Collaboration Over Competition

Competition. We all know it. While competition can be healthy, in comparison to others and in business it can be totally deadly. John F. Kennedy once said, “A rising tide raises all boats.” He used this phrase in a speech to combat criticisms about a dam project he was inaugurating (exhilarating), but outside of its original context I first heard this quote via The Rising Tide Society, and since hearing it for the first time almost a year ago, I think about this quote a lot.

It’s no coincidence that my word of the year, “COMMUNITY” (read more about that here) has helped me focus on the projects that really fuel my soul. Choosing to collaborate with other talented, like-minded individuals has always produced so much more fulfillment for me then just taking a job for the paycheck. Working with Krissy Price and Jill Landry on this 21 Broad Street flower flash, was no exception.

I met Krissy, owner of Boston Pollen in December of last year. I was in a tough place personally and professionally felt like I was lacking direction and focus so I gathered my team together for an afternoon of flowering and reached out to Krissy to help. Krissy came and spent the day with us in my home, teaching and talking about all things flowers, it was the start of something incredibly meaningful to me and hugely impactful for my business. As a result of spending the day with Krissy, I ended up going down to Merida, Mexico the following month to support her vision / creation of The Wandering Art House (stay tuned for that blog post!). Looking back on that trip, I can’t think of a better way to have started my year. When I invited Krissy to come to Nantucket last month I wanted to pay her kindness forward, but selfishly I also wanted to create something beautiful with someone I admire as a person and a business woman.

My wheels started turning when Nantucket Garden Festival (NGF) and I connected over designing an installation for their Garden Soiree. Jill of Beach Plum Floral, was teaching a centerpiece workshop for NGF and we connected over the logistics of getting flowers to the island and her family joining her on Nantucket. This simple conversation then led to many more and before I knew it I was thinking about all the ways to make my next flower flash include both Jill and Krissy and focus on the message of collaboration over competition.

The stars aligned when I reached out to 21 Broad St about my plan to flower flash their beautiful deck and with the blessing of the owners, this plan started to take shape. A group chat commenced, we decided on a color scheme and a Pinterest board was made. Installation day was memorable. A member of Jill’s team, Maddi also joined us. We all agreed that what is typically frantic in the world of installations, was very calm and enjoyable. Mimosa’s were sipped, music was played and we had FUN.

A rising tide lifts many boats. For me, this installation was a moment of great excitement, like a little kid on Christmas. A true testament to what can happen when a group of people come together with a common goal and purpose. No competition, no jealousy or ill-will, just genuine passion for the task at hand and the result was beautiful.

Hafsa Lewis