Katie Davis

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CulturallyOurs Katie Davis Ponderosa and Thyme Creative Entrepreneur

CulturallyOurs
CulturallyOurs
Katie Davis
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Show Details

In this episode, we explore Art and Entrepreneurship as I chat with Katie Davis of Ponderosa & Thyme. Katie is an artist, florist and entrepreneur who works with plant materials, foliage and nature as a medium to promote creativity. Katie has been in business for 16 years and now focuses on teaching and educating others on the creative process.

Katie believes that the art of using creativity as a foundation for business success is important no matter the industry. Creativity and creative process are important skills that all entrepreneurs should have to be successful in today’s market place.

Show Notes

Karthika interviews Katie Davis the founder and creator of Ponderosa and Thyme where she teaches other creatives, artists and florists the art of creative process. Katie is a creative powerhouse and she believes that using creativity as a foundation for business success is important no matter the industry. Creative skills are something that every entrepreneur needs to develop.

The Transcript

Karthika: Welcome. Katie, thank you so much for joining me on CulturallyOurs today. I am so very excited to be chatting with you and I cannot wait to dig into your entrepreneurial journey.

Katie: It is such a pleasure to be here. I feel really honored that you’ve asked. I am sure it is going to be fun.

Karthika: Absolutely. And the honor’s all mine. So before we begin, can you just perhaps tell us a little bit about who you are, where you’re from, just to kind of help set the stage for this conversation?

Karthika: And the honor is all mine. So before we begin, can you tell us a little bit about sort of who you are, where you’re from, just to kind of help set the stage for this conversation?

Katie: Absolutely. My name is Katie Davis. I am an artist based out of Salem, Oregon. I’ve grown up in this Pacific northwest. And I’ve lived here my whole life and I work with plant material as my medium for my art form. I’m really influenced by the seasons. I’m influenced by nature and what it’s doing currently. And I love to teach florists and artists and creatives all over the world about creative process. I’m using floral and foliage and plant material as kind of the medium that I teach with. But I do love to teach outside of florals as well.

Karthika: I love how you can start off with the term artist because a lot of times, you know, people say, Oh, I’m a calligrapher or I’m a photographer and I feel like it’s sort of limits us a little bit, but artists is so broad and encompassing to all sorts of creative art forms. Right?

Katie: For sure. I mean, for me, the word artist is something that I’ve been in the process of adopting into my description for a long time. I’ve always known I was an artist, but I think if you’d ask me what do I do two years ago I would’ve said I’m a florist, you know, because I think that that’s a more comfortable statement. But the word artist is really true for who I am. And even if flowers went away, I would still be creating beauty. So for me that’s the definition of an artist is somebody who makes no matter what they have to, they have to make something.

Karthika: Right. And that’s so beautiful. Now, is this something you went to school for or are you sort of always knew you would get into?

Katie: Yeah. So I did not go to school for art. Its funny but in high school actually, I applied to get into the art program as soon as I really realized that was kind of my calling, to be an artist, to be surrounded by artists. I realized that I needed to get into some classes or programs and they told me that I had aged out of the program right that time. I think I was 15 when I applied and I was too old at that point. How crazy is that? So for the high school program that I wanted to get into, I was told no. And so, I found art in other places. I found it with music. I found it with dance and throughout the years I kind of explored different mediums. And when I found florals early in my high school experience, just because it was my first job. I worked in a flower shop, a sweeping up after the florists discovered that there’s this art form that I actually really enjoyed. And you know, it took years to kind of open that box. But over the last 10 years I have really developed that to be the art form that I use to  express myself with.

Karthika: What made you decide to be an entrepreneur? I mean, it’s one thing to be a creative. It’s one thing to be like you said a florist, but you said something earlier. You teach people. How do you express creativity with any medium and all over the world. So it’s a business. And what made you decide to kind of take that path of entrepreneurship and business?

