Hi! My name is Christine. I am the lead designer behind Sola Enchanted Petals and Gifts. I am also the wife to an amazing and supportive husband. He is behind the scenes at Sola Enchanted Petals and Gifts, but sometimes you will meet him at a bridal show or event. He is also the one that helps me put together the bases to some of my bridal centerpieces or other items that I will design.
I am a little different than other women entrepreneurs that set out with a passion to have a business of their own. I did not have any of this in my plans until Dec 2017.
At the time I was working in Occupational Therapy. This was a perfect job for me because I liked talking with people and learning about their stories. I was headed into work one morning and all of a sudden something happened to me. My speech was slurred and my motor skills were off. It was like I was having a nightmare but it was real. Doctors said something medically happened to me that presented close to a stroke. I was unable to form sentences and lost the ability to sequence items.
This sudden illness forced me to no longer perform the work I loved. I went from a fast pace job to a ton of free time because I could not do anything. It was exhausting for myself and my family because all I wanted to do was something but even basic tasks were hard for me.
From this point I was told not to do artistic things because they would likely be frustrating to me. I took many classes that allowed me to create things with my hands but always copying other people’s work. So, I took woodworking, metal working, sewing, and technology classes. I never stopped to think how or why others came up with their ideas.
I then started to work on recreating ideas by instruction, then to recreating them with just the vision I had from them. Finally, I was recreating visions of products that no one has seen before. I have a different sense of style but it turns out, many people like the same style as I do! People fell in love with what I was making! But that doesn’t get me to Sola Wood Flowers.
Since the time I was a little girl, I always enjoyed gardening and flowers. Because of this, someone close to me gifted me “Solo wood flowers”. They believed this would be a great activity for me during my recovery. They were right! I found them to be SO cool! Finding out I can take my love of real flowers, and apply that beauty using any color to flowers that will last forever was a dream come true. I was sold on Sola Wood Flowers.
I would be lying to say that I did not spend a lot of hours and frustration working with these flowers. I would be lying if I said I didn’t spend a lot of time on arranging the flowers in all different ways and I would especially be lying if I said I didn’t screw up, a LOT; however, those hours had a purpose. The trial-and-error method cultivated my new talents. During this time I was able to create many different styles of bouquets that I loved and that my current brides go crazy over.
The flowers shifted my attention from communication issues, specifically, the loss of my natural sounding voice. Hearing myself not sounding the same and constantly going to the many dr. appts was stressful and depressing. The flowers brought an incredible calm to me. From one of the worst things to happen to me in my life to bringing something so positive to me was so rewarding. As I kept creating for others (I can only keep so much for me) I started to see the joy I brought to others. How can you not love making someone’s day? This is how my business started to grow and has kept growing. I have sold in 3 different shops and I have done way too many craft shows to give a number to. I have sold to a few a doctor offices and I have also shipped to different states and countries. I have even developed my skill to be good enough for my own bridal line which was launched prior to my own wedding in September 2021.
Why for me? Being a girl boss is tough. Healthcare was tough; however, I enjoy making things for people to enjoy. I love unique things or a challenge here and there.
Happily, I have regained almost every skill and talent that I lost 5 years ago!
My husband and I do not have any children but we do have our fur babies and some salt water fish. We are never short of things to do. We travel a lot! We are often down in Florida visiting family and friends or visiting other neat places our world has to offer. Our goal is to check out as many places as possible! If we ever get to work together, I would love to hear your travel tips or tricks!
I hope you enjoy looking at my work!