The seeds to some success stories are planted early in life.
For Natalie Chow-Kung, the path to owning a successful business began in childhood—by watching her mother.
“My mom owned a floral shop in Brentwood for more than 25 years. As a child I’d go with my mom to do my homework in the back and help out with the small jobs where I could,” she says. “I just loved what she did and fell in love with the work when I saw how much joy it brought people.”
It wasn’t long before she knew that she wanted to follow in her mother’s footsteps—not just to work in the industry but as a business owner herself.
“My mom taught me everything she knew. That was my apprenticeship into the field,” she says. “Over time I’ve grown, learned, and tweaked all those tips and tricks to create my own unique style.”
When the time came for her mother to retire, many of her long-time loyal clients simply switched over to Chow-Kung’s new shop. “I feel a lot of people appreciate the unique history of the shop, knowing it started off as a family business, it’s local, and we always add our personal touch,” she says. “There’s a lot of big box companies that try to do what we do, but they can’t compare because we put heart into our designs.”
When the opportunity arose, she also took over Terra Plants and Flowers in Richmond, bringing another set of clients over under the Lotus Flower Boutique umbrella. She now has five designers and a stellar reputation in the region.
“I feel that we’re not the average flower shop. We stand out and build relationships with our customers. We talk to each customer, find out what they want, what they need, and that’s what keeps them coming back,” she says.
“It’s definitely different now. We see people coming in with ideas they’ve seen online,” she says. “We love having the chance to think outside the box and to give our customers that bit of ‘extra’ through our designs.”
She is quick to give credit to her flower shop family.
“We have an amazing group of people here,” she says. “We love what we do and it’s not just a business for us—it’s really about creating something beautiful, about fulfilling the customer’s needs. That’s our priority.”
Chow-Kung is hoping to see her business continue to grow, just as her mother’s did, but not at the expense of quality.
“We want to always be a family business that is personal and approachable,” she says. “We have to stay true to our roots and be here for our customers. I love knowing that we have this rich history of where we’ve come from and that we can continue to raise the bar for the future.”
The boutique serves a variety of corporate and private customers both through their Lotus storefront but also through their website’s online boutiques.
Visit www.lotusflowerboutique.ca for more information.