I’ve been trying to think about what I would say in this post for a couple of months already. Somehow, Stone House Creative turns 5 this month! And I’m finding that I really can’t put into words…well, anything!
5 years is a long time, and it’s an impressive feat in small businesses. I’m so proud of how this company has grown over these years. When I launched my first website on June 24, 2014, I had no idea where it would go. I received such an incredible response from the wedding community, with the result that I crushed my year 1 goal of booking 2 weddings in that year, and booked 32 instead! In my year-end review blog post after that first full wedding season, I commented that I seemed to be working with the kindest, most excited clients - and in 5 years, that hasn’t changed at all!
When I started this biz, I was the ripe old age of 25. I was too cautious (I won’t say afraid) to actually tell anyone other than my husband and a couple of close friends that I was launching a business - I didn’t even tell my parents until after I had done it! I have always hated self-promotion and I think that’s what made me keep my lips shut - I really didn’t like the idea of shouting from the rooftops about what I was doing. But you know what? Looking back on that 25 year old young woman, going out on her own and starting a business, I’m pretty dang proud.
I had known for many years that I wanted to run my own business. I just didn’t know what it was going to be. For a while, I thought I wanted to be a wedding planner (thank goodness that didn’t happen…wedding planning is no joke. That is a HARD job). When I started SHC, I had already been working in weddings for 5+ years, in varied positions including banquet serving, writing for a local wedding publication, working as the wedding coordinator for a local floral shop, and doing ad sales and blog/social media writing for Once Wed. I came to the realization that maybe I just wasn’t the best employee. My personality is the type that wants to be integral, that wants to be recognized for my work, and that always wants to take on more. And when you’re not the owner of a business, taking on that kind of workload and responsibility is not necessary, and for me, it was too much. I was always burnt out and exhausted, while still saying YES to taking on more.
So it was a pretty natural fit for me to then open my own doors, so to speak. I had already been shouldering a workload and responsibility far greater than the average employee. One of the things that I love best about running my business is that it actually IS my responsibility. If something goes wrong, it’s MY fault. And if something goes really well and deserves praise, that all comes to me. That’s what my personality type thrives on!
That 25 year old Lauren was ready to take a leap and dive in. I didn’t know then that it was going to be a full-time career, but I did know that I WAS READY TO DO THE WORK. And work I have!
There’s so much that I love about my job. I love sitting down with prospective clients and hearing about their wedding plans, and then dreaming up a custom design for them. I love the recipe writing - I write recipes for every single piece that I design. I love to work with different types of flowers and varieties to create different combinations for each of my clients. I love cleaning the studio (except not on a Saturday afternoon…that’s too exhausting!). I obviously love the actual floral designing! I’d say the only thing I really don’t love about my job is the endless vase and bucket cleaning 🤪
So what’s planned for the next 5 years? That’s a good question! I have ideas and dreams, and some very concrete goals. One big project I have coming up that I’ll be letting you see sneak peeks of is a new brand and website, coming this winter. I’m excited to be working with one of my industry idols, Creme Brands - which is actually something that was on my goal list when I wrote my first biz plan 5 years ago! Now that I have a child, I’m learning to prioritize my time a little differently. I’m taking on fewer weddings that are even more exciting to me. I only take 1 wedding per day, so that I can spend as much time as I need to really make sure it’s perfect.
I won’t tell you too much about my other large goals quite yet, because they require some other big things to fall into place first and we’re a few years out. But you can be sure that in the next 5 years, you’re going to see a lot more flowers and I’ll be putting in a lot more work - and loving it almost every step of the way.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.” Colossians 3:23
If you’re interested in following along for more regular updates, I post on Instagram every few days with snippets of my summer wedding season and behind the scenes of my work!
The Winnipeg wedding industry is an amazing industry to be a part of. There are a lot of great people, working to make sure that all of your weddings come together wonderfully. There is also a lot of creativity and professionalism, a lot of knowledge and excellent service. It’s an honour to be a part of that. Thank you to all of my colleagues for making every wedding such a great work environment.