It’s been extremely important for me to foster a sense of community during this tough time. I’m encouraging people to get around to the things they would normally put off, whether that’s gardening, reading that book that’s been collecting dust, or just taking care of themselves. I find that a major game-changer has been creating a mentally stimulating and healthy space, especially for those that find themselves at working at home 5 days a week now. My secret to staying sane would be to put energy into things that make you happy and give you a sense of peace.
As a part of my series about the things we can do to remain hopeful and support each other during anxious times, I had the pleasure of interviewing Eddie Zaratsian.
Eddie Zarastian is the visionary behind Eddie Zaratsian Lifestyle and Design, a full-service event design and production studio based in Los Angeles, California. With over 25 years of experience, Eddie’s creativity and passion is evident in every aspect of his work, and his ability to imagine and actualize events is unparalleled. Named as one of the top five international florists by the London Financial Times, Zaratsian has built a reputation as a visionary artist, and his work has been celebrated and featured by Martha Stewart, Harper’s Bazaar, Grace Ormonde, E! News and Glamour, among others. Now, through guest lectures and classes globally, as well as private workshops in his spectacular LA Design Studio, Eddie generously shares his extensive business, design and floral expertise. Sign-up and more details for his long-awaited online masterclass can be found here.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?
Before I began my design business, I was originally studying to become a chemist. I found myself infatuated with the production of movies and TV, and in a similar vein like chemistry, I understood that there was a formula to follow in order to create the final product. So, in a left turn that would eventually lead me to where I am today, I decided to pursue design.
I’ve always been a very visual person, so while it doesn’t seem like a natural career transition, it really was for me. I’m often dreaming of the space in my head before it’s reality, so the idea of creating larger-than-life events and working with florals was appealing. Bringing ideas to life is something that I love doing, and to do that for clients and friends is incredibly rewarding.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
My favorite poem right now is ‘What If’. I feel like this really highlights how we’re all feeling right now, but it also speaks to ‘what if this was meant to happen?’ It resonates with me because I think that this was the wake-up call we needed to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. As business owners and human beings, we needed this time to reflect and understand what’s important.
Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. From your perspective can you help our readers to see the “Light at the End of the Tunnel”? Can you share your “5 Reasons To Be Hopeful During this Corona Crisis”? If you can, please share a story or example for each.
- Finding ways to get creative and inspired again. While it’s sometimes easier said than done, I’ve found other ways to expand my business and keep the momentum going.
- Connecting with friends, family, colleagues, and your business competition on a deeper level. I’m a firm believer that this has caused us to slow down and focus on relationships. I’ve never seen so much kindness and love as I see now, and it’s giving me hope that this will continue after the dust settles.
- This will make all of us stronger. Everything that we rely on in our daily lives has shifted and evolved to suit our new normal. Regardless of how it’s affected us individually, we’ll know in the future that communication and optimism is how we survive.
- Know that there are resources for you. We’ve seen so many local restaurant funds, relief programs, food assistance, and therapeutic resources.
- This is leading us down the path of being kinder to our environment. The impact thus far has been incredibly positive, and it’s teaching us how to take contingency plans and emergency preparedness seriously. Those at home are gardening, re-planting, and putting the care back into the Earth.
From your experience or research what are five steps that each of us can take to effectively offer support to those around us who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?
Reach out to your colleagues and loved ones. Everyone is in a place to benefit from support, but make sure you’re lending the hand that they need. If you’re seeing a creative or an entrepreneur struggling with the future of their business, offer some resources that you think could truly help them. Let them know you’re there to help them fill out an SBA loan application or assist with deliveries if you have the time to do so.
My favorite thing to do right now is to have comfort packages delivered to those who I know are having a particularly hard time. Food, wine, or flowers can absolutely brighten someone’s day, and it can be a much-needed pick-me-up.
Many of my wedding couples are having to reschedule or postpone their events, so they’re really feeling the stress as well. I’ve been continuing to reach out and schedule meetings to calm their nerves as best I can about the future of their wedding, and it’s made such a difference.
It’s hard not to feel helpless. Fortunately, there are tons of things we can still do to support our communities and those that are feeling the weight of the pandemic. Brainstorm amongst your friends and colleagues on ways to help give back — whether that’s donating to a food bank, animal shelter, or dropping off masks to hospitals and medical workers in need. Putting yourself in a position to help others will give you purpose, and you’ll feel better knowing you’ve done your part.
Virtual happy hours are helping teams and loved ones get through social distancing right now. Zoom has become part of my routine with my staff and clients, so take 15–30 minutes at the end of the week to share a drink and congratulate everyone for keeping their heads up.
What are the best resources you would suggest to a person who is feeling anxious?
Anything that is going to contribute to their mental wellness. Offer to do long-distance yoga together, pick up a book club, or even grow some herbs together to make hand-crafted cocktails. I’m really passionate right now about mood boards and I know a lot of people are taking the time to remodel their home, so this can be a great opportunity to be productive and take control.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
“Believe, become.” Over the years, I’ve learned that if you aren’t proactive, then you will sink. There’s no success in being stagnant or getting too comfortable with where you are. As my business continued to grow, there were times when I felt pangs of Imposter Syndrome, or feeling that I wasn’t yet where I wanted to be. Your friends and family will be there to offer support, but there are points in your career where you may feel like, “Am I really great?”
What I came to realize is that if I’m not believing in myself and my abilities, I’m not going to become the amazing event designer or florist that I want to be. It’s all about manifesting those things in your life. Even if you need to give yourself that confidence boost and release the feelings of being an ‘imposter’, take a look at your accomplishments thus far. Look at your role in your community and the ladder you’ve climbed in your industry.
Anything that you do will have to be done without fear or hesitation.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
It’s been extremely important for me to foster a sense of community during this tough time. I’m encouraging people to get around to the things they would normally put off, whether that’s gardening, reading that book that’s been collecting dust, or just taking care of themselves. I find that a major game-changer has been creating a mentally stimulating and healthy space, especially for those that find themselves at working at home 5 days a week now. My secret to staying sane would be to put energy into things that make you happy and give you a sense of peace. An example would be investing in living things such as adding plants to your work and living space.
What is the best way our readers can follow you online?
@eddiezaratsian on Instagram
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!