Katie: So for me, I think entrepreneurship is in my blood. My Dad was an entrepreneur and a lot of different ways. When I was a child he started his own business and I watched him do it. I remember the blood, sweat and tears that went into it. I remember the passion. I remember how he cared for people and he knew that creating it as own business was what was going to allow him to do that better. So I watched him grow this thing and I was really proud of him and he was really proud of it. And then in my mind there was really no other way. I had seen it modeled so well that I think that I just never really thought about working for somebody else. And I did have jobs where I worked for other people, but it was always with the mindset of pretty soon I’m going to open my own thing. So I don’t know. It’s just kind of always been there for me. It’s always been what I would do. I really did not choose to use my art and creativity to be the thing that I would make money with. But that’s sort of what had happened.

Karthika: Thats great that you had someone to kind of show you the ropes. Maybe not literally but looking at them do it and seeing how it is goes. So it wasn’t a complete shock, like oh my gosh what am I getting myself into. What am I doing? that perhaps some of us feel like at times.

Katie:  Absolutely. I definitely had kind of a really good example that had been set in front of me. And a view of how it could look.

Karthika: Right. Now you said you’ve been at this for awhile, you said you’ve been doing this for 10 years, so perhaps I will not ask you how competitive the space is. But instead I will ask you in the 10 years that you’ve been doing this, how has the industry, how has the market space changed and how have you adapted to that?

Katie: Excellent question. You know it’s interesting doing business in a market. I am primarily in the wedding market as a florist and the wedding market is very competitive. I know it’s constantly changing with trends and staying relevant each year is challenging. There’s a new kind of client that you having to kind of understand and with the trends you’re having to really stay on top of that. And that is something that is not easy. And the wedding industry has changed dramatically in the last 10 years. I can say that, you know, I went from really being passionate about weddings too. Now my passion is relationships. I love marriage. I love the celebration of marriage. I wouldn’t say that I’m passionate about weddings anymore, but so that’s really something that’s for me shifted where my focus is no longer as much on the wedding industry and more about creating these really special, intimate moments with couples that I really care about. And for me that’s allowed me to kind of step away from competition because I’m really focused just on what I’m doing. I’ve had to do that for my own sanity because I don’t like the competitive nature that can happen a lot in the wedding. And having to be so culturally relevant all the time for the trends and being available for all of that. That’s important, but it’s not my main focus. And so I’ve kind of had to remove myself from that so that I can continue to do what I love. I don’t know if that’s answering the question.

Karthika: It does. And it’s such a beautiful way of putting it because yes, you are kind of aware of what’s happening, but you’re also kind of focused on your thing, what gives you joy and sure you kind of hear the noise that’s happening around you, but focus on what you are passionate about and you know you will be successful and it’s never really competition.

Katie: Right. We have to look at it from a community aspect too.

Karthika: Yes for sure. So how has this ride been so far for you, Katie?

Katie: It’s been really busy. And I think that a lot of businesses face this when they become successful. A lot of businesses don’t know how to face success when it happens really quickly. I know for us that has kind of been the journey that we are on. I felt like I built this very slowly and it has taken a lot of time but when that success happens, sometimes it happens in a big way, really fast. And so for us we got busy really fast and we found ourselves growing faster than we could keep up with. So we are kind of in that catch up mode for a few years now. We are doing things we are really excited about and we are really passionate about and now we need to have the manpower to back it up.So it’s been an interesting ride. The busy is good. Sometimes it can be really good. It’s been a good learning experience. I’ve learned a lot about sustainability. I’ve learned a lot about determining what I really want and saying no to everything else. That’s hard. And that’s something I’ve really over the last few years just really been focused on, especially this last year, just learning to say no to the stuff that isn’t gonna ultimately get me to the goal of community connection and serving the clients that really want to serve in the end.

Karthika: Yes it is important to say yes to the good things and saying no to the things that aren’t just quite right.

Katie: You’re right. That is a hard one to kind of wrap your brain around because you know, it’s money that’s coming in that perhaps is not going to come in, but that’s kind of having that shift that you don’t need that you want to focus on what you really do need to focus on. And trusting that in the end that’s going to be the thing that you’ll become successful at.

Karthika: Absolutely. Now I feel like as a people, as a culture, we don’t celebrate successes, especially as entrepreneurs. We are so focused. We talked about this. You’re so focused on the next goal, the next task or you know, work that’s coming in. So before we go any further, can you perhaps share what are some of your proudest accomplishments so that we can celebrate your successes?

