In our latest blog we spoke to Lorna Brooks, the owner of Fullers Flowers who’s Flower shop has a very unique and interesting style. Lorna is also the 5th generation of her family to work and run the shop so keep reading below to hear her very interesting story!
Tell us a bit about your history in the industry? What made you become a florist?
“Being born into a family of florists, my Great Great Grandmother Geranium is remembered and revered as being a London flower seller, forging the family business from 1899 for every generation since.
“Flowers were always present, talked about all the time and just in our lives whilst we were growing up. Carnations always remind me of my Grandmother Begonia, known as ‘Goldie’, she seemed to be sat making buttonholes whenever I saw her. And the fragrance of a Carnation always takes me back to being a little girl watching, and learning, the trade.
“There was no pressure to join the family business, out of my four siblings myself and my Sister Alison decided flowers were where our hearts belonged, that was thirty plus years ago. I love my job, every day brings a new challenge and a smile. I’m so proud that my Daughter, Alice-Rose, is the 6th generation of our family to become a florist and carry Fullers Flowers forward, and who knows, her little daughter Isabella will hopefully be the 7th generation!”
We love the style of your brand. Can you tell us a bit about your business and the type of work that you do?
“What can I say, call it Retro, Vintage or whatever, all we know is we just love flowers, recycling and reusing everything and anything we can. Our vibe is 1950’s, we love the style and of course our 1959 van ‘Wendy’ epitomises all that is ‘Fullers’.
“British grown is a big thing for us, we have our own nursery where we grow some of our favourite blooms, and this resonates with clients looking for a return to the good old fashioned flowers, not the supermarket staples. It’s all about not trying to please everyone but being happy to please someone, and yourself of course! A lot of time is spent at work, we might as well enjoy what we do!”
How did you find Strelitzia, and what made you decide to go for the software?
“Although I love nostalgia and obviously a lot of our brand is based on the nostalgic memories of times gone by; when running a successful retail business you have to embrace technology to deliver the service your customers expect.
“Our old ‘taking orders on an order pad’ and ringing them into our counter top till did sort of work but it didn’t deliver the smooth professional approach I wanted. I searched for an EPOS system that was specific to our industry and found Strelitzia.
“I was looking for a system that would record the day to day sales as well as log all orders, thereby doing away with our expensive personally printed order books. The staff needed to hand write receipts and then type or email the customer and the worry of not being able to decipher a member of staffs unique ‘shorthand’ and at the end of every day knowing exactly where the money in the till came from made me want to use Strelitzia!”
How has Strelitzia improved the day-to-day running of your business?
“From my point of view monthly accounts are now a task of less than half an hour, and that’s only because I insist on checking every order! Before I would take a whole afternoon to get this laborious task completed.
“My clients love the instant email acknowledgement of their order, we’ve have had feedback from funeral directors that they love being able to print our order and pop it into the folder of the client, leaving no room for error.
“The statements of accounts are fabulous and keeping account customers up to date encourages prompt payments. My bookkeeper loves the itemised breakdown and we are more accurate now as it is so easy to click on the right sales tab.”
Do your staff find Strelitzia easy to use?
“All our staff have found it so easy, we have staff ranging from 16 to 50 years old but we received plenty of training and support which makes it all the easier to use Strelitzia.”
What is your favourite feature of Strelitzia?
“The emailing of acknowledgement/delivery of order. When you’re looking after multiple Funeral orders there is no room for error. With Strelitzia we all know where we stand as it’s clearly emailed to all parties. Also private customers expect the updates of their order, all the big retailers do this so it is the expected norm nowadays and we love that we can do it too!”
What would you say to other florists who are not sure whether to make the move over to business management software?
“The cost of implementing this system is a perhaps less than the profit on a couple of bouquets per month, give it a go. I’ll be surprised if you decide it’s not for you after three months.”
For more information about what Strelitzia could do for your floristry business, and to organise a free demonstration of the software call 01325 722398, or email [email protected]