Mel is a great example of how being persistent and consistent will win the race. She shows up every day to her business and while juggling her family has turned her hobby into a real business, which continues to steadily grow. She has been true to her and who she is and you can see this in her signature style that her customers absolutely love!
My Story: Originally a Registered Nurse for 18 years. I had a significant life changing event – I had have major hip surgery 5 years ago; and struggled to get back into nursing.
During my recovery, I did a lot of soul searching and decided now was the time to “give flowers a go”. It had always been a dream of mine to be a florist. So, in 2015 I enrolled at TAFE and completed my Cert III in floristry and have never looked back!
During my time as a student, I also did work experience with an amazing florist Katherine Jackson, at Patterson’s Florist, who taught me about the flower business, and all things flowers. Her support, guidance, and knowledge shared was invaluable. Without this I don’t think I would have had the confidence to start my own business.
How would you describe yourself at the start of your journey?
So naive – I had no idea what the world of small business and retail was but had the desire and will to give it a go! What was to lose!
I started small, in my first year, I started out at local markets selling flowers, succulent gifts and handmade pressed flower gifts. This is where I met a local community worker and began running flower and plant workshops with dementia patients. This was the most amazing opportunity, where I could combine my nursing experience with my flowers, and still have that community connection.
How would you describe yourself now?
Well, I have truly grown! My hobby has now turned into a “real” floristry business! I am still small, but am growing and booking more couples, and growing a regular customer base – I also have an online shop where I sell everyday bouquets and succulent gifts. I am getting regular enquiries for weddings and events which is a dream come true!
How do you feel about your investment of time and money into the Membership?
Well, if you are struggling to gain enquiries, not sure how to reach your ideal client, not bringing in business. The small investment from The Society may actually turn this around for you.
What are some of your strongest beliefs and values?
I believe you need to spend money to make money. This has definitely worked for me. In saying this, you need to make smart decisions when doing this. I have always seeked advice, researched what I have wanted to spend my money on, etc. I truly believe this have advanced me with my business.
Excellent customer service is important! I really endeavor to provide an amazing service to my clients, especially when you a small business because it makes you stand out from the big businesses you are competing against.
You need to have your own style, be an individual! I believe my flowers have a “Melly B” signature! There are so many florists, floral stylists out there in the flower world. I want to stand out. I endeavor to ensure my flowers have my own style – I don’t want to look like everyone else. I have been told regularly from friends and customers when they see my flowers, especially my everyday flowers they can immediately identify that they are Melly B blooms.
What problems were you looking to solve?
When I joined the Society, I was looking for business resources, support, and like-minded people to meet and problem solve with. Working on your own can be challenging and isolating, I found this to be a challenge, especially when I have come from years of working in a team.
How did you come into contact with TWE?
I came into contact with Jennie when I joined the Wedding Experts on Facebook.
How did you find out about our Membership?
Via the Wedding Experts on Facebook.
What did you think of it when you first learned about it?
I was intrigued and interested.
What thoughts were running through your head? Did you doubt yourself at all?
At first, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to spend the money – I wasn’t earning an income for myself, so I didn’t want rush into becoming a member.
Talk about that moment, what did it look like?
The reason I decided to join was that feeling “why not”! Perhaps, joining would help me with all the unanswered questions that I wanted to ask – which would help improve my confidence and help move my business to where I wanted to go.
Joining the group seemed a good idea at the time, I was looking for support, guidance and a safe place where I could ask questions without being judged. I also liked that the society offered plenty of business resources that would help with answering my questions in a supportive environment.
What were you thinking when you made the decision to commit?
I was nervous, did I do the right thing! But now, I believe I made the right decision.
What would have happened if you continued to experience those problems or didn’t follow the plan?
I have learnt so much during the time I have been a member. The resources are just what I needed. I believe I am so much more professional and confident with my clients. I have learnt so much in this short period of time, I have definitely made use of what the society has offered.
What did the experience feel like as positive things started to happen?
I am excited about my business, where I have come so far. I believe that you have to work hard, think smart, find the right people to surround yourself with, say yes to as much as you can (within reason), ask for help – it’s ok not to know everything and go with the process!
How do you feel now? What are you thinking now?
I can be a stress head, I need to relax on things sometimes. It’s ok to have quiet times in your business. This gives you time to breath, reassess and evaluate and plan ahead!
What changes for good did it make in your life and life of family members?
I believe having my own business, changing careers, demonstrating to my children that you can achieve your dreams if you work hard for it! I feel like I have been a strong role model for them, especially my daughter.
Flowers By Melly B
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