THUNDER BAY -- Angela Phillips and her husband Don Talbot bought From the Heart Florist in 2013 after Talbot was laid off. “We were looking through the paper, there was a business for sale and we said, ‘well, we gotta do something until retirement,’ so that’s how we wound up buying the business,” says Phillips.
“This has been a hands-on learning experience every step of the way. And it was a fast learning curve,” Phillips recalls.
Coming into a business with no industry experience was “really intimidating,” she admits. She did have a business background so she felt somewhat comfortable with running the shop, but the floral design aspect was completely new to both of them. “Practice, practice, practice, practice, practice - eventually you get good at it!”
Despite the initial challenges, the two have been successful. When they bought the business, From the Heart Florist was geared towards a more elderly crowd, but now they cater to a wide range of ages and tastes. “There’s nothing we won’t do,” she says. “We carry black roses. That used to be taboo but we bring them in.”
Wedding trends are leaning towards the elegant now, she says. Green weddings, with various foliage instead of flowers, have been popularized by the internet, but “greens can sometimes be more expensive than flowers,” Phillips cautions. “I wish for once, on Pinterest, they would put the price tags besides it! I guarantee you, you would have a whole different outlook,” she laughs.Some florists aren’t comfortable stepping out of their comfort zone to make very unusual floral designs, but “I’ve never had a comfort zone,” she says. They make floral arrangements in the shape of hats, shoes, whatever customers ask for. Their little floral cupcakes; a smaller arrangement of flowers to resemble a prettily decorated cupcake, are quite popular for Mother’s Day, tea parties, weddings and gifts.