Katie: I love this question and I love this concept of celebration. For me, you know, celebration is one of the words that I use to describe what’s important. We have lots of things that are important to us, celebrations is one of them. So I love that. You know it’s a hard thing. I feel proud of the whole journey. None of it has been easy. And so it’s hard for me to just choose one thing or a couple of things. But I would say that branching outside of my own small little bubble that I was in and deciding to take my love for creatives and desire to teach creative process abroad and then just doing it. It was a huge leap of faith for me to decide to start teaching creatives all over the world. And I didn’t know if it would work. And when I put it out there, it was terrifying. We put all of our finances on the line to do it. I wouldn’t recommend that people do that. Its not a recommendation, but it is what we did and it’s paid off. It was the biggest risk of my life and it’s been the biggest joy getting to experience and love creatives and artists all over the world. It’s been maybe the best thing in my life besides, you know, my husband and my children.

Karthika: Yeah. We tend to forget the family support, but they are so important.

Katie: Yeah. It is less about forgetting, but more like they are my number one. They’re my number one joy, but they’re not everything, you know? And that’s one of the things is that I had to really realize when I was a really young mom and I had kids really little when I was still a kid. And I had to learn really quickly that I had to have something that was outside of my kiddos and my husband. I had to have something that brought me joy in life and then I realized that the community of artists around me, it was really going to be that other scene for me.

Karthika: You are so right. Especially as moms sometimes we are so hard on ourselves, the guilt of wanting to do this, but we have family responsibilities as well. So how do I separate it? And finding that one thing or those things that help you is really important.

Katie: Yes it’s so important. And I think that when my kiddos are watching me do what I was created to do and they’re watching me make a difference in my own life and in other people’s lives, I think that they feel really proud of me. And I think, I hope that it tells them that they can also do the things that they want to do in their lives.

Karthika: Absolutely. I couldn’t agree more. Now like anything in life. We have our ups and we have our downs. So what are some of the challenges you’ve faced and I’m particularly interested in hearing how you overcome these challenges, whatever they are.

Katie: Yeah. Life is full of challenges. I think that life is really hard and that’s something that I say a lot. Life is really hard and life is really beautiful and we have to learn to live somewhere in the middle of that and exist in both realities and do it well. And so for me, I’ve had a lot of health struggles in my life. So my early twenties, I started experiencing some chronic pain. Now we’ve got a diagnosis and a path to walk down and it’s not an easy one, but it’s one that I, will a little help, can maintain good health. I can do the things that I want to do, but I’m never going to be able to necessarily be super woman all the time. And thats a hard thing. My body has been the boundary for me in doing a lot of things the way that I want to do it. And that’s been a good thing in some ways. It’s slowed me down at a level that I see the world really differently. Now I have compassion, empathy for people that have chronic pain. I don’t write people off at the same level that I would have before. Because I’m capable of a lot of stuff that, if I told everybody what was going on with me every day, I might get written off about it. So I think my health is one of those things that I have to balance every day. I have to think about every day. And it’s not easy. But you know, with time I’ve been able to really find a path that feels peaceful. And that’s for me been the biggest way to find sustainability in my art practice. With work  that is to really follow that space where there’s peace that leads. I know that I can accept a job, I can say yes to a project if I’ve got peace around it. And that peace comes with listening to intuition. There’s a lot there. I talk about intuition a lot and listening to intuition and how important it is for us to be constantly listening, constantly weighing, you know, is this the right path for me? Even if it sounds good, it might not be the right thing. And I found that if I don’t listen to my intuition, then I’m going to push myself. I’m going to push my body further than I need to. But if I listened to intuition and I stay in that place then I’m finding that I can do the jobs that I want to do, even with my body having the challenge that it does.

Karthika: You’re right. I mean we know ourselves best. And we just have to listen. It’s all there and we have to accept it. I think you have that listening ability and the acceptance and intuition.

Katie: I love that word. Acceptance. I think that’s really true. I think for me for a long time, I was not accepting the limitations my body was giving me and I’m pushing, trying to push beyond them all the time. And I found myself sick, not able to get out of bed some days. And because I was pushing too hard and I was making myself ill. And so when I pulled back from the competitive wedding industry at the level that I was in it and I started just doing the things that brought me joy and I started doing the things that I needed to do for my body’s sake, the other doors I didn’t anticipate opened up for five minutes and it was like the universe just was like, hey, you’re going to listen. I’m going to supply everything you need.

