2018: A Year of Survival....
Updated: Jan 2, 2019
Welcome to our first ever BLOG post!!! Over the years I've debated on the usefulness and purpose of a blog as I've been pulled to just jump in and do it! In the end.... I hope that I can portray the reasons that I love this business so very much.... no matter how crazy things may get at times!
2017 ended with still trying to find the new "us" after some major changes that truly up-rooted the business. At the time I had no idea how those would change the business, the team dynamics... and me personally but those days and feelings would catch up to me - but not until way later in 2018. So the fourth quarter of 2017, we put our heads down and held on by the skin of our teeth as we finished both an incredible wedding and holiday season. We finished 2017 with a five wedding NYE weekend.... and as I boarded the plane to Mexico I could barely walk or make sentences! For the first time ever we closed the studio for an entire week and not only did WE need it.... I don't regret it ONE MINUTE!
As we returned from Mexico, we hosted our very own Bridal Showcase by tearing down the showroom and making it 100% bridal! With over 150 people through the doors and with help from some of my vendors.... it was exactly the kick-off to 2018 I needed.
So I love my LeFleur Girla so much..... it’s sereiously like going to work with your best friends every day. Each of them in their own right are the most strong, kind, independent, hard-working individuals. Their specific individual talents are what make LeFleur, LeFleur. It’s incredoble how when you find the right “piece to the puzzle” how it just clicks.... and you feel like they’ve been there the whole time. I hope in 2019 we will watch them each continue to pursue their passions individually as we grow as a team more! What did I learn in 2018 about my girls and my team... and truthfully me? GOD HAS A PLAN - even when we don't know or understand it, we need to trust HE does. What else? It's ok to have team members COME and then GO. I value friendships and loyalty... and for the longest time it was my deep down belief that once a LeFleur team member... always a LeFleur team member but in 2018 I realized that each of us have a specific role in this world and transitions and seasons are OK. Transitions and seasons... and change are tough for me - seeing it coming is even worse but as I watched some of the most incredible women leave my side - seeing what God did for them in their lives was truly awesome.
So from the moment we moved into 905 Peoria Street I knew we needed more room. I mean.... how is that possible??? 905 has provided us with the platform for growth.... but we needed more! So in Spring 2018, Papa Jim and I sat forth on a 3 month journey to “build out” half of our warehouse and steal it for more work space, an office and a kitchen for the girls. If you ask him.... he’s still impressed by his work but if you ask me.... there isnt really anything we cant do together!
WEDDINGS and CORPORATE EVENTS: From the minute that we turned the calendar 2018 our feet barely hit the ground. In 2018 we met some of the most incredible people that crossed our paths.... couples and their families...new vendors AND worked side-by-side with industry vendors and friends to pull off some of the most incredible days that truly I've been dreaming about for twenty years. THIS YEAR - 2018 - was the year that I think I'll look back on and realize that THIS was the year that we truly went for it and made it happen. What do I mean by that? I don't mean to discount anything that we've done before... but this was the year that we dreamed big, didn't put any limits on our ideas and truly just said "YES" and went for it... over and over... and over again.
June 16, 2018 and the month leading up to it will be a date that I will NEVER forget.... In the nursing home someday I will most likely will be telling my great-grandchildren and new friends about this day! This date was a FOUR wedding weekend - one Peoria, one Washington and two Bloomington. On this day it took SIXTEEN of us, our families and our friends to pull off with in a 22 hour day! Jim and Deb, Ted and Brent... and the entire LeFLeur team spent countless nights and weekends preparing for this day and I LOVED IT SO MUCH... especially after I slept and reflected on the day!
The next VERY BIG DAY was August 3, 2018... when my little brother finally married the woman of his dreams - who we all adore! In the very few days leading up to this date we had a big.... lets call it unexpected occurrence. THANK GOODNESS for Alecia, Beth and Jenn.... my goodness I'm not sure if I'll ever know the extent that these girls (with a bit of help from Bryon) went to to keep the balls in the air and LeFleur afloat. I am forever grateful. Colorado was an adventure... Kaden's first airplane ride! We saw the prettiest of landscapes and the biggest of animals. Jim (dad), Ted (Jami's husband), Jami and I took off on a "ten minute" drive into the mountains (really an hour) to a farm on the side of the mountain to pick up our flowers. An "adventure" is an understatement as we met "Elvis" the potbelly pig and stuffed "coffin boxes" of flowers into our "Camper Van" (as Kaden called it). Jami was a trooper... with helping process flowers out of a bathtub and into trashcans in the Condo to working out of a commercial kitchen. My parents, Ted, Brent (and the kids), Teresa and Randy..... all for helping pull August 3rd off. A big shout-out to Aunt Teresa, Randy and Natalie for driving LeFleur across country :) The day started rainy and the panic and worry of the venue not being completed in time seemed miles in the distance as we watched Taylor walk down the aisle (yes, without her bouquet!) and marry my little bro. What a day! What a week! What incredible memories....
My family.... why are these kids growing so fast? We celebrated #3 and #8. From Fairy Parties, to daddy-daughter dances and each moment in between it’s been an adventure! Brent and I even survived building a “fort” together to Surprise them for their birthdays!
Like many of you, this year was a year of loss for our family. We lost my Grandfather and in turn then celebrated the life of both him and my Grandmother in the most joyful special celebration at our farm. What it taught me? The value of the legacy you leave behind. My grandparents showed the upmost love and loyalty to each other and their family and for this example I am grateful. We are a family of rich traditions all because of what they started and I miss them both so very much.
Like many of you our our family celebrated joy in the birth of my first nephew, Hudson James! It is SO much fun watching your siblings transition into parenthood and your parents become Grandparents again!
Priceless: That is my word for the relationship and friendship I have with our Chapel Designer network. This group of designers from all over the world is an endless wealth of info and knowledge that I can’t describe and in 2018 I got the opportunity to spend the week with Holly and Evan At Hope Flower Farm in Virginia. It was exactly the re-fresh and re-ignition that I needed. I'm counting the days until I get to be with them again! I mean seriously, Evan taught me how to use the coolest power tools ever!
From Proms and Homecomings.... to those special birthdays and anniversaries.... and the moments of good-byes and every moment in between we have been honored to be by your side and a part of these days with you. Thanks for your continued support and trust in our team! We love you so much!
So what’s ahead? What does 2019 look like for the LeFleur team? All I can say is it’s going to be awesome! In January we will start our very first Flower School. Why? To help breed a true love for flowers and all they entail! In March we will start our very own class for those brides hoping to DIY their weddings.... and want to survive it. And lastly..... who wants a Party Room in Washington??? All we can say is keep your fingers crossed! Great, amazing, fun-filled long days of hard work are ahead and we couldn’t be more excited!!!!
XOXO.... Cheers to an amazing 2019! I can't wait to get started!