December 10, 2015

Flowerona’s 5th Birthday! – Survey & Giveaway, plus a little look back…

Pink-Ranunculus-Rona-Wheeldon-Flowerona copy

I’m absolutely thrilled to let you know that today, Flowerona celebrates its 5th Birthday! Thank you SO much for all your support and for reading this blog.

Flowerona Survey & Giveaway

I’d really love to get to know you more and so I’ve put together a little reader survey. I hope that you’ll take a few minutes to answer the questions. Simply click on this link.

As a thank you for completing the survey, one Flowerona reader will be winning all these absolutely amazing gifts!

The winner will be randomly selected after the survey ends next Wednesday, 16th December at midnight GMT.

**UPDATE 18/12/15 – Thank you SO much to everyone who completed the survey. The winner has now been notified.

Flowerona-blog-5th-birthday-prizes-1

A little look back at the last 5 years…

In celebration of my blog’s birthday, I thought I’d take a little look back at the last 5 years to show you have things have grown and evolved. There have been many ‘pinch me’ moments along the way. I hope you enjoy taking a read…

2010

Back in 2010, I was running a Virtual Assistant (VA) business. I loved working for myself, but ‘something’ was missing. So, I went to see a coach in the summer and to cut a long story short, my very first blog post went live on December 10th. Pretty soon, I realised that beautiful images were really important and was lucky enough to get my first digital SLR camera that Christmas. I’ve since gone on to take numerous photography courses. Here’s the first blog design:

Flowerona-Blog-1

2011

I started to blog three times a week whilst I continued to run my VA business. But I very soon realised where my heart lay and decided to sell the business in the summer of 2011. And that’s when I went full-time with Flowerona, eventually working up to posting daily. Back then, when I was looking for blog content, I wrote about virtually anything and everything that had a flower on it, from greeting cards to fashion and stationery! A highlight of the year was the first time I ever interviewed a florist face-to-face. And it was with utmost pleasure that my first interviewee was Simon Lycett.

2012

By 2012, I was blogging seven days a week. Highlights from the year include attending the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, including on Press Day. And also being invited by the Jane Packer team to visit the college where the Victory Bouquets for the London Olympics 2012 were being made!

2013

This was the year that I started working freelance for New Covent Garden Flower Market, when my first report for them went live on their website in February. I’ll never forget the first time that I visited the Market to take photos and talk to the traders…and I love catching up with them every month. Highlights of the year include interviewing the wonderful Shane Connolly at an event at Heal’s, visiting the floral trade fairs in Holland and winning my very first award for Flowerona – Best Wedding Flowers Blog at the Wedding Magazine Blog Awards!

2014

In the spring, I launched the Flowerona for Florists Facebook Group…a place for florists and florists-to-be to meet, share ideas and seek advice. With now over 1,600 members, I’m thrilled at how the group is growing and am constantly overwhelmed by the sheer generosity and helpfulness of all the members. July saw the first ever Flowerona Social Media for Florists workshop taking place in London. Thank you so much to all the florists who attended and to my incredibly talented co-host, Fiona Humberstone, who helped me make this idea into a reality.  We’ve since run three more workshops. It was also with her help and guidance that the transformation of Flowerona took place this time last year, with my new rebrand by Sara at Salted Ink. The relaunched website included the new Flowerona Job Vacancies Board, which has been hugely successful. I plucked up the courage (it took me two years!) to set up my YouTube channel and started attending a TV Presenting Course in London. I also was delighted to act as compere at the New Covent Garden Flower Market College Day. And Flowerona won Best Wedding Flowers Blog at the Wedding Magazine Blog Awards again!

2015

This year, we ran our first Branding for Florists workshop in London and I’m so thrilled to see the results, as two of our attendees have since relaunched their websites : The Rose Shed and The Bespoke Florist. I was delighted to win the Individual Wedding Category at the UK Blog Awards in London at the start of the year, followed by recently winning Best Wedding Flowers Blog at the Wedding Magazine Blog Awards for the third year running. And another highlight of the year was compering at the British Flowers Week event at The Garden Museum in London.

There have been many more wonderful occasions including all the fabulous floristry workshops which I’ve had the pleasure of attending, press events, blogger events, people I’ve met in the floristry industry, the team of people who make our workshops happen and meeting Flowerona readers at events and New Covent Garden Flower Market. I never could have imagined the wonderful journey that would unfold, nor the amazing opportunities that have come my way…and I never take any of it for granted.

I’ve also never worked as hard in my life! Flowerona is all-encompassing and virtually 24×7. But I absolutely love what I do! Over the last 5 years, Flowerona has had over 2 million page views. And over 850,000 visitors reading the 1,675 blog posts which I’ve written. Thank you so much for reading Flowerona. I look forward to continuing this amazing floral-inspired journey with you all…

P.S. Don’t forget to fill out the survey for a chance to win the prize!

(Image: Rona Wheeldon | Flowerona)

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