Interview with a Florist; Part 7 Rick Canale

 Rick Canale; Exotic Flowers, 609 American Legion Highway, Roslindale, MA

Thank you to everyone who has been reading my "Interview with a Florist" posts and all the wonderful comments. Be sure to check out past interviews on this blog. I'm sure you find each story entertaining and there is always a nugget of wisdom to take away!! In addition to these interviews, I will be sharing a few more business thoughts and "wish I knew that then" posts.

 Although I'm enjoying my retirement, I still have lots of information locked away in the old brain and although things change all the time, tried and true business tips remain the same.  I hope you will find them helpful. If you are having any struggles, especially financial ones, feel to reach out to me via my Facebook and perhaps I have some "free advice" for you! Don't forget, my partner (Kevin) is a financial whiz and he kept me on a short leash which resulted in a very profitable shop. 

Now on to Rick!! Rick and I met back when he and I, along with Mandy Majerik were asked to be panelists on a Social Media Discussion at the Society of American Florists Convention 2010.   Rick was known to be a wonderful marketer, early adopter of social media and was even chosen Marketer of the Year in 2008! Between him and Mandy, who is
a business dynamo in her own right, I was very honored to be included in the panel discussion.  We had a lively discussion and even though 13 years have gone by, most of what we talked about is still valid today! 

How did you happen to get into the flower business?

I was born into the industry! My grandparents came from Italy 93 years ago and started by selling pansies for the local cemeteries. My first job in the shop was at 6 years old cleaning geraniums. 

What part of your business is most valuable financially?

The building itself, which has been in the same place for all of those 93 years. Our reputation is as the go to florist for inner city flowers and funeral work. 

What part of your business is the least valuable financially?

Wire in orders. 

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?

Saying no. It's ok to say no. I'd also say that it's ok to be closed on Sundays. 

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

I have made many changes over the past few years, but eliminating weddings, events and corporate work have been the smartest moves I've made. 

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

I'm very proud to be the custodian of a successful family business as it is approaching it's 100th year in business. 

To hook up with Rick, he can be found on X (the old Twitter) at @rickcanale  and also his business at @boston_florist  where he posts about flowers and Boston Baseball!