thankful for those who have opened their homes up to my creations and brides who have invited my handiwork into their most special of days. I am honored and blessed and so thankful for each and every one of you!
MY JOURNEY HAS CONTINUED
bigger and better things. It was March 2019 and my business was busier than ever. I knew I needed to be able to get a lot of flowers, with fast shipping times and amazing quality. In order for my business to remain successful, these three things were of utmost importance. I also always believe that building relationships is a key ingredient to building big successful businesses. When I was in search of a sola supplier, I knew I needed someone I trusted and clicked with - someone with integrity, along with business savvy. I found Luv Sola Flowers and knew they were good people who cared about their customers deeply.We talked daily of ideas and dreams and plans. Sultan and I realized that the other had what each of us lacked. Sultan is a master businessman, amazing marketer, and all around numbers guy. He pays such close
attention to detail and quality was the number one priority for him with his flowers. I lack business knowledge, but I connect
. I communicate. I bond with my customers and followers. I have a unique ability to build community, without competition. So, with business on one side and connection on the other, it seemed like we needed each other.
I HAD NO DOUBT THAT MY FUTURE WAS BRIGHT and I flew across the country from where I live in New Jersey out to Luv Sola Flowers in California. It is here that we realized that on our own, we had really great thriving businesses, but together we could be even better, stronger, more well-rounded. Things are going great! We love our customers and followers and are excited we can bring them more than we could when we were on our own. We are excited to see what our future holds as teammates /partners /world conquerors!