WE SAT DOWN WITH SHIRLEY GOODWIN, A TALENTED FLORIST WHO OPERATES HER BUSINESS OUT OF HER HOME, TO TALK ABOUT HER SUCCESS.
Posh: Tell us a little about yourself and your business.
Shirley: My business is named JR Flowers, named after my sons Justin and Ryan. My team and I design floral arrangements for weddings and events. We are a small company by choice. We specialize in smaller more intimate events.
Posh: How did you get into this business?
Shirley: I have been designing floral arrangements for about six years. Last summer I decided to launch my business after a trip to the flower market in Seattle and going through wedding planning with a close friend.
Posh: Is this your full-time job?
Shirley: I have been a practicing pediatrician at Capital Area Pediatrics Ryan Park for nearly 17 years and I really enjoy it. Flowers are my passion though and my creative outlet. I can’t imagine life without the beauty of flowers and the joy they bring to everyone. My grandmother was a flower lover and so is my mom. I guess it is in my genes.
Posh: What makes your floral designs different?
Shirley: My floral designs are different because they are customized to each client. I don’t have any “packages.” I meet with clients and discuss their vision. Then we work on a proposal together. Sometimes I even bring sample flowers to my client meetings to show them how well certain types of flowers work together.
Posh: What is your favorite flower?
Shirley: That is a hard one. It would be a tie between red explorer roses and hydrangeas.
Posh: Do you have a favorite floral design technique that you can share?
Shirley: When coming up with my designs I look to floral websites, Pinterest and magazines for inspiration. Then I order flowers based on the client’s desire. Sometimes I don’t even know what a design will look like before I start or I just want to work with certain colors. I have attended floral workshops and conferences but I do a lot of hands-on experimentation.
Posh: Do you have any tips for other moms who would like to start their own business?
Shirley: You have to just take a leap not knowing if it will work. You can talk yourself out of your dream easily due to responsibilities at work, with your kids etcetera but if you love something enough, eventually you can’t keep it inside. The passion literally erupts out of you!
Posh: How do you get new customers:
Shirley: I get my customers through advertising, friends (thanks guys!) and giving away arrangements to local businesses to show them my work. They come back because of the quality of my work and the because my arrangements tend to last for weeks after the event.
Posh: What has been the biggest challenge you’ve encountered?
Shirley: Learning about the business side of floral design. You can’t have a successful business without thinking about profits and losses. That is still a challenge for me. I just want to play with flowers!
Posh: How do you balance family and work?
Shirley: My kids are tweens now so it’s easier for me to spend time designing while they keep themselves entertained. I still struggle with staying “present” in my day job, with my kids and with my husband’s activities but I am working on it. My kids like to help me when we get a shipment of flowers delivered.
Contact Shirley for your next celebration: 703-217-1221 or facebook/JRFlowersLeesburg