Tell us about yourself
As a child, I found inspiration in my grandparents’ love for gardens, particularly my Oma’s gladiolus lining the barn. Despite dedicating almost two decades to a career in healthcare in London, I discovered my passion for growing flowers as a way to reconnect with nature.
Cultivating flowers became a personal source of fulfillment, allowing me to nurture tiny seeds into vibrant plants and ultimately harvest them to contribute to local brides’ beautiful bouquets and everyday florals. This journey completes a circle of profound satisfaction, bridging my healthcare background with the joy of tending to nature’s wonders.
Tell us about your business
Hard Scrabble Blooms took root in 2020 with a mission to bring locally grown flowers to our community, emphasizing transparency in floriculture production and a commitment to minimizing environmental impact.
Specializing in the cultivation of unique cut flowers, we supply 90% of our harvest directly to florists in London and throughout Southwestern Ontario. The remaining 10% finds its way into the hands of local clients through our bouquet subscription program.
From cultivation to packaging and delivery, I manage every step of the process. Last season, the growth of our operations allowed me to welcome three dedicated employees into the Hard Scrabble Blooms family, contributing to the efficiency and success of our flower-sharing venture.
Beyond providing fresh flowers, our business serves as a hub for fostering connections. Sharing my passion for local products has opened doors to meaningful collaborations with other local businesses and strengthened ties within our community. Hard Scrabble Blooms is not just about flowers; it’s about cultivating relationships and enhancing our local ecosystem through the beauty and sustainability of homegrown blooms.
What services/programs have you utilized at the London Small Business Centre and how have they helped your business?
In the winter of 2023, I had the opportunity to participate in the Starter Company Plus program offered by the London Small Business Centre, and the experience has been transformative for Hard Scrabble Blooms. During the off-season when our focus shifted from fieldwork to business development, this program provided invaluable insights and tools to propel our growth.
The SCP program not only equipped me with the knowledge and confidence required to elevate my business through effective digital marketing but also offered essential guidance on the intricacies of employee hiring. Beyond these core aspects, the program played a crucial role in connecting me with diverse resources vital for various aspects of business expansion. The networking opportunities facilitated by the London Small Business Centre allowed me to build meaningful connections with other local businesses, creating a supportive community.
Is there anything currently happening in the London business community that excites you?
I find the current momentum of the support local movement in the London business community truly invigorating. Witnessing both local and national acclaim for brands and businesses originating right here in our city is exceptionally inspiring.
In particular, I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to the emerging field-to-vase movement for flowers. While the farm-to-table movement in the food industry is well-established, the parallel concept for flowers is just starting to bloom. This presents an ideal time for me to spearhead efforts in raising awareness for local flower farms.
At Hard Scrabble Blooms, our goal is to emphasize the significance of supporting local farms and showcase the exceptional quality available within our community. By championing the local economy, we aim to keep the economic impact within our city, ensuring that the dollars circulate where they originated. It’s a rewarding endeavor to be part of this movement that not only highlights the uniqueness of our local businesses but also promotes sustainability and community.
What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received and why?
The best business advice I’ve ever received is to ‘focus on customer satisfaction and build lasting relationships.’ This advice has proven invaluable for Hard Scrabble Blooms. By prioritizing our customers’ needs and ensuring they have a positive experience with our products and services, we not only foster loyalty but also receive valuable feedback for improvement. Happy customers not only become repeat buyers but also serve as brand ambassadors, spreading positive word-of-mouth.
In today’s competitive market, the emphasis on customer satisfaction has helped us stand out, build a strong reputation, and ultimately contribute to the sustained growth of our business.
What advice would you give to an aspiring Entrepreneur today?
My advice to aspiring entrepreneurs today is to ’embrace adaptability and continuous learning.’ In the dynamic and ever-changing business landscape, being adaptable is crucial for success. Stay open to new ideas, be willing to pivot when necessary, and view challenges as opportunities for growth. Additionally, never stop learning. Stay informed about industry trends, emerging technologies, and best practices. Continuous learning not only keeps you ahead of the curve but also allows you to make informed decisions that can positively impact your business. Lastly, surround yourself with a supportive network of mentors, peers, and advisors. Building a strong support system can provide valuable insights, guidance, and encouragement throughout your entrepreneurial journey.
What’s in the future for your business?
In the future, Hard Scrabble Blooms aims to expand its delivery area, reaching new regions and sharing locally grown flowers with a broader audience. We’re committed to increasing the variety of specialty cut flowers, providing customers with a diverse selection of stunning blooms. To achieve these goals, we’re excited to bring more team members on board, enhancing efficiency and fostering collaboration. Our vision is to create a lasting impact in the floral industry by delivering exceptional products, expanding our reach, and offering a wider selection of local flowers.
Learn more about Hard Scrabble Blooms