We’re Sarah and Kat
Two dog-loving, coffee drinking, wedding florists and stylists who have taken our love and appreciation of the fickle life of fresh flowers to the next level.
We know flowers evoke emotions and memories. Their scent is almost impossible to forget. They are a part of and capture so many of life’s milestones moments, and we are here to help you continue to cherish those times.
By embedding your floral memories with our custom crystal clear resin, you can continue to relive the moments that matter most. Also, your custom piece is sure to invite curiosity and conversation amongst new friends, giving you even more opportunity to share your story with those flowers.
Be it a single rose gifted on your first anniversary, flowers plucked from your mum’s garden, your bridal bouquet or a sentimental flower from a funeral arrangement.
Empowerment is deeply personal and grounded in self. Consequently we all have our own
interpretation of it. What it is, how it feels, how to get it, why it’s important. In addition to
this episode, Sarah and Katarina also have an article in the Empower issue of Brand You
Magazine which you can read at the below link.
Sarah & Katarina’s Podcast: Team for Two
- How they went into partnership together
- Building a workplace build for the real world
- Why money isn’t a dirty word
- Having a business built on passion…and a rock solid friendship!
Could you tell our listeners a little bit about how it came about and why it came about most importantly.
Sarah Cleaton & Katarina Rosa
Embedded Blooms came about because of COVID the wonderful COVID, the double edged sword. The worst time and the best time in a lot of people’s lives, the and definitely in ours. So it started off as the worst time, because at the time Kat and I were wedding stylists and our businesses were paused. Completely stopped. And as someone who is in complete control all the time, that felt really bad. And for a little bit there I didn’t know what to do with myself. So as any good creative does, I pick up something else and look at things that I’ve been liking and wanting to try. And now having this time to actually be able to try them, started dabbling and showed Kat and said, hey, what do you think? This could be really awesome and at the time there really wasn’t any. Fully fledged business doing it in Australia. There was a few artists that were dabbling in resin and doing it in kind of different artistic ways but not somewhere that people could just go for any occasion and be able to access preservation in this way. so we showed our friends and everybody that we showed absolutely loved what we were doing and I knew 100% that I didn’t want another business on my own. It’s very very lonely. And I know that Kat had experienced similar things and she has a bit of a family business and there’s a few more of them there, but it’s still the same sort of feeling. And I knew I wanted a partner and I knew Kat’s work ethic was absolutely amazing. And I knew that she could bring some really awesome things to the table that I, you know, skills that I don’t have. And I was just so lucky that she said yes and wanted to come on this path with me. I actually thought there was going to teach me a pyramid scheme because she was like I have something to show you and I was like like she was like, very secretive about it too. And I was like this is going to go one of two ways and I got there and I was like says hey look I really love you but if it is a pyramid I I can’t do it. It seems like it’s more pyramid scheme. It’s resin it’s definitely not.
What you guys do is so truly unique a lot of people might look at what you do and go it’s purely for weddings. But it’s for a lot of different purposes and I I think you’ve probably found like some very sad, but some also some very sweet and happy stories behind what you do. Could you tell us some of the other reasons people have come to you for your embedded bloom services?
