Flowers carry sentimental value, whether they are gifted as a romantic proposal or put together for a bride’s big day. For 33-year-old Wendy Han, these petaled creations are more than just that. With roots going as far back as childhood, flowers are her true companions, and as they say, pure love never dies.
The road that led up to her successes sure had speed bumps, but what is a rose without its thorns?
Stalk by stalk, a journey of perseverance
Wendy is one with a keen eye for floral detail, a trait that morphed out from childhood years where she fondly book-pressed fallen flowers with glee. For her, blooms are not just meant for special occasions; rather, they are an epitome of warmth and love that we deserve to admire every day. However, the world of banking and finance was rarely sprinkled with the glory of seasonal blooms, save for the few occasions where a bouquet was left on an office desk by a friend, secret admirer or a stakeholder.
After hours and hours of number crunching, that too desk-bound, Wendy took refuge in these artful miracles of Mother Nature by running an online floral boutique for years. The skilful dexterity of her hands made it a bliss to watch as she effortlessly tied together beautiful floral arrangements of fresh blooms, foliage and ribbons for those near and dear. Be it a simple bouquet to adorn the kitchen countertop or an elaborate bunch for a fresh graduate, there was always as much love and care in every creation.
Soon, she found her art gracing all corners of ballroom weddings, from flower arches to the intricate designs of bridal bouquets. She knew too well this was her calling – it was time to turn herself into a full-time floral artist, and an entrepreneur.
Wendy left her lucrative job in finance and got busy in the study of all things flowers, sharpening her skills through courses and intensive self-study. There was a lot more than she imagined – running a professional floral business online was not easy. Fickle weathers and misappropriation during delivery were just some of the challenges Wendy had to face, but it didn’t take long for her to smoothen out the bumps as she blossomed her little empire.
After pain, sweat and tears, Wendy opened her physical store with her husband in October 2017 at Katong Shopping Centre.
Crushed but not withered
Wendy’s business had its pricks – but that’s normal for any business start-up. Revenue was low, but when business was just picking up, a cyberattack on Shopify in 2019 took away a whopping $24,000 from the couple’s savings.
Though they made between $70,000 to $90,000 per month as a full-time florist, operating costs were high in Singapore, so income was equivalent to just $5 per bouquet. It was devastating, Wendy recalls, even to open the bills as she feared they would send her ‘over the edge’. However, just as the child who persevered to turn her love for flowers into a spellbinding career, this adversity did not last long.
“With unwavering encouragement and support from our customers, the company managed to come back strong. I am beyond grateful to our customers for being our towers of strength and cheering us on when times were rough,” Wendy shares, having expanded from a team of six to a solid 15-member enterprise, and a growing base of loyal customers who can never get enough of Wendy’s skilful floral mastery.
Flower delivery fresh & affordable
Using only her passion to turn her florist dream to reality was, in fact, insufficient, Wendy notes. After all, she wanted to spread the love to the locals, and to do so, she had to resonate with the people. This meant making flowers more accessible to Singaporeans. Her market surveys revealed that the more beautiful and Instagram-worthy a bouquet was, the higher it would cost.
Wendy sought to change that.
Ditching the hefty price tags of the more exotic and personalised floral arrangements, she established collections starting from as low as $29.90, so anyone could afford exquisite flowers without the premium price. Customers could go for the sleek-looking bag series, flower boxes and baskets, or choose the traditional bouquets across a range of prices vis-a-vis floral and customisation options.
A cherry on the cake? Flower delivery is completely free, unless there’s a specific time requested.
Blooms of labour
As she built Floristique from a simple online business to a revenue-making boutique, Wendy has simultaneously bloomed from an innocent flower-loving child to an all-rounded entrepreneur and artist. Her creativity never wanes, evident in her endless additions, be they new creations off the top of her mind, bouquets of rare blooms, or seasonal collections like Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day.
There’s no stopping now – as long as flowers blossom on Earth, there’s always something new coming up at Floristique.