My Origin Story

I started this journey as an artist without an art form. 

When I was little I was very creative, so my parents signed me up for every creative pursuit we could easily find. I learned the basics of sketching, painting, pottery, dancing, quilting, cake decorating, interior decorating, photography, cooking, even screenprinting. I loved learning them all but never really found my niche.  Until in highschool, I took a year-long course in floral design. I learned all the basics in an esay to understand way with a class full of other students learning the same things at the same level. Soon I got an internship and then entry-level jobs. I was in love. I had found my art. 

I began to work in different flower shops and learning more. But the last shop I worked in before I got married almost killed my desire to design. The owner was dealing with a lot of things that had nothing to do with running a flower shop but carried over into everything that happened at the shop. If you’ve had interactions with a bi-polar person you understand the environment. Because I was still growing in floral design, I struggled to know what was right or wrong, and there was a lot of emotional manipulation. Eventually, my tasks were inventorying stock and cleaning her house. She was trying to sell everything. By the time I was done, I was happy to never touch another flower again. 

Over the next three years, my only floral interaction was an occasional friend’s wedding bouquet. But my husband saw my love for floral design wasn’t completely gone and he kept nudging me to get back into it. So after a move to a new city, I got a job at a local flower shop, but a lot of the same fears and insecurities returned. I really did love flowers, but it was the environment that was crushing me. I worked there for less than a year before I had to leave. I decided to start my own business just doing small weddings. I got really busy, but I also didn’t make any money, I never felt good enough and I knew nothing about how to run a business. After about two years I needed a break. I had just had my second baby and felt like it was a good time to re-evaluate. I took some business classes and re-branded. 

I realized that floral design should help people. It should be easy and feel like art, less like judgment and a place to be afraid. Flowers can be used for such good things, they make people happy. So I started by changing my pricing structure so I actually made money and had enough flowers leftover to be able to give away. To be a blessing. I started teaching, sharing what I learned the hard way so anyone can learn how to design beautiful flowers in their homes and for their weddings. Floral design shouldn't be hard, it should be accessible to everyone. There are easy basics that anyone can master. 

Just like in cooking, there are some basic skills to master. Or in dance, there are basic movements to learn. The same is true in floral design. Once you know them it starts to feel like art, it starts to feel like freedom and you can get into the flow of working with such a beautiful product and creating something more beautiful, something that can bring joy and makes people feel good. That in the right situation, can heal people and bring hope.

That's why I’m working under the Protea Rising brand. That is what I am continuing to create. 

Samantha Hendrickson