Wild About Flowers: How We Grew Our Floristry Business

Wild About Flowers

By Wild About Flowers

Inside the Wild About Flowers store

Just like hairdressers and newsagents, florists remain one of the fixtures of the high street. Put simply, there's always a time for flowers. Whether it's to commemorate a special occasion or a token of appreciation for a special person, it's unlikely that will ever change.

What clearly has changed though is the way we buy flowers. Florists today have to compete in a highly competitive landscape, battling it out online and on the high street with big-name national brands as well as other independent floristry businesses. Despite those challenges, there's no doubting it's an extremely satisfying line of work. It's a career that involves the joy of crafting beautiful bouquets and adorning wedding venues in fabulous arrangements, bringing colour and happiness into lives at every turn.  

One such joy-bringer is the family-owned independent florist Wild About Flowers. We caught up with the aptly-named Ivy Jean, who manages the shop, to find out more about life running a floristry business. 

 

How would you sum up Wild About Flowers in a sentence?

We are established creatives working from a retail flower shop to bring timeless bespoke designs to life with heart, soul and a wild flair. 

 

Can you briefly summarise the background to Wild About Flowers and what you did before?

Wild About Flowers was born in the year 2000 when a trio of qualified florists left their professional careers and ventured out to establish a distinctively different floristry business on Keynsham High Street in Bristol. 

 

What was the inspiration behind Wild About Flowers? Was there a lightbulb moment when it came to you?

There was no lightbulb moment, but more of a slow burning desire and years of peering through flower shop windows like a kid in a sweet shop! Always imagining a shop of our own one day. 

Growing up, inspiration came from family members always having flowers and plants in homes and gardens, and that's what we wanted to bring to many others. 

The opportunity of Wild About Flowers hit us in the face as a take it or leave it moment so we went for it and haven’t looked back! 

 

Instagram: @wildaboutflowers33

 

What were the challenges around launching the business? Where did you find your time being spent?

During the launch of the business, we had to juggle raising a young family with the long hours being demanded by the shop. At the time, we were studying a full-time college course to gather as much experience and knowledge to equip us with all that was ahead. Time spent in all aspects had to be a finely tuned juggling act held up with a lot of support from family and friends. 

 

How has the business evolved since your launch? Have there been any particular milestones?

When the business launched we had to work very hard to establish our own customer base. We have survived many tough years on the high street, including the recession, which is an achievement in itself. We have adapted our business to suit the needs of our ever-changing customers and now have an online shop through our custom built website, which we are very proud of. 

 

Instagram: @wildaboutflowers33

 

Thinking about social media and marketing, what are your tips for boosting brand awareness and ultimately sales? 

We are very lucky within our family business that we all have valuable assets within different fields, and have a dedicated job role to cover social media and marketing. 

Top tips would include not underestimating the importance of social media as many business owners fail to see the full benefits if not kept up to date with its functions; therefore a second tip would be to look at releasing budget to hire someone to help manage your social media and marketing if you personally find it challenging or lack the time. 

Be as active as you can online and engage with your audience. If you are going to market your brand online be sure to check who you are aiming your content at and ensure it is appealing to your target audience. 

Use social media as a tool to connect with other like-minded businesses that you may want to collaborate with. You may not get the opportunity to network within your normal working schedule and social platforms offer a creative space to discover new brands. 

Do you find that there are seasonal variations in trade? How do you deal with this?

Yes, we definitely have seasonal peaks within our trade. Mother’s Day is the biggest, Valentine's Day a close second and also Christmas. Weddings now occur throughout the year, however, May through to September still remains a popular season to tie the knot. 

We design a bespoke collection for each peak season. This allows our customers to have a selection of designs to choose from and it allows us to deal with a large volume of orders more efficiently.

 

When you have big events like weddings coming up, how do you deal with large orders?

Weddings are like Christmas! There’s the big build up. Then, the night before, you are too excited with anticipation to see the final look come together. 

We start preparations a few weeks before by planning out designs and the requirements for the wedding/event. Once the itemised list of requirements has been put together, a draft of running order can be composed to see how much time needs to be allocated to each element and at what stage.

From that, a staff rota can then be drawn up to share the workload. By breaking down the large order into smaller parts it makes it a lot more manageable. 

 

Instagram: @wildaboutflowers33

 

What are the challenges on a personal level of running a business?

Sometimes it can be hard to maintain a good work-life balance. It’s challenging when work can unexpectedly peak and there is the added pressure which makes managing personal commitments hard. Running your own business means you are working all the time – there is always something to do and you never switch off! 

 

What are your proudest achievements?

After 17 years of renting our small but cute high street shop, in 2017 we moved into our new and much larger premises – a Grade II listed Georgian town House which we own and will continue to renovate as a long-term investment for our ever-evolving business.

The opportunity to work in some of the best and most prestigious venues in the South West is always an achievement and completely rewarding. 

We strive to have our work recognised. Over the years when our business has received a review, publication or been recognised for what we work hard to portray every day we are always proud. 

 

Instagram: @wildaboutflowers33

 

What are your top three tips for someone looking to launch a business in your field?

Complete as many qualifications you can in areas you feel will strengthen your brand. There is more to floristry than the flowers but ultimately running the business and completing the work to a high standard is equally as important. 

Build a good support network around you. With the nature of the job having many last minute elements and peaks throughout the year, at those times you will need some extra helping hands or a nice hot meal after!

Be true to yourself. There are a lot of people working in our trade of floristry which makes it a competitive business to operate in. To stand the test of time you need to be original and passionate about what you do – it is a wonderful job! 

 

For a comprehensive guide to getting your business up and running, download our how to start a business in 20 days eBook.

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Wild About Flowers

Published 25 September, 2018 by Wild About Flowers

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