What makes you special?
How do you stand out, and most importantly, what unique element do you contribute to your community? Kate Nolan, from Crow River Floral, shares how they are able to separate themselves and be successful in the super-competitive floral world.
“Finding your niche separates your business from what customers are used to seeing. It helps you stand out, creates a quality buying experience for the customer, and saves you money and time as you focus on what your business excels at, and the unique products and services you have to offer!”
Finding your niche is the journey you will take as a business to determine the answers to those questions. It is incredibly important to stand out from the competition, and in this current internet age, customers are bombarded with an endless array of options, and flowers are available everywhere. Wire services and grocery stores are a popular choice for the mass markets to deviate towards, and many flower shops have even copied this trend by offering identical products and pricing. Finding your niche separates your business from what customers are used to seeing. It helps you stand out, creates a quality buying experience for the customer, and saves you money and time as you focus on what your business excels at, and the unique products and services you have to offer!
When looking at Crow River Floral and the journey we have taken to figure out our place in the industry and community; the early years were full of mistakes! We tried to conform to what a “typical flower shop” provided. We had wire services, fell into the “bouquet for $19.99” trap, and our bouquets looked embarrassingly generic. Realizing that we did not go into the floral industry to create cookie-cutter, assembly-line bouquets, but rather, to use our creativity was a big step!
Surprisingly, the answer to our conundrum came in the form of memorials. Customers flocked to our shop to purchase special memorial designs for their loved ones. Funeral pieces were a starting point that allowed for more artistic expression and we were able to celebrate people’s loved ones and provide comfort by incorporating unique elements such as fishing, knitting, bird-watching, music, and sports into the designs, to name a few. We became known for being able to design artistic, out-of-the-box creations that our customers could not find anywhere else and we are completely passionate about working with our customers to make something both beautiful and meaningful!
So many people LOVED us adding unique elements and creating personalized designs, that it became obvious to us what our niche was…to add a personal touch to all our floral designs! This concept quickly spread throughout our designs, and we changed what we offered to our customers on our website. Many of our more generic bouquets were replaced by designs that reflected our community and their specific interests and our passion for creativity was widely received by the public, who found this unique approach to floral designing to be a breath of fresh air.
Finding your niche means knowing your customer base and what your community is interested in. Provide your customers with something special that they can not get anywhere else. This doesn’t mean to find something completely new, but rather to capitalize on a few elements of strength. Perhaps you offer locally-grown flowers that can not be found in other areas, or you hand-make giftware items to sell alongside flowers, or you find that your community loves the unique services you offer them, that they can not get elsewhere. Whatever it may be, focus on those areas, and promote them. The result will be a business that stands out! You have passion, imagination, and creativity that makes you special, and your community is waiting for you to show it!
About Kate Nolan: I have been in the floral industry for 11 years. I had the opportunity to work at a local flower shop, Crow River Floral, when I was 18 and thought it would be a “fun summer job”.
Soon after I started working, I began to attend floral design seminars hosted by our local wholesalers and fell in love with the floral industry and was inspired by the speakers; leaders in the floral industry.
My role at Crow River Floral has grown, and I am now the manager of the business, as well as the marketing, social media, and website manager. I love pushing my creativity and trying new techniques in floral design. It is my hope to keep growing in my skill level, creating artful designs, and learning more about this amazing industry, doing everything I can to make it stronger and more beautiful.