Interview with a Florist; Part 5 With Diane Hess

 Diane Hess; The Flower Place, LLC, 907 N. DuPont Highway, New Castle, DE

Diane and I became friendly, you guested it, over Facebook!! As I've mentioned before, getting to know other florists is easy via the Floral Groups and Diane reached out to me join 2 floral groups that I was Managing. We began chatting back and forth with me trying to give her a little advise. It must have worked, because she seems to be doing well!! 

How did you happen to get into the flower business?

I was planning to retire but wanted to stay busy. Since I had created floral arrangements on a regular basis for family and friends, I decided to re-tool myself, the correct way and, began taking classes as Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA. 

What part of your business is the most valuable?

Our image and what customers think of us. How we make them feel is also very important, both allow us to do what we love and make a living!!

What part of your business is the least valuable?

Difficulties with staff, keeping the right people in the right positions and simply staffing with people who enjoy their work and like the customers. 

If you could go back to the beginning, what words of advice would you give yourself? What do you wish you  knew then that you know now?

Make sure I had an experienced advisor, preferably, someone from SCORE to help me make the best decisions I could make in order to advance my business. I'd also tell myself to make sure I had enough money to hold me over during a bad stretch. Lastly, I'd tell myself not to start a business undercapitalized. 

If you could change any part of your business, what would you change?

I'd would step up my hiring practices. I would educate my staff so they could be more helpful. I would not be so undercapitalized nor would I take any day to day loans for the business that nearly causes you to go out of business. I would also work harder on my social media to attract more customers by inviting them to visit my flower shop. 

Thinking about your business, what are you the most proud of?

Right now, I think I'm most proud of surviving COVID. It's still a terrible struggle, but we are moving forward.