We did it! We reached 2020! And while there aren’t any flying cars and we’re not living the life of the Jetson’s, today’s world has many luxuries intended to make life easier. Some do, but others can make things more complicated and cluttered.
In the spirit of that, I am excited to connect more deeply with you and share my mission to simplify your life through and-so SHE designs.
The Idea Behind Simplicity
When people hear “simplify your life,“ they may think it means moving to a remote place and living off the land. Maybe hugging a tree or two. That isn’t necessarily a simpler life—and it’s definitely not for everyone. I suppose when I say simple life, I mean living with less stuff.
I’d be willing to bet a quick search around your home would turn up many items you don’t need, no longer use, are saving for a rainy day, or that don’t bring you joy.
Well, my forever mantra is, “Lighten the load. Keep it simple. Give yourself the gift of time.” More time to spend with family and friends, more time to play, and more time to enjoy your surroundings.
My Argument for Minimalism
I began my minimalism journey after my dad passed away in 2004. In an attempt to escape the heartache, my mom wanted to move out of my childhood home where we’d lived for more than 30 years. I was newly married and my husband and I were left to make that happen.
Dad was a packrat and a flea market junkie. He was known as the guy who could fix anything. He always had a spare part for something, and then a spare part for that spare part, and so on. Our home had a dirt basement and he had stuffed his swap meet treasures into every square inch. I’m talking tools, old telephones, cords and plugs of every kind, and parts that were just plain unidentifiable.
It was a huge job digging Mom out; so much larger than I ever could have imagined. It took 4 months of working at the house nearly every weekend, filling countless commercial dumpsters, and holding numerous garage sales.
At the end of it all I was left feeling bitter and angry about my dad tasking me with this. Instead of properly mourning his death while existing in the glow of a new marriage, I was forced to make terribly painful decisions about what to keep and what to let go. I won’t lie, it was all-consuming and nearly wrecked me.
But, it also changed me. 15 years later, I still live my life as simplistic (and minimalistic) as possible. I’m known as the “Queen of Purging Stuff,” but more than that, I’m known for asking those questions before I purchase something: “Do I really need this?” and “Does this bring me joy?” I don’t EVER want to burden someone with cleaning out a life collection so vast that it takes months of their life.
I want to live lighter on my feet. More simply and more joyfully.
Time is Our Most Valuable Resource
I know it sounds a little crazy. Here I am preaching that we need to live with less, and from the other side of my mouth I’m telling you to purchase faux floral. But here’s how I see it:
We’ve evolved into a modern society; we use dishwashers and even have robots to clean our floors. We use an app for nearly everything we do in our lives. We even have our groceries delivered. As a human race, we’re in constant search of streamlined ways to check off items from our to-do lists.
Who wants to spend more time standing in line at the bank, or waiting at the DMV, or doing household chores? Not me. I doubt you do either. This is where faux floral actually fits into the picture.
Our family moved into an amazing new home nearly two years ago. I adore fresh flowers and the minute we moved in I filled every room with vases of beautiful blooms. I was also working in a demanding corporate position requiring occasional travel while the hubby traveled (and still does) nearly every week. Oh yeah, and did I mention we have a teenage daughter and a dog?
I quickly came to dread any household tasks that weren’t completely necessary. Like daily water changes in my fresh floral arrangements, cleaning up after the fallen petals, leaves and pollen, washing the vases, throwing out the dead flowers, and buying new ones.
I certainly didn’t want to live a life without flowers in my home, but the thought of faux floral did NOT excite me. The only stuff I had been exposed to was from Michael’s, Amazon, and occasionally Pottery Barn. All of those stores are amazing for so many things, but not faux floral.
I knew I couldn’t be the only one who felt this way.
So I got serious and did an abnormal amount of research on the topic of faux floral. My discovery process led me to become such a believer in faux flowers, I started this company because I want to share it with everyone.
Surround Yourself With The Things You Love
I’m a big proponent of a seamless blend of fresh and faux in a home. Real plants? Absolutely. Real succulents? You bet. And you should definitely still purchase fresh flowers! I like to save the fresh arrangements for when I’m entertaining or planning to spend a great deal of time at home so I can enjoy them through their various stages of blooming.
I believe real plants lend an authenticity to your home decor. They trick you and your guests into believing those faux floral arrangements are also real. But hey - If your lifestyle is such that real anything doesn’t work, there are stunningly realistic faux plants and succulents available too.
I love my surroundings to be clean, cozy, welcoming, low maintenance, and uncluttered. When I return from a long day at work or from traveling, I want my home to be a tranquil cocoon. Everything should be just how I left it, so that when I walk in the door, a sense of calm washes over me. I want each of the objects around me to have purpose and meaning and evoke happiness.
I’ve created my faux botanical pieces for ANDSOSHE to fit into exactly that lifestyle and that type of decor. Our homes shouldn’t be a big container for stuff, but rather a place for joy and connection. That’s what I think about whenever I create an arrangement for someone. I hope it becomes a part of their everyday decor and brings them joy.
ANDSOSHE's arrangements aren’t trendy or frilly. They’re classically beautiful, elegant, and modern. They’re individually designed to achieve that “cut right from the garden” look because I believe that’s when flowers look most authentic and speak for themselves.
The biggest challenge I continue to face is trying to convince people that faux floral doesn’t have to be ugly, cheap, and fake-looking. The blooms I source for and-so-SHE’s arrangements are manufactured in small batches for wholesale distribution to specialty businesses like mine. They are not mass produced for big box stores where the general public can purchase them. You’ll pay more for this type of specialty product just like any other, but I promise it’s money well spent.
The arrangements I create are done so with the MOST realistic blooms available. I’m extremely particular and each arrangement gets a test run in my own home before I decide to offer it for sale.
A Quick Note About the Name
How did I come up with the name? I tossed around a bunch of options, but most were already in use or sounded like someone else’s company name. This business meant so much to me--was so personal--I knew the name had to be just right. I kept pondering my story: And so she wanted a less stressful life, and so she found her passion with flowers, and so she quit her corporate job… and there it was!…ANDSOSHE.
Spend Your Time with Those Who Matter Most
Here are the two main things I gained when I incorporated faux floral into my lifestyle: 1) Permanent flowers that I LOVE to look at every day and that I’m proud to show off to my guests, and 2) Time saved by eliminating the additional chore of caring for fresh floral arrangements.
Not having to care for fresh flowers on the daily is just one of the ways I’ve effectively managed to either eliminate or streamline household chores. In doing so, I’ve maximized the time I spend with family and friends, exploring our city, going to brunch, traveling to great spots, cooking tasty meals, enjoying game night, seeing movies, taking bike rides, you name it.
AND I still get to have my flowers! Flowers create a peaceful environment and ambiance. They enhance a room by softening things and making them look warm and friendly. For me, flowers are a must.
ANDSOSHE was founded on the idea that perhaps others with active and busy lifestyles also want daily flowers in their homes without the upkeep. Maybe they’re parents of young children who have numerous activities, people working in demanding power jobs, or retirees who love to travel. And maybe caring for fresh floral doesn’t fit into their lifestyle. It doesn’t mean they don’t love having flowers in their home. Maybe they just don’t know there’s another good option.