How a floral designer launched her own $18,000 floral business school

Featured in this Story of Awesome: Forflorists


Launched October 2019


Rolling Members


Paid Community and Courses

#ForFlorists is a paid online business course and community for Floral Designers on Mighty Networks

Kathleen’s Path to Awesome: “A lot of trial and error and talking myself out of my comfort zone.”

Kathleen Drennan has two great passions in life: business and flowers.

In 2014, she left her successful marketing career, started a floral design business, and grew it into a highly profitable, six-figure enterprise.

But something struck her. She noticed that many of her fellow florists lacked the business skills she had grown up learning in a family where business principles were discussed at the dinner table.

“Among my peers, I felt like the only person who was asking questions around flowers and business. For example, people don't talk about how to price. It's all very secretive. So many floral designers started out for the love of flowers and don't realize that they need to also turn a profit.”

Floral design businesses are predominantly run by women. In this, Kathleen saw an opportunity to use her business knowledge to boost the ranks of successful women floral entrepreneurs by sharing her expertise:

“A year ago I went to a workshop with 10 women, none of whom knew anything about business and I went, ‘Well, I know a lot about business. What questions have you got?’

And I just started sharing.

I want female business owners to know that they can build a hugely profitable creative services business, and that they understand the empowerment that comes with that.”

This was going to be more than an online course alone

Based in a remote area of Australia 90 miles south of Sydney, Kathleen knew she could reach the most women by offering her skills and knowledge online. She started with a course on Teachable but quickly realized that it was missing the crucial element of community.

“I wanted more hands-on access, teaching students how to deal with this scenario or that customer, what's in season here, etc. I firmly believe if one person has the courage to ask the question, a hundred people need to hear the answer.”

To bring her course and community together, Kathleen turned to a Mighty Network. She adopted the format she learned from taking the 5-Part Community Design Masterclass Mighty Networks CEO Gina Bianchini and Growth Lead Jessica Shambora launched in August.

Not only would Kathleen offer a fantastic online course, but with a Mighty Network she’d be able to go deeper by making connections between members via weekly live sessions, office hours, guides, and resources that brought people together and made sharing possible.

This community would do more to get fellow florists the results they were looking for–new customers, profitability, and more–than any online course video could on its own.


For her first launch this fall, Kathleen welcomed 35 women from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK, and the US to her 6-week #ForFlorists Business Masterclass. She charged a one-time fee of $499.99 USD for the course, and followed that with a monthly subscription of $27.99 USD. In the course community, members continue to get coaching and support from Kathleen and fellow members.

Kathleen chose this model – using a course as a gateway to a community membership – to ensure all of her members could reference the same concepts as they help each other and themselves build their businesses:

“It's like you can enter the house, but you can't leave the living room until after the 6-week program. You've been through that induction phase.”

While Kathleen’s course covers practical concepts like business fundamentals and marketing, it’s also about teaching a mindset shift–normalizing the idea of making $500,000 to one million dollars in the floral design business.

Structuring #ForFlorists for growth and transformation

Here’s what’s included in the #ForFlorists Business Masterclass:

  • Two 1-hour live video training sessions every Monday on topics like hiring, flower photography, Instagram hacks, building an effective website, floral design mechanics, dealing with challenging customers and managing imposter syndrome

  • Two 1-hour live video Q&A sessions every Wednesday

  • Discussions across topics like mindset, money matters, sustainability, and marketing

  • 5 hours of recorded video content

  • 100-page PDF how-to guide and worksheets

Quality over quantity: It’s not about 100,000 followers

Kathleen’s marketing strategy is rooted in her email list, which she began in March of 2018.

She promotes a free guide using Instagram Stories – Top 3 Tips for Building a Profitable Floral Design Business – that requires an email address for download. Then on her podcast, she shares audio from some of the training sessions she offers in the course, to give people an idea of what they’ll experience.

She sends a newsletter to her email list every week and invites subscribers to join the waitlist for her course, which means they’ll be notified first when registration opens. Then she has a series of seven emails that run through the first week of the course.

“We average 250 downloads on a podcast and the email list has 3,700 active subscribers. These numbers are not massive. It's not about having 100,000 followers or a million downloads.”

In January 2020, Kathleen raised her price to $699.99 USD, extended the course to 7 weeks, and welcomed in her 2nd class:

“We provide our students with a huge amount of value. While I want it to be affordable, it's not designed for everyone.

If you don't have $699 at your disposal, then you're not at the point to learn what I have to share with you.

I want a price tag that's going to encourage my members to invest time in the program. We believe ‘the transformation happens at the transaction’. When members pay $699, they're going to step up for themselves.

In Australia, it costs you $10,000 to get your floral certification. Paying an additional $1,000 to get our four-step roadmap on how to build a business is a bargain. I know for a fact that if somebody invests in this program that it's going to have a direct financial return on investment in their business.”

The magic is in the course community

While engagement picked up a bit slowly, Kathleen followed the Community Design Framework of consistently posting at the same time and days 2-3x times per week. After a month, her members got the hang of it and started contributing:

“After a month, one of the girls posted, ‘Oh my gosh, I just got off the phone from a customer who complained about this, this and this’. Then, everybody jumped in saying, ‘Yep, been there. This is how we dealt with it. This is how you can solve it. Don't worry, you're not a bad human.’”

But the community is more than the connections happening between members. It’s also where Kathleen is learning how to take her fellow florists on a journey to master the business of floral design:

“Floral designers don't use business terms. I’ve had to learn their language, more than push new terms on them. As I’ve done this, I’m making even deeper connections to my members. As I do, I literally see the lights go on. Through this experience, I know they're going to get it. I know they're going to raise their prices.”

