I take a drive down PCH to the quaint beach town of Corona Del Mar where, nestled amongst the little streets, resides a beautiful floral shop. I walk through the door to be met with a wall of fresh, earthy scents and busy women talking to customers and arranging flowers. I am immediately captivated by the relaxing vibe and buckets upon buckets of greenery and flowers of every color. Alyssa finishes up with a customer and comes to greet me. Alyssa and I met while working in the athletics department at Whittier College, her as an athletic trainer and I as a swim coach.
I have kept up with Alyssa via social media, seeing her journey pan out from her Whittier graduation to her epic adventures in Hawaii and back to California. There was some point while she was in Hawaii where I noticed a massive shift in her energy. She started her yoga practice, had an apartment full of plants and was skateboarding. And I know this is weird saying all this solely based off of what I was seeing on Instagram but it was VERY apparent to me. It felt like she was finding herself and living the way she wanted to, doing what made her feel happy. I have no idea if that was actually what was going on or not but I decided to take a chance and reach out to her, turns out I was right!
Her journey from an athletic trainer to florist has shifted the energy in her life. She describes this change, “I stopped looking for everyone’s okay and went after what I wanted and was able to kind of alchemize my life from a masculine athletic dominant culture into a more feminine, creative, softer side which has allowed me to see so much more of myself and where my purpose into this world actually is.”
I had such an awesome time being in this flower shop. Walking in it smelt like a forest, like there was more oxygen in the air and my shoulders instantly fell from my ears. The space was filled with flowers, greenery, ribbons, baskets, pots and a peaceful energy. I don’t spend any time in florist shops and I am sure there are days where it is chaotic but that afternoon felt like a feminine sanctuary. This was quite different from my last project with Aaron where I was in a gym with sweaty people, intense energy and loud music.
Take a look at the video I put together to try and capture a bit of this chapter of her life! One of my most favorite things she says is about her current position, “Now coming into floral and it taking over a year to manifest I appreciate it so much more. It is such a special place for me, it’s kind of like a zen zone I go into, and being able to create and use my hands and go into something completely different has allowed a lot of light to shine into places that were darker before and allowed me to really breath and feel a fuller version of myself.”
Thank you Alyssa for allowing me to come document you and thank you Corona Del Mar Florist for creating a soft, beautiful oasis in the chaos that is PCH and Orange County.
Happy day friends!!