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Conversations with Hannah Willis

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hannah Willis. 

Hi Hannah, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
I’ve always considered myself creative. I grew up with a creative family and was regularly given the freedom to try new things. I’m also a really hard worker – and have always tried to offer my best even when it meant overworking. It wasn’t until right after college when I started to realize that my creativity was meant for more than just hobbies and that my work ethic could be channeled into something healthy. I graduated with a degree in Marketing and worked in Sales in Dallas for a while – which I loved! I would find myself in my office doodling or journaling about business plans and staying up late to type out notes and flush out ideas. That’s where I’d say my business got started. Even though at the time I had no idea what I was wishing for – just general ideas – that’s where it began. It always felt so unattainable though, as if I would never have enough money to start up or I would never find anyone who wanted to buy something from me or invest in me. I just wanted to take my creativity seriously. It took a few years to actually take the plunge toward making art in a way that I could offer to others – and then the pandemic hit. 

During the lockdown, I got started on a small create profile on Instagram. It was more of a personal project and an outlet than anything else. Eventually, I started out on the journey toward actually sharing my art (in whatever form it was that day), I faced some expected setbacks that almost threw me off completely. Over time, I developed some grit and some understanding of the journey – and realized that we have to face some hard things to get to the good stuff. The hard parts may look like posting something that no one sees or standing firm in calling yourself a businesswoman when someone asks you how your “passion project” is going. It’s all just really vulnerable stuff, and you’ve got to be down to stick it out. 

I have come to realize that pursuing our dreams and passions is worth the risk though. Over the years, with the help of many amazing friends and my steady rock of a husband – I now have a business that I’m proud of, and feel like I am finally taking my creativity seriously. It’s honestly only when I started believing in myself that I realized that others could too! It sounds cheesy, but once you put your blinders on and just start creating – you can do anything and people will COME! 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
It’s certainly not been smooth! I have struggled with many things – taxes, invoicing, payroll, employees, workspace, work hours, etc. The list is honestly endless. It’s so hard to think about your “big dream” versus actually being in it. When you’re inside the dream, it just feels sort of normal! Every once in a while, I make myself zoom out so that I can remember that this is exactly where I wished I would be a few years ago. I never thought it was possible! The roadblocks have been necessary for me – I personally needed to be stretched in things not going perfectly and needed to learn my limits. I have learned a ton from each big and small struggle along the way. For a florist, the struggles range from mold in your buckets to a client who hasn’t paid an invoice the day before you pick up their stems (thousands. of. dollars.) 

It helps to have at least one steady and secure person in your life. For me, that’s my husband. He’s the risk-taker of our family, and I luckily get to benefit from that. He’s been there at every turn when something comes up, and my favorite words he’s ever said to me are, “we’re going to be okay” – I feel ready for the hard stuff when I know I’ve got him by my side. A firm supporter + partner is key. Someone like this also comes in handy when you need a sounding board during the rough stuff – AKA I’m terrified of confrontation and my husband has helped me through many conversations as the non-emotional party. 

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I am a Floral Designer. I specialize in events, installations, and everyday blooms! By that, I mean that I am a wedding florist who also occasionally offers fresh arrangements. I’m set apart because I’m ME. There are tons of floral artists who are gifted beyond words, but there’s only one me. I used to be intimidated by the overflow of florists in the Dallas area, and just in Texas in general. After about a year in the industry, I realized that if you have two people the same exact stems and ask them to make an arrangement – they will look completely different. It is so insanely hard to design floral the exact same way as someone else, which (in my opinion) is what makes it so fun!! I’m known for pastel hues, whimsical + airy designs, and special touches on each stem (aka flower garnishes). 

In terms of what I’m most proud of — I think that I’m just proud that I’m doing something that I didn’t think was possible a few years ago. This month we hired an assistant and toured a studio space (WHATTTT!). It’s like each day holds something new and that’s just the pace that I’m trying to keep. The ever-evolving risk and adventure keeps me on my toes and keeps me excited about this job! I’m passionate about creativity and originality and hope to never grow stagnant in my business. I’m proud of where I’m at, and where I’m headed. 

What are your plans for the future?
I like this question!! I think change-wise we aren’t looking at anything supermassive in the near future. However, I definitely do feel a shift coming on. I’m not sure in what direction… it’s just one of those things, ya know? I feel like we’re evolving somehow out of our box and into something new – but don’t quite have words for it yet or any real tangible next steps. 

In the near future – I’m locking down a studio space with my sisters (fingers!!! crossed!!!) and nurturing a new employee. I also have a sweet baby boy and I’m simultaneously watching him grow every day alongside my business. We’re in a sweet season! 

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Day Lilies Photography

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