Episode 125 - Forging Your Own Path with Felt Florist Marlena Colazo
Marlena Colazo shares how she learned to create felt flowers when other artists weren’t open to sharing knowledge. Hear how she used personal experience and connected with other industries to grow.
How do you learn when no one will talk to you?
How do you build up an industry when no one trusts one another?
In our latest episode of Paper Talk, we chatted with Marlena Colazo of Blossoms by Marlena. We are always so struck by her confidence. She shared all about the challenges that have helped her forge that confidence, plus how she has built her knowledge and grown her business even when doors were shut in her face.
Even if you feel alone, you can make progress by looking in different places and trusting yourself to keep growing. Marlena went from novice to being featured by Bloom TV Network. She did this by following a unique path that only she could forge, and you can do the same.
Here’s what you’ll learn when you listen to our conversation:
► Marlena’s journey from engineer to felt flower artist.
► How she learned skills when other artists wouldn’t share knowledge.
► The ways she’s built up trust in her own industry.
► How felt has been an important part of parenting her son with autism.
► Which hot glue gun Marlena recommends (a must for felt!)
If you can’t listen right away, here is a look at just a few of the things that Marlena has done to find her own path and help others on theirs.
Learn from and Share Your Experience
One of the best teachers is experience! It’s always nice when you can learn from an expert, but sometimes that’s not feasible. Marlena tried asking other felt artists about things, and they frequently worried that she would copy their work.
So she learned on her own. She ripped flowers apart. She tried new kinds of felt. Through trial and error, she figured out what worked for her.
Along the way, she found her unique style. Having that distinct look means that she doesn’t worry about others copying her. You can hear in the episode how she now shares the knowledge that she wished she had back in the beginning.
“I don’t mind sharing some of my providers, because I know I have my own style. Even if I give you the exact felt, you can buy it, but you can’t create what I do. I’m not afraid of you copying me, because even if you go with the color, it’s not going to be the same as me. Always, people will know which one is the copy.” -Marlena Colazo
Respond to Criticism with Kindness
Putting your work out into the world means exposing your art to criticism. Sometimes you can learn from this. Oftentimes, it’s just plain mean.
When Marlena encounters mean comments, she responds. She thanks the person for sharing their opinion, and then she moves on. She keeps in mind that for every negative person, there are multiple people who do love and buy her work.
You can hear more about how she responds and some of the benefits of doing it this way by listening to the podcast.
Learn from Other Industries
Marlena has tried her hand at other artistic endeavors. She tried paper flower making, and she’s currently in a class creating edible flowers for decorating food. These undertakings are not always successful.
“I never learned how to make paper flowers, because I was ripping the paper up. I was like, ‘No this is not for me. I need to go back to felt.’” -Marlena Colazo
That doesn’t mean that Marlena didn’t learn anything, though! As we discussed in the podcast, we frequently use sewing and painting skills for creating our paper flowers. The same holds true for felt artistry or really any skill. You will be stronger if you draw experience from outside industries. That’s how innovation happens, and that’s how you can learn when doors in your own community aren’t opening.
Listen to the episode to hear more specifics about how Marlena joined and learned from other groups, as well as how she started to build more trust in her own felt flower community.
Also, here's the PDF format for THE WHY WORKSHEET that you can download for free.
About Marlena Colazo:
Flowers are always a good Idea.
That’s my phrase every time someone asks me why. I’m Marlena, mom of 2 who stumbled upon and started making some of my favorite flowers with felt. Some could say I breathe flowers, and I spend too much time buying wool felt. I use the flower making process as a way to tamp down stress and worries of everyday life.
My life around Autism and my journey learning a second language complements who I am as a person and what I transmit to you with my flowers.
Find me over at @bloomtvnetwork. I have a channel with them, and I’m part of the team experts. I teach you fun DIY and my ways to use felt and make easy flowers! Hope to see you there! Use code: marlenac2022 to save when you subscribe!
Instagram as @blossoms_bymarlena
Facebook @blossoms by Marlena
Fb group @blossoms by Marlena & Friends
Learn more about Marlena Colazo: