Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in floristry but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Rachel Kwan, founder of Euclid Design Co., located in Flesherton, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My name is Rachel, and I'm a florist who creates clean, modern floral designs to help my clients celebrate life's joyful moments, both big and small. During the spring, summer, and fall months, I focus on sourcing flowers from local farms to bring the best of the growing season to weddings and other events. From late November to March, I provide floral subscriptions to clients throughout the south Georgian Bay region, injecting a bit of colour and joy into the gray winter months. My clients trust me to create unique floral art for their celebration: they know that I combine a keen design eye with beautiful natural elements, a deep sensitivity to their needs and personal style, and awareness of environmentally-conscious business practices.
Tell us about yourself
The first time I worked with flowers, I felt like I had found a creative practice that perfectly matched my personality. I held my materials in my hands and could pour my joy, curiosity, and creativity into a carefully-executed design. My first big event was my own wedding in 2017, where I built a copper arbour and the floral installation that was the backdrop to our vows. I discovered a craft where I could combine both my artistic and engineering inclinations. I come from a family of engineers and computer programmers. In my business, I continue to pull on a childhood that was shaped by careful planning and logistical exactness. My time working in market research and as a strategist at several marketing agencies in Toronto gave me a strong foundation in client services. Every day, my clients remind me that they receive not simply a beautiful floral design but also a customer experience that I have the power to shape. I am invited to be part of some of the most important occasions of people’s lives. I deliver joy – both through the flowers that people hold in their hands and in the way they feel when they work with me. This reciprocity and sense of community is a huge reason why I do what I do.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
As a primarily events-based business, the past two years have shown me that survival is the first step towards success. Against the constant backdrop of uncertainty for big celebrations, being able to keep my doors open – and continue to grow towards my business goals – is something that I have to remind myself that I am achieving every day. Beyond the numbers, I am also incredibly grateful for the community of amazing farmers and florists that I have cultivated, especially since I moved to Grey County. Nothing in my individual business would feel as sweet without these fellow travelers. My success and accomplishments bring success and accomplishment to those in my network, which is among the things I treasure most about owning my business.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Left to our own devices, as many solopreneurs are, we will make a to-do list that is longer than the lives we have left to live. One of the hardest things that I’ve discovered as a business owner is knowing when to say no, and when to let something go even though it became clear it didn’t bring value to my business a long time ago. The pressure to take on every new thing – whether a client management platform, continuing education, or even a feature on a social media platform – is immense. Not having the knowledge about whether a tool might make a difference for the business means that I will try many things even though the best thing that I could do is simply walk away.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
The first thing that comes to mind is to have an explicit and simple understanding of where and how the business will make money – and be realistic about it. That means not trying to go after every customer, offering services at every price point, or trying to do way too much too soon. Commit to the core set of offerings that lies at the crossroads of your business values and what you can accomplish now with the resources you have at hand. The second thing is to experiment and give space and time for yourself to work things out without expecting perfection out of the gate. That way, your own expectations don’t trip you up, and you don’t create unrealistic goals. The last thing is to build relationships with a variety of people who will become your business community. You don’t have to work in the same field; you don’t have to have the same goals. You don’t have to be at the same stage in your business journey. But find the people who, in knowing them, build you up and bring joy to your work, even if it’s just through their encouragement and their ability to make you laugh. They will help you through the darkest times when you feel you may want to give up.
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.