Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in floristry but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Crystal Hill, owner of Floral Envy, located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

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

After 27 years of working for someone else, I created my own company focused on creative, custom flower arrangements and gourmet gift baskets for all occasions. When clients place an order with me, I know they aren't looking to send just a gift; they are looking to send something to express an emotion - happiness, celebration, gratitude, sympathy... Floral Envy Inc. is emotion, delivered.

Tell us about yourself

Hard to believe I've been in the Floral Industry for 30 years now. I first started working in a flower shop at 17, in a high school co-op program in my hometown of Peterborough, Ontario & was hooked. I started working part-time then moved to Ottawa to attend a one-year College program, completing my Florist certification.

After graduating, I participated in a four-month work exchange in Holland. It was an incredible experience & I believe that experience has had a definite influence in my design style, a western & Dutch fusion.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment has been creating Floral Envy Inc. from the ground up within a few days of leaving behind a $150,000 investment. Originally I had bought into a company I had been managing for 17 years. The owner was retiring; I had been buying shares for over four years & investing money into the new location without being aware of its debt. Once I was aware of it, I had to walk away.

Since then, I've had my wedding bouquet featured on the front cover of The Ottawa Wedding Magazine, won Ottawa Faces Award for Florist & Wedding Florist & recently won the People's Choice award as Wedding Florist at the 2021 Wedding Awards, Ottawa Gala.

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

I would have to say the long hours. People don't realize the time involved in behind the scenes. Ordering products, cleaning buckets, paperwork, organizing deliveries and timing, replying to emails, phone calls, Facebook & Instagram messages but to mention the time it takes to create each individual piece and then wrapping each, making sure it arrives the way should no matter the weather conditions that day. There is a lot more to my day besides playing with pretty flowers...

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

Communication: Listen to your client's needs & be able to problem-solve, sometimes thinking outside of the box.

Be True to you: Know your brand; what you can do & what you can't.

It's a business: Don't be afraid to say no. Sometimes the desire to help or please someone is so great; we forget we need to make money. If you can't make money or it's not something you feel confident in, saying No is ok.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

As a business owner, I really believe in education, educating my customer, myself, and my staff. Clients love to know how to look after the flowers they receive to make them last longer, or the names of them as a future reference, or about the industry in general.

I try to keep myself aware of new trends, taking a course at least once a year along with pushing my creativity in various forms of design competitions. I'm proud to say I've won a number of awards over the years from The Ottawa Tulip Festival CAFA (Canadian Academy of Floral Art) & Fleurs de Villes.

I try my best to instil the same practices in my staff, helping them teach our clients something new and push them to keep learning.

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; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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