TIME TO QUIT THAT DAY JOB:

Meet Annie Heath, Floral Designer and Owner of IdaBlooms

Is 2020 your year? Are you dreaming of finally quitting that job you hate to pursue your passion of arranging beautiful flowers all day?

That sounds pretty great! 

When I imagineWhen I imagine the role of a floral designer, I see my days spent in a light-filled studio, surrounded by a plethora of exotic flowers (that somehow magically got there), with countless hours to perfect my craft while designing masterpieces for the people I love.

That’s often how it goes when we’re thinking about a job change. The grass always seems greener on the other side. But, what does quitting your job to do something you’ve never done before really look like?

Well, Annie Heath, Owner of Ida Blooms and Floral Designer, sat down with me this week to give me the real scoop on what’s it’s like to quit your 9-5 and follow your passion. Annie is one of the rawest and most honest humans I’ve ever met and I’m honored that she sat down with me to share her authentic story.

Check it out below:

JF: At FinkDev, we define an Authentic Career as one that taps into your strengths, values, and interests. How has becoming a floral designer created an authentic career path for you?

Annie Heath: Prior to this job, I just shuffled into my career in marketing because it's what was available to me. I didn't really evaluate if it was what I wanted. I just took the job I felt I was qualified for, based on my education. I got promoted a few times and acquired new s 

kills and moved forward. But my job was my job, and my life was my life. 

Now, my job and my life are so intertwined, and I prefer it that way. I get to cater to people and celebrate relationships, which are areas I've always excelled in. 

Funny enough, I was so concerned about my qualifications in my past careers. But I had NO formal training in floral design. My values were aligned, I was certainly interested, and the rest of it was learnable.

JF: You built a career in Tech Marketing and then made a radical pivot into starting your own Floral Design company. How did you decide to make such a big leap?

AH: I wouldn't say I had a strong career in tech marketing. I kind of just landed there. Several years into my career, I was still complacent with junior-level positions and responsibilities. My company always tossed the tasks other people didn't want at me, like social media, award applications, and event planning, and I just let it stay that way. I did gain recognition and succeeded in those things, but it wasn't something I actively pursued. 

In my fourth marketing position, I had this "aha" moment. It went something like this, "if I've been unhappy at every marketing job I've ever had, maybe I'm in the wrong field." That's when I opened my mind to a real change. 

JF: We first met during one of your #SFFlowerHour workshops. It was terrific, and I can't wait to come back! What inspires you to teach others about your craft?

AH: There are a lot of psychological benefits to incorporating floral arranging into your everyday life. The repetitive nature of processing flowers is almost meditative, and many consider flower arranging a form of therapy. Not to mention, having fresh flowers in your home/office/room has proven emotional benefits! 

Flower arranging has been very beneficial to my emotional health. I hope by making it an accessible and approachable activity for other people, I can encourage them to use it as a tool for mental well being.

JF: I often see my clients struggle with trusting what their gut is telling them about their career path. What advice would you give to individuals who know they want something different than what they are doing now?

AH: Oh man. I guess my advice is to listen to the voice nudging you because it's not going to stop nagging until you do. And really, what's the worst that can happen? Sure, you might fail. But you can always turn back to the tried and tested skills and career you have now, with the knowledge that you tried something new.

"listen to the voice nudging you because it's not going to stop nagging until you do"

JF: When I think about creating beautiful bouquets every day, it seems fun and glamorous. What's the hardest part of this type of work?

I have a lot of people's dream career; it seems! And while I recognize my good fortune, the floral industry comes with its fair share of mess. Literally. Flowers grow from the ground. They are dirty. I hand scrub my floors monthly, bleach water buckets daily, sweep constantly, pull slugs off petals, wipe mold from stems, and pick leaves out of my hair at the end of the night. 

Flowers are also delicate and perishable. So, I have a limited amount of time to design with them. Which, on event weeks, means I wake up beyond early and go to bed unforgivingly late. For those few days, I'm continually monitoring the happiness of my flowers. Are they too hot? Is there enough humidity in the room? Do they need more water? Are the roses opening quickly enough? Do they need a fresh cut? There's a lot of pampering for them, and a lot of coffee for me! 

It is so worth it, though. Because, at the end of the day, I get to create something beautiful for people I love. That makes the mess and sleep deprivation worth it.

JF: You are clearly passionate about building your community in the Bay area. Who would you most love to connect within the upcoming year?

AH: This is an interesting question! I don't have a wish list, really. I'm a little woo-woo when it comes to relationships, and I think the universe will bring me the people I'm meant to meet when I'm meant to meet them. 

I suppose I should mention that I teach workshops and also provide DIY services and full design for weddings. So if you're on the culture team at work, or an upcoming bride looking for beautiful flowers, I'd love to connect with you 😉

Contributor Bio:
Annie is the founder of Ida Blooms, a floral design studio in the tenderloin.

She offers floral services for brides on every budget - from DIY consultations up to full-service design - and teaches floral workshops as corporate team builds.

Connect with Annie:
@IdaBlooms
@anneaheath

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