Sarah Cleaton & Katarina Rosa
I had a little boy last year on Anzac Day and so I’m like new to the parenting game and it has like I finally understood. Now when all my sisters and people around me boy said like it’s different when you have a kid and I suddenly kind of found myself. You know, when you kind of have like that cut to like Oh my God and you’ve had this like terrible thought in your head like something happened to him or you know you become a little bit. Crazy like that. that started to really ring true to me, especially kind of in my social circles. My friends have started to have kids. I’m meeting people who have had pregnancies and miscarriages, and that was a real kind of sticking point to me and something that’s really very deep to Sarah as well. We’ve been very. Fortunate to. Have been in touch with people who have had you know babies or pregnancies that didn’t make it to full term or have had you know their sweetest little babies pass and they don’t have anything that they feel is tangible anymore? Or there’s a bit of shame around putting those mementos out and people have reached out to us and said I found this tiny little bloom that I kept from their memorial service or from someone who gave me a gift. You know, it’s OK of flowers and I’ve just had it collecting dust and I saw you guys and I really want to make something with them. You’re really lucky to cast. An amount of those kinds of memorial pieces, and I think they’re the ones that really stick out to us and just on Monday we had one of our beautiful customers reached back out to us and say I’ve just received our flowers from her baby girls memorial and her little boys are already carrying around this state that we made for her. Yeah, I know, and she’s like they’re so proud to show off her flowers and like that, that kind of. Makes it so worth it and that’s we love weddings. Weddings are what we do, but it’s the memorial pieces we’re so grateful to get that small little snippet and that little insight into people’s lives and that we can be so honoured to have a little part in memorializing those people for them. Yeah, we
And actually I. are able to give them something to hold on to. That isn’t necessarily a photo or no an. An item like with a baby you may not have like they haven’t collected an item, but you know there were the flowers and those people can hold on to them and look at them. And they’re also not, you know, a direct reminder. So if someone comes into their house, they’re not looking at a photo of a past person, but they’re looking at flowers that represent that person, It’s not as full on as well, so I think people you know having it in their homes, it feels really good. And it’s just so nice that we can do that. We had one lady that had pressed a flower for each baby that she had miscarried with. And when she finally had her rainbow baby, she sent us all those pressed flowers and we got to put them into one of our Alexis pieces. And they all represented the journey that she had gone through. And to know that at the end of that journey, there was this beautiful rainbow baby was really special. I think with we’re getting better as a society. Talking about miscarriages especially, or stillborn births, or just infant loss in general. We’re getting better, but. we’re just trying to help where we came.
You’re a part of their family story because you hear their family stories and you expand your community in such a beautiful way. we really do take this take with such honour that, you know, we get to be a part of that and forever because they literally are going to keep that piece forever. And if we didn’t start this business, it’s not something they would have been able to have. So yeah, we we feel very fortunate. Yeah, definitely.
Now we mentioned before about how you guys came together to create this business together. That is clearly not a pyramid scheme now. As a solo and sometimes lonely entrepreneur. What are the best parts of doing this biz journey together? Like what are the things that you just are so grateful for?
Sarah Cleaton & Katarina Rosa
There’s so many things. There are so many things I am. I’m impatient and I’m the kind of person who like, OK, let’s just do it right now. let’s make that decision and go. Whereas Sarah has like a little bit more patience. Sarah did all of the resin testing. She did all of the samples. she’s got the patience of a St and I’m kind of like, OK, well, when you’ve done that, let me know and I’ll cruise in with my strong part and we’ll make it work. we worked really well together because we have different strengths. That’s one of the things that I’m most grateful for, when I’m like, I really, I don’t want to do that. I want to do that. So like, I love that I’ll do that. it’s just perfect balance. It is, which is it really is amazing balance. you have to find the right person and I guess knowing what can help us like in business before going into business with her and seeing her on her own journey, I kind of knew that’s the kind of person I want to be with. When it comes to business and we truly balance each other out, it is hilarious. we both have our moments. So for example we’ll get maybe a slightly prickly customer and you know we’ve we’ve taken the brunt of that encounter and we’re feeling very vulnerable and upset about it and the other person seems to know how to make the other one feel better about it and all of a sudden it’ll switch. And Katie, the person that needs someone to come in and be like it’s OK. It’s fine. And then she does it for me and we just we do it without even realizing it’s it’s amazing We always have someone to to talk to, to bounce off ideas to say when we’re being ridiculous. I will say like don’t get me wrong, it’s not perfect. No relationship is perfect, we kind of alternate the heels to die on. if something is a sticking point for Sarah, I’m like OK. Clearly this is a sticking point for Sarah. I will back off but if I feel strongly about something else, says like OK cool no worries like that’s clearly doing things for you. We both know at the end of the day. All we want is success, yeah and success for each other. So if you know cats really strong on one point, I know it’s for a reason. I’ll still put my two cents in, but if that’s something that needs to happen then we’ll make it happen. We’ll give it a go and vice versa with that. we have a common good. We also made a really great decision to, you know, if we were going to do this we were going to build the business that we would want to be a part of. Yeah, and that comes, if it was just going to be the two of us. And we were going to do absolutely every part of the business or if we were going to expand and have a team. And we’ve been fortunate enough to expand and have a team and create what, seems to be an amazing culture because our team wants to be with us all the time. They are, cheering us on. They, are just absolutely amazing and you know, I want to go to work.
