Tucked neatly in between Toronto’s best donut shop and one of the most delicious brunch spots around is the sweetest floral shop in all the land. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Sweet Wodruff on numerous occasions, and simply couldn’t pass up a chance to give the world a closer look. Because when a place is this cute? It simply needs to be seen. So we teamed up with Heidi Lau, and the results are borderline magical.
SMP: Sweet Woodruff has been kicking floral butt and taking names. What’s your secret?
Wow, thanks! No secret really. I just work really hard, care a lot about what I do and offer what I hope is great style & design.
SMP: Was there a specific incident that really made your business thrive?
It’s hard to point to a specific incident, but I think social media has played a major role in helping build the business and really changed how I approach our marketing strategies. The power of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter is really incredible. I am always amazed by the community that those tools create and the relationships I have forged over them.
SMP: What’s the most difficult part of owning your own brick and mortar shop?
I read somewhere that entrepreneurship is a lifestyle, not a 9-to-5 profession. I don’t think that could be truer! The most difficult thing for me as a store owner and as a small business owner is all the juggling and time management. I know I am definitely guilty of working myself to the point of exhaustion (ahem… it’s 1:05am as I write this) But owning a business can be hard! And I’m sure most small business owners could commiserate. Leading a balanced life and making time for myself, my family and my friends seems to be my biggest hurdle. But I am making small strides.
SMP: The most rewarding?
I am so passionate about what I do, and I truly love every bit of it. And I love what it brings people. I know it sounds corny, but seeing a bride cry on her wedding day because of something I’ve created for her… well that’s just so special.
SMP: One tip you’d give to someone following in your footsteps?
There is this quote by Ira Glass about being a beginner. I won’t try to paraphrase (I’d just butcher it! Haha) But look it up… it definitely got me through some hard moments when I was just starting out.
SMP: One thing you wish you knew when you first started Sweet Woodruff?
Oh man! There are so many things I wish I knew! Most of them about finance, accounting and running a business. I’m learning… slowly.
SMP: Why do you think Sweet Woodruff has done so well?
Two things. First, building my business around my strengths and talents (and first understanding what those were). And second, being consistent with my brand and staying true to my style. I think those two things have been really key. In the beginning I had a hard time accepting that I wouldn’t be all things to all people, but I also knew that I had to be true to myself. Integrity is important to me. And while embracing my style and continuing to strengthen our brand hasn’t always been easy, I think it has paid off.
SMP: The best moment of your career so far?
There have been so many personal triumphs and milestones! The first day I registered my business. The day I quit my full-time corporate job to pursue this dream. The day I signed my lease to the shop. The day I opened the shop! The first time we were featured on SMP (I’m not sucking up! That’s true!) The time we were featured on Martha Stewart. But the best is probably the first thank you note I ever got from a bride saying how much she loved what we did for her wedding. It made me cry. There’s nothing that compares to that feeling!
SMP: Spill the beans: where do you see yourself in five years?
Right now we are currently in the process of opening a second location and satellite shop, which I am really excited about! So, professionally, in five years I see us with a number of satellite locations and a BIG HUGE wedding and event studio to run all of our beautiful weddings out of. And personally, I’m really excited to have a baby in the next few years… I can’t wait to have a family! That’s definitely on the list!