Karthika: Absolutely. Now as entrepreneurs, sometimes we are sort of alone at the helm of our ship, you know, navigating the waters and both physically and mentally. I will ask if you’ve ever felt that way. And if so, how do you find your support system? You talked about your family, but what else is there in terms of supporting artists and entrepreneurs that perhaps you’ve taken advantage of?

Katie: Yes. So one of the things that I discovered a few years ago is that I really couldn’t do it all alone anymore. A lot of entrepreneurs are solo preeners for a really long time and they wait till they are completely burnt out and they then hire their first hire out of that burnout space. That was definitely me. It is not a path that I recommend going down at all. The discovery of needing a team for me came pretty late but not too late. And I was able to hire a full time hire who become my business manager. She is an incredible support for me. We have another team member who is coming on how to handle a lot of other kind of support which has been incredible. But one of the biggest things that I’ve learned is that really the only way to do what I’m doing is it really does take a team. It takes support and sometimes hiring can be a really scary leap. I know it was for me, but absolutely necessary for the growth and sustainability in my business.

Karthika: Yeah, for sure. Now what about community involvement, non for profit organizations or even like mentors? I mean, is that a thing? Is that pretty popular thing in Salem?

Katie: Yes. So our community is an interesting community. It’s changing right now. So it’s hard to sort of speak to it because a lot of people are moving into town and a lot of new businesses are kind of popping up. So we’re kind of in a really fun growth space. Where we are, we’re seeing a lot of creative entrepreneurs starting things that they probably wouldn’t have even thought of starting even like three or four years ago. So we’re kind of in this fun little boom of creative business growth in our city. And it’s a fun time to be here. So the support is interesting. The support for the arts has been minimal, but I think it’s growing. That’s a big reason why we decided to settle in and set down roots in our city actually because we really want to encourage and believed in the artists in this area and we live here. So why not try to do and do what our mission statement is in the town that we’re in. And I think that’s what a lot of creatives in our area are starting to do. So there is kind of a banding together that starting to happen. I would say that it’s new. People are starting to find each other. It’s an exciting time. I think that the support is growing. I don’t know that it’s fully there yet, but it’s coming.

Karthika: That is absolutely fantastic. You are a creative powerhouse. I don’t think there’s any other way I can describe you as an artist. You are a florist, you’re an educator, you teach people all over the world and you do these retreats. Now what are some of the things that you hear from your students or other creatives who share this space with you in terms of what people kind of struggle with as an entrepreneur? Are there any common commonalities that you’re finding?

Katie: Yeah, so I would say that the number one struggle that I see is burnout. Burnout from overusing the gift that you have as a creative being in the creative industry. Creatives in general are burning out because they are using their practice as the main way to make money and there not a lot of reserve for anything else. I have seen it over and over again. People spending tall their passion on this thing that they love and trying to make money out of it and they stop. They forget why they feel in love in the first place . And that can be so heartbreaking to the artist, to stop enjoying the thing that they’ve always enjoyed. When I’ve noticed there is a demand on the art process to create money, the joy can really start to slip away really quickly. So one of my goals is to really help people to figure out how to make money if they’re creative entrepreneur and they’re making money on their passion, how to still do that but not lose the love of the thing that they’re doing? Because that is such a common everyday conversation right now.

Karthika: Right. And it’s very real. I mean we all need money. Don’t get me wrong. Money’s absolutely essential. You need to pay the bills, you need it to survive. But you know, somewhere along when it becomes the most important thing, you sort of lose that motivation, lose that drive, loose the creative process.

