Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristine Erwin.
Kristine, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
My story begins in 2018 when I left the classroom after 21 years of teaching. As much as I loved my job, a hearing impairment was making it progressively difficult to serve my students. After much prayer and many sleepless nights, I took the leap of faith and walked away. Initially, becoming a florist was not on my radar. My knowledge of flowers was minimal. Running my own business was out of my comfort zone. I actually prayed for doors to close on this opportunity because it scared me to death! Well, God had a plan that was so much bigger than anything I could’ve imagined! Here I am, 4 years later, loving the floral design process and being a small business owner. I am blessed to serve my small community in a new way!
We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Walking in faith isn’t always easy, and this adventure is no exception. The physical condition of the building was worse than we anticipated. We quickly found out that the money set aside for renovations wasn’t going to go very far, and the cute little storefront I imagined could quickly become a money pit. Financing a renovation loan would have forced my prices to increase, so I decided to save up for one project at a time. A new roof, new windows/exterior storefront, mold removal, and other structural improvements have been checked off the list. New electric and flooring are the final projects to be completed before we can officially be open for regular business hours. For now, I am filling orders for pickup and delivery. Weddings have become a passion for me and have filled much of my calendar… I offer workshops and private parties in remote places. So, I’m busy for not being officially open… if that makes any sense!
Once the final improvements are complete, and inspections are approved, I will be able to offer more availability to my customers and hire team members. I’m excited to see this project come to fruition. Until then, I’ll keep plugging along and learning as I go!
We’ve been impressed with Something New *Faith*Flowers*Finds*, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
“Something New” isn’t new to our community. The previous owner spent 43 years as a florist in our small town. Purchasing an existing business made this journey seem a little less risky, but I knew the building and floral designs were in desperate need of a makeover. I wanted to honor the history while making the changes needed to breathe life into this little flower shop. As a result, Something New *Faith*Flowers*Finds* now offers a wide variety of products and experiences for our local residents to enjoy. Our purpose is reflected in the name change:
*Faith* – Without God, none of this would be possible! Isaiah 43:19 is our motto as we host bible studies and faith-based book clubs. One of the things I love most about this journey is the opportunity to pray with and for those who cross my path. Customers will also find faith-based merchandise in our storefront.
*Flowers* – Of course, our main focus is to meet the floral needs of our community by using the highest quality flowers available to create unique arrangements for weddings, funerals, and other special occasions. For those who love to craft, seasonal make-it/take-it workshops are offered by a variety of local artisans. For brides looking to add some extra bonding with their best gals, “Make Your Own Bouquet” Parties are offered at no additional cost to their wedding package.
*Finds* – My love for all things rusted and worn is a big part of this adventure. In addition to traditional glass vases, customers can choose from a variety of vintage containers and other pieces to take home. Thinking outside of the vase is one of my favorite ways to be creative.
Reviving this business couldn’t have happened without the love and support from loyal customers. My heart is full as I reflect on how far we have come in a short amount of time. I am looking ahead with anticipation knowing that God will continue to show up in a big way!
Networking and finding a mentor can have such a positive impact on one’s life and career. Any advice?
In my heart, I will always be a teacher with a lifelong love of learning. I’m always looking for opportunities to ask questions – whether it be with other floral designers, business owners, vendors, or clientele. There are so many learning opportunities available online today, but I prefer attending in-person workshops and seminars that help foster personal connections. I have recently been introduced to a local Chamber of Commerce group for women. Networking with other business owners, even those not connected to the floral industry has opened up so many opportunities to learn about local resources and support available around me. Lifting each other up is a bonus!
- Website: somethingnewfaithflowersfinds.com
- Instagram: something_new_fff
- Facebook: Something New *Faith*Flowers*Finds*
J & E Photography
Magical Minutes Photography
Photography by Emmy Lee