Petal's Edge || Mother's Day Mompreneur Feature

Photo by Egomedia Photography

Photo by Egomedia Photography

This is the fourth blog in my Mother's Day series featuring fellow Mompreneurs! If you missed the first one from three weeks ago you can read here about Leighan and her business Leighan Rose Designs. And if you missed the second one from two weeks ago, you can read here about Elle and her business Opal Design Shop here. And then last week we had Sy from Koko's nest which you can read here! Now on to Gerry and Rebecca and their floral business Petal's Edge. 

Tell us a little bit about your business.  What inspired you to start your own business? 

Petal’s Edge is a custom floral design company that specializes in weddings and events. We’ve been a woman-owned and -operated company since our inception, and bring diverse backgrounds in art, horticulture, and design to our work with flowers.

A mutual acquaintance introduced us to each other. Gerry had already left a career in art museums and had started Petal’s Edge, while Rebecca was looking to pursue new creative endeavors after leaving a career in landscape architecture. After a fateful lunch over Indian food, we found we had shared interests and decided to form a partnership to run the company.

Photo by K. Thompson Photography

Photo by K. Thompson Photography

What does getting to be a mompreneur mean to you?

We both didn’t have children at the time we started the company, but we both knew it was a possibility and consciously planned for it. We structured our business to think about how that might be accommodated as the company grew. Part of this is inherent in being a partnership; we have always had to be considerate of each other’s personal time. To us being a mompreneur means not sacrificing the professional in order to accommodate the personal but rather to seek that balance out from the start.

What's the best part of owning your own business? The worst part?

The best part of owning our own business has been the autonomy and flexibility that it allows us. Our work is uniquely seasonal and has a non-traditional work week, with our “off season” falling primarily in the winter. This has been fabulous for accommodating major family holidays, school schedules, weekday doctor’s appointments, being present when kids are sick, and frankly, snow days from school!

The worst part, though, is how time demanding the world has become. As a small business, we simply can’t operate the way a 24-7 corporation does.  When people demanding our time - all day, all evening and all weekend - is a challenge. In particular, we struggle with the lack of sympathy we receive from other working women who perhaps haven’t experienced the challenge of having a family. When Rebecca was expecting her first child, for example, we had a client ask how Rebecca would accommodate the demands of her wedding and having an addition to her family. That would be an illegal question in any other work situation. We had many clients express outrage when Rebecca was out on maternity leave - even though their needs were being more than handled by Gerry.

What do you and your kids like to do in your free time?

Rebecca:  We love to play with legos and do craft and science projects. Cooking and baking in the kitchen is a big activity with my oldest.  Park and zoo visits are popular. Soccer games are a regular part of the schedule. Both boys love the outdoors, so hiking, rock climbing, and going to the pool are popular activities.

Gerry:  My daughter is very artfully inclined, so we go to museums and do art activities together. Legos are also big in our family. Both kids love the water, so swimming, swim meets, going to the pool and boating are big. My son is only 2 but loves books and honestly, doing anything his sister is doing.

Photo by Marirosa

Photo by Marirosa

How do you balance life and work? Any tips for other mompreneurs just getting started?

As an entrepreneur, learning to set boundaries is critical to balancing life and work. We structured our business this way to start. Some smaller things we do have included distinguishing between work time and personal time, learning to say no (that really is okay!), learning to speak up when we need to be there for our children, and using a separate, dedicated work number rather than relying on a personal cell phone for calls. And finally, child care! Whether it’s full time, part time, an occasional baby sitter or a nanny, it truly takes a village. Get help if you need it, and don’t be ashamed or embarrased for doing so. Don’t be fooled by that romantic photo of a child sitting on your lap while you’re working at a computer. That’s a great way to lose all your hard work - and frankly, it doesn’t cater to your child’s needs either. We both love working, and we also love being 100% “there” when we are with our kids. Being a partnership makes us a bit unique as we have a build in “someone” to lean on, so if you are just starting a business, think about what you would do in a situation like that and who your someone is.

Photo by K. Thompson Photography

Photo by K. Thompson Photography

What do you consider your biggest milestone that you've hit with your business? What was the number one thing you did to get there?

One of our biggest and proudest milestones has been making maternity leave happen for both of us - and twice!! After having our children, we each took around 13-weeks off. It was about more than just having time off, by planning for and making use of disability insurance, we were able to make that paid time off and not sacrifice income for having a family, a challenge for many people.

Head on over to Gerry and Rebecca's website to see more of their gorgeous floral work and don't forget to connect with them on social media as well! Facebook Instagram