What is your business?
We own the Bloom Workshop, a business that equips creatives in business with the tools they need to run successful businesses. Bloom works in a variety of ways, offering teachable skill sets, one-on-one consulting, 1/2 day to two day workshops. Our goal is to help define brands with the knowledge of time tested strategies, insider knowledge that comes with time and experience and extended encouragement and support along the way.
While we love offering specialties like calligraphy and floral classes, the center of our teaching circles around blogging, social media, photography and design and how all of those things work together to help achieve your most successful business.
What is your favorite quote ever, and why?
“Don’t dream for it harder than you work for it.” -Mark Cuban. We love this quote because it is SO true. Our generation tends to feel very entitled and like success should come with the snap of a finger.
Many people will tell you that passion alone is all you need to achieve your definition of success. We simply know that this isn’t true and that work– really, really hard work– is what it takes to make those dreams become a reality. If you want your passions to come to fruition it is going to take far more real work than any dream in your heart. Starting with a dream and running hard after it is the key!
If you could go back and tell yourself one thing at the beginning of your journey, what would it be?
If we could go back and tell ourselves something before we started Bloom, I think it would be reminding ourselves that we aren’t perfect, we can’t do it all and that is okay. Owning a business requires giving yourself grace. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and compare ourselves and workshop to others, so remembering to fix our eyes on our own work and goals is so important. Using our gifts to propel other business women forward in their own creative journey is all that matters!
If you could say one thing to an entrepreneur who is struggling to find their way, what would it be?
We would tell them to keep at it. Succeeding in such a saturated, creative industry doesn’t happen over night! Our best practical advice is to start a blog, as it builds credibility and will help your SEO. Be active on social media, invest in creating your consistent brand, and work on getting really good at what you do! Network, network, network!
How do you stay creative while managing a business?
We are forced to stay creative! With the nature of our workshops, we’re constantly planning styled inspiration shoots, so we are constantly dreaming up new, creative ideas to implement at those stylized shoots. Staying creative is something that we always try to do by traveling, trying our hand at other creative skills, reading real, tangible magazines, and always keep learning about our field. Taking time off to spend with family and friends is also a great way to stay inspired!
When you are in a rut, where is your favorite place to go for inspiration?
I (Michaela) love losing myself in a glossy print magazine. Because I’m an interior designer as well as a cofounder of Bloom, I usually pick up House Beautiful or Elle Decor. Getting out of my house and working at a coffee shop for the day is also a great way to get out of your rut.
MICHAELA & ASHLEY’S 5 FAVORITE THINGS
First, we love to start our mornings with a hot drink. Michaela loves tea and Ashley loves coffee. Second, we also are both very devoted to our families, friends, church and communities. After all, the reason we work so hard is so that we can spend joyful and purposeful time with the people we love the most. Next, we both are a little obsessed with Instagram, we love being able to stay social and keep up with everyone! A fourth favorite are all the women we have met along the way– both those who have been vendors and artists for a workshop, or our attendees. We wish we could scoop every single one up for a big group hug and we absolutely lose our minds with excitement when a past attendee launches their business, gets a photoshoot in publication or books their first luxury client. Cheering on these gals has given us so much purpose! Finally, though neither of us our florists, we could never get enough of all the pretty flowers in the world. Peonies, hellebores, ranunculus, hydrangeas and jasmine are among our favorites.
What is the hardest part about being an entrepreneur?
The hardest part about running our own business and being entrepreneurs is managing our time– giving our personal clients the time and attention they deserve (Ashley is a photographer and Michaela is an interior designer!), while still dedicating intentional time to running Bloom well. We have found setting business hours for ourselves, so we can still spend time with our families and stay plugged in to finding and creating joy, works best for us so we don’t burn out on business. Of course, this is always a juggling act and seems to always be the area we are working to improve at any given time.
ABOUT MICHAELA & ASHLEY
Ashley: I grew up in south Atlanta and thus has a proclivity towards all things southern (sweet tea, gigantic magnolia blooms, monograms, huge front porches and shrimp + grits). I moved to Michigan with my family in 2006 and continued my education in pre-med/music. After meeting, falling in love with and marrying my now husband in 2010 we traveled around the country for his job. During this time, I met Michaela in California and the idea for Bloom was planted (get it…Bloom…planted?!) My husband and I moved to make Michigan our permanent home and had our first son, Caleb, in 2013. While on a trip to visit my new baby, Michaela met her now fiance and has since moved to Michigan. As soon as she moved, we launched Bloom officially in 2014.
Since then we have hosted over 15 events and I have welcomed a second little boy, Elias, into the family in summer of 2015. My number one passion is wedding photography — I love documenting love stories — on top of the work I do with Bloom!
Michaela: After growing up in California and attending Seattle Pacific University to obtain my degree in Interior Design, I moved to Michigan after Ashley introduced me to my fiancé. Funny how that worked out! 😉 I was able to start my own interior design business right after graduating college because of the loyal blog following I had created during my college years. I love creating beautiful spaces for people, as I am so passionate about what the home represents to individuals and families. When I’m not planning a Bloom Workshop or designing for my interior design clients, you can find me wedding planning, bowling with my fiancé (yeah, it’s our favorite date!), watching Fixer Upper, or reading at a local coffee shop. We LOVE meeting creative entrepreneurs and creating beauty together.
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