MEET THE FOUNDER OF SHE WORE FLOWERS

So you've visited our marketplace brimming with gorgeous designs by trusted indie designers. Now meet the mind behind it.

Ashley Miran, Founder of She Wore Flowers

Where did the idea for SWF come from?

It's a question I get asked a lot, and I hope that some other small town girl can find even just a little shred of inspiration and courage to take risks and follow those bigger, more daunting dreams. 

Small Town Roots

Some people want to know the long story, and some the the short one. I'll try to find the middle ground for you here! Ever since I can remember, I wanted to create something big when I grew up. I was raised by two loving parents in a very small town (we're talking 1500 people) in the north-central part of British Columbia, Canada. I was always surrounded by nature, travel, long winters, warm summers, a big family, and sports. As a teenage tomboy on the soccer, track, and volleyball teams, the bridal industry is probably the last place anyone who knew me back then would have imagined I'd end up. 


Ashley as a bridal consultant in 2012. Taking her job VERY seriously.


Finding that niche.

Coming from a small town in the 90's and early 00's, it was never conveyed to me that a career within a creative sector or tech was something that could sustain a living. I was to find my place within business or healthcare (I also thought by the time I was 27 I'd be married with two kids. Oh how times have changed). When I was six and my teacher asked what I wanted to do, I replied with "a marine biologist". Then it was an Olympic skater. Then graduation and adulthood loomed, and big aspirations became too scary and unsafe. Our small high school offered very little in terms of elective classes, so it wasn't like there was even the opportunity for us kids to try out different, "unique" subjects. Needless to say, I graduated high school at 17 years old without a clue as to what I wanted to do with my life. I studied an entry level business program in college which would at least allow me to attain a junior position out of school while I figured my life out, and I did just that by joining the banking world. Well that was...not fun for me. "What do you love?" My parents would ask my twenty year old self. My brain still told me that I had to either choose business or healthcare so I replied, "Umm...sports?" 

This answer led me to study Registered Massage Therapy and subsequently work for myself (yay!) but ultimately was killer on my hands and joints (boo!) and question whether I actually loved it enough to be okay with the fact I'd probably get arthritis by the time I was 30. Love it? I didn't really even like it that much. I yearned to be creative. So at 23 I decided I would quit my RMT job and take the leap. Sure, I'd basically make no money for a long time if I was actually going to pursue this "creativity pull" on my being, but it wasn't about money for me anymore. I wanted something I loved to spend 40+ hours a week doing. So, I enrolled in an interior design course and began to blog, and long story short-ish, my decisions took me on a whirlwind of changes over the years following, which would see me move across the world (twice), enter the bridal industry, and ultimately lead me to creating the very website you're visiting now, She Wore Flowers. 

Although I'm Canadian, I lived in the UK (mostly in London) for almost six years. I've known from about the age of twenty one that I ultimately wanted to work for myself, but I also knew I needed a great idea. A unique idea. And in this day and age, niche, good ideas are hard to come by. Throughout my twenties I bounced around between different side hustles and would put loads of energy into these hobbies for a few months before I'd realize that the idea, in my mind, wasn't the one and would move onto the next. While doing this somewhat erratic soul searching I had "day jobs" to pay my bills in London (just barely) which would change over time from being a bridal consultant, managing bridal shops, managing the operations of a publishing company, an interior design studio, and even randomly getting into HR. In May of 2017 I moved back to British Columbia with my other half, Timothy, and one night as I was cozy under the duvet about to drift off, the idea just hit me like a sack of bricks. Most of my most exciting ideas seem to come to me when I'm on the brink of falling asleep, and this one was no different. 

An epiphany in the night.


I had received a reputation among my friends and family as some sort of bridal guru due to my experience in the wedding industry and I'd noticed for years that shopping online for great bridal products was really difficult. I had also noticed, as a previous online seller, that the current marketplaces out there seemed to be letting their quality control slip, which really frustrated me. My listings were always lost among tens of thousands of others, many of which were either of poor quality, or made by sellers that were hard to verify as legitimate. I had never paired these two realizations together though. Just like that, the idea had fluttered into my half-conscious head. I actually had to groggily grab my phone off the side table and jot it down into my notes app so that I'd remember it in the morning. A wedding marketplace, with only quality sellers, with only beautifully made items, and only gorgeous photography showcasing it. 

Over the next few months I began the initial planning stages and research. It took about six months for me to really nail the idea down. It was hard. I actually completely wrote off the idea for five months because it was overwhelming and I didn't think I could do it. How could I afford to do this? I had a full time job. We'd just moved to Vancouver and moving is expensive. It's too much for me to be able to accomplish this. I can't. Would anyone see the potential in this that I did? I set it aside.
 
In the spring of 2018 the idea was nagging at me again, telling me not to give up on it. So, I gave in to my conscience and quit what I promised myself was my last ever "day job". I started contacting bridal designers. I'd pitch them my concept. I was so scared they'd email me back and be like, "this is a crappy idea". But they didn't. They valued it. They saw it how I saw it. The feedback was overwhelming and solidified my path. It was my motivation to continue, and I carried on, I built it from the ground up with the novice web design experience I had, and it started to come together. I've met people who are really excited by SWF, and I've also met a few who just don't believe in me or the concept. I've learned that there will be lots of people who try to cast doubt along the way, but it doesn't mean I should take it personally or give up on it, so I won't. And here we are. And here you are. And I'm so thankful that you're here. 

I hope that you love the collections that we've searched high and low to curate. The designers behind each brand live their own passion each day by creating the gorgeous items that fill She Wore Flowers, and our numbers are growing! Thank you for taking the time to read this and be a part of our journey, and I hope that you'll stick around with us as we continue to grow and revolutionize the way the world shops bridal. 

xx Ashley 

On an even more personal note, I enjoy spending time with my other half Tim and our three dogs, Bear, Bella, and Rue. I love travelling and wandering historic European cities, being outdoors, drinking lots of coffee, and spending time in old British pubs. 

You can follow my personal Instagram account here! ....and my dogs' account here...yes, I'm that person.



Ashley routinely updates her Editor's Choice Collection on SWF, a small curated list comprised of some of the wonderful items that have caught her eye lately.

No comments