Today is Flowerona’s 2nd birthday! And I’d like to say a very big ‘Thank You’ to you all for reading it.
I’m loving the journey it’s taking me on and I thought I’d review the last 12 months.
The Victory Bouquet for the London Olympics 2012
Being invited by the Jane Packer team to visit the college where the Victory Bouquets for the London Olympics 2012 were being made was a huge highlight of the year for me.
I felt so privileged to have the opportunity to gain a ‘behind the scenes’ insight into how the bouquets were created and to also make one myself!
RHS Chelsea Flower Show
What a wonderful time I had at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show…
It was such fun following garden designer Jo Thompson‘s journey as she created a gorgeous show garden, complete with vintage caravan and dog kennel.
And to attend the Press Day on the Monday before the show opened was utterly amazing…!
I’m indebted to all the fantastic flower schools who’ve invited me to attend their courses. They include:
- Zita Elze Flower School
- Jane Packer Flower School
- The Covent Garden Academy of Flowers
- Judith Blacklock Flower School
- Tallulah Rose Flower School
- Interflora Flower School
- Jay Archer
Flowerona Media Exposure
I was recently interviewed by the inspirational Julie Hall of Women Unlimited as part of her Women Unlimited TV series.
The video, which is below, lasts for just less than 20 minutes, if you’d like to watch it. (If you’re reading this via your iPad and see a black box below, simply click here to go to the video on YouTube.)
P.S. It was the first time that I’ve ever been interviewed by Skype using webcam. It took me a little time to warm up! And I’ve learnt lots of lessons for future video calls, including the need to sit on my hands next time (!), to keep still and to smile when I’m listening to the questions!
I was delighted to be interviewed by Brooklands Radio FM for their Fabulous Women programme. If you’d like to listen to the interview, simply click on the link below:
Over the last twelve months, Flowerona has been featured in Woman’s Weekly magazine.
I’ve also written columns and articles for Wedding Flowers magazine, The Flower Arranger, Perfect Wedding magazine, Harper’s Bazaar Brides magazine and Homemaker.
According to Google Analytics, over the last 12 months, Flowerona has had 145,000 unique visitors from all over the world and over 350,000 page views.
I now blog daily and occasionally feature more than one blog post a day.
I thought I’d also look back at some milestones…
- March 2012 : Started updating the Flowerona Business Page on Facebook
- April 2012 : Started sending out a monthly Flowerona newsletter
- July 2012 : Started writing for Sarah Raven’s blog, Garlic & Sapphire
- August 2012 : Featured my first sponsored guest blog post
- December 2012 : Created a Media Pack for potential advertisers
I love the fact that Flowerona has been a hub for flowery people to meet, not only in the UK but globally too.
I know, for example, that a photographer I interviewed who’s based outside the UK was contacted by someone else I’d featured and they’ve now done a photo shoot together!
Also, I know that a florist I interviewed has been in contact with a textile artist I featured about a potential collaboration.
I’ve loved meeting up face-to-face with fellow bloggers via the dbcollective and London Bloggers Group, plus Holly Becker’s book launch.
I’ve met some hugely inspirational creative people who are very passionate about their blogs. And it’s been so wonderful to learn from each other, share knowledge and support one another.
The life as a floral blogger and freelance writer is not a ‘bed of roses’ by any means though.
Although some people may think that I have a fabulous job, getting invitations to amazing events and having lots of free time, there are challenges too….
Now, I’m not complaining at all, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. To be honest, I love Flowerona so much, that it really doesn’t feel like work.
But, I’ve never worked so hard in my life. Every week day, I’m at my computer by 6.30am with my mug of tea, starting work.
Apart from trips to the gym, supermarket, meetings or events, I’m at my desk until 7.30pm-ish when my husband get home. And because it’s been so hectic recently, I’ve often worked til late in the evening with my laptop on the sofa, and regularly work at the weekend.
Researching, compiling and writing blog posts is only one side to writing a blog…and it’s very time consuming in itself. But there’s also everything that goes with running Flowerona, which is essentially a small business…
From the 50-100+ daily emails (I’m in constant battle with my email inbox to try and stay on top of them!), social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest, moderating and replying to comments, writing guest blog posts and magazine articles, keeping on top of paperwork including my expenses and tax return, dealing with advertisers, the technical side including backing up Flowerona regularly…the list goes on!
And I sometimes wish there were more hours in the day, and that I didn’t have to sleep…
Financially, I’m not raking in the millions by any means yet! And I couldn’t write Flowerona if it wasn’t for my incredibly supportive husband. But I’m now starting to see a small income…
Off and on, I get RSI issues with my hands and arms, but I’ve found that meditating every day for 15 minutes and going to a weekly class has really helped.
But, as I said, I wouldn’t have it any other way and I’d very likely continue writing Flowerona even if we won the lottery…but then perhaps with a team of people to help me!
My aim is for Flowerona always to be a happy place to escape to, however I was overwhelmed by the heart-felt responses to my personal blog post back in October.
So, I hope to be brave and open up a little bit more next year!
I’ve lots of ideas for the coming twelve months, but I’d really like to know what you’d like to see on Flowerona.
So, straight after this blog post, I’ll be featuring another blog post with a short survey.
And as a little incentive for you to complete it, I’ll be running a competition for UK residents only.
You’ll have the chance to win one of these fabulous prizes:
- Holly Becker’s new book ‘Decorate Workshop‘
- Paula Pryke’s book ‘Flowers Every Day‘
- Isabelle Palmer’s book ‘The Balcony Gardener‘
Writing today’s blog post has been such a joy. It’s really helped me look back and reminisce about what I’ve achieved in the last year.
And it’s helped me realise that it’s been so worth all the hard work and perseverance.
I’ve met some wonderful and very talented people, developed great friendships and have been invited to some amazing events.
As Holly Becker of Decor8 has said in the past ‘use your blog as a catalyst to live your best life’, And I have definitely done and experienced things over the last twelve months which never would have been possible without Flowerona.
So, I’d like to thank you all again for your support and I look forward to continuing my Flowerona journey with you…
(Images : Rona Wheeldon for Flowerona)