We had the good fortune of connecting with Ally Dickson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ally, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I never thought in a million years that I would own my own business. I was working at a local floral shop for almost five years and truly loved every second of it. The hustle and bustle of the shop, learning something new and creative each day, discovering a new flower, designing and buying the flowers, interacting with clients and being able to help them with their floral needs were all meaningful and motivating aspects of the job. I woke up every morning excited to go to work! Finding that inner passion for a career is what I was craving and I found it.
My husband and I found out in March of 2019 that we were expecting our first child. Quite simply, I decided in that moment, that I wanted to start my own company and be able to work from home and care for our child. I never looked back and have enjoyed every minute of it. Yes, there have been some challenges along the way but nothing that a small business owner and stay at home mom can’t get past… Am I right?
My studio is my home and it is where I can be creative and get lost in the beautiful smells and beauty of the florals. My husband has gotten used to having a house full of flowers with leaves and petals all over the ground. Most days it truly is a beautiful disaster! What I’ve enjoyed the most is becoming a personal floral designer for friends, family and new clients which allows me to spend more time with them. Finding their vision and making it come to life! If they don’t have a vision, they trust that I will make something beautiful. Again, it is my inner passion to help others discover all the unique novelty flowers of the world and ultimately bring their vision to life!
What should our readers know about your business?
Branch & Bloom is my brand and I am so proud of it. It represents more than just two words put together. The idea of branching out on my own and blooming a fruitful business where beauty inspires me every day is what influenced the name. I started my company in April 2019 and I am truly humbled at what I have been able to accomplish this past year and a half.
I was five weeks pregnant when I decided to leave the floral shop I was previously working for and start my own business. This presented struggles along the way, including awful morning sickness for the first 13 weeks and the onset of Bell’s Palsy at the end of my pregnancy. This diagnosis was heartbreakingly painful, emotionally and physically and left one side of my face completely paralyzed, unable to blink in one eye and subject to nerve pain. The whirlwind of starting a business, delivering our son and working through the Bell’s Palsy diagnosis reminded me we all go through ups and downs, in business as well as our personal lives. We need to give ourselves more grace and know there are sunny days ahead. The hard times make you really appreciate the good times. The good times have been really good and I am blessed that my husband and my son have brought me so much joy this past year.
Throughout the ups and downs, I never waivered from wanting to be a personal floral designer for my clients, develop a close relationship with them, and get a sense of their vision. My friend and gifted artist, Kelsey Karol with Old Adobe Studios, created my logo and my marketing material which really jumpstarted my efforts to get my business up and running and define the creative direction for my vision.
Most people don’t know about all the beautiful novelty flowers that are offered from all around the world and I wanted to bring that uniqueness into their homes. The different textures, aromas, shapes, sizes and colors that Mother Nature has to offer are remarkable. I think what sets me apart from others is my close relationship with my clients, attention to detail and making fresh, one-of-a-kind creations just for them. I don’t have a huge commercial cooler yet, so everything I make for them is fresh!
I am excited for the New Year and what it has in store for Branch and Bloom. I want everyone to know that I am here for them in whatever project, party, event, occasion – happy or sad I am here!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Everyone that knows me, knows that I am a foodie. Living in Arizona, there is no shortage of amazing restaurants. I am going to list my favorite places for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- El Chorro (get their famous eggs benedict, sticky buns and fully loaded bloody mary) – Fun fact – this is where my husband and I got married
- LGO (commuter breakfast sandwich)
The Parlor (pizza, salad and pasta – they also have amazing ranch!)
- The Farm at South Mountain (great place to take kiddos and picnic outside)
- DeFalcos (amazing Italian deli – they have the best alfredo sauce!)
- Tratto (custom menu and amazing drinks)
- Hillstone (spinach dip and a margarita)
- Steak 44 or City Hall (for a special occasion)
- Cibo (a downtown restaurant in a house- great pizza) Can you tell I like sauces?!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support and encouragement of my husband David. He has believed in me from the start and I am truly grateful for him. He didn’t hesitate when I mentioned starting my own business and being a stay-at-home mom. Being able to stay at home with our son and also have a career that I love is such a rewarding feeling. So thank you, hun, for being my “executive personal assistant” who assists me with deliveries and setups. I wouldn’t be where I am today without your big heart and drive to make me happy every single day! I also wanted to give a shoutout to my entire family. The amount of babysitting this past year while I worked will never go unnoticed or appreciated. Especially during these hard times, you always SHOWED UP and it meant the world to me. You all know who you are!
Other: In the process of creating an informative website. Stay Tuned!
Family Shot – Taylor Cole