Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in floristry but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tickled Floral & Hillsdale Flower Farm; they are a flower and gift shop based in Sherwood Park, Alberta.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Tickled Floral is an amazing flower and gift shop in the heart of Sherwood Park.  While delivering every day, wedding and event florals we also stock our shelves with locally produced items that connect our customers to our fantastic artisans.  Hillsdale Flower Farm is located just on the outskirts of Sherwood Park where we do our best to grow beautiful blooms in our northern climates short season.  The flowers we grow are sold at Tickled Floral as well as Farmer's Market's in Edmonton.

Tell us about yourself

I grew up in a flower shop.  My mother and aunt had a shop in my aunt's basement for a number of year.  They sold the business when I was in high school, but after achieving a University Education and working in the hotel industry, human resources and in the flower shop that had been sold I wanted to be able to work for myself and do something that I love.  Tickled Floral was born in our basement and lived there for 5 years.  When it outgrew the house and required more staff to run we made the decision to move into a retail location in Sherwood Park where we have been for 6 years. Our family fulfilled a dream by moving to an acreage in 2017.  And the desire to have access to beautiful flowers that have been grown locally led us to start up Hillsdale Flower Farm.  There is something so incredibly gratifying to design with flowers that you have grown yourself.  And we have access to some floral varieties that are incredibly expensive, difficult to source and typically don't ship well.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

The pandemic has shown me that our businesses are vital to our community.  Knowing that we serve an important role in the community that we live in is deeply fulfilling. It has always been very important to me to contribute to our community.  We have done so through running an annual spring plant sale to support our local children's hospital, through running fundraisers for our local sport and social clubs, and we have partnered with local seniors homes to make it easier and cheaper for the families of residents to send them florals and gifts, as well as donating flowers and supporting their fundraising events. When there was so  much unknown in the series of lockdowns our beautiful community showed us so much love and support that we have been able to ride out the worst of the pandemic.  Serving them by facilitating sending their messages of hope and support to one another with flowers has been so touching to be a part of. Tickled Floral has been featured in a number of wedding blogs and magazines which has been an honour.  In 2017 we won two awards with Edmonton Event Awards - for Best Floral Designer and for Best 2017 Wedding.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Setting boundaries.  Not letting it completely overrun your life by making sure you take time off, which sometimes can mean turning down business.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

Don't be afraid of evolution.  Your business will need to shift, change, adjust, grow forward and take steps back.  Allow it breathing room to evolve in directions you might not have considered on day one. If something is working, find out how to double-down on it.  If something isn't working, it's okay to let it go.  Give yourself permission to have the occasional "bad idea" - pick yourself up quickly, pivot, move on to a new idea. Your business will only be as successful as the community it's in.  Make sure you are feeding and building the community and it will come back to you.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

As businesses rebound from the effects of the pandemic please couple "patience" with your "supporting local".  Many have had to hire new staff, likely all are experiencing supply shortages and rising costs.  A little bit of grace will go a long way.

Where can people find you and your business?

Facebook @tickledfloral

Instagram @tickled_floral

Facebook @hillsdaleflowerfarm

Instagram @hillsdale_flower_farm

If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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