~Be Honest, Be Nice, Be a Flower not a Weed~
For Natalie C., owner of Lotus Flower Boutique in Burnaby, BC, flowers have been a part of her life since she was a child. Her father and mother started Brentwood Florists Inc. over twenty-five years ago; Natalie started off by filling water tubes and sweeping, and ended up helping her mom run the business when her mother semi-retired many years later. But why stop there, she thought? After all, her many years of experience in her mother's flower shop had taught her so much. With a little (well, maybe a lot) of water, sunlight, and ambition, "Lotus Flower Boutique" was born and started to grow. Going from no babies to 2 within a couple months of each other the pressure was on! She would still go to work everyday helping customers and setting up events with her little diva strapped to her back. "It was a big jump in responsibility for sure, but I took the bull by it's horns and got through it and I always will. Everything I am today, My mother has helped me become. Teaching me a mother is not a person to lean on, but a person to make leaning unnecessary. My father taught me patience (sort-of haha!) and the ability to achieve starts in your mind. Best thing about having such amazing parents, is knowing my children will grow up and have them as grand-parents."
Of course, setting up the flower shop did come with some challenges: "Finding the location was easy, but waiting for the renovations to be completed was a challenge. Playing the waiting game with the city to get the approvals and permits needed to start and finish everything, so we could finally open our doors to the public. Oh and being pregnant throughout the renovations didn't help, either! Out of respect for my family I listened to their superstitious ways and stayed away from the loud hammering and dusty renovation site. Only going there to check up on things when needed (with a mask of course)." Though her setbacks were tiresome, Natalie looks back now, laughs and says they don't even matter. These things were frustrating, but Natalie recognizes that she's not the only one who has gone through the challenges of getting their business off the ground.
Natalie attributes networking as a major key to her success as a small business owner. She distributed her business cards at local establishments, spent lots of time meeting new people, and strived to get word out about her store and location as much as possible. "Always be yourself and smile! You can't have a good day with a bad attitude, nor can you have a bad day with a good attitude! Train your mind to see the good in every situation. Stay positive, work hard, and just make it happen." Loyal customers that have been going to this small local flower shop since it has moved locations and was formerly known as Brentwood Florists have been a great help spreading the word via word of mouth. Lotus Flower Boutique is located right in front of a skytrain station too! so that helps a bit too.
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