TARA'S STORY

My name is Tara and although you may think you know me, I bet you didn't know that I started making bouquets when I was six years old. It’s true. Six years old and people were telling me I was going to be a florist when I grew up.

Let me tell you how that all started.

When I was six, my sister and I used to go to daycare together at Ogden House. It was a big building beside our elementary school and it had the largest field which seemed to go on for acres. It was full of tall patches of grass speckled with bright yellow dandelions, white Shasta daisies and wild shades of blue wild flowers.

I loved gathering those I thought were most beautiful, the tallest, and smallest, into groupings as large as my hand could hold. I gave them to as many teachers and friends as I could find. If I was lucky enough to get a bouquet together before the school bus, I excitedly had a bouquet to give to my mother waiting at the foot of the bus, when the door opened to let me down.

Mom used to say, you are going to be a florist when you grow up.

I had a special neighbor who used to sometimes babysit, she on occasion would hand me a quarter for one of my bouquets saying, “these are lovely!” It always gave me a great bit of joy when I saw the smiles after giving them one of my little bouquets and I think, it was then that I started the journey to becoming a florist.

As a late teenager, I got my first floral job working for someone who sold flowers table-side in restaurants. I received a great deal of training in basic floristry, but wasn't designing large quite yet. I was inquisitive and ambitious and began to apply my spare time to starting my own business in this industry, I wasn't yet 19. Six months later, I was making a living on my own floral work and created a business that really launched revved up after high-school graduation.

I called this business “Petals N Buds.”

I drew my own logo, made business cards and initially establish myself in Cranbrook, BC. I extended the business through out the Kooteneys, had a few loyal staff members and a very loyal clientele base. Everything was ideal however after two years, I was looking for a change. Not quite realizing what I had created, I sold my business to a staff member for a modest amount and moved to Lethbridge AB with plans to restart my business, with simple plans to work and save in order to pay for a college degree.

I was pretty ambitious and somewhat blessed because within only three weeks I had duplicated Petals n Buds in Lethbridge, calling it now Budding Impressions and having a very welcoming supportive business community around welcoming me to work with them. After three months, I was confident in how much to order without loss and was meeting many great people who quickly became loyal customers. It too was sold to a staff member.

The establishment of Budding Impressions in Lethbridge propelled my goal to graduate from three years of college, debt free in 2000. I now had a Biblical and Humanities degree and had worked in various non profit positions, relating to underprivileged children. Relocating to Victoria BC with a vision to start a drop in center for children. I started Victoria Youth Nannies, Contracted with Queen Alexander Children's Hospital, Ministry of Child & Family, and Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Center to name a few, all with the vision of eventually building a therapeutic lay area for children. However, one step after another took me forward --and backward, to re-opening my birth-business in flowers.

I decided yet to launch a flower business once more, this time, to train those who I believed were budding entrepreneurs. In this way, I would grow my brand, train business skills and work ethic to youth, hopefully help to establish a long list of successful young people and impact our community while doing everything I love.

I have currently worked worked now with three students, two of which are still with me. They are fantastic and have everything to offer making the world a better place to live. My goal is to create jobs, assist struggling families, and inspire business minded students.

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