Small Business Profile: Jennifer Fowlow from Wild North Flowers

Jennifer Fowlow is the owner of Wild North Flowers and the talent behind the best florist in Toronto three years running (2017, 2018, 2019 NOW Magazine Reader Poll). They use all locally-grown flowers and design gorgeous floral arrangements out of their studio. Bringing the flower business into the e-commerce age, they sell exclusively online through their website.

How did you start your business?

Turns out, owning a flower business is a perfect job for me, although if you’d told me that five years ago I would have had a good laugh. I was an unhappy Gender Studies PhD student, disillusioned with academia and depressed from spending 12 hours a day reading about sexual assault.

After realizing the screenshots filling up my phone were all of floral arrangements, I signed up for a floral design course on January 1, 2015 and by June of that year I wasworking at a flower store (unpaid) and had withdrawn from my PhD. I was happy but broke.

I spent that winter researching the floral industry and identified the points of friction in the e-commerce floral world. I realized there was a shocking lack of innovation in the industry and knew that I could do better. By April of 2016 launched.

How has your business adapted to the current COVID-19 environment and how has your customer reacted?

Our supplychain has been compromised, so we have had to be very nimble and adjust our offerings daily. Our customers have for the most part been extremely understanding - they are just grateful that we have remained open so that they can still connect with their loved ones through the act of sending flowers.

What is your greatest struggle as a business owner right now?

Figuring out how to adapt on a daily basis. Everything is so unstable, and changing day-by-day, sometimes hour-by-hour. We have had to pivot constantly, and it can be pretty exhausting to have to make so many decisions! Trying to maintain a sense of normalcy for our staff throughout this has been a top priority.

Where do you think entrepreneurs should invest their time and money?

Invest in your staff — they are your greatest asset!

What keeps you inspired and working every day?

Obvious answer, but the flowers. They still take my breath away. Every time we get a new delivery of flowers from our growers I get excited. My love of flowers has only grown stronger!

Get in touch with Wild North Flowers through email, and follow them on Instagram @wildnorthflowers.

By Staples Canada

April 03, 2020