Here at JRINK, we love to connect with local creatives, so when we met Michelle Samson of Taffy Floral, it was like love at first...bloom (we'll take it). And what better time than the season of -giving-, to collaborate with a local star and floral artist? BUT, we're doing things a bit differently this year – relationship status aside.
On Saturday, February 13th, we're planning a special treat-yo'self afternoon with Michelle, one that celebrates creativity and taking it in your own hands – literally. But first, let's sit down with the brains of Taffy Floral and the beautician behind this exciting workshop.
JRINK: So tell us, what's your story?
MS: I was born in a beach town [and] had mind set on getting out and living the idealistic artist life in New York, which happened. But other things in life happen and I worked a number crunching and analysis type office job for many years. As I get older I have learned to trust my gut feeling with anything from people to different situations. I know things happen for a reason and I am glad I stayed here in the area!
JRINK: That's awesome. That's definitely a story we can resonate with (re: leaving corporate for a more creative life!). OK, so why the use of flowers?
MS: I fell for flowers long before I started in business for myself, but I never thought that I could or would make it into an interesting and creative career. If you told me 10 years ago I would be working with florals, I would probably have this perplexed look on my face. "DC and florals? No, you mean New York and fashion." I would make flower arrangements for myself and eventually bring them to work. Most of the time I would give away my flowers to other people and they would be happy which made me happy. Some people would tell me that I should sell my flowers instead of giving them away all the time. So that's when it clicked.
JRINK: We love stories like that about moving (ahem, stumbling) into DC and trading the "life of New York" for something more meaningful. So, you're super plugged in to local events -- what excites you about the DC creative scene?
MS: I am not ashamed to admit my younger self would not have even given DC a second thought as far as having an art and creative scene. Since living in the area for the past 10 years (whoa!) I have seen the how much the art and creative scene has grown especially within the past couple of years. I believe that collaboration especially with other local businesses is vital to an area's growth and what excites me about the DC Creative scene is how most of the creatives I meet are very supportive of one another. There's a Helen Keller quote that I like: "Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much." I think that's a perfect description of the DC Creative scene.
JRINK: What has been the hardest thing about starting your own business? The most rewarding?MS: When I first started, the hardest thing was talking to and reaching out to people as well as putting myself out there. I don't usually like going up to people or going to networking type events. One of the reasons I teach workshops is to get comfortable talking in front of people. My goal last year was to reach out and network more starting with a workshop hosted by Ayana Zaire last March on how to make your creative passion your career I have met and worked with so many people within the past year, it still amazes me. The most rewarding part of my job is the way people feel when they receive something I created and also getting to teach other people about my craft and get them excited about florals.
So with that, we're so excited to partner with Michelle and offer a floral arrangement workshop at our Foggy Bottom store on Saturday, February 13th at 2-3:30pm. Everything from flowers, good vibes, snacks, JRINK mimosas and general merriment is included for $25 / person.