It is with great happiness that I am here to share my inspirational story with you. Some of my close friends are already aware of this... they have seen the excitement in my eyes and joy in my heart. Now I am going to tell you all about it.
It all started this morning when I woke up and glanced at my calendar pop-up. Based on my corporate background (and organizing obsession for upcoming days, months, even for years), I have always been accustomed to the habit of noting down every little thought or job that has to be tackled. This helps me remember the minuscule things that may otherwise get forgotten. Also, this habit makes me see my productivity progress in every topic, home, work, kids, etc.
Well, this all began quite a while back. A couple of years before we moved to the States, I was in Frankfurt for a presentation and some business meetings. During the same time, my husband was in Madrid for the International Newspaper Association Summit. We were to return to Istanbul on our own separate ways, but my husband had a different plan. “Hey, let’s meet in London and go back home together,” he said over the phone. “I have something to show you there.”
We changed our tickets and there we were, roaming the beautiful streets of London. Life at that time was very different for me. Working for a corporate, handling various projects and running from meeting to meeting, gave me the opportunity to travel all over Europe. Thinking back on those days, it was almost like heaven. I am so glad I had all those experiences. I have so many amazing stories to recount to my kids during our long road trips or when waiting at airports.
Anyways, now let’s get back to my main topic... my ‘Flowers of Happiest’ Project!!!
Like I was saying, we walked the cobblestoned paths together and I was immensely thrilled with this impromptu trip that my husband had suggested. After eating a lovely meal followed by a bit of shopping, he took me to this amazing cake shop. The moment I set my eyes on the shop, I was mesmerized. I stood rooted to the spot I was on – totally in shock and completely in love with it at the same time. To put in words the feeling that ran through me is very difficult. I cannot even begin to explain the aura of the shop, their delicious cakes, and beautiful flowers. I lost myself in there and the experience etched itself deep in my memory.
At the time, I was with a well-reputed magazine and we were planning a photo shoot with celebrity moms. Since I was leading that project, it was my wish to bring the beautiful moms over to that shop to do the shoot. But that was impossible. All the women that we had interviewed were pregnant and almost at the end of their third trimester. It was not possible to fly them over to London, along with my team. I was crestfallen but had to accept the facts with a smile and a strong head.
I was obsessed with this place and its lovely flowers. This was the second thing in my life that had made me change my mindset totally. The first one was the movie ‘You’ve got mail’! Yes, you read it correctly... when I watched the Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks movie ‘You’ve Got Mail’, I made a promise to myself. I said, “I love little reasons of happiness and after my 50’s I will run a local small store.” At that time, I had absolutely no clue of what I was going to sell or even where my store would be located. I was just planning for it. Maybe I was just sending out a signal to the universe...
So, after I saw this amazingly delicious and incredibly beautiful shop, I promised myself and told my husband “You know that I have a dream to own a little shop somewhere, right? I still don’t know where it is going to be or what I am going to sell - but when I do have my very own place, I will make my front display Like Peggy Porschen”
We did not know that I would eventually find my way into embroidery – but it happened. We did not imagine that it would be well before my 50’s. But it happened!
We moved to the States and found our magical Unionville Place. I still recall the first thing I asked my landlord Gary. “I have a plan,” I had said to him. “I would like my shop to have the look of European shops- with a little tent, table, flowers etc.” My heart knew no bounds when he replied, “It’s yours - do whatever you want.”
And yes, since the day we put our sign on the door, I have been getting ready for this. I waited almost 2 years because I needed to understand how to work it out in order for it to be more productive and effective - for ourselves and for the community. There were zillions of unanswered questions running through my head and I had to find answers for them before I started.
Last summer I said to myself, “Okay Pinar, I think you can do it next year. Things are getting better every day.” I honestly do not remember putting a note on my agenda last July. But like I said earlier, when I woke up and glanced at my calendar pop-up, there were a few things on my to-do list. Some of them were - “Work for Christmas products” “Make your samples for new Christmas surprises” and “Start to work on Flowers of Happiest Project after 4th of July”!!!
And Yes! This is my new game plan. This is the exciting project that I will be playing with until our second anniversary. Although I have been working slowly on this project through, my mind is set to get the gears in motion. I bought the bike last year. I have even painted two ladders, one turquoise and one red, to use as an additional display. My idea is to use mostly natural greens at first, that means I will work on the base structure and add only green leaves with the little arrow chalk signs. Once this is set, I will add my first flowers for autumn. It will be all orange and yellows for next autumn. I am planning to change the flowers seasonally. It will be altered every time - full of seasonal flowers on the Christmas Season, totally different after Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and will change again from Memorial Day to 4th of July. And after the 4th of July, it will be all hydrangeas...
Just picturing this in my mind while I type makes me feel all keyed up! I am so glad that I sat down and shared it with you.
If you like toying with these kinds of projects - I am open to any suggestions, open to teamwork and any help that you can offer. I don’t have any experience in something like this, but I will try my best.
Once this dream of mine is completed, they are not going to be just my flowers. They will be ours - they will be our community’s flowers, they will be flowers of Route 4 and Farmington Avenue... they will be flowers of Farmington.
Also, they are already a part of a big plan, they will be in other location(s), hopefully, you will hear before our 3rd birthday!