Name: Blakely Morris
City: Mobile, AL
Side Hustle: Planter/window box designer
How did you get started?: Kind of a long story – I graduated from college with a history degree with every intention of going to law school, met my husband, realized there wasn’t a law school near him, bagged any idea of taking the LSAT and going to law school, got married, worked at my dad’s law firm for about 6 months before realizing (and thanking God) that I hated being stuck inside on a beautiful day, I hated answering the phone and looking at a computer screen, and I would have hated being an attorney. I quit my job and started searching for my vocation/calling. I have always loved two things: exercise and flowers. I decided to get certified to be a personal trainer/group ex instructor which I then did for 7 years. I met many dear and wonderful people during those 7 years, and I loved getting to exercise and get paid to do so. After having my little girl, Amelia (who is now 3), it got harder to teach and rely on sitters when my husband was out of town or when Mothers Day Out was closed, and I began to get burnt out. Teaching became more stressful than fun, and I began to dread having to plan classes and find sitters.
I live next door to the most adorable, eclectic little flower shop, and I begged them over the fence one day to let me work there. I have worked there on and off since I quit the attorneys office gig and have learned so much about cut flowers from the amazing designers who work there. As much as I love cut flowers though, I began to realize my real passion is being outside, sweating, with dirt under my fingernails (and usually on my face), working in my yard, or helping one of my neighbors work in their yard to create beautiful, little spaces.
Last spring my husband, David, and I went to Charleston, and I fell in LOVE with the gorgeous window boxes and planters that decorate every yard, house, and shop there. We passed several groups of women whose cars were loaded down with plants and flowers working to make those amazing window boxes and planters. My husband immediately encouraged me to do something like that in Mobile. I thought it was a nice idea but initially shrugged it off as just that – a nice idea.
I have always done my own window boxes and planters and helped my neighbors with theirs, and I would find myself coming up with new “projects” daily. David kept encouraging me to start a business, and I just couldn’t imagine charging people to do what I love and get so much satisfaction out of doing. And then I read a book that changed my life: Garden City by John Mark Comer. I literally, no joke, read the book in two days, crying as I went, and walked away totally convicted that I had to start “rooted.”
When/where do you work?: I usually work every day between 9-1 while Amelia is in Mothers Day Out.
What are the challenges of your Side Hustle?: The biggest challenge for me has been weather: freezes, which kill the plants, and thunderstorms, which keep me from planting.
What are the rewards of your Side Hustle?: I get to do what I love everyday, and I get to share it with others.
Who is your greatest supporter?: My husband, David Morris.
Who/what is your greatest source of inspiration?: The book Garden City by John Mark Comer and God’s beautiful creation that I so genuinely delight in (it makes my job easy).
Have you received recognition for your work? If so, please toot your horn below so we can include these details in your profile.: This is my first time to be recognized, and I am so excited to be a part!
What is your dream for your Side Hustle?: To continue to use God’s gift of creation and the ability He has given me to design beautiful spaces to bring Him glory and happiness to others.
Do you have any advice for others working on a Side Hustle?:
Don’t give up. Don’t compare yourself to others. There will always be someone better/more successful, etc. Don’t let that influence the mark you are making. We are all unique, and we all have something to offer.