Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in floristry but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Gerry Rogers, owner of Petal's Edge Floral Design, located in Alexandria, VA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Petal's Edge Floral Design is the premier event and wedding florist in Alexandria and the greater Washington, D.C., area. Since 2004, we've been creating floral magic at weddings throughout the D.C. area. You may have seen our work in BRIDES magazine or our name on the Washingtonian Weddings' Best Wedding Vendors list, but we wouldn't be surprised if you didn't recognize our designs. No two Petal's Edge arrangements are alike beyond maintaining our standard of sophisticated design, sustainable practices, and impeccable service, of course.
Our specialty is creating custom floral designs that represent our clients and their style, regardless of their aesthetic or their reason for the gathering. Petal's Edge Floral Design expanded even further in 2018 when we debuted our e-commerce shop with artful floral designs for local delivery and intimate weddings. We've been trusted by several brands to leverage the power of flowers to elevate their identity.
Tell us about yourself
Before starting Petal's Edge, I worked for a decade in art museums, understanding how visitors interact with and engage in space and with art. Though I now work with flowers, I am always looking for inspiration in areas outside of my own industry. Because I have an art history degree, I often look at art as a main source of inspiration. Fashion, interior design, and travel always are rich fodder for finding new design concepts and thinking about color, form, and texture. Most of all, my clients are my biggest source of inspiration, as they all bring unique preferences and viewpoints to the process.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
There is this tendency for woman-owned businesses, particularly creative ones where you work with your hands, to be taken less seriously, even by the business owner. Since day one, as a business owner, I've treated my business first and foremost as a business, and all that means. Correspondingly, some of our biggest accomplishments have been surviving a staff member's divorce, paying for four 16-week maternity leaves, and ensuring that retirement benefits are accessible.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
As a business owner, the buck stops with you. And yet, as a human being, to preserve your own humanity, you have to learn how to say no.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
I say to everyone that you'll never know what you're capable of until you're hungry. There's a tendency to keep the day job, but really, those are handcuffs. To truly be a business owner, you have to embrace an element of risk-taking.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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