When two university friends reconnected by chance at a yoga class, they realized they shared more than a love for downward dog. Looking for something more than what corporate life could offer, Laura Davis and Alex Cole turned towards their passion for flowers. Patchouli was born.
Now just over a year later, with their business in full bloom, these two ladies are inspirations to others looking to live their dream and prove that being authentic to your true self provides the greatest reward.
Where did you find the inspiration to take the leap and start your own business?
Laura: I was looking to live a more holistic and authentic life that was more in balance with my beliefs. Alex inspired me to make it happen.
Alex: I liked the way I felt when I was working with flowers, it gave me energy. I knew I wanted to be around beautiful things. Life is just too short to do something that makes you unhappy.
How do you ensure you are running your business in an authentic manner?
Laura: It's about doing things that are natural to us, and not forcing things.
Alex: If we do something we think is cool we don't care what others think. We have confidence in our vision. You need to be true to yourself and don't do something you don't believe in.
Where do you find your sense of confidence?
Alex: I don't always feel confident in what I do. I feel unsure sometimes and that is when it is good to reach out to others, like Laura, to give me feedback. We bounce a lot of ideas off each other and it gives me confidence when talking it out and Laura sees what I am thinking. Confidence though, is definitely a work in progress – something that is always growing and evolving.
Laura: And having a partner to talk to really helps. I also find when I am feeling unsure about something taking a little time to step away, refocus and come back with a fresh perspective helps a lot.
Working with flowers means some pretty tight timelines, how do you manage the stress?
Laura: Fresh air! Getting out of the studio, especially during some strategic points is always helpful. Also drinking lots of water. Your body needs it when doing such a physical job. Feeding off each other's energy is also huge and helps me get through the work.
Alex: Playing some great music and getting into a zone! Laura also has an insane energy and this great attitude that is intoxicating. Being around her definitely helps.
Do you have any aromas that calm and energize you?
Alex: Lavender is huge for me. It's calming, anti-bacterial, and great for headaches. Woodsy scents like patchouli and sandalwood are my go-to's for energy.
Laura: Sweet rose. It smells like candy and just can't be duplicated. It always gives me energy.
What's your number one wellness tip?
Laura: Be mindful and take time for yourself. It is easy to get into a groove and keep going, going, going. Yoga for me provides dedicated time for myself, and helps me to be more mindful and pay attention to the details in life.
Alex: Slowing down helps me enjoy life more. Slowing down how I move, how I breathe, my mind. When you wake up in the morning take a moment to consciously slow down your thoughts, and try to maintain this throughout the day, even when you are doing the most remedial things. It helps you to live in the moment and experience things more fully.
What's your biggest piece of advice for someone looking to start their own business?
Alex: Be OK with the fact that you aren't going to know everything from the get go. Prepare and practice, but if you have the passion and dedication to work harder than you have ever worked, don't be afraid to jump.
Laura: Have confidence in what you are doing and believe that you can add value to whatever it is you are looking to start. Have strong communication skills and appreciation, even for the small successes.
With their energetic personalities, creative minds and thoughtful take on life you'll want to hang out with these girls long after your consultation is done. Laura and Alex bring a sense of beauty to everything they do – a great reminder to take time to slow down and shall we say â€œsmell the roses.