As some of you may know, my husband and I are expecting our first little bundle of joy this coming January. It's crazy to think that this is coming up so fast already, but it also feels like we have a long way to go still. Are we finding out what we're having, well, that's still debatable. I want to know, my husband does not. So currently we are on the 'surprise on the day of' train. I'm hoping to convince him, but most of my family is on his side so it's a seemingly impossible task for now. Obviously welcoming our first child is going to be a big change in our world, which means I'm going to be taking a year off of my full time job (yes - I do have a full time job still too!), but it also means that I'll be taking a step back from Flora and Forest (for a short time) as well.
I'm now 22 weeks.
I know some of you have been wondering what this means for Flora and Forest in the coming year. Well, this is that post where I hope to share some of that with you. How much am I stepping back? That's still to be determined for the later half of 2020, but I can tell you what's going to happen the first half at least.
The majority of the winter and spring of 2020 I'll be stepping back to learn how to navigate our life with a newborn (along with our two crazy dogs). I know it's going to be a big adjustment for all of us but I also want to ensure I'm present with our little one as much as I possibly can be. This little one surprised us at a time when I was going through heavy grief with the sudden and unexpected loss of my father. We found out less than two weeks after he had passed that we were expecting our first child, and that I was about a month along at that point. To say I was going through a roller coaster of emotions was an understatement; grief, joy and pregnancy hormones are quite the mix. I struggled a lot with the idea of not being able to tell my dad he was going to be a grandpa; it truly broke my heart. Especially because he loved our dogs with such a big part of his heart, I knew he would have been over the moon to be a grandpa for the first time. I've been running full steam ahead with my full time job and my business these last 4 years and I really want to take the time to slow down and be present in this part of our lives, especially with everything that's happened this last year. You were all so amazing when I took a few months off earlier this year to grieve, so I know your support will be equally as amazing while I slow down for a while next year too.
While I may be slowing down, my retailers are not! I've already talked to all my wonderfully supportive shops, and they will continue to carry Flora and Forest even while I am off navigating a new part of our lives! I have a wonderfully supportive family and some amazing friends that have all offered to step in and help out should I need it and I do plan to fully take them up on those offers so I can ensure all my retailers continue to carry stock you can shop. All of them carry amazing local treasures and I highly encourage you to stop in and check them all out. They're all run by lovely people and I couldn't be more proud to have my product in their shops.
Once I have a routine figured out after the winter and spring, I plan to open up my website for 'made to order' spots. Meaning, if you're wanting a pair of stud earrings in a particular shape, metal plating, with certain flower colours, you'll be able to check out with exactly what you want. There will be limited amounts of these as I'll be doing them in releases, so if you're not already subscribed to my email list, make sure you get on there so you know when those are coming and you can nab exactly what you're wanting. I'll also have a section with stock that has already been made that are maybe one-ofs, special edition items, oddball shapes, styles, etc. I have big plans still for next year, so keep an eye out!
As for custom orders (ie: using flowers from a bridal bouquet, memorial, special occasion), you can find all the instructions on how to preserve your flowers on the Custom Order page on my website. You don't need anything fancy to save them, so feel free to preserve them for when I do open up custom order spots in the late summer or fall of 2020. Again, I'll send out an email to my subscriber list when those spots are open as I don't know exactly what the later half of 2020 is going to look like yet.
That said, if you're still hoping to get something before the end of THIS year, you're in luck! I'll be at a few markets the remainder of the year. Only 4 of them in the Okanagan and 2 more down in Vancouver. You can check out my market schedule here on my website and find me before the holidays. This will be your last chance to shop in person with me directly for a while, so I really hope to see you at one of these upcoming events. Thankfully I'll have lots of help too, so be sure to give my friends and family praise for being there to support too (they're lovely). My website will not be restocked before the holidays (as I just simply don't have the time to photograph everything that I'm making for markets and get it online), so you'll just have to come find me in person if you're needing a gift!
Thank you all so much for all your support these last 4 years. This year has been a crazy one to say the least, but one of tremedous growth so I can't wait to see what 2020 has in store for this company of mine. I can't wait to see you before the end of the year and I'll be sure to update you all once Baby Cuddie arrives!
All my love and appreciation,