Katie: When you’re making your art work for you, and I think it was Elizabeth Gilbert that said this or I’m paraphrasing, but basically this idea that if you’re making your art work for you and you’re not serving your art, that can be a really dangerous place to live in. And one of the things that creatives forget is that they have the option of thinking of lots of creative solutions to the problem. But a lot of times we get stuck and we don’t have the direction that we need. And so we just keep leaning on our art and we burn ourselves out real fast. But because you’re creative you have the option of thinking of other ways to make money in a creative way that maybe doesn’t lean on your main art form at the heaviest level. This has been my passion to help people unlock that space because of creativity of thinking outside their box that they put themselves in so that they dont get burnt out. That’s the one complaint I’d say that we’re having right now is how to keep doing what you doing without getting burnt out.

Karthika: Yep. It sort of fits really well with what I was going to ask you next, which is motivation, Motivation, mindset and to your point, avoiding this burnout. What do you do to keep yourself excited about the future and keep yourself going when it gets tough when you face sometimes those decisions of should I do this and possibly get burnt out or can I take a step back and maybe not get that client or that job.

Katie: Yeah, so I think motivation stems out of a different place for most people. I’m highly motivated by relationships. So if I can put relationship in my mind ahead of a job, if I can set kind of a goal of what is going to do for this relationship, it will really help me get through kind of any obstacles that I’m facing. If I have the end goal of serving and loving somebody really well by doing a job and that really help me. I’m finding that the motivation of keeping my art a pure form of expression for myself is becoming more and more important. I am needed my art to be for me first and then to love other people well with it. I used to be solely motivated by people and that’s when I started burning my art out. And then I realized that my art had to be sort of held and sacred for myself. And then what parts of it I extended to the public was my own choice in it. And that’s actually been really empowering for me to realize that I don’t have to give everything away. That some things can just remain just with me and my heart as long as I want them to. And that’s been an empowering thing. But as far as motivation goes, you know, it’s a funny thing, but the simplest stuff like getting enough sleep, eating the right food, taking care of my body and then my heart and also my relationships that I’ve found that when those things are in order, my motivation is also there where it needs to be.

Karthika: It kind of goes back to what you said earlier, right? That celebrating yourself more before anything else and accepting yourself. So it sort of makes all makes sense. Let’s talk specifics, Katie, just because I feel like sometimes as you know, somebody who’s listening who’s perhaps a florist or a creative, uh, ready to embark on their journey or maybe you know, kind of along this journey as well. Um, specifics really help. Can I connect the dots? So whatever you are comfortable sharing, we’ll kind of go with that. I just ask you a series of questions and just answer them as you see fit. How long have you been in business and how long did it take for you to become profitable?

Katie: I’ve been loosely in business since I was 20. I am 36, so that’s 16 years. I have to do math slowly. I have doing flowers so much of my life. And I would say that I think that Ponderosa and Thyme, I can’t remember when we made the official switch, but we switched from my name to Ponderosa and Thyme about 10 years ago. I’ve been actively trying to make money in the floral industry. And I would say I was profitable right away. I kept my margins really slim and didn’t have very much overhead cause I worked out of my house, didn’t have any employees. So I was making money right away. I just kept it pretty lean.

Karthika: Now in these 16 years, I’m sure you’ve pivoted, you have changed products, services. How does the pivoting process sort of look like for you? And the underlying question is about ideation and when do you decide that pivoting is the right time.

Katie: Yes. So for me it usually just really starts with a sense of like there’s something else I need to be paying attention to. It’s just like an internal knowing. Sometimes that sense of burnout goes right along with that. Like I’m not content anymore doing this thing the way that I’ve been doing it. And I don’t really have an answer for that. Usually right away it’s just kind of like a general sense of maybe discontent, like I’m not happy doing things a certain way. And so instead of pushing that feeling down which usually in the past when I’d have that kind of inkling, that little sense of, Oh, it’s not quite right anymore. It would make me really uncomfortable because it’s something I had been building. And I just would push it down and then I had experienced burnout in that place. And so now I’m realizing that little sense of usually means I just need to pay attention. It means that maybe something needs to pivot. So I needs to change and if I’m willing to explore it, usually the doors that open are pretty phenomenal. They’re just right there. Usually it’s not a big search. And when I’ve had even just the slightest inkling of a shift coming and I lean in, it’ll happen faster than I’m comfortable with often.

Karthika: So true. I’m kind of phrasing this because I don’t remember the exact saying, but it’s like the universe is listening and it delivers. So you just have to pay attention to kind of keep your eyes, ears, mind, body and soul open for what’s to come.

