In 2018 Mrs.Monkey and I set up our wedding and event flowers business. Energised by Mrs. Monkey’s desire to exit the corporate world and founded upon her competitive flower arranging experience, family “Do”s and her passion for flowers we launched ourselves into an unknown world.
The division of labour was, and still is, strictly along skill set lines. Mrs. Monkey leads sales – based upon the fact that she knows about this stuff, not to mention that despite having never been a salesperson it turns out that she is quite good at it. I am Head of Logistics and Practicalities – van driver.
We gleefully took bookings for 2020 and our order book swelled as did the warm glow of pride in our breasts as our business slowly grew. Then BOOM – the pandemic hit. 2020 was cancelled and clients frantically rebooked dates in 2021 scattered around bookings that we had already taken for this year. As February approached, we were in for a helluva ride. Monkey Flowers – Season 2 “Revenge of the Virus”.
So here we are in November and after 50 or so weddings in about 30 weeks there is a sense of “School’s Out”. If you have ever run your own business you will be aware that it becomes all-consuming. You may be your own boss, and that’s both a satisfying and a scary feeling. You get to choose which 80 hours a week you work.
But hey, we made it. We have emerged the other side of a frightening booking schedule in one piece. Older, wiser, definitely more experienced in this flower malarkey – and still married.
The downside is that there has been little else, of course. Our friends and neighbours stopped asking us for lunch dates and catch-ups long ago, waiting patiently, hopefully, till the season was over and we would rise unscathed from our workload.
At last now, we get to take a break. We have just two bookings left before Christmas.
We’ve had some funny moments. Such as stopping the car to right a toppled display in the back and forgetting that the automatic gearbox was still in “Drive”. Picture a frustrated Monkey setting the display upright in a slowly moving vehicle and then dashing to jump into the driver’s seat as the car headed towards a ditch – or accidentally locking the bouquets in a hot car and not having the spare key. Doh!
Delivery day can be a tad stressful since it always someone’s wedding day but we have perfected our calm professionalism. The upside is that suppliers on the day do tend to be in a good mood. After all, how can a wedding day be sad?
Oh, and we were also involved in the Chelsea Flower Show too in September.
Not forgetting that we got to work with a top London dress designer also.
There are two bottles of champagne in the fridge, a fine Rioja hunches quietly in the corner of the kitchen, just behind the bread bin … I’m sure we ordered food in tonight.