The Story of Bloom, Part 2: The Leap

Group of women pose for photo with flowers next to small pickup truck

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This week I’m continuing my series of blog posts explaining how I became a flower farmer and florist. As I explained last week, I’d started to explore my love of flowers more, and even attended an amazing out-of-state workshop hosted by the flower-farming superstars at Floret.

I loved the Floret workshop, but I still wasn’t sure about quitting my stable school district job. I’m a very practical and risk-averse person when it comes to jobs and money, so quitting a stable job for something uncertain was a scary prospect.

But for the sake of my own happiness, I had to do something.

I had studied speech pathology and audiology in school and had gone on to become a speech language pathology assistant — but I had questioned that field the whole way through. I had been determined to finish college in four years, but never really found a good fit: I started in interior design and went as far as to transfer to a different university and major when it wasn’t working out for me.

Four years later, I had my degree — which I’m still very proud of — but I then spent a long time wondering what kind of path I should pursue. I thought about going to grad school to become a teacher or doing something else in the world of education, or maybe switching into another field entirely (I even thought about real estate for a while!).

Doubting

The fact was that I needed to make a change in my life. It took me years to make the decision, and along the way I met a lot of people who were very discouraging. They told me farming was an incredibly difficult field to get into because you need a lot of prior knowledge and can still lose crops in an instant because of things that are out of your control. Why get into a field that is so hard and requires so much tough physical labor?

But I did have someone who supported me: My husband, Cody. He told me I could do it, and I feel lucky that I had someone who believed in me. If you’re looking to make a difficult decision, you only need one person to believe in you, too — and that person can be you!

Going for it

Photo of letter: Yolo County Office of Education resignation form. To Yolo County Superintendent of Schools, from Amanda Sadkowski Ross Kitaura
No going back now!

It finally came to a moment that I had to make a decision. The end of the school year was approaching and it was time to make plans for the following year. Would I continue on in a job I was unhappy with or make the leap into something difficult and uncertain? On March 21, 2017, I put in my resignation and set my sights on flowers. I remember saying I would finish out the school year and then not return, and my boss was like: “Are you sure?” I think that was partly because she wanted me to stay on and partly because she was thinking: “Girl, you’re nuts.”

I had a hard road ahead of me, but I wasn’t going it alone. Next week, The Story of Bloom, Part 3: The Helpers.

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Amanda sitting in booth at festival
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The Story of Bloom, Part 5: The Growth

It’s kind of amazing how much my business has changed since the early (pre-kid!) days, when I would go around to random businesses dropping off