3 TIPS TO CREATE THE WORK YOU WANT TO ATTRACT

Bright, textural, and unique desert bridal bouquet featuring protea, peonies, and strawflowers.
 
Hope you have your coffee (pot) or wine (bottle) ready friends,
cause it’s story time…

I want to tell you a little bit about how I came to be doing work I (mostly) love, and to encourage you to create the work you want to be doing in your own business.

 

Ready? Here’s the backstory:

*In 2015 I started Winston & Main, nice and burnt out from over a decade in the film industry. Not the best way to start a business.

I got scared + felt broke pretty quick, and took another full-time TV gig for a few months.
And I was miserable.

*In 2016 we bought our house, and while I didn’t take any full-time film or TV work, I styled A LOT of commercials and took enough film work to help pay for this newly acquired debt, and so W&M still felt like a side hustle.

I was still pretty scared. Still pretty miserable. And while I could do my film job in my sleep (and do it well!) I felt like my soul was dying for 12-14 hours a day, (normal film hours y’all) and then at night I was too tired to really do much else. Except whine/wine. You know how it is. Or you can ask poor Gavin. 😉

Dramatic, but true. When something is not for you anymore, the universe really lets you know.

BUT money talks.

And I knew I needed A LOT more work to sustain this lil’ biz of mine and to recoup the massive pay cut I took when I left the film industry.

*So in 2017 I put on my big girl pants, committed to my business, and haven’t looked back.

Hahahahaha. What a lie.
I look back all the time and am SO damn happy I’m not still working a job I hate.

And I am happy to report that once I truly focused, invested, and had a little faith in this business of mine, it returned the favor. I’m on track to hit a six-figure revenue this year, and a six-figure personal profit next year.

So what did I do exactly?

I created the work I wanted to be doing.

Because doing work you don’t believe in, or are sick of doing, or bored of doing is the quickest way to burn out, and I’ve already been down that road.
 

 

My 3 Tips to Create the Work You Want to Attract

Decide What Work You Want to Be Doing

As an Event & Floral Designer, this meant getting clear with myself about: 1. What type of work I enjoy doing. 2. What type of work will attract my dream clients, and 3. What type of work I can make a profit from.

At the beginning of 2017 I really considered these questions and then deliberately created a few editorial shoots to add new work that fulfilled these requirements to my portfolio.

And it worked! The work I am most frequently asked to do now, is a direct result of these editorials.

Spend Money

Once you decide to make the work you want to be doing, spend the money to do it well.

If you’re a florist- this is where you spring for those fabulously expensive flowers you can’t get your current clients to pay for. The idea is to create work that your dream clients will pay for. Also, playing with the good stuff (whatever your industry) is just plain fun.

And so while spending money won’t make up for a lack of skill or biz saavy, it can elevate your offering and allow you to attract clients your current work might not appeal to.

Challenge Yourself

Hopefully you have a unique style and your new work will end up reflecting this, but if you don’t have the skill set to make what you’re envisioning yet, then you need to learn.

Don’t create something that looks like everything else you’ve already created just because you don’t know how to create the thing you want.

Take a class or workshop. Watch Youtube videos. Experiment. Really challenge yourself to bring your vision to life, even if there’s some legwork to do first.

For me, this has meant lots of research, learning new mechanics, and plenty of failed experiments.
 
Lavender flowers floating in a milky bath.
 

To Recap:

No one is likely to hire you to do work if they don’t see what they are looking for on your site/portfolio/social media, but this shouldn’t stop you from going after the work you want.

Get Excited:

As business owners, we have the ability to create the work we want to be known for.
It’s magic. You just have to put it out there.

I almost didn’t publish this blog post, because it’s scary to be so vulnerable, and who reads these things anyway?
Did you? Did it help you? Do you have anything to add to the conversation?
If so, I’d love if you’d leave a comment below or shoot me an email and we’ll chat!



