In April we held our first workshop in the Sinclair & Moore studio. Fifteen women of all different ages and from all over the country gathered together to learn the elements of event design and the foundations of floral composition. The skill level and experience of each attendee varied from multiple years in the industry to absolutely no experience at all. It was our first workshop, and I had no idea what to expect or how the week would unfold. Although I had planned everything out in great detail, there were so many unknowns that were out of my control that I knew would shape the entire experience. It would be a new experience for me and I was excited and nervous all at the same time.
As the women started to gather on the first day, everyone seemed quiet, and I could tell some were intimidated and feeling a bit shy. I had planned on a time for the ladies to mingle, drink some coffee and just get to know each other, but instead they stared at me in silence. “What am I doing!?! Why did I think this would be a good idea!?!” Even I get nervous in new situations, and I kind of wanted to hide. So that’s exactly what I did. I made up some reason I needed to excuse myself from the room for a moment and ran down the hallway, with my heart sinking into my stomach. I went into our smaller studio, took a deep breath, gathered my thoughts, gave myself a quick pep talk and returned to the attendees, who by this time had slowly started to talk amongst themselves. From there we jumped in feet first and there was no turning back.
The room was set with gift boxes for each attendee and a sea of flowers to choose from for arranging. We went through the different steps it takes to design and execute an event, and I taught them all about the fundamentals of floral design. Questions were asked freely. The hunger to learn and soak everything up was so apparent. Individual personalities came out as the women designed floral arrangements; everyone’s work looked so different from one to the next. I was so impressed that even the women who had never worked with flowers before did such an incredible job. There was this excited energy in the room, and everyone was having so much fun.
What unfolded the rest of the week I had not fully expected. People became vulnerable… they opened up about their own journeys… their hopes… their dreams… their struggles… their insecurities. It was beautiful.
Women who had never worked with flowers before left the workshop knowing how to create something beautiful. People who had been in the industry for years had a renewed vision and passion for their art. Ladies who didn’t think it was possible to start their own company left with a plan in place to start heading down the road of pursuing their passion. People felt released to dream big and believe anything can be accomplished. People felt empowered. New friendships were formed and lifelong connections were made.
As for me… something changed in my heart as well. I left the week so encouraged and inspired in a way that I had not expected. I had forgotten how much I love to encourage people to dream big. I am passionate about our business and what we do, but my greatest passion is to help people define their dreams and what they want out of life, and then help them figure out the best course of action to see those dreams come to fruition. I felt so alive and impassioned again.
Reflections from workshop attendee Haley Bell, Haley Bell at Home
“What started as a dream to attend the Sinclair and Moore workshop turned into a reality when my husband surprised me with the opportunity. I had no idea what to expect going into the workshop by myself with zero experience in the event design space. I learned skills in a matter of days that I didn’t even know were possible, from floral design, event design and how to run your business. But, what I really wasn’t expecting was the amazing learning environment and strong sense of community that Steve created amongst all of the attendees that was not competitive but supportive and encouraging.
One word to describe the Sinclair and Moore workshop is refreshing. Refreshing on every level from learning how to simplify your design and planning process, how to be kind in the event industry, and graining the confidence to chase after your dreams that you have always been dreaming of.”
Reflections from workshop attendee Chelsea Cowley
“Looking back on my experience at the workshop, I am just in awe of it all. It really is true that you can create a career out of your passions and be surrounded by beautiful things, all day long. Walking in that first day to your studio filled to the brim with flowers, I felt such a sense of calm and knew that was where I was meant to be. I felt so inspired, so excited to start this new adventure, and to learn from you–it was like being a giddy student all over again!! Everything was beautiful, and the attention to detail from the welcome gifts, to the way your studio was curated, to your vintage ribbon spools on an antique silver platter, to the stations set-up to arrange the florals, to the donut platters for breakfast, everything was immaculate. I could go on and on.
I am forever grateful for the investment that I made to attend your workshop. I can honestly say that it was one of the best decisions I have ever made and it did not disappoint. In fact, it exceeded all of my expectations in every aspect. I am truly thankful for the friendships formed with both you and Jamie, as well as the rest of the group. I will never forget the time I spent in Seattle re-filling my inspiration tank. I left your workshop with a renewed desire to follow my dreams and take risks, with a deeper understanding of the importance of relationships and connections and to be kind to everyone that you meet. For all of this, Steve and Jamie (and Grey), thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Reflections from workshop attendee Brittany Bijan, Harlin and Sparrow
“The Sinclair and Moore workshop was so incredible. We feel we were given such a gift by being able to attend the workshop. We learned so much invaluable information that I know will carry on our entire career. We’re so thankful to have had the opportunity to learn from Steve Moore. It’s not everyday that someone with such a gift for design is willing to share their process so willingly, we are forever grateful.”
It’s been two months and I know that these women from this workshop are still just as excited as when they left. I love receiving the texts, e-mails and being tagged on instragram as I watch these ladies continue to explore floral design, pursue their dreams and find their voice. These friends I met that week will always hold a special place in my heart as my first workshop attendees. They encouraged my heart just as I much as I encouraged them. They helped me define my dreams and helped me realize I too can do anything I put my mind too.
Let’s be honest… the market is flooded with a million workshops right now. People have asked me what sets mine apart, and why they should attend. Although intimidating, it is a fair question. I think I would have to say what makes our workshop different is that it is so much more than just making beautiful things and learning about the industry… it’s also about creating a beautiful life and learning about yourself, defining who and what you want to be and walking away with a tangible plan to start achieving those dreams you never thought were possible. Our workshops are about empowering people to be passionate about life and to dream bigger dreams.
Our workshop journey continues and we will be opening registration next week for our August and September workshop. The dates will be August 25th-27th and September 22nd-24th. Find out more information here, and check back next week to register. Can’t wait to meet some of you in the coming months.
If these ladies who attended our first workshop only remember one thing from that week, I hope it is this Eleanor Roosevelt quote I had calligraphed and printed for them to keep… “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
photography: Matthew Land Studios
Special thanks to Erik Holgate (my right hand man), Melanie Benson of Melanie Benson Floral Design and Marianne Caldwell of River Oaks Charleston for all of their invaluable help, support, wisdom and awesomeness. I could not have done this week without any you.