The catalyst for change can be as simple as having a great idea and seeing where it takes you, and that’s what happened to Sarah Regan when a conversation about the ludicrous price of flowers sowed the seeds for a big life change, the beginnings of Little Flowers.
Here’s what Sarah had to say about swapping her 9–5 advertising days for 4am market visits, and what it was like going from working in an office to working out the back of a delivery van.
When did you start taking an interest in floristry?
As a child I always loved flowers. My mum had the most beautiful garden and we would spend many hours every weekend walking around London exploring stunning gardens and flowerbeds. When I was still working in advertising I did many flower courses and always made bunches for friends whenever the opportunity arose. There is and always has been for me a real pleasure in making and giving people something from the heart.
Where did the idea for Little Flowers come from?
It was a love of flowers that helped my business partners and I come up with the brand of Little Flowers. I guess it was a gap in the market that we found that made it all seem like it was possible and a need to make flower giving more accessible to the masses.
What made take it seriously as a business?
It was the simplicity of the idea. One style of bunch daily, delivered for $30. When we started making a few and sharing them with our friends they said we had to do it! I would be mad to stay in a job I didn’t like when there was something like this just screaming to find its way into the hands and hearts of people around Sydney. There was nothing like that out there so we took a big step into the unknown and ran with it.
What’s it been like going from a regular 9-5 job to owning your own business?
It was a huge change to go from the world of advertising into the world of flowers – 4am market visits, working with growers and couriers as well as managing and setting up the brand and our communications on social media platforms. It has been a massive learning curve and we have made a million mistakes along the way, but if you are doing something that you love it doesn’t feel like work so much – it is truly fulfilling.
What was your first hint of success?
Our first hint of success was the first sale that wasn’t from a friend or a family member. It was on the second day and it felt amazing. After that, it was 100 friends on Facebook, then hiring my first staff member and moving out of the garage and into our own creative space. We try hard to celebrate every success, it keeps you connected to the daily fabric of your business.
What was the biggest challenge for Little Flowers?
The biggest challenge in starting up Little Flowers, was actually starting up Little Flowers. Taking that first step into the unknown and backing yourself the whole way. You see, the more you sit with an idea, the more flaws you find in it – you begin to doubt yourself. I’ve been really lucky to be surrounded by great people who are smart and exceptionally positive; I feel that we are all in it together and anything is possible.
What’s the key ingredient in starting up a successful business?
Grit. It’s so hard to start up a business because there is so much you don’t or won’t know. You have to clench your teeth and just get on with it. Know you are going to make mistakes, but also know that you are going to learn so much more through those mistakes than you ever will by getting it right the first time. That, and surrounding myself with like-minded people who can do what I can’t.
What’s the best and worst part of your job now?
The best part of the job is the messages. It is so wonderful to see the way that people share their love with those they care about in the most unusual ways. Every day, messages have us rolling on the floor laughing or are so heartfelt that you well up with tears. They are amazing. It really reinforces why we had the idea of making the flowers all about the gesture; not about the size or the price. The worst part of the job is definitely the 3:30am market morning get ups. I don’t think I will ever get used to that.
What advice would you give others looking to turn their passion into a career?
Back yourself and surround yourself with people who can do what you can’t. And celebrate every little success, no matter how big or small. Chase your dreams and the universe will definitely help you out. Its been very kind to me.
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