Have you always dreamed of opening your own flower shop? You help brides plan their big day, create beautiful arrangements and have time to stop and smell the roses — literally. Well, not so fast. We asked flower shop owners to give us some advice to consider before sowing your flower seeds.
Remember there is waste. Like food, flowers are perishable. Also, don't undersell yourself. The big box stores (grocery stores, etc.) can sell flowers cheaper because of the volume. An independent florist cannot. So, charge accordingly and start higher rather than lower.
—Mike Hines, Epoch Floral, Chicago
Although the opening costs are low compared to other businesses, the difficulty of running a flower shop is increased because so many different types of businesses are combined into one. A florist is a retailer, a manufacturer, a designer, a delivery service and an event company all rolled into one. Many people think that because you’re working with something as “simple” and beautiful as flowers, that it’s an easy business. Most people fantasize that florists just play with flowers all day. Indeed, working with fresh floral product is a joy, but their fragile nature makes the business difficult. Inventory turnover and loss from product shrinkage makes timing and quantities critical.
— BJ Dyer, Bouquets, Denver
[Thinking that] there are plenty of customers, so I will be busy. Reality is customers have to be cultivated and wowed with the arrangements. You have to be creative at all times.
— Angira Patel, Beverly Hills Flower Gallery, Beverly Hills, Calif.
For me, it’s knowing your suppliers. I work with locally grown, organic and eco- friendly flowers, so it is hugely important that I know who my suppliers are and their business practices.
— Sherene Hulugalle, Wisteria Lane Flowers, Woodland Hills, Calif.
Floral design is an art and it can be subjective. No matter how beautiful your work is, there's always that one client that cannot be made happy. The sooner you accept that there are things that you cannot control, the more satisfied you will be with your work.
— Beth LeonGuerrero, WildFlowers, Charleston, S.C.
Learn in a highclass flower shop before opening your own.
— Gesine Margenburg, MilleFleurs, Miami
Love what you do. If you don't really love working with flowers, it's not worth it, especially if you aren't a morning person like me. It is a very early business and if you don't have a true passion it can make something that seems easy, beautiful and happy into something that's not. Have fun, play music and remember that it rocks being your own boss.
— Carly Cylinder, flour, Los Angeles
Try not to stress yourself out. The deadlines of this job can be overwhelming. Just remember you have hands, not wands.
— Melissa Alancourt, Vaseful, New Brunswick, N.J.
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