Shopkeepers

A Neighborhood shop.

MISA Floral

Seda Nak

Floral architect, Michelle Samson, is popular for her non-traditional, complex yet refined arrangements. Formally known as Taffy Floral, Michelle has rebranded as MISA Floral to reflect her sophisticated and classic signature-style. Read on about how she came to her own realization that brand success is not all 'hustle'.

Sign up for the Shopkeepers MISA Freakebana Workshop here.

Learn more about Michelle and MISA here.

Michelle wears 7115 by Szeki Signature Linen Cropped Tee and Black Crane Carpenter Pants.

 

What does your typical work week looks like?    I get up around 4 am and take 15 to 30 minutes to myself. I like reading and having a cup of coffee. This is the time of day that I typically have to myself. At some point, I check e-mails and work on proposals. Sometimes I need to do an early morning run to pick up supplies and flowers so I am back in time to see the kids off to school. I like spending less than 20 minutes showering, getting dressed, and applying make-up. This is why I like simple items and everything in my wardrobe can be coordinated together quickly but still looks like I thought about it. I didn't! And by the way, red lipstick does wonders if you look tired.

What does your typical work week looks like?

I get up around 4 am and take 15 to 30 minutes to myself. I like reading and having a cup of coffee. This is the time of day that I typically have to myself. At some point, I check e-mails and work on proposals. Sometimes I need to do an early morning run to pick up supplies and flowers so I am back in time to see the kids off to school. I like spending less than 20 minutes showering, getting dressed, and applying make-up. This is why I like simple items and everything in my wardrobe can be coordinated together quickly but still looks like I thought about it. I didn't! And by the way, red lipstick does wonders if you look tired.

Then, it’s off to work at my day job where I oversee, negotiate, and manage mainly international subcontract agreements in support of Federal clients, other international development agencies, and sometimes host-country governments. I am a workaholic and I have learned over the years to take my lunch break. It's good to take a mental break away from the desk, especially with the type of work I do. The actual work itself is not stressful but it can be mentally draining since it's a lot of problem solving, coordinating with other people, and at times getting people to say "yes" and see my viewpoint or try to come to the middle. After work I am usually back home, this is family time for me. Later in the evening, I work on items for my side business which could mean taking calls, working on projects, working on proposals, working on what I call my whiteboard of potential projects to pitch. I try not to take work from my day job home. I have learned over the years that work will be there for me in the morning and it will get done eventually (and on time).  At some point between all this, I sleep. But I can never remember what I dream about so maybe I need to get more sleep!

Then, it’s off to work at my day job where I oversee, negotiate, and manage mainly international subcontract agreements in support of Federal clients, other international development agencies, and sometimes host-country governments. I am a workaholic and I have learned over the years to take my lunch break. It's good to take a mental break away from the desk, especially with the type of work I do. The actual work itself is not stressful but it can be mentally draining since it's a lot of problem solving, coordinating with other people, and at times getting people to say "yes" and see my viewpoint or try to come to the middle. After work I am usually back home, this is family time for me. Later in the evening, I work on items for my side business which could mean taking calls, working on projects, working on proposals, working on what I call my whiteboard of potential projects to pitch. I try not to take work from my day job home. I have learned over the years that work will be there for me in the morning and it will get done eventually (and on time).

At some point between all this, I sleep. But I can never remember what I dream about so maybe I need to get more sleep!

How do you spend your day off, to give yourself a mental break?    I have a bad habit of still working even through I am supposed to be off. Self-care is a buzz word these days. I don't think of self-care as relaxing in a tub of rose petals surrounded by scented candles. Whoever thought of marketing that idea to people is not in touch with real people (or...they are trying to make bank on the latest trend..you know, like Valentine's Day). I think self-care is really taking care of yourself so you are physically and mentally fit. For me that would be making doctor's appointments, actually having a physical, eating healthy, not skipping breakfast and lunch - basically taking care of my body, mind, and health so that I am healthy enough to function. I learned this the hard way recently when I collapsed at work, sadly on a Friday evening still at the office. Self-care is taking a day off and taking a break because we all need days off sometimes and time to ourselves.  My ideal day off would be sitting and relaxing somewhere calm and looking through magazines (which would be a mix of art magazines and my guilty pleasure, Us Weekly).

How do you spend your day off, to give yourself a mental break?

I have a bad habit of still working even through I am supposed to be off. Self-care is a buzz word these days. I don't think of self-care as relaxing in a tub of rose petals surrounded by scented candles. Whoever thought of marketing that idea to people is not in touch with real people (or...they are trying to make bank on the latest trend..you know, like Valentine's Day). I think self-care is really taking care of yourself so you are physically and mentally fit. For me that would be making doctor's appointments, actually having a physical, eating healthy, not skipping breakfast and lunch - basically taking care of my body, mind, and health so that I am healthy enough to function. I learned this the hard way recently when I collapsed at work, sadly on a Friday evening still at the office. Self-care is taking a day off and taking a break because we all need days off sometimes and time to ourselves.