Katie: Well, it’s true and I think that’s the thing I know for me like pushing it away, it was a lot easier in some ways because it was just like, oh, it’s too scary to look down other paths, you know, once I’ve already established this thing, it’s already working. But for me, the best things have happened when I’ve been in that space of not knowing and just leaning in and, and seeing what’s there anyway.

Karthika: Now you said you have a staff, so you employ people. As an entrepreneur, what has been the scariest part of kind of employing somebody, sort of giving the reigns to what feels like your baby. Do you ever feel that way.

Katie: Oh always, and every day. I think that releasing control is something that I have actually really struggled to do. And I think that for me emails were a big part of that. In the beginning I was responding to every email personally. And that was too much for me. It was too much. And yet it still is a hard thing for me to let go with the communication piece. But trusting that other people also have beautiful and loving things to say to people and that it’s doesn’t have to just be my voice all the time. So a lot of the customer service stuff I’ve had to let go. But it’s been good for me. I have also had to let go of some other projects. You work on an art project and then hope that the photographer will capture it the way that you see it. You know there’s lots of ways of letting go, but as far as our staff goes, it’s been mostly joyful process of letting go because the realization of like, I get to do what I’m made to do a lot more freely when I’m not doing things that are actually not my job description has been really freeing and really beautiful.

Karthika: I couldn’t agree more with that. Now, where do you as in Katie, where do you invest more of your time? Is it in marketing? Is it sales? Is it in financials, ideation, or maybe a little bit of everything?

Katie: So I’m a big picture person, so I’m definitely going to be doing kind of overall big picture for the business. Big dreams, anything that’s new, that’s kind of where I’m going to be. In general, that’s going to be my focus. I spend most of my time with marketing. And so I spent a lot of time on social media, you know, connecting with people and trying to connect in a real honest ways, which takes a lot of time. It’s a full time job. And then my other time I spend speaking and teaching. And then my team is doing the admin work for the most part.

Karthika: Excellent. Now you talked about social media, so let’s go there. How important is social media for a creative or business such as yourself or do you still rely on more traditional forms of marketing like ads and word of mouth or self promotion, things like that?

Katie: You know. So much is changing now and I sort of hate that people need to be on social media now but I think that if you want your voice to be heard right now you need to be on social media. Unless you are doing well without it. And thats the thing like some people do well without social media. So I cannot say everyone does. But for me social media is important. The key to reaching the clients that I want to reach, word of mouth for what I’m doing is a very slow process. It takes a lot of trust to become an educator in the art community, especially in the wedding flower community. It just takes a long time to kind of establish your name and reputation. And so some of that is going to be word of mouth and for sure when word of mouth thing happens when somebody you know, recommends you to their friends and that’s a much stronger recommendation than anything else. So for sure like word of mouth is going to always be the best in my opinion. But social media and Instagram specifically for me is where I spent the majority of my focus time.

Karthika: And your flower meditation sessions are incredible. I am not a florist but I watch them religiously because it feels like you are creating for me. You walk thought the process, the ideation and the results. I love them.

Katie: I love to create these floral meditations for people. I think that whether you’re a florist or artists or creative, I think that watching somebody else’s creative process can be really illuminating and really inspiring. So that’s why I do it.

Karthika: Let’s perhaps start to wrap this up just in the interest of time. I have a few more questions if I may. What has been your biggest ‘Aha’ moment like the most important part of your journey so far?

Katie: I’ve had a few really big ‘Aha’ moments. One was the realization that my people live all over the world and I might have to go to them to ever meet them. That was something that was really a big thing for me. I was always looking for my people in my direct community. And there are a lot of people in my direct community that I am connected to and that I love really well. But the realization that my people, my artists, my friends, my connection, my community is actually worldwide was a huge thing for my business, a huge thing for me personally. And when I accepted that I was going to have to fly to see my friends it really open doors for me. It’s also just allowed me to have freedom to not have to have traditional relationships. Another big Aha moment was actually last year I went to go visit my friend Katie Whipple in New York City. She’s an artist and she’s a painter that creates just incredible realistic beautiful of floral paintings.And I was inspired by her. I went to go stay with her for a few days and we were talking about art and she pulled up my Instagram account and said, Katie, the word artist is nowhere on your account. And I realized that I’d been teaching artists about how to call themselves an artist. And I hadn’t even claimed that title for myself. Not in a very public way. So, you know, in front of her with lots of tears, I changed my title over to artist because I knew that it was time and it was just one of those moments. One that I’ll never forget.

