Fieldwork Flowers: Finding beauty in imperfections

Flower power

Megan Arambul is assembling an asymmetrical floral wreath in her Southeast Portland shop, Fieldwork Flowers, surrounded by neatly stacked buckets overflowing with creamy pink ranunculus and white roses next to a violet fall-blooming Callicarpa. “I am into trend items, but really I am a traditional person at heart. I like putting a funky spin on them,” Megan says of her signature style. “I like abstractions and am OK with imperfections. I kind of just apply the flowers to life a lot, highlighting imperfections inside a perfect arrangement.”

Fieldwork Flowers Shop

Embracing local blooms

That embracing of the imperfectly perfect has built her 7-year-old company a sizable social following with fans clamoring to buy arrangements as soon as they post them. But as much as her creamy color palette and original displays have brought in fans, brides, and restaurant accounts, Megan gives a lot of credit to the local farmers:

“We have a really strong relationship with our farmer friends. Some of them kind of treat us like we’re their children. Some people grow specific things for us. Being part of the local economy is really important to me.”

Fieldwork Flowers Local

‘Always a new story’

Megan spent eight years as a staff florist before branching out on her own. “I had no money when I started, and had a friend loan me $10,000 to get started. It was slow growth at first, but it clicked when I finally stopped caring about upsetting other people like competitors. I’ve still got rent to pay, I was pregnant, I needed to just stop caring and go for it. And I did.”

“I shot for the moon, and offered my services and quit hiding. And it worked.”

 

Despite all her years of experience, Megan says you still always have to be on your toes — and that’s the best part. “The flowers change every day, they open or they die and they’re constantly evolving and I like coming in to see how they’ve changed. … It’s always a new story, so it’s this really cool spontaneous feeling that’s just exciting because they’re constantly changing and you have to figure out how to make something beautiful out of it.”

Fieldwork Flowers Arrangement

Entrepreneurial lifestyle

Owning a business isn’t easy, but Megan says it’s the right lifestyle for her. She loves supporting the local economy and solving problems as they arise. “And I’ve stuck with it because it allows me flexibility with my daughter,” Megan says.

Fieldwork Flowers Computer

Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs

Based on her own experience, Megan offers this advice to other entrepreneurs just starting their ventures:

“Grow slowly and try to really understand every element of your company before you try to hire people to handle things for you. Even if you’re not good at taking photographs, still try to take photographs, try to develop your own style, what you like and represents you. When people see that level of confidence and passion, it’s too good not to support it. It moves people. Trusting instincts, asking questions, taking risks and be willing to work your ass off. Follow trends, but always push to be a trendsetter.”

Fieldwork Flowers Photography

Success = fulfillment

For Megan, success isn’t necessarily about making money. Instead, it’s about “making the right decisions.” And it’s deeply personal. “Success makes you feel like it’s worth it,” Megan says. “I’m not really paying myself — I reinvest all the money — but I feel so fulfilled. I keep growing the business, and there’s been some major hiccups, but I’ve always been thoughtful enough to problem solve my way out of it. Just be ready to roll with the punches. Be resilient and undoubtedly it’s going to pay off. “

Fieldwork Flowers Megan

Thanks for sharing your story, Megan! Please be sure to check out the Fieldwork Flowers website and follow this blooming business on Instagram.

Eden Dawn
Eden Dawn (a rare born-and-raised Oregonian) used her bachelor’s degrees in English Lit and Fashion Design to elbow her way to the position of Portland’s Style Editor for the last decade. With a love for all things related to power fashion and the 1990s, she’s provided shopping guides for Portland’s vintage hunters, hung out in the glitter-filled closet of drag queen legend Darcelle, spent a day outfitting Tonya Harding in her old prom dress, and styled hundreds of fancy looks in (some award winning) fashion editorials. When she’s not writing do’s and don’ts for the city, she’s running her own nail polish line Claws Out, which focuses on supporting progressive nonprofits, styling music videos for bands like Portugal the Man, and sitting on advisory panels for fashion shows and Design Week. Any other moments are devoted to fun dates with her husband, attempting to pet two semi-evil cats, talking about plants, and avoiding group texts.