My ideal day off would be sitting and relaxing somewhere calm and looking through magazines (which would be a mix of art magazines and my guilty pleasure, Us Weekly).

What are your thoughts on routines and rituals, are they an essential part of how you maintain a work-life balance?    Maintaining a routine is very important to me because I have a family, I have a day job, and I have a side business. Since my time is limited and there are only so many hours in a day, following a daily routine ensures that items that need to get done are done. I also make sure I don't overbook myself like in the past and make sure I clear some days on the weekends for family time. I think having a routine is crucial, especially when you are juggling so many action items. As entrepreneurs we need to “hustle." I understand the popular context which is being relentless and having an unbeatable work ethic. We need to be tenacious, look at rejection as in fact an opportunity leading to other opportunities and not seeing it as a road block. Having grit because not everybody is going to love your work. It's networking, pitching ideas, and providing value. On the other hand I see the word "hustle" as having a negative connotation like doing too many things, scrambling to get things done. Sometimes we need to turn this off and enjoy the fruits of our labor, take a step back and figure out what's not working to maintain balance in our lives.

What are your thoughts on routines and rituals, are they an essential part of how you maintain a work-life balance?

Maintaining a routine is very important to me because I have a family, I have a day job, and I have a side business. Since my time is limited and there are only so many hours in a day, following a daily routine ensures that items that need to get done are done. I also make sure I don't overbook myself like in the past and make sure I clear some days on the weekends for family time. I think having a routine is crucial, especially when you are juggling so many action items. As entrepreneurs we need to “hustle." I understand the popular context which is being relentless and having an unbeatable work ethic. We need to be tenacious, look at rejection as in fact an opportunity leading to other opportunities and not seeing it as a road block. Having grit because not everybody is going to love your work. It's networking, pitching ideas, and providing value. On the other hand I see the word "hustle" as having a negative connotation like doing too many things, scrambling to get things done. Sometimes we need to turn this off and enjoy the fruits of our labor, take a step back and figure out what's not working to maintain balance in our lives.

Is there anything you would consider changing to simplify your life?    During the first two years of running my business, I said "yes" to almost every project that came my way and tried to attend many networking events. I have a natural tendency to want to help everybody. By the end of the second year, I was so stressed and burned out. My second year running my business was also my first year of working at my current day job so I was consistently trying to be an overachiever and prove myself. At the same time I was committing myself to way too many projects for my side business, more than what I could handle mentally. Lastly I had things going on with my teenage daughter. It was a cluster (insert choice of expletive here) of (insert second choice of expletive here). I mean, working almost 80 hours a week is crazy and not healthy.  Last year and currently, I have learned to say "no" to people and not over-commit myself. Next on the list: Accept other people's help. My tendency is to do everything, but it gets to the point where it's more efficient to let other people help and assist (I'm getting there).

Is there anything you would consider changing to simplify your life?

During the first two years of running my business, I said "yes" to almost every project that came my way and tried to attend many networking events. I have a natural tendency to want to help everybody. By the end of the second year, I was so stressed and burned out. My second year running my business was also my first year of working at my current day job so I was consistently trying to be an overachiever and prove myself. At the same time I was committing myself to way too many projects for my side business, more than what I could handle mentally. Lastly I had things going on with my teenage daughter. It was a cluster (insert choice of expletive here) of (insert second choice of expletive here). I mean, working almost 80 hours a week is crazy and not healthy.

Last year and currently, I have learned to say "no" to people and not over-commit myself. Next on the list: Accept other people's help. My tendency is to do everything, but it gets to the point where it's more efficient to let other people help and assist (I'm getting there).

Finally, tell us what your ideal 'Sunday' looks like.    Steak tips at a diner for breakfast, checking out thrift stores, browsing at the garden center, and hanging out at a bookstore. As I go through the racks at thrift stores, I always find clothing that I know people would love and people would buy. But that's another project that I don't have time for (circling back to self-care and simplifying my life). Alternatively, staying in and not doing anything is alright with me!


Finally, tell us what your ideal 'Sunday' looks like.

Steak tips at a diner for breakfast, checking out thrift stores, browsing at the garden center, and hanging out at a bookstore. As I go through the racks at thrift stores, I always find clothing that I know people would love and people would buy. But that's another project that I don't have time for (circling back to self-care and simplifying my life). Alternatively, staying in and not doing anything is alright with me!