My team and I are reaching out to all the woman owned businesses that inspire and amaze us on a daily basis. We will start with a brief background, then dive in to the nitty gritty of running a business, what keeps them inspired, and everything else in between.
Tanarah Haynie is the founder and chief creative director of Tanarah Luxe Floral. An award-winning and much sought after floral artist, Tanarah’s passion for flowers began with picking daffodils from her grandmother’s property. A flower lover at an early age, she started working in a commercial flower shop at the age of 19 and was immediately smitten with arranging flowers. Her skillful manipulation of botanicals results from an intense study of many disciplines of floral design. After mastering the floral arts, she moved into event design, bringing her vision to transform ordinary spaces with beautiful floral compositions. Realizing her vision, she opened her floral design firm in 2000. Her design career has taken her to many places both national and international to work for high profile clients.
Having earned the coveted AIFD distinction, Tanarah is a top designer in her industry. She has worked for Fortune 500 companies, non-profit organizations and well-known top political leaders. Known for her artful style, Tanarah’s approach has always been to design with distinction. Her humble approach to life and her passion for the floral industry makes it easy for clients to communicate with her. She is an avid educator in the floral industry and a commissioned speaker at floral and special event-related conferences and shows. She has been featured in publications such as Wedding Style Grace Ormonde, Style Me Pretty, Southern Bride, Southern Living Weddings, At Home in Arkansas Weddings, Arkansas Bride and Soiree. She has done many notable events for The County Music Awards, Paula Deen, Nicole Miller, The Rolling Stones and many more.
- Give us your elevator pitch. I am a creative in every sense of the word. I create. I love beautiful things and I want to spend my life surrounded by things that inspire me.
- What is your business? My business is Tanarah Luxe Floral. We are a boutique floral experience providing floral compositions for the great celebrations of life. #livelifeliveluxe.
When did you start your business? I started my business in my kitchen (how luxe) in 1999. I had a shower epiphany one morning of how I would do it and what it would look like. The first thing that came to mind was the vision of the company. Though it took many years to get to where it could support me and my family, we got there organically. You see, I did not start in the time of social media so it took quite a bit of time to get my name out there and to build a strong clientele. It grew through providing the best floral experience I could, adding talented individuals to the mix.
- What inspired you to make the leap? I made the leap when I came to the realization that no other profession made me as happy as the floral industry did. I am such a people pleaser that it was my insatiable desire to please them by adding beauty through the avenue of flowers. I worked in dentistry part time along with working on my business until I was financially able to support myself working in the floral industry only. It was definitely tough in the beginning keeping two jobs. I just kept going never stopping. I gave up on a lot of weekend social life, lake trips and fun with friends. That's the thing. I feel like there needs to be sacrifice in anything worth while. Sacrifice is the building blocks of any great business foundation. In my opinion, this "I can do it all" attitude I see a lot seems inauthentic to me. Something will ultimately suffer: kids, family life, spouse, something. I believe in balance now, but I did not know the meaning of balance when I started.
What helps you get started each morning? Coffee, diet coke, 10 mile jog, meditation?? I live on the Arkansas River, sometimes I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I get up every morning and look out at the beauty that is Gods art and fix a great cup coffee with lots of half and half and three Splenda (I know, I know, I know) Its poison. I am usually greeted by my loving support of a spouse, three amazing rescue dogs and 2 rescue cats.
- Tell us about a day in the life of running your business. I get to work between 8:30 and 9:00 (morning traffic). I work until 6:30 because I get a lot of things done after 5:00. I start with a meeting with the team on what is on the agenda for the day, the week and two weeks ahead. I meet with clients, work on orders and quotes and make time to talk about new business. You always have to talk about new business to keep growing. The most wonderful thing is getting to work with pretty flowers each and everyday. It truly is a dream.
- Describe your dream day. My dream day is pretty much what I do everyday. "Is this real life"?
- What is your greatest strength/super power? My greatest strength or superpower is that I am easy to talk to. I always hear from clients that they feel comfortable around me. That is trait that I am most proud of.
Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat? Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest
- What do you do in your free time? (ha! What is free time?!) In my free time I like hanging out with my husband, tending to my plants and petting my cats and dogs. I love going out to eat as well!
- If an investor gave you 1 million dollars to use toward your business, how would you spend it? I would use 1 million dollars to expand the talent at TLF. Talented committed people is the formula for success.
What’s the biggest risk you ever took; how did it go? My biggest risk, yeah, I just took it 4 mos ago. I expanded my studio and store in a space that was seven doors down from my old shop. I doubled my space and invested in making it a fete for the eyes. It is a conceptual floral studio with wall projection of visually stunning films, great music and most important the flowers! #Wedidtheflowers
- Name something you hate doing but have to do for the good of your business. How do you make it tolerable? I absolutely loath washing buckets. I have done it for over seventeen years. I always love when we get a new employee, I break them in on bucket washing. It lets me know if they have the will to stick it out to be the best artist they can be. Bucket washing keeps you humble!
- How do you handle discouragement? When I get discouraged, I take a minute, evaluate the reasons of the WHY and then I either commit to changing the situation and if it is not changeable I accept what I do not have control over and I move on. Otherwise, you will go stark raving mad!
Which iconic person inspires you? I am inspired by a lot of people: Steve Jobs because he changed the face of technology. Martha Stewart because she made lifestyle a brand. Coco Chanel because she is the quintessential rags to riches story. Most of all Jesus Christ because he paid the ultimate price and he did it so I could be forgiven.
- Do you have a favorite, inspiring quote? I have always used this quote because it means so much to me: My mom always said this: "You can measure a persons intelligence by their ability to put themselves in the other ones shoes." That means a lot to me because it employs compassion and empathy. Those are two traits I have.
- If you could choose anyone to pick as a mentor, who would you choose? I pick my mother for business, along with loving me imperfectly she was fierce behind a desk. She was the real deal. She was the real Boss Lady!
Who are you in your next life? I don't know much about the next life but I would still want to design something. This life was flowers and lifestyle next life I would be designing movie sets.
- Any secrets on how you balance the ins and outs of running a small business? Secrets of running a small business. If I told you, they would not be secrets! As for advice, running a business is the hardest, most rewarding thing I have ever done in my life. You have to be the money person, psychiatrist, mom, artist and all of the above. Running a business you will have to wear many hats, and a lot of times that is very difficult but it has to be done!
- What’s the best advice you have for other women wanting to be entrepreneurs? Know your craft, study it veraciously! Be the expert you would want to do business with and most of all make it authentic.
All Photos By: Saira Khan