Today we’d like to introduce you to Heather Geraghty.
Hi Heather, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
My story of where I am today started likely before I even realized it. I was always a bit of the “black sheep” in my family for lack-of-a-better terms. My parents and brother are wired for a love of science and biology. My father is a retired microbiologist, my mom a retired pharmacist, and my brother studied marine biology with an emphasis in underwater crime scene investigation. Huh? Yes, it’s apparently a thing. While their passions and careers revolved around the “absolute”, I gravitated towards the abstract. My nose was always in a book, I loved writing and art, and in looking back see that I’ve always had an immense appreciation for all types of design. However, there was a brief point in my life I tried to follow the lead of my family. I started out studying biology in college and quickly realized after several lectures on the Krebs Cycle I thought my brain might literally explode. I realized I needed to find my passion. I don’t even think I knew much of anything about majoring in design, aside from the fact knowing and understanding the Krebs Cycle was not a requirement. I changed my major to Interior Design in 1999 and never looked back.
Right out of college, I pursued my passions and in 2002 moved from Oregon to San Diego on a whim (literally packed my bags a week after college graduation and moved to SD not knowing a soul). Over the next 18 years I lived, ate, and breathed my career. I had the opportunity to work for several Architectural firms and one firm that focused solely on Interiors. I can look back at all these experiences proud of my accomplishments, the portfolio I developed, the things I learned, and the people and mentors I met along the way. In 2016 I had my son, and I think that’s when I began to realize that something in me was shifting. I still loved my work but became torn between giving 110% to my job when I had a family at home I wanted to pour as much love and energy into. I went back to work, grateful for my job but also resentful for the emotion it was producing. In 2018 I found out I was pregnant again. This time, to our surprise – it was twins. I’ve never been so terrified in my life. Through a very difficult pregnancy, I ended up taking my maternity leave when I was about six months along. My twins arrived in March of 2019, and everything as I knew it changed. I guess at this point, you could say God was gently “nudging” me to take a step back and re-evaluate my career. I informed the firm I was working with at the time that I was going to take some time at home and focus on being a new mom. I think the next 2+ years were some of the most difficult I’ve ever encountered.
Not only was the world on the cusp of a pandemic, but I was now a mom of three who had just decided to take some time from what I can say now, was for so long my identity. I went through a very difficult time battling struggles with postpartum depression and anxiety, and after a long road and amazing support through my husband, friends, and family, feel like I’ve come out the other side. The last couple of years has gifted me the opportunity to learn to “be still” and reflect on what and where I want to pour my energy. Thus, bringing me to November of 2021. Similar to changing my major and moving to San Diego, I woke up one day with purpose and knowing where I wanted the next chapter of my life to take me. I wanted to continue to use my creative outlets, but I also wanted to do it on my terms, as well as have the opportunity to directly reach people and bring joy. What better way than through flowers? I can honestly say I’m learning as I go. I worked briefly in high school in the floral department of a local store, but other than that, am self-taught. If anything, I’ve learned over the past several years of deep self-reflection, I think the take-away is this: I will by no means claim to be an expert in my craft. I am learning as I go. However, what I do know far surpasses what I lack. I am driven. I am talented. I have a vision. I am passionate. I am open to learn and grow. And, perhaps most importantly, I think the world could use a little extra beauty and joy right now.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I don’t think anything in my life at this moment in time could be considered smooth (and I say this light-heartedly). If there’s a mom of three out there right now reading this that’s re-inventing her life at 43, and things are smooth – please contact me directly. I’d love to have coffee and have you divulge all your secrets! In all seriousness though, I’ve had some challenges, like anyone starting out. I think the biggest hurdle is I’m doing this all on my own, and I’m figuring it out as I go. It’s a lot to digest, and there are so many facets (LLC, website, marketing, book-keeping, etc.). The creative side of me wants to jump in, do what I love, and go! The practical and at times overly analytical side of me knows that in order to be profitable and successful there’s a lot of groundwork that needs to be laid prior to getting there. At the end of the day, as long as I’m realistic and aware of what those challenges are and learning from them, I consider it a step in the right direction.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I specialize in creating bouquets, arrangements, and centerpieces for a variety of occasions, gifts, and events (yes, I do weddings). I offer discounts on recurring subscriptions for commercial, corporate and the restaurant industry that can be customized as far as frequency and duration. And I also teach group workshops that focus on “how to make your own centerpiece,” which has been typically centered around a season or holiday but am open to opening this up to wherever there’s interest.
I’m most proud of the fact that although this is a whole new realm of opportunity for me, and I’m taking a risk, I’m putting my vision and drive above my doubt and fear, and I’m jumping in!
I think there are a couple of key things that really set me apart from others. First, part of what’s always been somewhat of a disappointment when ordering flowers for me – is they have an expiration date, and after a week-or-so of ordering, they are thrown away. I wanted to somehow change that perception. I’m by no means proclaiming to have a breakthrough product or solution (after all, let’s not forget chemistry and I do not get along), but what I have discovered is this: Succulents are a type of plant that are often misunderstood and highly underestimated. Not only are they almost indestructible, they’re also quite beautiful – especially when in bloom. After merging this discovery with the fact that I like to think outside the box and provide a bit of the unexpected, I realized there was a way to incorporate them in what I was making. So, whether I’m creating something extremely traditional (think roses) or a bit more abstract, I will always include at least one variety of succulent in my pieces. This way, when your blooms have expired, you can at the very least take your succulent(s) and replant, as well as continue to enjoy. I also think that my background in design provides an extremely unique take on whatever I’m making. I don’t ever go into much planning ahead, and nothing ever turns out looking the same as the piece I made prior. I think my appreciation for balance, texture, color, and eye for detail also add something special to what I do.
If you had to, what characteristic of yours would you give the most credit to?
I love people, and I believe everyone has a story. I know this has absolutely nothing to do with a business plan or profit margins, but at the end of the day I think what makes you successful is the footprint you leave in this world and how you treat other people. I want to instill in my children that kindness translates to beautiful things and ultimately success. If people remember me for not the profitable business I had or projects I created, but the number of people’s lives I’ve touched in some positive aspect, I consider myself successful not only in my work but more importantly successful as a human.
- Small bouquets (no vase) starting at $45
- Small arrangements starting at $55
- First time customers – 20% discount
Kristen Vincent (family photo)