DublinFlowerShop.ie – This distinctive web address owned by Fionnuala who set up her online retail florist ‘Scarecrow’ Flowers. Fionuala says ‘TRY US’ because we are Using 70% Irish Grown Flowers and we specialise in corporate events and wedding flowers.
Give a brief description of your company.
Our motto is to ‘DELIVER SMILES FOR YOU’ and this reflects our desire to create emotional responses and connections through our flowers.
We are an online retail florist that specialises in corporate events and wedding flowers. We have been in business for 15 years. We have an eco-friendly approach to flowers and try to use as many Irish grown flowers as possible. We are currently working with three sustainable growers from all around Ireland. This time last year we were importing 90% of our stock from Holland and today we are at 30%. Our goal for this year is to get that to 10% by 2020.
How did you get the idea/ concept for your business?
I went to work for my Aunt in the Sandymount shop and fell in love with flowers. I then bought the shop from her when she was retiring.
Give a brief account of your education background.
City in Guilds level 4 floristry – I continually go on courses to keep my floristry skills up to date and current. I have trained with some of the most sought-after florists all over the world including Gregor Learch and Holly Chapel. I am a part of a worldwide organisation called Chapel Designers one of the requirements for this group is that you take part in at least 2 educational course per year for your business or your floristry skills.
Did you always know/ ever think you would become an entrepreneur when you were younger?
Yes definitely, I opened a shop in my secondary school when I was 15 years old.
Is entrepreneurship a common trait in your family?
Yes, all my family had or do have their own companies.
Did you have prior knowledge of the industry before setting up your company?
A small bit, I slightly went about things backwards I took over the shop and then went back to collage to become a qualified florist
What was your previous work experience (if any)? Do you think this gave you an advantage when setting up your business?
I was in the service industry running kitchens and managing floor staff, this was of great advantage to me when I took over the Scarecrow in Sandymount, it gave me the customer service skills I needed to run a successful business in the service industry.
How did you initially fund your business? (self-funded, government funding, etc)
Self – funded I have never borrowed one penny from anyone for our business.
Looking back, would you have changed the method of funding you chose?
Yes, I would have probably engaged with a bank for working capital in the beginning.
Did you encounter any financial difficulties in the first year of operation? If yes, what did you do to surpass them?
Yes, our 1st year in business was the start of the recession, this came with great challenges to try and overcome.
What characteristics do you feel benefited you most when starting your business?
I talk to everyone I meet; I think this has hugely helped with the success of Scarecrow to date.
To what do you attribute your company’s success/growth to?
Hard work and determination.
What is your opinion on the importance of a professional network for an entrepreneur?
It is hugely important to have a strong network of people around you. Most of our business comes from word of mouth through my personal and professional network. It is also a very lonely world to be self-employed and your professional network gives you the outlets you need to reach out for help when you are struggling.
Do you think entrepreneurship has changed in recent years?
Yes, definitely the internet has paid a huge roll in this, you have to be extremely dynamic in a ever changing world.
Would you ever consider starting another company or involving yourself in new start-ups again?
Yes, definitely if the right opportunity came along.
If you had one piece of advice for a new entrepreneur, what would it be?
Have tangible goals, a vision board and celebrate every success even with something small.