The foundation of Crane & Sparrow is to be a community where women can not only look good but feel good and do good as well. Crane & Sparrow is a place where women can feel inspired, and lift each other up - where we celebrate our successes and others as well.
With that idea in mind, we wanted to introduce our newest weekly feature - Women Wednesday. Each week we'll be featuring a woman that is passionate about what she does in hopes to inspire and teach others along the way.
Our very first feature for Woman Wednesday is Nora an ambitious creative entrepreneur that's turning her passions into a career. Nora operates two businesses in Edmonton, Alberta - Bud & Bloom and River City Sitter. Bud & Bloom was our first business to collaborate with. Nora brought in flowers and created a beautiful floral display all within a last minutes notice - this girl is a creative machine!
Tell us about yourself
This is always such a hard question to answer and I'm usually the jerk who follows it up with "What do you want to know!?". For a quick rundown of my life story though I was born in Egypt, raised in Edson, and have been passionate about the arts all throughout. My original plan was to leave small-town Alberta for big-time Vancouver and become a fashion designer but I let the fear that other people put into me about being a starving artist win out and ended up with a psych degree eventually instead. I kept finding myself pulled back to a creative career though and have done everything from freelance graphic design to abstract painting, and most recently, opening my custom and floral design boutique BUD + BLOOM which provides legal aged clients the opportunity to incorporate cannabis products into their orders.
What brought you on this path?
Oh gosh, a strange combination of a whole lot of factors! If it weren't for my anxiety disorder, I wouldn't have found myself as involved with cannabis as I am now. And if it weren't for the corruption I witnessed during my 5 years in the human services field, I likely would have been complacent in sticking with that career which, while incredibly rewarding, was never quite as fulfilling to me as the creative world. My departure from that field though wasn't easy in the least and I actually spiraled into a heavy depression. As awful as anxiety and depression are, I've always tried to look at them as my mind and body trying to tell me that something is very seriously wrong so the really bad spells tend to motivate me to do some soul searching and extra personal growth work. Which is exactly what I did for about a month and a half in between the crying, lethargy, and panic attacks. If I'm being completely honest, this soul searching led me to look at the metaphysical and spiritual practices around the world, an area I've always been interested in but never really allowed myself to delve into. Partially out of worry for what others may think, but mostly out of skepticism. I was at the lowest point I had ever been in my life though so, I didn't really care what anyone would think and I had nothing to lose. I just needed clarity and peace.
Long story short, this witchy inquiry eventually brought me to the practice of moon phase meditations. A lot of my close friends thought I had completely lost my mind, but bless their hearts, supported me anyway. They couldn't argue that at the core of this moon practice was a semblance of logic. To simplify it completely, at each New Moon your meditation consists of a tally of what you're grateful for, giving thanks, and clarifying whatever it is you want to create in your life. Then, 2 weeks later at the time of the Full Moon, forgiving yourself, forgiving those around you, and releasing fear and negativity. Wash, rinse, repeat! No one can argue that doing any of those things on a regular basis is ridiculous, it tends to just be the part about moon phases that raises eyebrows. Anyway, after leaving the human services field, my consistent New Moon focus was to reach clarity about my career path. Low and behold, two months in after enjoying an evening sativa bowl, my brain made this bizarre connection - "Hey lady, you've always loved flowers. And cannabis is pretty great. Let's do this thing." In that one sitting, I made BUD + BLOOM's logo, website, and Instagram page and had a list of wholesalers ready in my arsenal. Did I doubt things while I was sober the next day and had $420 (totally serendipitous, not planned) of fresh cut flowers in my car? Little bit! But I knew this was it for me. I've never been more clear about anything.
What's your favourite project that you've done so far?
This is such a tricky question but if I had to pick one, I'd have to say my cannabis flower wall. I pulled my first all-nighter since university, and let me tell you, your body does NOT handle that well with age. But it was incredibly worth it. At 8' x 8', it's the largest floral design I've created to date and I absolutely loved everything about the process from dealing with a China shipping nightmare where my floral mesh (which is the gridding of the entire wall) didn't ship on time, to arranging and re-arranging the flowers to achieve visual cohesion, to the final product. The creativity dance is basically one big problem solving act where the finale is your vision and it's fucking fantastic when you nail it! Pardon my French, I swear when I'm passionate about something.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Man oh man, you're all about the tough questions! As cheesy as it sounds - life. Inspiration can come from a song, a building, a piece of fabric, a cannabis strain, nature, a feeling, literally anything and everything. If you're open to it. That's key. So many of us are living on autopilot and don't even realize it - I didn't! Stability and structure is great, but not when it turns into robotic monotony. Most of the time when people tell me they aren't creative, chatting with them reveals a life of ticking off boxes of societal expectations and rarely giving themselves the opportunity to explore anything outside of those boxes more seriously than a hobby. And if they do have a creative hobby they often say something like "...but I'm not very good." But guess what? When they show me, it's usually pretty darn great! Quit stifling yourselves, peeps!
Any fun stories from your pet sitting business?
So many! Let's go with my favourite though. I had one fur friend, Sunny, who was a 15 year old German Pointer. Sweet as can be but a little deaf. I used to have to clap my hands for her to wake up and go out for a bathroom break. So, while she was snoozing away in the living room and I was cooking dinner, an awesome song came on and I had a little solo dance party, as you do. True to dance party form, I wasn't really thinking about my moves and had clapped at some point. When I turned around, there was Sunny. Tail wagging like I had never seen, thinking I woke her up to have a dance party in the kitchen...so dance we did! Sunny passed a few months later and I've made a point to dance with all my fur friends since. I think of her and smile at that memory every time.
3 random facts about you.
1. I entered a singing competition and made it to the finals as a child. Unfortunately, despite my obsession with all things Titanic, I somehow forgot the lyrics in my final performance to My Heart Will Go On and ran off the stage crying.
2. I have two birthdays because in Egypt, you have to go register your baby as if it were a vehicle and my dad didn't go in to register me until days after. Legally I'm born January 1, 1990...my actual birthday? December 26, 1989.
3. I hate avocados, everything about them reminds me of toe jam. Sorry not sorry.