We want to go to work. We joke about where the Google of Camden and that people are gonna when they figure out the work conditions, they’re gonna be like, can we get a job there? That’s how we like to pitch ourselves. That’s how we talk about those internally. So that’s the vibe we try to keep the vibe good and when one is lacking, the other is always got a little extra to give. That’s it.
And at this point, honestly, I all of our listeners will understand why I hate you as a part of the Empower edition. Because seriously, I just felt lifted up. Now empowerment means something different to everyone, right? And I can tell that you guys have been very conscious about fostering an empowering environment. You really Lift each other up and support each other. What do you feel are the some of the ways that women in general? Can empower each other best.
Sarah Cleaton & Katarina Rosa
I truly believe that we need to be the change that we want to see. So you know we’ve had plenty of jobs growing up and getting to where we are and we’ve been in lots of different environments and we’ve seen the way that we do not want to be treated. So there is no way that I was going to start a business especially that has a larger team that would have anything to do with. Any of those things. And they’re generally just standard things that you know when you go to a workplace. That’s how it is and so. By empowering cat and empowering myself to be the person we want to be, to create the change that we want to see in our society in general, by creating a business that has a structure that treats its employees in a certain way, we’re not only, have empowered ourselves to be that change, but the we’re empowering our team to now. This is the standard. This is what we should be accepting. We shouldn’t be. Getting any less, whether they, decide tomorrow to go work for somebody else. They know now that I don’t have to accept any less than this, I can find a workplace, I can find conditions that are amazing and that allow me to work, have a family, do the things that you need to do, be respected, be paid well, do all of that. And that is now the standard.
And I look at my kids as well, when I compare, them leaving school versus me leaving school and some of those things that we just accepted as a norm. And it’s because it was done before doesn’t mean it has to continue to be done.
Sarah Cleaton & Katarina Rosa
And it just gives me so much hope, especially for my daughter, that she will have. The Saints of self I think we also learned that with COVID, we suddenly had an entire society. We had the whole world working from home. my life motto is part time forever, full time never. And I put it on my grave, I think that we’ve proven to ourselves and to each other as a society in general. We don’t have to work nine to five and do overtime. And take our work home no. Our whole team, us included. no one works more than four days in the week. We kind of rock up between 9:00 and 9:30 ish and we kind of finish between 3:00 and ish. And if the girls have to duck out for an appointment or if they have to go home for the kids or if they have something on or any of those things, the answer is always absolutely like They let us know when they need to duck out for whatever, but they also know what our workload is. Yeah, they completely respect what needs to be done and they work really hard and so when you’re there, you get it done and then you go and do what you need to do. I know that that is the crux and the basis of everyone’s happiness is to be treated well and it’s those little tiny things that then. Make them want to work even harder when they are there, yeah, and I think when you give people the responsibility to look after their own workflow, they exceed every expectation that you ever had of them. your work day doesn’t need to be 8 hours. It can be efficient in six. Absolutely, yeah. I will say, though, my husband sort of sitting on the outside so we’re very much been like we have our own things and we come together at night. So my business is my business and we do chat and discuss things and he knows what’s going on. But he knows that that is my thing and we’ve had discussions about, the culture that we are creating within our business and he is just absolutely amazed. He’s like you really doing this you really. Making these changes he works in a massive company and he sees the poorest side of the culture that’s, been there for years and very hard to change. And he’s like, I would much prefer to be with you and I’m unfortunately there’s no position available right now, but it’s nice to, see that and have that recognition.
