Episode 96 - Overcoming Anxiety as a Paper Florist with Holly Dionisi

Season #3

Listen to our discussion with Holly Dionisi about how she overcomes her anxiety in order to build up her paper flower business.


Why should I even try? 

If you’ve ever reached that point on your paper flower journey, you’re not alone. We all encounter difficulties that make us want to give up at the peak of our frustrations. But sometimes there’s an even deeper issue under the surface, holding us back from trying new things or finding the motivation to keep going. 


Today, we’re talking about anxiety.


Everyone feels nervous sometimes. When those feelings stop you from living your life, though, anxiety becomes more than an annoyance. It’s something that needs to be addressed. You should of course seek treatment from professionals for severe anxiety. You can also draw strength from our community and learn from others who have dealt with the same issue.

In our latest episode of Paper Talk we chatted with Holly Dionisi of Everfleur Designs. Holly has had anxiety since she was a child, and she spoke with us about the ways she manages her anxiety and how paper flowers have been an important piece of that journey. 

Anyone who has ever felt anxious or like they were an imposter should listen to the episode to hear all of the details. In the meantime, here are three things we talked about that can help you when it comes to pushing back against these debilitating feelings. 


 Listen to our conversation to hear:
► How to calm your anxiety and focus on your work.
► Ways to fight back against imposter syndrome.
► Holly’s paper flower journey from cardstock to crepe.
► Why she is rebranding and how she went about doing it.
► How to find and nurture your aesthetic.


Lean on Community

 As Holly said on the podcast, “Our industry is the best! Our community rocks. You make friends, and they want to help you. And it’s community over competition.”

 We are here for each other! There are no dumb questions. There are no invalid feelings. There is no one who is not welcome. Our industry as a whole is very welcoming. Knowing this won’t erase all of your fears, but we hope it eases some of them. 

 We also highly recommend building up a smaller, tight-knit support group. This is good advice in general, and it definitely applies to building up your paper flower business or perfecting your craft. Jessie and Quynh have long leaned on one another for support, advice, and friendship. Having another paper florist you can trust goes a long way to easing anxiety about your choices. 


Join groups and classes, and get to know your fellow artists. Many of them are also looking for paper flower friends!


Take Space

 This may seem counterintuitive because of our first tip, but you shouldn’t feel obligated to feel less-than because of another person’s work. 

 If another paper florist’s feed fuels your imposter syndrome with thoughts of inadequacy, mute them! Take some space. It’s not personal. You’re not blaming the other person. You’re giving yourself room to get into a better state of mind. 

Once you’ve worked through some of those feelings, you can try unmuting them. It’s also okay if you don’t. While we support and build each other up, it shouldn’t be at the expense of anyone—including you. 


Feed Your Passion

 In the episode, Holly spoke so beautifully about how paper flowers have helped her overcome her anxiety. She compared it to motherhood: how wanting opportunities for her daughter has pushed her to try things and go to places she wouldn’t have otherwise. Love pushed back against her anxiety. 

 The same happened with paper flowers. She normally wouldn’t sign up for an in-person workshop like our Masterclass in Toronto back in 2019, but she did because she is passionate about paper flowers. We’re so happy she took that leap, because we got to meet her!


Here’s how Holly explained it:


“It’s hard initially when you say yes to something, and the nerves leading up to it. But then when you do it, it’s just an incredible feeling—especially when you’re doing it for something you’re passionate about.”


Listen to the podcast to hear much more about Holly’s journey and her coping strategies. Everyone can benefit from her great advice.


Join our weekly meeting on Clubhouse on Thursdays at 7pm PST/10pm EST, and join our Facebook group where you can share, connect, and grow with us. Please also consider supporting us on Patreon for even more great content like this.


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