Debra Prinzing

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Episode 250: Sarah Hinton, Floral Designer turned Software Entrepreneur

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

10626614_821774804530053_1998877968693715534_nHow do you manage all the paperwork that goes into planning, budgeting, and producing a successful wedding or special event?

According to today’s guest, Santa Barbara-based designer Sarah Hinton, it took years of struggling with spread sheets and clipboards before she was inspired to develop a software program that simplifies all that paperwork into one online tool called ULARAS.

When I first learned about this project of Sarah’s I wasn’t aware of any other program like hers.

Since then, other programs have also hit the marketplace so be sure to check out “Florist App Comparison,” a useful comparison guide that our friends at Mayesh Wholesale recently published.

Here's how a ULARAS proposal inspiration board looks.

Here’s how a ULARAS proposal inspiration board looks.

Basically, Ularas handles all the facets of floral event planning — including managing weddings and events contacts; writing estimates and contracts, and managing product orders and the production workflow.

Meet my redhead floral pal, Sarah Hinton, of Ularas — a new florist tool for managing weddings and events

I’m eager to share Sarah’s story with you. Her journey feels so universal to me ~ she’s a highly creative person who ran into a “need” that didn’t seem like anyone was addressing and felt motivated to help others in her industry with a solution.

Before becoming a software entrepreneur with business partner Paul Dillow, Sarah spent 13 years operating a retail floral, gift and art gallery; that was followed by RowanOak Events, a special event floral design studio.

The origins of ULARAS began when she asked Paul, lovingly called the company “programmer and geek,” to help her correct a mistake in “a very elaborate Excel spread sheet.”

Like magic, within ten minutes, Paul repaired and returned the complex, hot mess to Sarah with one question… “What do you use this for?”

Start here: the Ularas Proposal

A Ularas Proposal (what your customer receives)

Paul has owned Houston Computer Solutions for more than 17 years. He saw in his mind’s eye a beautiful software program that sparkled and twinkled where Sarah only saw hours of frustration in a spreadsheet she kept breaking.

Basically, Paul looked at what Sarah had created on her own and suggested turning the tool into a database software platform for florists.

Check out Ularas’s “QuickStart” video (17 min) to get a flavor of this robust system and how it might work for your business (bel0w). The video and all of the slides included in these show notes are easily found on the special page for the Slow Flowers Community here.

Step 2: Create the Proposal

Creating the Proposal Template