National Small Business Week at The Greenhouse
The Greenhouse joins in the national effort to help America’s small businesses do what they do best – grow their business, create jobs, and ensure that our communities remain as vibrant tomorrow as they are today.
Meet Erica Holland with The Roaming Petal
GH: Tell us a little about yourself and your business!
EH: My journey with flowers started from a young age when like most young girls I would go outside pick weeds in the yard and then arrange them in vases around my house. As I got older, I always loved arts and crafts and to this day love a good DIY project. However, when deciding to enter the “real world,” I choose to become a graphic designer. I thought this was a great way to express myself creatively and still make decent money. After 5 years in the design world working at advertising agencies, and design studios and running my own design company in various countries, I realized I was desperately missing creating physical pieces of art.
I decided I was at a block in my career with what I wanted to do, so like most logical people I jumped on a plane and headed to Bali to figure things out. Well, boom I was there for 4 months, and while exploring the beautiful island of the gods, I rediscovered my passion for flowers and realized this is what I was meant to do. Seeing how they used flowers in such artistic ways and with such meaning and intention behind them was so inspiring- I knew I had to learn more. I started helping at a local florist shop learning all I could. While playing with flowers every day I realized I was learning basic tips and tricks that no one had ever told me before when buying or receiving flowers. I soon decided I didn’t just want to be a florist, but I wanted to teach others how to arrange flowers and bring them the same joy and happiness that it was bringing me. So low and behold The Roaming Petal was born in February of 2021. And here we are today, bringing floral workshops and beautiful flower bars to people’s homes, offices, and event spaces all over Tampa and Saint Pete.
GH: What was it like starting your business?
EH: I had to wait pretty much a whole year from when I thought of my business to when we hosted our first workshop. I arrived back from Bali three days before Covid locked everything down, and as you can imagine, an event business wasn’t really something you could launch with everyone locked in their homes. So instead, in the first few months, I started going around placing random flower arrangements on people’s doorsteps with positive notes of affirmation from flowers and greens I had foraged outside. I started posting these on social media as well as simple flower tips for the average person. I still wasn’t quite ready to host an event, but someone had reached out for a charity event to help teach a wreath workshop. I said yes, and shortly after that, I decided to host an online flower workshop where we delivered the flowers for the guests to use. That was the start, and by Valentine’s Day, we launched and hosted our first in-person flower workshop and have never looked back. It was scary, and there were so many things I had no idea about, but I just kept figuring them out as I went with each workshop.
GH: What advice would you give to others who are looking to grow their business?
EH: My advice would be to just start. You are never going to have everything mapped out and figured out, and even if you think you do something will happen where you must completely adapt and change anyway. I went through lots of learning curves, but that’s the fun in it, I think. Plus, the sooner you try something, the sooner you know if it works or not!
GH: Why do you think National Small Business Week is important?
EH: I think National Small Business Week is important to highlight and give hope to others that they too can start a business if they want. As a small business, we all start somewhere and the more support we get from each other, and the community is what helps to grow. It might seem scary, or you have no idea where to start, but as small businesses, we are all in this together. Being able to share these companies and their stories is a great reminder there are people out there following their dreams and that others can too!
GH: What are your future goals/plans for your business?
EH: We have so many fun plans that I am excited about! I have just finished my floral healing certification which means we can now host more mindful flower arranging workshops and flower meditations in addition to our floral parties to combine the many healing benefits of flowers into our workshops. With this, we are looking to host our first-ever flower retreat where each day will be centered around learning to create different types of flower arrangements and using flowers in different ways to help guests relax, ground, and reconnect to themselves and nature.
MORE ABOUT THE ROAMING PETAL