3 key takeaways from #ForFlorists' Story of Awesome

Got a big idea like Kathleen that you can’t wait to bring to the world? Here are 3 key takeaways from her experience:

  1. It’s easier and more effective to launch a community-focused online course than a content-focused course. Especially if you’re starting off with your first course, you’ll do less work and get people better results when you have your online course and community together in the same place (which is possible on a Mighty Network).

  2. Don’t be afraid to charge a premium. Kathleen knew that the people she wanted to attract would get the best results if she charged a premium–first, $499, then $699. Charge more than you may be comfortable charging for and then invest in making your course and community valuable.

  3. Follow a proven framework. Kathleen used the Mighty Networks Community Design Masterclass to structure her own online course. That’s the secret of Community Design – not only does it offer valuable content for designing a community or course, you actually experience what it’s like to take a community-focused online course as a member.

In 2014, Kathleen Drennan and her husband Sloan left their successful marketing careers and moved to a small town 90 minutes south of Sydney, Australia. They bought the local flower shop – Little Bird Bloom Flowers – while simultaneously starting a new wedding and events business. They quickly recognized how little the floral design industry knew (and shared) about the fundamentals of business, making money and marketing. Today, the pair share their experience and business skills with floral designers from around the world, educating them on the ins and outs of marketing, business and how to make good money as a floral designer.

Read More Stories of Awesome

Here’s how Ashley Fox launched The Wealth Builders Community and generated over $100,000 in her first two weeks

How SonoPath Education built a five-figure course membership for veternarians from scratch

Sktchy Art School is creating a sanctuary for 18,700 portrait artists

Mind Cake Vault is showing aspiring cake pop connoisseurs just how sweet the treat business can be

This sound engineer created a micro community dedicated to the craft of audio for live events

How a floral designer launched her own $18,000 floral business school

This is Octo Members, a private membership home to over 2,000 UK finance professionals

How a membership dedicated to women traveling solo found a way to flourish during stay-at-home orders—to the tune of 2,900 members

This cartoonist created a five-figure membership site to stop artists from procrastinating

How a platform for creatives, by creatives brought together 1,000+ members around the globe

With Youth Ministry Booster, Zac Workun created a five-figure membership to help youth pastors feel less isolated

How Teach Music Online grew from a $500 course to a five-figure membership business

How marketing maven Trish Martin tripled her community in five months

This visual note-taker combined courses and membership for a five-figure business

No perfect parents: This couple created a membership site for families to build compassionate connections

Find your niche: This membership site brings holistic equestrians together

How Dan Miller’s "48 Days" went from book to podcast to six-figure membership business

In the Mix: Meet the brother-sister duo creating a flourishing community for over 7,700 artists

There’s another path to financial freedom and Wealth Without Wall Street is showing all 4,500 of its members the way

The duo behind this paid membership site is guiding over 7,800 passionate dog owners on how to train their pets

This community of womxn visual artists used mastermind groups to build a five-figure business

How two creators transformed their community from tech headache to six-figure network

Meet the community that’s making the outdoors fun again for over 2,000 members

How two therapists built a community to get at the root of eating disorders

This psychologist forged connections for 6,500 people in the middle of a pandemic

Here's how esthetician Christine Byer launched a five-figure beauty membership in two weeks

How Luvvie Ajayi Jones creates an intimate, safe space for over 14K members

Welcome to the Academy to Innovate HR, a course community home to 7,300 professionals

How a healer transformed her spirituality podcast into a five-figure membership and community

How Tara McMullin pioneered virtual conferences and built a flourishing paid membership for small business owners

Ryder Carroll built a five-figure membership business teaching people about the organizational power of bullet journaling

Money, millennial style: How Financial University doubled its members in a year

From brick and mortar to digital membership: How Topstitch Makers grew a five-figure virtual business in less than a year

How Lenéa Sims launched Outer Work to 500 members in 72 hours

In the Cut is demystifying the entertainment industry for 1,200 Black creatives

Liberated Being brings together spirituality skeptics to learn embodiment practices

How this community is empowering 1,400 Black parent entrepreneurs to build a lasting legacy for their children

How Emily Thompson built a five-figure membership to help creative entrepreneurs make moves

Creating space: The Circle by Black Girl in Om made a five-figure membership centering Black women and holistic living

Introducing the GUILD, a five-figure membership for women entrepreneurs that’s evening the odds

Delivering a bright, new future for 3,200 birth workers and birthing women

How The Self Care Space launched their health & wellness brand with Mighty Pro

The eXd Community is on a mission to help over 900 educators design an equitable new world

This community of legal professionals is showing how anti-racism and technology can change the legal system for good

How a women’s apparel brand built a six-figure membership where runners can get inspired online and IRL

Nurses Inspire Nurses is providing a safe space for over 1,500 nurses to connect and share their experiences

How Boston While Black went from hashtag to a five-figure membership business in six months

Strength in numbers: Here’s how PLANTSTRONG consolidated its offering and built a six-figure community with nearly 20,000 members

Above and “Beyond”: These two communities are helping over 54,000 people impacted by diabetes to live well, now

How Qpractice's cohort-based courses are giving interior designers the confidence to ace their exams

With Goddess Council, Cat Lantigua is making the real world a little less lonely

How Elizabeth DiAlto built a five-figure membership business teaching women to feel their feels

How Martinus Evans' Slow AF Run Club made $140,000 in his first year

Meet the social worker who built a five-figure paid membership helping adults with ADHD

This premium coaching program for therapists went from passion project to 9,000 members strong

Mighty Networks: where people come for your content, but stay for your community.

Start Your 14-Day Free Trial