Feb 14, 2014 | No Comments | Posted by: Brendan Bowers
Angel Hill is the owner of Angel’s Floral Creations in Brooklyn, Michigan and inspiration behind its unique style and designs. She has been a florist for over 27 years, opening her own business nearly a decade ago. Hill and her team have served as the floral designers for the Grand Hotel in Mackinac Island, been selected as the official florist of The Pointe Restaurant in Clarklake, along with doing everything else from weddings, funerals, and proms to celebrity weddings.
Recently, I had an opportunity to talk with Hill about how she’s built her company and what she’s learned along the way. That conversation, packed with valuable tips for success as well as a helpful reminder about an upcoming holiday, is below.
Brendan Bowers: What inspired you to start your own business?
Angel Hill: I took floral design in high school at the local career center. I was about 17. I ended up getting a D- in the course and the teacher told me that I’ll never be a designer. That inspired me to become better, and I started working with other designers and artists to help create my own style. But I never made any money in floral design back then, so I earned a degree as a medical assistant and worked at a hospital for several years. All the while, though, I still did weddings and events on the side. Floral design was still a big time hobby. Then, after being at the hospital for 23 years, I hurt my back and they let me go. I lost all my security as a result. One night, shortly after, a gentlemen who had a party across the street from my house asked if was still doing floral design. I said yes, and he started having me make bouquets for his store. Since then, my designs have grown. Eight years ago I opened my first store, and this past August I opened a second location.
BB: How is Angel’s Floral Creations unique, what sets you apart from the competition?
AH: All of my designs are original designs. There is no copying and we don’t offer any cookie-cutter designs. My flowers also come in every day of the week, fresh. So I don’t have them sitting around, I don’t have them sitting in coolers. I have my flowers sitting out on the floor so people can smell them and enjoy them when they walk in.
BB: Any upcoming offers, sales or events that people should know about?
AH: Well, Valentine’s Day.
BB: Oh, right. Don’t tell my girlfriend I asked you that. In all seriousness, though, how do you prepare for that type of rush?
AH: [Laughs] Pretty much I just work around the clock. And then I also have a student from the career center who works with me. I always have students from the career center that I’m training and work with us here. I’ve actually trained five designers and they all have their own stores now.
BB: If you could offer one tip for success to someone who is starting their own business, what advice would you give them?
AH: Start small. Don’t go into debt when you open your business. Start with what you have and just keep growing from there. Then it doesn’t hurt you. If it’s not successful you haven’t invested your whole life into it. I’ve gone all this time without ever taking out a loan or anything. If I can’t afford it, I don’t buy it. Well, of course I haven’t taken a paycheck yet either [laughs]. But it’s my business. Whenever I take a delivery I will wait to go to town. So I get paid for that delivery and my gas is covered. It’s kind of like having a paycheck. But if you take a $30,000 loan out and you don’t succeed in the first couple years, you’re really in trouble.
BB: How has accepting credit cards with EMS+ helped your business grow?
AH: Working with EMS+ has been really great. One thing is, people get the biggest kick out of it. They just think you’re super cool when you’re using it. The customer gets to sign on your phone and they just think, for some reason, that I’m so tech savvy. I’m almost 50 years old. I’m the least tech savvy person out there. But EMS+ is super simple. I’ve used five other credit card companies, but with the EMS+ there are no surprises. The money is there within a couple days. It’s super easy. All my designers, they all have the EMS+ app on their phone so they can all log on and use it. My delivery people do too. If I don’t get paid, I don’t deliver the flowers, and with EMS+ we can swipe right at the house upon delivery. It’s been great for us.
Big thanks to Angel for taking the time to talk with us, really enjoyed the conversation. To learn more about Angel’s Floral Creations check out her website, like her Facebook page, and follow on Instagram!