Get him to type up a CV he can put it in with HR. Now, apart from each other, getting back to the theme of empowerment, which I feel like all of this has been anyway because it’s just so uplifting to hear how other women lifting other people up and I feel like that’s that’s cracked to all of us is just general kindness and actually just acceptance of things. But as kids as women, there are those certain people that we look to and we just go. That person is I really look up to that person. They really empower me to be more or do more. Those sorts of things. And in business we’re swamped by it. Who would be your person? Who would be your person that you look at and you go? yes
Sarah Cleaton & Katarina Rosa
Oh look, I look like Beyoncé, man. If we all had Beyoncé’s team of people, sure. He drives it. she’s focused. She has a goal, she knows what she wants. She’s drama free, like man. She is the woman and I will listen to her all the time. I’m going to go a little closer to home.
On my home body and I’m gonna have to say my mum and my sisters, my mom. Literally our styling business. Mom styling business came about because Mom was like, I can do this. She stole her check cover from one of the function centers near our place and was like, we’re going to make this. OK, so there I am like 16 year olds cutting bolts of fabric, making these chair covers. She’s also like a like state, immigrated here as well and she kind of made something from nothing and that is testament that you you can like you said anything that you kind of want to be can be you just have to nut it out and get on with it. My sisters are the same, they’ve all got their own businesses. They’ve all worked incredibly hard in their lives and it doesn’t matter what Spanner is thrown their way like the spanner is coming. It is flying and they just they’re dodging them and they’re making something better at the end of it. So the resilience I think that I see in them I don’t know. Maybe that. That kind of mindset of, feeling defeated. We don’t really have that. I don’t have that. I’ve never had that because my family has never been like that. Yeah, you’ve had a cheer squad. Yeah forever. And they’ve been an amazing cheer squad for the two of us. Yeah, yeah, yeah yeah,
You basically know you can’t fall, and that is just one of the most empowering things, to know that people have your back and that and you’re consciously surrounded yourself, by people that actually they get it.
Sarah Cleaton & Katarina Rosa
They get it, they get it. They definitely get it. And you know what? So much of that community are the the people who kind of our first thing was like key changes. We did like a key chain drop to try to raise capital, and so much of those keychain orders were out. Nearest and dearest family and friends. I can’t tell you how many we sold. It was insane, like our whole journey has been insane, to be honest. to think that a drop of key chains before even the big pieces were around, it’s like everybody just wanted. The pace of it and to, more than anything, just give us a little hand. That’s it. We like supporting. Yeah. Yeah. And, you know, thousand you can do. It’s led to this amazing situation. things only ever start with an idea and guess true, like for a while there, I know, cats, family and her husband were like. Why did Sarah ask you travel? Yeah, my husband still is like whenever there’s like a big achievement. He’s like I don’t know why they’re picture I’m like and the thing was
I didn’t. I didn’t pick cat the universe us together from one idea I couldn’t have turned that idea into what it is now. Without cap, there’s there’s no way. You know everything that has happened has only happened because of the two of us. And I’m so insanely grateful that we’ve been able to, do that and achieve that. And it’s, yes, it started with one idea, but it’s,
Yeah. it’s way beyond that way, way, way beyond that now.
If someone’s looking at, joining forces with someone. What are some of the things that you feel are really key to put in place so that it optimizes the chances for success?
