Thursday, February 2, 2017

How The Bloom Workshop Came About


As a lot of you probably know, I co-founded a creative workshop for women in small business called The Bloom Workshop. Alongside my best friend and business partner, I travel the country teaching about why and how to blog, how to use social media to grow your business and find potential clients, how to shoot in manual on your camera, the principals behind design and styling, how to create and execute a styled photo shoot, floral arranging, calligraphy, and more. Phew! If you think that's a broad range of topics, let me assure you we have designed this workshop with serious intention. We believe that as a creative entrepreneur, blogger, etsy shop owner, photographer, or designer, it is important to be well-rounded in the skills you have, so that you can best run your business AND serve your clients well.

paige gabert photography

You may have seen me post about our workshops before, but I'm not sure I've ever shared how they came to be. You see, when I was little I wanted to be a teacher. I went to great lengths; I saved my money to buy a little school desk and chair (and my dad matched what I saved to buy a second desk!), I got a big white board and I set up a classroom looking area in our garage. Neighborhood kids would come over against their will, and I would teach them things I learned in school that day. I gave them homework, library books...the whole thing. I can't even believe how into it I was! Somewhere in middle school, this dream of being a teacher faded, when I realized I could be an interior designer. I took what creativity I used to play school and put it into building floor plans with jenga blocks, creating tiny furnishings for these block houses and then eventually, used my creative juices to actually start decorating spaces in my parents house (which they graciously allowed!)

When I was in college, my dad suggested I start a blog to chronicle my time through interior design school, show my design projects, the places I was living, and share any home decor inspiration. You can read more about this part of my story here. Once I graduated interior design school, I started getting a lot of questions about how I started my blog, sustained it, how I began offering my design services, principals I learned in design school, etc. At the same time, my friend Ashley was getting questions about photography, how she started her blog, found clients, uses her camera, etc. We thought that since we both fielded these questions via email almost daily, it would be fun to offer a one time workshop answering all of these questions! So, in June of 2014, we hosted our first workshop in Michigan for 35 women. Our tickets sold out in a mere few hours, which was so exciting to us! Here's a picture from one of our first workshops:


I started off nervous on the day of our first workshop. This was my first time public speaking, other than group projects in college. Most of these women attending were older than me, which was intimidating. But something happened in the middle of the event. I realized it was easy to talk about and teach information you are passionate about and well-versed in, so I started getting more and more comfortable! By the time the day was over, I was in my happy place. Both Ashley and I were, in fact! We absolutely LOVED teaching. I thought back on the days in my parent's garage when I would make the neighbor kids play school with me (if you're reading, I'm sorry! ;)) and I realized I had an innate something in me that had a desire to teach. That first workshop awakened that desire in my heart once again!

Because of the success of our first workshop, we offered another one later in the same year. Again, it sold out in a day! We were astounded. After that second workshop, we decided to take the plunge and truly make The Bloom Workshop our business. And it's even more than a business; it's our passion and our joy. Because of Bloom, I'm able to unite a few things I really love-- design and creativity + teaching and helping others. It's been the most humbling and rewarding experience of my life and I am SO thankful!






We just released our 2017 Bloom Workshop schedule and have events in Michigan, Illinois, California and Texas this year. I'm excited about one in particular-- can you guess which one?! The California workshop, of course! I'm so giddy because not only do I get to go to my home state, but I also get to go back to our WEDDING VENUE. That's right! Bloom Bash Carmel Valley is being held at the stunning Holman Ranch. I simply cannot wait to be back at this magical place, that holds such amazing memories for us, to invest in, encourage, and equip some really talented ladies.

Danielle Poff Photography

Here are a few pictures of the beautiful property, just to get a taste :) (yes, these are from our wedding!) That tree is so spectacular. If you've been wanting to photograph gorgeous models here before, now is your chance.

Danielle Poff Photography

Ashley Slater Photography

Danielle Poff Photography

If you're a photographer, a designer of any kind, florist, calligrapher, or blogger, Bloom Bash is an experience that will propel you forward in your business and leave you incredibly inspired. I loved reading my friend Courtney's honest post on her time attending and speaking at Bloom! If you feel nervous about attending an event where you don't know anyone, I promise you meet people within minutes of being in the room and will leave with new friends. The second you step out of your comfort zone is when the real magic happens anyways.

I hope you'll join us at an event this year! Take a look at our line up on the website. If you're thinking of joining us in Carmel this April at Holman Ranch, use the discount code MNDBLOG20 for 20% off your early bird ticket. The early bird tickets are goners on Friday, so hurry!

Thanks for reading about Bloom's story and how the workshop got its start. I'm very thankful for all of you readers and friends + our sweet workshop alumni.

xoxo

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