Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in floristry but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Courtney Booker, owner of Sweetwater Blooms, located in Northeast, BC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Sweetwater Blooms is a small-scale flower farm. During my growing season (May to October), I use the flowers that I grow in wedding work, bouquets, and custom arrangements; during the fall and winter months, I shift gears to fall and winter wreath making. I sell most of my flowers via subscriptions, but I also do pop-ups in my sweet little flower trailer! The flower trailer is a tricked-out 1970’s horse trailer that I have converted into a mobile pop-up shop!
Tell us about yourself
Sweetwater Blooms is a business that was a long time in the making. I have been gardening and growing in one form or another since I was a kid. Growing flowers came to me later in life, but it makes so much sense now that it's hard to understand how I didn't get to it sooner! When I was in university, I even studied botany and took courses specifically on flowering plants, and I was obsessed! I mean, I couldn't look at a flower the same way anymore, such fascinating and brilliant designs! But the idea of growing flowers for a living took over a decade to germinate. For many years, my passion and interest in flowers were lost as I muddled in underwhelming work. But, the concept of farming flowers finally presented itself to me in 2019, and I have been purposefully walking this path ever since. I am motivated to do what I do because it feels meaningful to me. I love the physical work and watching the fields come to life. I love the detailed preparations that go into field planning. I love working with people to create a flower vision and then bringing it to life for them. I love working alongside nature, trying my best to foster a healthy piece of land. And perhaps most of all, I love the solitude and creative freedom that this work allows me.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I think my biggest accomplishment is simply having a long-term vision and working to bring it into reality. Being self-employed is scary, full of moments of self-doubt and constant re-evaluation. So I think that the biggest accomplishment is just continuing forward, not giving up, and intentionally moving toward a vision.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I think that one of the hardest things about being a business owner is also one of the best things; you only get out what you put in. There is no guaranteed paycheck. If I don't hustle to make something happen, I simply don't get paid. This is both hard and incredibly motivating!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Set goals, and write them down. Come back to them often, and don't be afraid to re-evaluate and adjust! The more you do, the more you know.
- Get training. Take courses and workshops that will propel you forward. Seek out people who inspire you, and learn from them!
- Be prepared to work hard! Don't expect to work a 35 hour work week and cash fat paycheques. If you want this, you've got to work for 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.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.