Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in floristry but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Marilou Yoshimura-Gagnon, owner of Kyoto Fleurs, located in Montreal, QC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Our flower shop is located in the Plateau Mont-Royal. Our customers are mostly young adults, men, and women, who either want to make people happy with flowers or themselves, following the trends. Our store offers many varieties of houseplants at any taste and any budget for neophytes and experts!
Tell us about yourself
I had an opportunity to buy the flower shop that had already existed for many years right at the corner of my condo. I had no experience at all in the flower industry or in business in general, but I had always wish to own my own store on Mont-Royal and to be able to show the Japanese culture to the Montrealers. When I spent a few times at the store before buying it, I realized that flowers bring so much joy to people; it is such a positive business. I wanted to bring happiness to people's lives through my business! My mother and grandmother are from Kyoto in Japan, and they are very passionate about flowers and plants. I decided to start this business in big part because of them, and that's the reason why it's called Kyoto Fleurs.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I started with nothing, no money, no credit, no experience, and I was able to surround myself with the perfect people and to build a business that keeps growing every year. It was a lot of work, ups, and downs; I often thought of giving up, but I never did, and I don't regret it!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the things that were the most difficult for me to do was to delegate work. Once I was able to do that, everything became smoother for me.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Work hard, never give up even when it's hard.
- Build a strong team and delegate according to everyone's strengths.
- Listen to your client's needs and interests.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
My father always told me, "Quand on veut, on peut" which means, when we want, we can. I have repeated that so many times since I opened my business!
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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