I’ve been delaying writing this post. Not because I’m not excited about the future or sure of my decision, but because summing up this journey, these last 8 years of my life during a baby’s naptime seems like a momentous task. Okay, let me back up.
8 years ago, I was working in a job that seemed to fit perfectly. It perfectly aligned with my major in college and really was a huge blessing at the time. But something was stirring. A desire to RISK. To dream. To be creative and imagine a career filled with beauty. After a season of seeking, desiring, praying, and leaping, and with the encouragement of my ever faithful and supportive husband, Cori Cook Floral Design was born. It started with a few trusting friends’ weddings. I realized quickly that this wasn’t the peaceful, idealistic career I had dreamed up in my mind, but it WAS exhilarating. To problem solve, work with my hands, be creative, and learn something new every single day. It was exhilarating.
There were the garage (ahem, “home studio”) days when myself and a few very giving, very selfless ladies worked out on my driveway under pop up tents. Then there was the upgrade to our beloved studio space in Golden where heat and air blessed our little souls. There have been hundreds of weddings, wedding-day timelines, drives up windy mountain roads for installs on the top of ski mountains. There have been so many laughs, tears, sweat, and “oh-my-gosh-we’re-going-to-die” moments.
Then there are our brides. Oh my goodness, our brides! Clients that have trusted us with the most important day of their lives…who gave us free reign with the design for their flowers. Who really paid us to grow, to learn, to explore our creativity. Thank you, brides, for making my dream a reality and trusting us with yours!
Still, what stands out in this journey, are the people. First and foremost, is my husband. I have tears streaming down my face as I think about all that he has sacrificed these past 8 years. He has tirelessly and graciously supported me in the good, the bad, and the ugly of business owning. He has worked his own full time job (which is honestly way more important than mine) and still happily given his entire weekend to CCFD weddings, always treating this business as importantly as he treats his own work. I have countless, precious memories of him packing vans with flowers, carrying arches down to ceremony sites, setting out candles at receptions, picking up vans, dumping buckets, cleaning the studio…it literally goes on and on. I would have quit after the first season if it weren’t for his support, care, and love. He made me feel like I could do anything and be anything I wanted to be. He has always said that I could be the best and he said it so sincerely that I believed him. Words really can’t express how much his support has meant to me. All I can think as I write this is, ladies, if you’re not married yet, marry someone like him. Someone who is kind, gentle, caring, and full of love. It will make you a better person to be so purely loved.
And to my people. My friends. My fellow flower lovers. April. Jenise. Morgan. Evelyn. Liz. Abby. Bethany. Carrie. Ashley. Lydia. You girls are living proof of the goodness of God in my life. I sincerely believe He brought me every single one of you. You girls have made CCFD happen. I never wanted to do this alone. And the few times I did, it was joyless. I don’t even know what to say other than this: I am well aware that the paycheck you receive is not enough to make this crazy job worth it. I know you girls all did and still do it because of passion. Because you genuinely love flowers. And this community. Thank you doesn’t begin to cover it. I love you all so much. You are all such true and faithful friends and I am better because of each of you.
If you’re still reading, congrats for hanging in there! You may be asking yourself, “Why the super long, sappy post?” Well, here’s your answer: After several years of trying and an extremely difficult and yet beautiful season of loss, grace, and hope, we had our first baby, Charley Grace. She is 6 months old now and she is literally the coolest little human I have ever set my eyes on. I have always known that once this happened, it would be a struggle to know how to split my time. And it has been. The struggle has been real. The truth is, as much as I love my business and as much as I love flowers, I love being a mom even more. I could design the prettiest arrangement, work with my favorite flowers and people, in my cute little studio space all day long, but the truth is that my heart aches to be home with my little girl. To experience each new thing with her, to not miss important moments, to SLOW down, to enjoy the moment, to not have a long business-owner to-do list constantly running in my mind.
I have loved this business so much. But it’s time for a break. So, we’ve made the decision to shut down the studio and take a breather from weddings for a few years. Yes, that’s vague. I’m well aware. And I kinda like it that way. I think saying goodbye to flowers forever would break my heart. And I guess I feel like I don’t have to. Will I be back in a few years when kids are grown and I have more time to focus on work? Maybe. I really don’t know. And I love living in that unknown, trusting my future to a God who is good and who I can certainly trust.
If you’re reading this and you are a working mama, I just want to say, “Wow! You’re amazing!” Please, please don’t read this as my indictment against you. We are all called to different things and for those of you who are doing both (rocking the world of business and being an amazing mama), I applaud you and know it isn’t easy. Let’s not compare, because there is beauty in all callings. Can I get an “amen?”
Lastly, I would be crazy to not recognize that all this, Cori Cook Floral Design, the people, the friendships, the weddings, the clients, the business…It’s all gift. From the very beginning, it was so obvious that it was not ME making things happen. It was God. He has shown me favor in every way, from bringing the right people to do this with me, to bringing us these amazing weddings, to the recognition we have received along the way. It’s all gift. And it’s all Him. It always has been. Have I stumbled along the way, making decisions I regretted? Absolutely. Have I tried to claim the glory that rightly belongs to Him? Oh yes. I have struggled deeply. Have I compared myself along the way to people I thought were greater or lesser? Sadly, the answer is yes. But He has shown me mercy, and continues to put me back on His path, a path that is agreeably more narrow than mine, but is filled with far more beauty than any path I’ve tried to forage on my own. This is the Gospel. Glory!
Also, just some logistics for those of you who are interested! We are still committed to finishing the 2015 wedding season well. We have some amazing weddings that are coming up and we plan on continuing to rock the wedding world with beautiful flowers, blogging, submitting, etc. We will continue flowers through the end of December, so please please call us if you have an awesome November or December event. We’d love to go out with a bang! Regarding our darling studio, our hope and desire, is to sell our fridge, inventory, the whole space in all it’s cuteness, and turn over to lease to a happy florist in need of a design/work/consultation space. It’s perfectly set up for a florist like us who just does weddings, or it could also work well as a shared space with multiple wedding vendors, or a even as a walk-in florist who does daily work. If you or someone you know is interested, please have them contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
And this, this little face below is the “why” behind these big decisions. And can you blame me? Loved this hilarious day with my friend, Kerinsa, making teeny, tiny baby-sized flower crowns and photographing our littles! Enjoy (: