It seems like one of those buzz words we hear and see a lot in social media and inspirational quotes. Maybe it is, but it also goes a lot deeper than that. We all have battles we fight internally and today is an especially hard day, after a hard weekend. Depression and anxiety are not visible (to most people) and grief or pain is often hidden behind the smile you pass on the street. Disappointment is yet another invisible struggle and no one is immune to the sting of rejection when we get right down to it. These are battles for so many people, including me. So yes, I declare that I am a WARRIOR today. I keep getting up and fighting the battle and pushing forward. I’m pushing past the challenges, past the hurt, the grief, and the anxiety. It doesn’t look pretty and that’s ok. God is my refuge and He provides strength when I am weak. Support is vital to helping yourself and helping others overcome their battles. Be kind, encourage one another, and remember that others are warriors too, fighting a battle we may not be able to see. Community and friendship are powerful and no one is ever alone in their struggle.
Today has me reflecting on the last few months of this ride. I’ve been thinking on the journey that has been building community and offering support and connection for women, via our gatherings.
I realize I’ve made it complicated by trying to be ALL the things for ALL the people. I’ve put too much time into areas that didn’t really matter or reflect my heart. I’ve spent too little time in areas that matter more, those things that are the heart behind Fill Up Your Cup, like serving and just showing up for other women over a cup of coffee or through a thoughtful note.
So, I’m here, going back to the basics – back to the heart of community and connection. I wished that a community like this existed about 9 months ago, so I created it. It has been beautiful to see women come together and build relationships. It has been beautiful to see women lift each other up. THAT is what Fill Up Your Cup is about… it’s not what happens inside of four walls once a month. It’s about the women who band together in community and make each other better, no matter where they are.
So, while summer has not boasted many gatherings, it has been a season of grace and rest. The doors are always open, the table always has a seat for YOU. I’m always here to cheer you on, support you, and help you connect with other amazing women, just like you. We are better together, friends. Are you up for continuing the journey with me?
“There’s something about taking a step – you don’t have to be ready to run, it’s okay if you don’t know the step after that… it’s one step. I really view my life and business as taking one step at a time.”
Sam Schlicker is a fun, outgoing and driven small business owner in Michigan’s beloved Great Lakes Bay region. She recently opened Sweet Beets Floral in January 2019 and is taking off to new heights due to her amazing talent and experience in creating unique and thoughtful floral designs. Also the wife of a farmer, Sam teams up with her husband, Josh, to create a life they love and live out their dreams, both on the farm and in the flower studio.
I had the privilege of meeting Sam at our January social premier for Fill Up Your Cup and it’s clear that she has a passion for helping others celebrate life’s big moments by creating memorable details. Kind and authentic in nature, Sam makes it easy to spark conversation and highly values her clients’ dreams and visions. Sam shares with us a little of the background and heart behind what got her started in the floral design business, some valuable lessons learned and great advice she has been given along the way.
Q: What services does Sweet Beets Floral offer?
Sam: “Sweet Beets Floral is a wedding and event floral design business that commits to providing heartfelt floral designs inspired by nature for your life’s biggest celebrations. Using real flowers, I design bridal bouquets, bridesmaid bouquets, centerpieces, boutonnieres, corsages, arbors, and so much more. I use nature as an inspiration and expand my clients color palettes to create romantic floral designs. I also flower for baby showers and bridal showers!”
Q: What motivated you to start a floral design business?
Sam: “Here’s a cliff notes version: My hearts desire to become a floral designer changed my entire life. I wholeheartedly believe I was placed on this earth to be a floral designer and run a business. I feel called to do it – and sharing my story along the way is a piece of my purpose here.”
Q: Who has been an important mentor or influence in starting your business?
Sam: “Oh my! There are a lot of people in my life who have been cheering me on from the very beginning of this journey! My husband Josh has been a big part of that. It’s important to believe in yourself, but to have someone remind you when things get tough that you can do anything is a game changer!”
Q: How have you positively impacted your community since opening Sweet Beets?
Sam: “A big piece of my heart and mission behind Sweet Beets Floral is to inspire and encourage others to build a life they love. Following your dreams is such a joy in life, and I hope sharing bits of my dreams has motivated others to do the same.”
Q: What is your favorite thing about the floral design business?
Sam: “Client meetings! There is nothing better than chatting with a bride about her wedding flowers! It really is a fun conversation and I am truly just as excited as my clients for their wedding day. I work hard to ensure their vision comes true for one of their life’s biggest celebrations! And of course – making their bridal bouquet knowing they’re going to carry it down the aisle to their best friend is an added bonus!”
Q: What is a challenge you’ve faced in running your business and how did you handle it?
Sam: “I believe in being honest, and honestly – hearing that a bride went with another floral vendor was tough in the beginning. Sometimes it’s hard to close a sale, and other times my heart knew it just wasn’t a good fit. When I changed my mindset to think “each client I have, is meant to be my client” is when my 2019 and 2020 lineup turned into more than I could’ve ever hoped for!”
