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after the jump: sarah brysk cohen (mp3)

by Grace Bonney

Over the past eight years of running Design*Sponge, I’ve learned that one of the most important aspects of staying inspired is surrounding yourself with people you respect and admire. For me, one of those people is Sarah Brysk Cohen. For those of you who’ve been reading D*S for a while, you may know Sarah as the author of the column Flowers A–Z. Sarah is the founder and owner of Blossom & Branch, a floral design company based in Brooklyn, NY, as well as a contributor to the excellent website The Equals Record. Last month I read one of Sarah’s posts about the power of choice over chance when it comes to business success. Her thoughts on how hard work and smart choices affect both business and life were profound for me, and I was anxious to have her on After the Jump to discuss her ideas further. Thankfully, she was kind enough to make time in her busy schedule to come down to Roberta’s to chat yesterday.

Sarah and I probably could have kept talking for a few hours, but yesterday we spent 30 minutes focusing on Sarah’s transition from social work to floral design; the steps she took to ensure and continue the success of her business; and the role that self-examination, collaboration and hard work play in her work. She had such wise insights into why we have to constantly stay passionate and fall back in love with our jobs over and over again. I was incredibly inspired and bolstered by her commitment to stay true to exactly who she is despite trends, competition or demand. If you have ever needed a reminder that following your heart, being yourself and working hard can lead to great things, this episode is for you. Thank you so much, Sarah, for taking the time to chat — and to all of you for listening. xo, grace

“Just like with cooking, where so much of it is preparation . . . that’s the same with flowers, too, and so many other creative endeavors.”

“Once you start opening doors in your own mind and heart, there’s no turning back.
— Sarah Brysk Cohen on After the Jump

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  • I’m also a social worker but would rather be a full time and paid writer. I’ve been freelancing as a writer for many years and balancing a day job, side job and family (my husband and I have two kids) can be difficult. I hope that the jump to becoming a full time writer happens soon! Hearing this podcast was so refreshing and inspiring. Thanks for the encouragement!

  • It’s over a year later since this was posted I think and I could confidently guess that I am older by far than anyone posting here. And I am a Social Worker – semi-retired but burning out & needing a different occupation. At this stage in life it feels like a huge gamble to jump into something that my heart says is so ‘me’ and friends too but the world may turn its back on me because…well – I’m ‘mature’. But time has allowed me the opportunity to develop my artist ‘eye’ and sensibility too. I want to help people decorate and furnish their homes whether they are staying in them or trying to sell. I love creating a vision for an environment that feels welcoming and thoughtfully put together.