Sarah Cleaton & Katarina Rosa
So I think the best thing that we did was write up a little contract between the two of us. It hilarious. It says things like, a timeline. So we were going to give it like six months. we get to the end of the year. And if either of us felt like this wasn’t for us or that, we’ve just changed our mind or whatever it is, we can opt out. Yeah, we can absolutely walk away and that then the other person would have the option to take it further. They wanted to or walk away, but just listing out all of those things and kind of setting an expectation to start with because you’ve got to give it a chance and not everything will turn into something I’ve done lots of little things in my life and tried different things. And you know, sometimes they stick for a little bit and they take you to a certain point and they teach you, valuable things along the way, but inevitably it’ll finish. with this it was the same. We didn’t know where it was going to go. But by giving ourselves a tangible goal, which was you know to the end of the year, let’s see how we feel. And I remember saying to Kat it was Lauren Christmas and like are you staying? Are you going to go? What are you going to do? What’s your decision? And she’s like *****? I’m not going anywhere and I think going forward with that so you know just being really upfront, honest. Also not sweating the little things you know, it’s really easy to get hung up on tiny parts of the business. Just know that there’s a bigger picture and you went into this with this person for a reason. trusting that process. Just to reiterate what Sarah said, because I think much of that is the same thing, much more that I think about it is the same thing. It’s like 1 Series of awkward conversations where you think the worst case scenario. So in this little contract I was like, OK, but what if you want to keep the business, but I don’t want to keep the business and Sarah was like, well, then why wouldn’t I just keep the business? And I was like, you know, what? You’re right, why wouldn’t you if I didn’t want it anymore? Why wouldn’t you then keep it? So I think it’s kind of having those initial conversations where you’re kind of looking at somebody and saying, could I have these conversations with you? If we had these local conversations and it all went to **** would we still be friends? That’s also in the clause, by the way. But if the business broke down, we would still be friends and there would be no hard feelings. not putting the small things part of when we kind of got together, we both agreed we have no money coming in. We have no prospects for the future. We don’t know how long this is going to go. We don’t know any of that. So if we’re going to make a business, it’s going to make money, and we are like the number one. Thing on Alex, because we have. My business was built on love and it was built on something that I was magically able to do and people loved when it came to weddings. I don’t even know how I’m good at this, but I just AM. it was built on that. that means money. Conversations with people is very awkward. trying to value myself was very awkward and very hard because, it’s easy for me, so I can’t charge them. So much money, but the value of what I was doing was actually worth a lot more. So coming into this business, I was like this is about making money. This is about us having a life for our family. This is about being able to hopefully have a team that we can then pay and create this environment and that is the foundation of what we wanted and because that was so solid and the ideas of what we wanted was so solid we were able to. As time went on, get to where we are now because we knew where we wanted to be. Yeah, and we both completely agreed upon those things to start with. Yeah, I think if your foundations are on the same page, it doesn’t matter what comes up. You’re always going to revert back to those principles to make the decision for the hard situation. It’s always the same thing when we get a bit emotional, like one of us gets caught up on something I’m like. Is this going to make us money? What is the best decision for the business that’s not emotional? Like if we weren’t emotionally attached to this decision right now, what would be the best? And that’s kind of whenever it gets a bit weird. We’re like, OK, but what’s the business decision for this and that just irons it out. That means there’s no feelings, and we’re that’s the choice that we’re going with. I kind of feel like for a man to say, I started this business to make money and it’s all business decisions. You look at them and applaud them and be like, wow, that’s amazing. But for a woman I kind of feel almost embarrassed, Oh my God, I don’t want people to think that I’m making money like then. They think that I’m making too much money and all. Right, that’s ridiculous. Particularly, we have to pay our mortgages, we have to buy groceries, but also we support so many other people within our business in so many different ways. And the fact that we make money, that means that we are able to support all of these other pieces and these other women and you know, not just what’s in our team, but different people that we meet along the way, that we think, Oh my God, we love what you’re doing and where we want to buy your artwork, we want to. support your charity drive and all of that. If we weren’t making money, we couldn’t do that. So I’m very proud to be able to make money. You know what it is. It’s like that level of flipping some of the definitions of success and challenging them is one of the most powerful things of being a woman of business. I personally feel that you. You can do those things, and entirely up to you. being that you have been a part of brand new magazine, the core of what we’re about is about how valuable it is to. Brand yourself into the heart of your business as well.
Now, I know we’ve just talked about, money, but ultimately this comes down to, showing up with your values and your morals and your beliefs. have you seen by showing up as yourself in your business?
Sarah Cleaton & Katarina Rosa
My language is acts of service. when it boils down to it, the brand for me is an active service. I’m coming in here and I’m creating something for somebody else every single day. on a separate arm of that, when we come into work as ourselves, we give this in and I get this from the girls too. We have this infectious kind of aura where everyone is then given the permission to be themselves. when you’re creating something, so specific and so personal for somebody else, it’s you going into that and we need to let everyone feel like they’re full selves when they’re doing that. And it’s very empowering. I know when our girls create a cast, they are pouring so much love and attention into that cast. just being able to create that environment that, we’re pouring that much love into it is pretty amazing.
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