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Sam: “I attended a workshop last year, and I’ll never forget the host saying “When it feels right, just take a step.” There’s something about taking a step – you don’t have to be ready to run, it’s okay if you don’t know the step after that… it’s one step. I really view my life and business as taking one step at a time.”
Q: What encouragement can you offer to another woman who’s pursuing a dream in business or another passion?
Sam: “Be true to who you are! I think too many of us often hide our light and our talents because of fear. When you step out and show up as you are you will notice a tremendous difference!! And definitely simplify your goals – starting a business is NO JOKE so break down your goals into simple tasks. It will help you overcome any fears and you’ll find you have more momentum! Oh, and don’t be scared to ask questions or reach out to people you can learn from!”
Q: What is your favorite inspirational or motivational quote?
Sam: “No one is you and that is your power” – Unknown.
“It’s really important to remind ourselves that we all are created differently and have a grand variety of talents and skill sets that make us each unique.”
If you are interested in connecting with Sam, you can find her on Facebook and Instagram by searching @sweetbeetsfloral. If you’d simply like to chat, or find yourself interested in starting a small business, or would like to collaborate in any way, please reach out via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you Sam, for sharing your heart and inspiring all of us to pursue more of our talents and passions. We cannot wait to see the amazing things you’ll continue to do in your business and in the surrounding communities.
It’s been over two months since I decided to take the leap and launch my own monthly social gathering for local women. It’s been such an incredible journey for me so far. I still cannot believe it is coming to life, a little more each and every day.
It started with feeling a strong personal need for community and social interaction, somewhere in my city. You might be wondering, “Why would she want to do that? That’s what social media is for and it’s easy!” Let me tell you… I asked myself the very same question at first, but I quickly realized that it just wasn’t cutting it. I had been through a difficult personal health journey, IVF, miscarriages, and leaving my mainstream healthcare job to come home and work full-time as a health and wellness coach. My friends had babies and I didn’t. We moved in different directions. I felt very alone through all of it.
On December 19th, 2018, I sat on my couch and cried. I had placed all of my efforts into being an entrepreneur and I had a flexible schedule. I had a great income. I could even be described by some as ‘successful,’ I guess. I cried not because of the ability to work from home and the perks (all of that is awesome). I cried because I didn’t feel like I was bonding with anyone sitting behind a screen, day in and day out. I didn’t feel a genuine connection with anyone and I sure didn’t feel like I was making any lasting friends via social media.
In that moment on the couch, I started thinking and then praying for some direction. Then, I stared down at my new Alex & Ani coffee charm bracelet. That was THE moment. I know you’re probably thinking, “Really? THAT was the BIG moment? Yep. It was. In the midst of my tears and prayers, I was led to creating Fill Up Your Cup.
Looking at that little coffee cup charm reminded me of all the good conversations, dream sessions, and laughs that have happened over coffee in the last few years. Coffee is one of my favorite things and I spend a lot of time in the local coffee shops enjoying the sense of community and belonging that seems to happen there.
I knew I couldn’t be the only one who felt like I was struggling to make real friends in my thirties, so I decided to take a chance and put myself out there, for all to see. I started asking other women to join me for coffee and conversation. Some of them I knew personally, some I didn’t. It was a scary feeling at times to wonder if I’d be rejected or laughed at, but I felt called to this assignment, and I was willing to take the risk.
In less than 30 days, I had over 100 women join the private Facebook community. I had so many positive messages and conversations with women who were thrilled that something like this monthly social gathering was being offered to them. It may not seem like much to some people, but to me, it meant the world. I love to give and serve and this filled my heart with so much joy and gratitude!
Despite Mother Nature’s decision to bring some major winter weather on the day of our first gathering, we made it happen! It doesn’t matter that the roads were terrible and only 10 people could make it or that I had never done this before. It doesn’t matter that it wasn’t ‘perfect.’ What matters is that IT HAPPENED.
No matter the weather or my inexperience, it was so fulfilling to see women showing up. It felt so amazing to know that they trusted in me to create a safe space of belonging; and to see them come together in conversation and sharing laughter with each other in a matter of minutes. It was perfectly imperfect and everything I could ask for.
Fill Up Your Cup is coming to life, and it is made of beautiful women who are unique and amazing in every way, from all walks of life. Entrepreneurs, moms, wives, creators, warriors, you name it. We can ALL support, empower, and encourage one another, one connection and one gathering at a time. We are all more alike than we are different and this community is proof.
I believe I was assigned this mountain, to show others it can be moved. I didn’t know the ‘how,’ for getting it done, but I had a desire to fulfill the ‘why’ and I’m learning along the way. Building community and relationships makes my heart beat. I feel so honored to have the opportunity to share this with other women who value that too.