Following My Intuition

In July of 2015 I was sitting in an all-staff meeting at my nonprofit, regional theatre job. I was a stewardship manager- in short I was in charge of thanking and taking care of donors, essentially showing gratitude from the organization. The job had most of the elements I loved including thoughtfulness, marketing and VIP customer service. But, I was lacking any sort of creative freedom.

In previous years I had dabbled in events and floral design- even coming up with a company name- GasparaFlora. But, for years I had been stewing on a dream to start a locally sourced gift box company, something unique and effortlessly luxurious. Among my research was finding a company on the East Coast making wedding hotel welcomes- thought THIS IS IT (more on that evolution later), and my mind was already starting to put together the pieces. 

With all this manifesting a change in my life, I had come upon a blogging conference in Portland happening in October of 2015. The marketing was gorgeous, it sounded divine, and despite the fact I had never written a blog, I decided to give it a try- I signed up, recruiting my actual-blog-writing-cousin from Colorado to join me. Content in my ‘making shit happen’ move I went along with my life as usual at the theatre.

As I sat in the meeting, which commenced in the theatre- go figure- a date flashed on the screen October 9-11, all hands on deck. I’m sorry, wut. THAT CANNOT BE. I could feel my heart as it slowly inched down to my stomach, I would imagine that any pigment in my face did the same. I wanted to cry- I had decided to take a chance, a leap, try this blogging conference thing that I knew nothing about other than- flowers- they had so many pretty flowers on their site, it sounded magical, mystical and I was DOING IT.

Instantly a switch went off in my head. Nope, simply nope. It was that very moment I decided that I wanted to start my gifting company, I HAD to start my gifting company, like for real.

I somehow convinced my husband (bless his uber practical soul) that this was my destiny. And- I put in my notice to the theatre in August of 2015. At the same time my branding was done and I embarked on the journey which is now GasparaFlora.

The conference WAS magical and inspiring and I was so happy I invested in myself. I was free to make it happen, my husband was so supportive, and everyone thought I was a hero for taking a leap! And then I realized I had zero idea about starting, running or even dipping my toe in business.

I have learned more in the almost two years since starting than I had ever learned in school. Mostly about myself, my abilities, that I can make it happen if I try, that no one really knows what the heck they are doing, and that even less give themselves the opportunity to learn what they are capable of.

           Hello Sessions, October 2015

           Hello Sessions, October 2015

Everyday is a choice. This life is crazy, short and who knows when it will end. But- speaking from experience the best thing you can do is LIVE it. And listen to yourself while you’re scrambling around trying to figure it (whatever IT is) out.

When I started GasparaFlora, I was hell bent on a wedding welcome gift company, only to find out- I wasn’t that interested in the wedding industry. Who knew? My passion lies in branding, design- truly diving into what makes a company tick, then turning that into tangible trinkets of gratitude.

The past two years have been exceptionally hard, but also the most rewarding of my career to date. My ultimate advice?

Listen to your inner voice, my friends, it’s speaking for a reason. 

Cheers, Ryann 

Ryann Gaspara