Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in floristry, but not sure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Rick Canale, owner at Exotic Flowers, a family-owned flower shop in the same location in Boston, MA and operated by the same family for 90 years.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey to where you are today

I was born into the floral business. My mother's parents immigrated from Italy more than 90 years ago and opened a garden stand selling pansies. My first job was cleaning geraniums at six years old.

What motivates you to do what you do each day?

Flowers make people happy. We are entrusted with people's most special moments in life. Love, sorrow, celebration.

Describe your floristry business to us? What makes you stand out? Who are your customers?

We have been in the same location and operated by the same family for 90 years. We are destination flower shop that provides an urban oasis. Funeral work is the core of our business. Funeral flowers are the last gift you can give someone and we do not take that responsibility lightly.

What do you believe has led to the success of your floristry business?

Attention to detail. Experience. No cutting corners. Demand for excellence. We sell no flowers that we would not bring into our own home.

What's been your biggest accomplishment to date as a business owner?

Serving our community every day for over 90 years.

What is the hardest thing that comes with being a business owner?

Meeting and exceeding our own expectations.

What are your top 3 tips that you'd give to anyone looking to launch, run and grow a business today?

Business is personal.
Be ready to be exhausted physically and mentally.
Don't let one bad customer ruin your business outlook.

If there was one thing you could do repeatedly to help your business grow, what would it be?

Say no to unprofitable clients and orders.

What are the tactics you put in place to maintain a healthy work/life balance?

Leave on time. Every day. Stick to your hours and close early. If you deliver and have a website, you can do that.

Who are your favourite entrepreneurs and why?

JayZ -- he recognizes the importance of celebrating moments. Hall of Fame, Baseball Owner Bill Veeck. His marketing ideas, tireless work ethic and respect for others. My father, at 89 he still works every day. His mantra has always been 'never hire anyone who will not sweep the floor.' MLK Jr. (he believed in taking pride in your work, even if you are a street sweeper).

Do you have any must not miss business resources (books/ support/social channels etc) that you'd recommend to other entrepreneurs?

I read everything. Newspapers, magazines, Twitter is an indispensable source. I also believe in belonging to organizations that are trade-specific so you can learn from your peers.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Make lunch an event at work. Sharing a meal with someone is truly 'breaking bread.'

Where can people find you and your business? (Please share details of your website/social channels)
@rickcanale @boston_florist

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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