Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in floristry but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Elise Francis, owner of The Village Green Flower Shop, located in Ingleside, Ontario, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Beauty is something we desire and wish to give. That's what you can do in a flower shop. At The Village Green Flower shop, we create beautiful arrangements with the freshest of blooms professionally cared for. Each arrangement is designed uniquely with the occasion and sentiment of the sender in mind. We carry a beautiful selection of house plants as well as a growing selection of giftware.
Tell us about yourself
Becoming a florist was never a dream of mine. Floristry found me when my parents decided to buy a flower shop that was up for sale while I was away trying to decide what to study at the University. My instincts told me business, art, marketing . . . I found all of that helping out and eventually managing my parent's shop. My dream had become to own The Village Green. The store had become my baby, and I loved creating and watching it grow. But then I had real babies and felt the need to focus on them. My parents closed the shop, and I stayed home for several years and ran a home daycare.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Several years later, I knew it was time to make a shift. I closed my home daycare. My babies were no longer babies. I worked part-time at a few local flower shops when I eventually realized it was finally time for me to have my own shop. I opened my shop on a wing and a prayer! I brought back the name, The Village Green Flower Shop, which had been in the area for decades before we closed it. Starting from scratch was a struggle at first, but with support from family and a very welcoming community, I built up a successful flower shop that has now been open for five years!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I think as a business owner; you have to be willing to do a lot of inner work. You quickly learn about your fears, limiting beliefs, and blocks. It is a true test of faith in one's abilities. Thankfully there are a lot of amazing resources to help you work through these things. Tony Robbins has been one of those resources for me. He teaches we never have a lack of resources if we realize that your true resource is our own resourcefulness (our passion, creativity, decisiveness, and resolve to name a few).
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
First, listen to your gut and not others' opinions! I had so many concerned people tell me I should be more responsible and just keep a regular job. I knew in my gut that would make me miserable. I was just not cut out to be an employee, but I believe I am a good employer. That was another huge accomplishment that makes me very proud: I hired my first full-time designer a year ago! The ultimate goal of being a business owner is to grow to a point you can hire others! Second, connect with others in the business. You can build a wonderful, supportive network of similar business owners who can offer promotion, support, and wisdom. You can even have this with your competition. Support each other. I have friendships with a few other florists, and we have all helped one another in some aspect over the years. The third tip would be to have fun!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Pay attention to the signs life is giving you. I didn't have the resources I thought I needed to open my own shop, but somehow I made it happen because deep down, I knew it was time. I just want to say that life will always redirect you. It will always feel scary whether the redirection comes from your own inner knowing or outer circumstances. We are created to be creative. Opportunity is all around when we open ourselves up to receive support and abundance. When I was first dreaming of opening my own shop, my son came home from school with a drawing in his backpack. I pulled it out, and it was a drawing of someone jumping off a cliff into the water with sharks in it. He wrote the words "just do it." If that wasn't a sign, I don't know what is. And it turned out they were just very friendly dolphins and not scary sharks after all. Trust yourself, and just do it.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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