Karthika: How do you balance all these different roles that you have? Like you said, you’re a mom, you’re an artist, a business owner, and you have a family. How do you balance all of these roles?

Katie: I don’t think that I do. I’m being totally honest. I think that the idea of work life balance, in some ways when you’re an entrepreneur and a creative, I don’t know that it’s actually entirely possible to separate them. When you are the Creator, you are the entrepreneur, then it’s you, you know? So for me really having some internal boundaries around where I’m going to spend my time, what I’m going to spend my time thinking about. When I’m with my kiddos, I try to be with them. I try to not have my phone on me, which, you know, that doesn’t happen all the time. It’s not possible always. But you know, there are some things that I set up for myself to become successful and being present where I am. But there are things that are hard to separate and I have begun to accept that. It is not an easy balance. I find that mental boundries are hardest to separate. You know, you can keep your phone away, you can shut down your computer. But the brain, how do we channel those thoughts and don’t think about that email. That thing that you need to edit and do whatever, but just be you, be, you know, be present. That’s a hard struggle.It’s one that I think I’ll probably be trying to figure out for my whole life.

Karthika: Now, if you could go back in time to when you first started, when you were 20, would you do this all over again? Would you change anything? And if so, what would that be?

Katie: I think the only thing that I would do differently is I’d learned how to grow flowers sooner. A really beautiful thing that I’ve been exploring in the last few years, and I wish I had more years under my belt with that. But no, I think the process  of life and all the twists and turns that it’s gone down, there’s been a lot of hard things, but I don’t think I’d change any of it. It’s made me who I am. And Ponderosa and Thyme wouldn’t exist at all and in the way that it is without life being difficult. So no I don’t think I would change much. I maybe would be gentler to myself  and I’d be kinder to myself in some of the harder seasons that I was in.

Karthika: That is so important. Now. What do you do for fun?

Katie: You know what, I love to laugh. So I love comedy. I love to watch funny TV shows. I love to be in nature. So I spent a lot of time outside with my kids. I love to chase geese. That’s terrible to say out loud. I just posted a video about that on Instagram the other day and nobody understood. I was like, you don’t even know how funny this is because we have geese that land in fields all around us. And  my kids hadn’t ever experienced that for some reason the last year. So we’ve been going out and running into geese fields and watching them take  flights on time in nature. I love animals. I love to travel. I don’t get to travel very much that’s not about work. But when we do travel for work, I try to tag on a few days on either end. And if I can really see the culture and experience people, that’s probably my favorite thing.

Karthika: And what lies ahead for you Katie? Are you fully living your dream or what comes next if it is okay to share with us.

Katie: Yes so we’re kind of in this process right now. I’ve been really redefining what we do. Perhaps not redefining but refining what we do. Basically I just dont want to ever see myself not educating. So I think that I will be an educator for the rest of my life. And I have said this before that even if flowers went away for me, I know that I’ll always be an artist. And even if I don’t teach flowers, I’ll teach something else. So that solidification for me has been really good. And knowing that Ponderosa and Thyme will always be a place for people to learn about how to create beauty and how to love people. Well that’s what we’re projecting out into the future. And how that looks exactly we are not entirely sure, but we have started expanding what we’re doing outside of floristry and it’s felt really right and really good. So my hope is to continue to encourage artists and creatives. And I can really see that yes, I’m living the dream right now, but I feel like there’s more sustainability and more peace and more joy in the future and I’m excited to see what that looks like.

Karthika: That sounds absolutely fascinating and whatever it is, I know it’s going to look and feel and be beautiful. Thank you so much, Katie. This has been such a pleasure. You cannot imagine, I’ve always wanted to chat with you, get to know a little bit about you. So thank you so much for taking the time is the best.

Katie: Thank you and I appreciate you.

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