Owner of Bleu Rose Floral Designs
We are a floral services business, our services include everyday flower arranging (these are for I miss you, I’m thinking of you, Condolences, I love you, Can’t wait to have you back in the office, etc.) and delivery, event flowers, we sell indoor plants for your home or office, and more recently, home office too. We sell fruit baskets and snack boxes as well.
We operate largely in the greater Johannesburg North region but we also cover other areas of Johannesburg when the need arises. We do also offer services in Cape Town in the Observatory, Pinelands, Sea Point, and surrounding areas.
WHEN AND WHY DID YOU SEEK OUT LULALEND’S SMALL BUSINESS LOAN?
We needed to grow our business to be able to reach more people, to fully integrate online and to incorporate a CRM system to allow us to serve our customers better.
We also needed to get a vehicle dedicated to deliveries, as well as transform our workspace to be easier to work from and serve those that would like to collect.
We are also currently working on adding a new line of products and need funding
for the project. Customers keep asking for more products, and I believe these will sell, but did not have the appropriate funds to execute.
HOW HAS COVID-19 AFFECTED YOUR BUSINESS?
We have seen a drop in our orders because we were not able to provide our services online. We have seen a drop in expenditure from our corporate customers, and definitely no reception flowers.
I have had to take on a lot of the work myself as I couldn’t afford to keep the staff on anymore. Our administrator also had to stop coming to work as she traveled with public transport, and as she is expecting, it was a high risk – this means I had to let her go until she gives birth later this year.
Our approach to delivery recording has also had to change as we no longer accept signatures – it would be great to use a digital tool as proof of delivery. For now we just take down the recipient’s name. The cost of running the business has increased as flower prices are so high now.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST SUCCESS IN YOUR BUSINESS?
Being able to secure some nice contracts through the work that we do. Customers saw our work and started buying more frequently. We are proud to have some big corporate clients in our stable. One of these corporates placed our first big year-end gift order last year (over 800 gifts) which we delivered in approximately 2 weeks with a skeleton team. This has attracted more of their teams to use our services
WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO KEEP ON GROWING YOUR BUSINESS?
The interactions I have with customers after I serve them. It reminds me of why I chose this business. Flowers and plants have healing powers for mental wellness – hence ‘We express emotions through flowers’. We also teach people how to add plants into their spaces and how they can positively improve their mental health. I am constantly motivated by the dreams that still need to be reached, the ladies I bring into the team, and their commitment to their own dreams and thus helping me realise my dream.