Caddyboo had the chance to sit down for a motivational talk with Katie Mayfield, the face behind the non-profit organization FloweRescue, an organization that Caddyboo has recently been working closely with to promote sustainability. This was done as part of a series where several guests will have the chance to sit down with us and discuss topics such as motivation, staying in a good mood, and not worrying too much! To watch the interview yourself, please visit https://www.instagram.com/tv/B_m54e_lYkA/
Q: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
A: I am the creator of a non- profit organization called FloweRescue, and our work is to address the issue of floral waste, and connect people through the beauty and joy of flowers. With Caddyboo we share a very important value: sustainability. In the next few years, we would like to partner together to boost the activities and visibility of FloweRescue, and keep the Caddyboo name circling here in Helsinki.
Q: We all know the current [Covid-19] situation is a bit tricky. How did that affect FloweRescue and you personally?
A: It definitely has changed a lot of things. At FloweRescue, our main work is to take surplus flowers from wholesalers and florists, to repurpose them into bouquets, and to donate them into elderly works. We aren’t able to do that right now. We’re very careful not to meet new groups, and many of the elderly homes, charities, and hospitals to which we would usually deliver bouquets aren’t accepting them. So it definitely changed our operations. We’ll go back as soon as we’re allowed to, but the quarantine time has been good for us to do some admin work, and also to look back on our mission and say “if we can’t do what we normally do, how can we still make an impact now?” Our mission is twofold: to address the issue of floral waste AND to connect people through the beauty and joy of flowers. And there was actually an unprecedented level of floral waste because of the Covid crisis and i’m sorry to say we weren’t prepared to do a lot about that. But the second part of our mission, we’ve been looking for other ways to still do that, for example by card-writing campaigns to send cards to elderly home, as well as starting a campaign on our Instagram called “One Hundred Flower Stories” with the idea behind it being that there’s a story behind every flower. It seems to be true that whatever our connection to flowers today is, we have a childhood memory, or we remember our grandmothers, or someone once gave us a beautiful bouquet that meant a lot to us. So we are trying to tell those stories, and use that way to keep our community connected during this time of isolation. Because we’re not able to do what we usually do, we’ve been going to back to why we do it, and still try to make an impact.
Q: This situation can put some stress on a person. How do you deal with it?
A: Usually, I get a lot of my energy from connecting with other people and generosity. It’s a little harder to do that these days. Calls and walks from a safe distance are nice, but it can become hard to ask the question of “who am I when I’m not doing the things I usually do?” The places I’ve begun to find answers are in going back into nature, and in stories with myself by thinking of the times that I've faced uncertainty in the past and how I’ve managed to move forward. Finding that self identification in stories and in the past is very valuable.
Q: Do you have any tips for staying motivated? Keeping stress in control could be possible, but how do you make yourself energized to do things?
A: For me, it’s been about trying to figure out the difference in my own mind between being busy and being motivated, and not to think about it in terms of how much I can do, but think about in what way it matters. When I think about these questions, I end up with a clearer set of priorities, which helps me stay motivated by giving me clarity and purpose. It removes some of that pressure of intense doing, and helps me say “okay, I need to get this done.”
Q: This is also a good tip for good time-management, to understand what can be done now, and what can be postponed.
A: We have a great challenge with all of this uncertainty to make some really bold decisions about what no longer fits in our lives. This is very scary, but it’s also very empowering. It’s starting to feel much less about the hustle. It’s easier to manage my time when my checklist of things to do is 5 really cool items long, rather than 25 questionable items long. We’re so hard on ourselves in the sense of if you don’t get things checked off of your to-do list, you go to bed beating yourself up and wake up the next day discouraged.
Q: I’ve recently found comfort in knowing that I’m exactly where I need to be and felt relieved that I don’t have to do something that I’m not supposed to do, and that I’m already doing the right thing.
A: To start from a place of “i’m exactly where I need to be,” it doesn’t mean I don’t have to move at all. It just means that the next place I go can be from a position of curiosity and enthusiasm, as opposed to from a position of having to make up for something that I haven’t gotten done.
Q: What motivates you more, failures or victories?
A: Definitely victories. But I don’t usually think of it in these terms, but rather, how can I celebrate those small steps along the way, or, conversely, how can I reflect on my small stumbles along the way. If I think of it that way, it becomes less black and white and more about exploration. If all you do is think about the summit, you won’t get there in a fulfilling way. You think about smaller milestones along the way. The long term goal can become quite overwhelming.
Q: How would we overcome failures in this time when there are changes in dynamic all the time?
A: “Overcoming” and “failure” automatically casts failure in a negative light. I guess it’s more about learning from the failure, and having a good way to look at what didn’t work, whether it was a big thing or whether I failed to write the application I was supposed to today. To look at it not so much in a sense of “how can I conquer that next time,” but “what happened? Why did I fail? Why didn’t I get it done?.” As a new organization, you’re trying to project how things are gonna be in 6 months, in 1 year, in 5 years. As fun as that is, it is also impossible to know how things are gonna be like in 6 months. This means maybe we can be a little more creative and a little more gentle with ourselves.
Q: Most people have moved to remote work. From your perspective, what helps you stay focused when you’re working from home?
A: We don’t have a FloweResuce office yet, so we work remotely anyway. But we do have fewer touchpoints with other collaborators. I’m not great at working from home to be honest, but what seems to be working is to set up accountability check-ins with collaborators and say that “we’re gonna meet at a certain time to discuss a certain project” and then I know what I’d like to get done before then. Things are very open-ended in a time when we can set our own timelines, so giving myself some timelines and check-in points seems to be working.
For more info about the amazing initiative behind FloweRescue, please visit their website: https://www.flowerescue.org/