Seeing the magnificence of Mother Nature, Sarah Lim, founder of Poppy Flora and Nature Studio, left her cushy job in advertising to pursue her love of flowers. Unlike many other florists, Sarah aims to change the way the world perceives flowers and by sharing its ephemeral charm with people.
Tell us more about yourself: what brought you into the world of floral arrangement?
18 years ago, I left my prevailing career in advertising because I believe in living my life with passion and purpose. I started up Poppy Flora Studio in 2000 and kicked off my adventure into the floral cosmos.
Ever since then, I have been pushing the boundaries of creativity, including what can be used in a bouquet. I'm usually drawn to flowers that are quietly tucked into the corner. Lately, I've been obsessed with adding herbs, fruits, and dried branches into my designs.
What are the classes you offer through Verlocal?
I offer both progressive courses and one off experimental classes. They cover both flower arrangements and botanical draw and paint classes & courses. Occasionally I organise workshops as well. The workshops are conducted in groups, but the courses are on a 1-to-1 basis to ensure students are not short changed of guidance and attention.
My 1-to-1 classes/courses offer not just undivided attention to my students, I, myself would also have a ball from the enjoyable moments in coaching and supporting my students.
What made you pursue your passion? What does your passion mean to you?
I think pursuing my passion full time is my commitment to being kind to myself and moving at my very own pace. I am totally taken over by flowers :))
Staying in my own lane and to bring my courage, faith and sense of playfulness to this process, and I know I can't do this wrong unless I disengage completely. And I truly believe each person is so unique in their own way. Some people are great when they bounce around. For others, that would leave them confused and overwhelmed. Do your best & have fun is a major point to sustain that commitment.
Pursuing my passion is a lot like learning a new language. It doesn't happen overnight. Some lessons will be more challenging to you than others. That's OK. You're here to grow, remember? The most important thing for you to do is stay engaged and trust the process. This will work wonders as long as you work.
Don't stop. Stay connected. I believe in myself - that is what my passion is to me :) Also teaching someone is super rewarding… I look forward to seeing someone walking away filled with inspiration & encouragement. There is nothing as rewarding as you inspire that experience and confidence to someone!
What are your major achievements/meaningful moments in your business thus far?
One of my accomplishments was to participate in a workshop in Sydney, Australia, and having my work published on the renowned Magnolia Rouge Magazine. Earlier this year I was also invited to the TEAM Flower Conference in Florida, USA.
What were the initial hurdles that you had to get through?
I believe growth and change are not easy. If we want something to change in our career or life, we must learn to use our minds and hearts in new ways.
We have to break old patterns (especially the ones that have kept us stuck for years!) And most importantly, we have to take new actions.
Building a meaningful, profitable career isn't a walk in the park. It is profound and challenging work that I know with every fiber of my being.
Hurdles are little pits and big pits we need to overcome and live with daily. Remember that everyone is on their own path. And everyone has tough times now and again.
Do these challenges still exist now?
Even though I've been at this for 18 years, that doesn't mean I don't have challenging days too.
But I can tell you this. When you know you're here to do meaningful work and build something you can be proud of -- the tough days are worth it!
So let's keep moving.
Any advice for other people who want to start their own business and pursue what they love?
Celebrate working in harmony to pursue what you love by being fearless and appreciative of your strength that has been bestowed onto you. Garner the courage to take the leap of faith and fire up!!