DARK & DREAMY FLORAL DESIGN AT CITY CLUB

Halloween tablescape featuring dark and textural flowers, black tapers, and red and black goblets.
 
It was so much fun to collaborate with Anything But Gray Events on this dark & dreamy tablescape at City Club.

I loved playing with rich colors and lots of texture to create these elegant + elevated gothic pieces and would love, love, love to do something similar for a chic halloween shindig next year!
 
Halloween tablescape featuring dark florals, black tapers, and curious oddities.
 
Fun fact: We scored the black goblets that the arrangements are in on our honeymoon (Hello Madonna Inn!) and lots of the other oddities on the table are from my personal collection.

That’s a fancy way of saying house, y’all. They’re from my house. 🙂
 
Taxidermy fox and dark forest florals.
 
Including my fabulous wedding fox. aka. my wedding gift from Gavin.
I got him a Sgian Dubh in case you’re curious!
 
Halloween Tablescape at City Club LA designed by Anything But Gray with Floral Design by Winston & Main.
 
How fabulous does Holly look sitting at her Dark & Dreamy table?
You know i love when an outfit matches a shoot so damn perfectly!
 
Haunting table design featuring dark and textural flowers, fruit, and oddities.
 
More fabulous details, fresh fruit, and beautiful stationery by Heirloom Paper Co.
 
Halloween wedding tablescape at City Club LA.
 
Dark dreams, bright skies. Because, LA.
 
Beautifully witchy halloween tablescape.
 
And that black peacock chair from Nineteen27 Vintage?
Be still my heart.
 
Black floral candelabra.
 
All about that texture.
And that amethyst I scored in New Mexico.
 
Dark and moody tablescape.
 
Moody floral design, perfect for a halloween wedding or event!
 
And yes, if you’ve read this far, and you’re even wondering…
Of course that doll head also came straight outta my dining room!
#eclectictaste #myfriendsknowmewell
 
 
Venue: City Club LA / Design: Events by Holly Gray / Photography: Andy Seo Studio, The Big Affair, Joan Fuller Photography / Papergoods: Heirloom Paper / Linens: Luxe Linen / Furniture Rentals: Nineteen27 Vintage Rentals / Snake Skin & Bones: Reptacular Animals



TROPICAL WEDDING INSPIRATION MOOD BOARD

Tropical Wedding inspiration mood board featuring elevated centerpieces, acrylic details, and lots of large tropical leaves!
 

So you wanna throw a thoroughly modern, possibly black-tie tropical shindig?

Keep it simple

Tropical greenery is already SO extra, you really just need to pick a few leaves you like and repeat, repeat, repeat.

Add a Fun + Modern Textural Element

We chose acrylic and incorporated it in the escort cards, signage, ceremony backdrop, and seating.

Go Big

Tropical leaves lend themselves to large installations, big bouquets, and elevated centerpieces.

Color is Optional

Sure tropical fetes are often super colorful affairs, BUT for a more formal and/or minimal look, stick with green or add a single accent color like we did.
 
Tabitha Abercrombie of Winston & Main makes some behind the scenes adjustments to groom's boutonniere before shooting for Tropical Wedding Editorial.
 
And that’s it! Easy peasy. Simple, monochromatic, but never boring!
Bonus points if you dress to match your work! 😉
 
I hope this was helpful! Slide into my inbox or hop over to instagram and let me know what flower inspo/advice you’d love to see next!
 
 
Venue: The Modern / Photography: J Wiley Photography / Event + Floral Design, Styling: Winston & Main / Planner & Styling: Moxie Bright Events / Videography: Press Films / Calligraphy: Chasing Linen / Invitation & Chair Signs: Happily Ever Etched / Cake & Desserts: Mwokaji Cakery / Rentals: Borrowed Blu, Classic Party Rentals / Linens: Classic Party Rentals / Hair & Makeup: Betsy diFrancesca / Dress: Bride Boutique LA / Accessories: The Blushing Bird