This past weekend, my family and I drove down to Washington just so I could spend a magnificent 3 days at Floret Flower Farm. I knew when I enrolled for the Floret August Dahlias Intensive that I was putting a huge check on my bucket list! What I didn’t know is how truly transformative and inspiring it would be. My heart is exhilarated, my passion for flowers rejuvenated, and my dreams evolving.
Floret farm is the vision of Erin and her husband Chris, along with their two children, they’ve grown into an unbelievable team. From their humble beginnings in the garage, Floret has grown into a thriving farm, design studio and learning centre that has been featured in Martha Stewart, Flower Magazine, and Country Woman just to name a few! Floret is one of the leading “Farmer Florist” operations in the US. While Erin and her team have refined every aspect of the operation, it remains an authentic down to earth, family farm and with warm open hearts Floret invites people from around the world 8 times a year to learn, laugh and grow with them. I'm so grateful to say I was one of them.
As we ventured down to Washington, the plan was that my husband Josh would explore the Skagit Valley with the boys, while I spent my days at the Floral intensive. I am grateful we could make this a family trip, as we all love the outdoors, but I really had no idea what an emotional experience I was in for. As it turned out, it wasn’t easy to leave the farm each day and go back to being Mom in the hotel at night. Ideas, dreams and all the feelings, pouring out of me! Thankfully Josh made sure the boys were fed, bathed and ready for bed so I could come snuggle in when I got back each night and we had plenty of time to discuss it all, on the 11 hour or so, car trip home. It was an unforgettable weekend, and I wonder what Parker will remember of our little road trip since I’ll be telling stories of this particular trip for the rest of my life.
I met so many incredible women at the Floret design intensive, each of us from different parts of the world, backgrounds, careers, families, life experiences. There were accomplished florists, flower admirers, dreamers, hobbyists, artists. It was in the middle of the Skagit Valley that we all joined together for the love of flowers, and came to understand that this was our connection. I have never experienced anything like this, and it was so much more than I could have ever asked for. Besides the absolute beauty of our surroundings, and exquisite details that Floret planned for us, we found a sisterhood amongst the Café Au Lait and Apple Blossom Dahlias.
The Intensive centers around Erin Benzakien the face and founder of Floret. Erin is incredibly honest and spoke from the heart, weaving in hilarious anecdotes about how she and her friend Jill became the answer to each others shortcomings. By focusing on their talents and strengths they've found a harmonious work/life balance. When Erin shared the struggles she faced as a budding entrepreneur she didn’t hold back. Every word she shared hit home for me. As a young business owner and (work at home) Mom, it all seems challenging at times! Erin’s transparency was refreshing and she gave real actionable advice. While I have some (re: tons of) life work to do, I left Floret feeling empowered, supported, capable and more than inspired to get started!
Here’s a few more glimpses of what I experienced at Floret, absolute beauty everywhere! The flowers alone bring me to tears! Next week I’ll share more about designing with the best (yep, serious fan-girling), and what it’s like to visit the Floret farm for one of their Design Intensives. I’d love to hear what kind of retreats and workshops you’ve partaken? Wouldn’t it be great to make it an annual thing!? How do you take time to refocus your passion and rejuvenate your soul?