Today was Career Day at Harmony Elementary School. The school contacted me a few weeks ago and at first, I was reluctant to participate. What could I demonstrate in 10-15 minutes, that PreK - third graders would like? I can't make any of my wedding bouquets in that time period...hmm.
I almost said no, then two of my friends who work at the school convinced me to do it.
So I decided to make bud vases and each teacher / class would get to keep it at the end of the presentation. The students would rotate around to the different presenters and I would talk to 9 different groups, with 2 classes per group.
I was nervous leading up to the event. Public speaking can be intimidating for someone who can identify as an introvert.
Of course, trying to decide "what to wear" was another issue to overcome. I'm mostly a t shirt and jeans kinda girl, it was too warm for a sweater over my t shirt... Maybe a flannel shirt, but I really wasn't excited about that... What would represent me and my brand? What would show these kids to be an original and not be scared of being yourself or expressing your creativity? (Maybe I was overthinking at this point.) I was to be there as a florist, but my career and life is so much more than just that.
Still torn on what to wear, I took a shower. That's were some of the best ideas come from! I would add lace to the bottom of a flannel shirt and dress it up. I have a basket of freshly laundered shirts awaiting transformations and I could shop the basket to find a shirt. Only thing was, there wasn't a flannel in my size. Oh, but there was a vintage pearl snap western shirt that fit me!! And it was brown (which I love) and I had a piece of my favorite ivory vintage lace already cut and waiting to be added to shirts! I ruffled and sewed the lace to the bottom and tried it on. I liked it, but it seemed a little plain.
It was two hours till I was suppose to be there. No makeup on, hair not fixed, half of the bud vases needed to be made (since I would only have time to make one and give two out per session), I had to load everything up, and grab a quick bite to eat. Thank goodness the school is just a couple of miles away. So what did I do? I dug my baskets of doilies and pulled out one that I liked. Then I dug through my drawer that had some already printed patches and found one with a turquoise truck on it. Look in the mirror, arrange the items and head back to the sewing machine! Then the other side needed something and I went for another basket of vintage linens and pulled out an old hankie, that I had previously dyed. Back to the mirror with the shirt on and placing the handkerchief. What if I made a pocket that would hold my phone? Ah yes, that would do it! Wind the bobbin, re-thread the machine and sew a pocket. Now we were ready to carry on with additional preparations!
I drove to the school and got my table set up in time for the first group and let me tell you, they were the sweetest group if kindergartners ever and made my nerves disappear! The second grade group commented on my shirt and said they loved it! I didn't even tell them I sewed or made my shirt, before they ask! One sweet girl from that same group said my presentation was her favorite so far and that made me happy and it all worth while! Several classmates agreed with her and I hope they grow up to be creative entrepreneurs!
Part of my talk discussed my wedding bouquets ad how with an online shop we can work from anywhere - that it didn't matter if we live in a small town, big city, fancy house or little house, we can do big things and serve people all over the world. They liked looking at the burlap bouquet and boutonniere I had on hand.
Then we talked about how to make a bud vase and how math skills are very important in a florist.
This surprised a few students and a teacher or two! In school, we all ask "when will I ever use math?" Everyday, all day long is my answer. I kept it pretty simple for them, but the reality is I had to figure out how many flowers I needed for the job today. Most flowers are ordered by the bunch (10, 15, or 25) not individual stems, so I had to determine how many bunches to order, without running out and not having too many extras that would go to waste.
Then we discussed how you have to know the numbers of flowers on hand, so you don't over sell and not have enough flowers to fill the orders.
I ask them how much ribbon they thought it took to make a bow? Guesses were all over the place and I then would unwire a bow and get the teacher to help stretch out the ribbon. My bow was 14 feet long! Most adults don't even realize that the average bow has about 5 yards of ribbon in it! So this allowed another math point about how I have to calculate the amount of ribbon required for a job and making sure I ordered / purchased enough ribbon.
|This picture was taken by the school superintendent and his aunt shared it to my Facebook page.|
Each class had a few questions and everyone was super nice. I had a photo album with pictures of some past work and showed them, if the time permitted. Several ask how big of arrangements I had made before? I passed this picture around of an arrangement in front of an 18 wheel truck and especially the boys liked that! It's not the biggest ever, but it showed something that allowed them to compare sizes.
The bell would ring, I would present the flowers to each teacher, at the kids delight and they would be off to the next stop. It was a fast paced afternoon and I was glad I was able to be there. I hope I inspired someone today...