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Former OFW finds success in blooming flower shop business

A florist with almost two decades of experience finally fulfills her dream by establishing her own flower shop right in the central flower market of Manila.
By Renz Lyndon Paguio |
Former OFW finds success in blooming flower shop business

When Lovie Pascual returned to the Philippines in 2012, she never thought that she would finally stay for good. “My original plan was to have a vacation. But then I had the idea of opening my own flower shop out of the blue while I was staying here with my family. Suddenly, I found myself surfing the Internet and looking for a commercial space that I can lease,” Pascual cheerfully recalled.

The former head florist for Hessa bint Ali Al Khalifa–the wife of the incumbent prime minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain–now runs her own flower shop located at the Manila Flower Center (also known as Dangwa) in Sampaloc, Manila. “I had savings from when I was still working as an OFW. I was able to use it as my startup capital.”

Waiting for the right season

Financial losses are some of the challenges a flower shop owner has to endure, especially when the non-peak season starts to arrive. But the 50-year old florist assured that since the peak season usually lasts longer, the losses are automatically gained back before April’s end. “We Filipinos are used to sacrificing things to earn. When it comes to working hard, nothing will beat us,” she stated.

The peak season of flower shops usually last from October to June, according to Pascual. “These are the months when occasions are held consecutively. You have Christmas, All Soul’s Day, Valentine’s, and Holy Week, among others. Customers always flock our flower shop because they know we can provide the best flowers for them.”

lovie_pascual_2.JPGThose who are willing to spend on flowers, their all-time best sellers include the carnation and the stargazer. The inexpensive ones on the other hand include the chrysanthemums and the roses. Majority of the local flowers are freshly delivered all the way from Baguio while the imported ones usually come directly from Holland. The prices of these flowers during peak season can range from P160 to P180 on average.

A flowering opportunity

There’s no doubt that a flower shop is a promising business opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs. “There is certainly a market for flowers here in the Philippines. It’s always in demand since they can be bought and be given at any time, and more often, flower arrangements are a must in several personal occasions like birthdays, weddings, and family gatherings,” Pascual shared.

For this florist, client satisfaction and consistency in delivering quality services has played a crucial role in attaining her flower shop’s success. “I assured them (clients) that I’m great with this kind of work. I show them how great my products and services are. They even refer me to their friends. That’s one of my business strategies. Besides having a Facebook page, I also rely on word-of-mouth marketing,” she disclosed.

lovie_pascual_4.JPGThe OFW-turned-flower shop owner advises aspiring florists to take the next step forward and pursue their passion. “To those who plan on starting their own flower shop, I suggest they go for it. This is a growing business with a lot of potential. Everyone can be a great entrepreneur if they put their mind to it. You’ll never fail if you always believe in your passion,” Pascual concluded.

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