Designing Disney - A Dream Come True

There are moments in life that change everything. Legacies are created on the roots of struggle and triumph. Dreams become true without even knowing that those dreams were ever wanted to begin with.

When THE CROWN COLLECTIVE started, the seed that was planted was one that had intention to create connection and community. There was no other purpose in mind other than to engage in an activity that would create memories for a group of people that I was spending an afternoon with one sunny afternoon day. There was no business plan. There was no insight. Just an idea.


Who knew that this idea would lead me to today, starting our fifth year as a company providing flower crowns and other interactive floral activations for events and parties. Five years of learning how to be an entrepreneur, five years of growth (creatively, personally, professionally), and five years providing countless of events nationwide and for some of the most trusted brands in America.

That goes to show you that life is not necessarily about following the rules and what we are told to do or become. Life is about honoring our strengths, our interest and allowing ourselves to live up to our fullest potential - even if we don't even know what that looks like quite yet. To be honest, none of us really know what our greatest potential is. I think we all strive to figure it out though and in doing so, we make mistakes, we grow and we connect with people along the way that act as catalysts for us to gain clarity into ourselves and our mission in life.


As I look back over the years, I see how each decision I made has led me to the exact place I am now. Owning this business has not only changed my life, but saved my life. Taking the risk to shift careers from a Therapist/Life Coach to being an entrepreneur working with flowers was one of the biggest moves I made in my 20s. And all it took was one choice to invest in myself with love, kindness and support. Through that, it took me to experience one of the biggest moments of my life and career: filming with Disney Digital Network to showcase Disney-inspired flower crowns for an elevated docu-series.

I was inspired by Alice in Wonderland and wanted to create a crown that would incorporate 3 different scenes from the movie - the initial scene where she is making a crown made from daises, the garden scene where she is surrounded by bold-toned flowers and of course, the red roses scene with the Queen of Hearts.

Since all of these scenes are quite different in their presentation, the difficulty was incorporating all the elements together where they would flow and not take away from each other. In terms of size, we decided to go big and bold...something that I usually don't do in my typical day-to-day crowns, but something I wanted to do for a more theatrical, yet relatable look.

The whole experience was surreal. From the moment of contact to each and every moment following the email that let me know that they were interested in having me be part of the show, this experience was a dream come true...and I did not even know that this was a dream I ever even wanted to begin with. I got my hair and make up done professionally, which was a fun and an unexpected treat! I just got to experience a day in the life of production, which for me, was the coolest part to experience. Anyone who knows me knows that I love the behind-the-scenes action of how things work.

I think that is the amazing part of listening and being authentic to who we are. When we finally allow ourselves to just be ourselves without judgment, fear or control, the possibilities of growth and life-changing experiences become available - whatever that might be! I use to have a lot of limitations growing up, some were legitimate fears and some were concepts I took on by other people. But at the end of the day, I know I wouldn't be able to have had this experience without having those less favorable moments be part of the journey.

But enough about all of that :) Now that all the therapist in me has made its debut, the entrepreneur/flower crown part of me is so excited to share with you the experience I had in filming with Disney! It really was a life-changing experience and having my home being taken over by Disney's Production Team and filming not only there, but in their studio for the final reveal of the crown was surreal!

I was really fortunate enough to have a new colleague of mine that I met earlier this year come and take some photos during the first shoot here at our house. I am so appreciative of David's help that morning and just having his energy around made me feel really comfortable and so that made the experience even more fun. One of my favorite memories was when Sammy was barking and so he helped out by taking him to the backyard. Well David ended up taking him to the very back of our property (about an acre and a half) and stood with him until we finishing filming the interview portion of the series, which by the way, was minimum an hour. I came out to see him standing all the way in the back and in that moment, I just knew David was a true gem of a person.

In terms of filming that day, it was all just a whirlwind. From the second they arrived and setting up to having conversations with the production team and having that moment to just get to know them a little more, I absolutely loved every moment of it.

It was also amazing to have David and Willow there to experience it with me and to just be there for support on such a big moment of my life and career. I know that this experience would not be what it was if I did not have people to share it with, so I am so grateful that they were available when I needed them, especially David helping out with the baby when I needed some quiet time for the interview portion (and just for every day where I have his support in being able to run a business and be a stay-at-home mom).

The following week, we had to come into the studio to film and for that, I was fortunate to have my best friend in town to visit and help me out with Willow. Being able to share that with her and have Willow there was everything to me. Filming on set was really remarkable. I did not have my phone on me and so all I was really able to do was be completely there and present. I remember just watching everyone on the production team working together to get everything right for the shot. I remember looking into the camera and feeling usually comfortable with it. I remember the dark room with the set being the only thing lit in the studio with music in the background. I remember feeling completely out of my element, yet confident and secure in myself. I was the first to film that day and so happy because the rest of the day I just go to debrief with Lauren and celebrate by having a rocky road ice cream with sprinkles.

I could keep writing about my experience with Disney and share all the details that I hope to remember as I get older, but really, the experience of just being able to do something like this really was a highlight of my life. I have seen how far I have come from a little girl to a young adult struggling with just figuring out life. I never knew I would be experiencing the things I have been experiencing based on the limitations I had picked up along the way from the experiences I had while growing up. That's the thing...the moment I allowed myself to be free, to invest in myself with unconditional love and to understand that life is what we create, that is when I started living and experiencing life differently. Especially since I grew up having a harder time assimilating to the mainstream culture, I look back and see how much struggle I had connecting with people and being able to accept myself for who I was and where I came from. However, in this experience, which was quite vulnerable for me because I shared some insecurities of mine, I found that I am not one or the other in terms of who I am. I am both. And that's what I needed to embrace to fully become my true, authentic self. With this experience, it makes it clear of what I want to teach Willow as she grows older and starts understanding life around her. I want to show her that she is someone who has an unlimited source of potential, that she can thrive in taking risks even though it is scary and that at the end of the day, no matter what she does, I will always love and support her in being as bright a light that she already is.

I talk about all of this in my interview with Disney...maybe not to this extent because I sometimes am able to communicate more clearly an idea through writing, but wanted to share this with everyone who has supported me along this journey. Filming with Disney is something I will always remember and I am so lucky to have been able to have some of the closest people in my life be a part of that experience. It was filmed during a huge transition in my life and captured a moment in time that was really special for our family. I am forever grateful as well to have had the opportunity to have my family be filmed with me as I hope to one day look back with Willow and share with her a moment of time that we had together.

Thank you again to everyone who has been a part of THE CROWN COLLECTIVE - past, present and future. Also big thanks to the production team and everyone involved on this show.

Special thanks to Jane and Kurt for the support and direction on this series, David Cano for the photos from this amazing day and an extra special thank you to my husband David, my parents, my best friend Lauren and most of all, my greatest love and inspiration, my baby Willow.


XO,

Carolyn

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