Inspiring mom: Kim Sanders of Art with Nature Design
Today we’re kicking off a new column over here on Cakelet. Having a creative business and being a mom isn’t always easy, but it’s such an inspiration to so many women who dream of doing the same. We thought we’d take the opportunity to profile some of the really talented women and moms we know and let them share how they seem to do both with ease and grace. (Spoiler alert, it’s so not easy!)
We’re starting with Kim Sanders, a floral designer and the proprietress of Art with Nature Design. Esther Sun took some beautiful photos of her home studio and adorable kiddos recently and we thought you’d like to see. Kim is also a member of our guide for weddings and parties over on 100LC!
Business name: Art with Nature Design
Date/year started: 4 years as a solid business, before that I ‘played’ with flowers for many, many years.
I started Art with Nature as a way to stay connected to plants and flowers even though I no longer worked in the nursery industry after starting my family. I grew up in the nursery world and then I married a nurseryman, so flowers and plants will always be important to me.
Where do you work?
We happily work from my home. Our garage is back behind the house and has been tailored into a nice workspace. There’s always room for improvements, and this is not a glamorous job, only the final result is! I briefly rented a space to work and meet with clients, during a year that I felt that I needed to separate home from work. But it was the worst mistake I ever made. Rent is one thing, but then there’s all the bills that come with it! I got too big for my britches and thought I could handle it. Once my lease was up I quickly moved back home and I have been happy ever since.
What was the inspiration or impetus to start your business?
Oh boy, where do I start. My heart will always be in the garden. Lots of my free time is in the garden. When I first started working for myself it was pure passion… and as the economy changed so did my business sense. It quickly became a real job, and I needed to make money, plain and simple. I’ve learned one important thing in this incredibly competitive industry….patience. Not only with my family, my clients, my employees, but also those BIG things and dreams that you want to happen right away. They don’t happen right away, but in time they will, with patience.
How has it changed as your children have grown?
When I started my business my son Henry was 4 and my daughter Helen was 2. It was hard at first….long days in the studio, gone on Saturdays and Sundays. Let’s just say my husband was not pleased. He has since then sucked it up for the most part, but not all the way, yet.
One of the best parts of my work-at-home situation is that our elementary school is a 2 minute walk away. This makes it really convenient when someone forgets their lunch or homework. Or if I want to volunteer, I’m usually readily available and that makes me happy!
As my kids grow up (faster than lightning) it becomes increasingly easier to manage my time between my career and being a wife and mom. I think I’ve come pretty close to figuring it out, for myself. Here are a few things that make this whole thing work for me:
I work from home with lots of offsite storage (stuff and piles everywhere makes me crazy). I am a very proud home owner and my clients love seeing me for who I really am. I’m very open about being a mom and I find that people are very respectful.
I have a great staff and I’ve be so fortunate. My assistant is the kindest, sweetest person; I couldn’t do this without her… she’s like family to us all.
My mother-in-law is amazing, she helps me so much and I’m so grateful for her flexibility. And she has rad style too.
Baby sitters, been lucky here too… college students are wonderful.
I couldn’t live without a housekeeper. Never, never. At least once a month.
I’ve started taking workshops with premier floral designers….it’s my ultimate indulgence. I’ve only recently starting doing this and it is tremendously important to me as an artist and to connect with others in my field. In fact social networking has brought me closer to my fellow designers more in the last 6 months than in my entire career.
I’m not afraid to ask questions….I’m so done with trying to figure out things on my own!
Finally, I LOVE what I do, I LOVE flowers, I LOVE that each and every bride or event is different from the other, I LOVE to teach and inspire, I LOVE to share my experience and knowledge with anyone. Besides all that I LOVE my husband Brad more than anything in the universe, I LOVE and adore my children more than words can say.
Thanks so much for sharing Kim, and for the beautiful photos, Esther!