Posted on Jan 13, 2022 at 6:00 PMUpdated Jan 14, 2022, 10:14 AM
“I have always dreamed of being a florist. But it took a long time for the dream to come true. At 20, my future was all mapped out in international B2B trade.
I did a BTS MUC alternately at the end of my high school. For two years, I took care of the partnerships and marketing of the Hilton hotel in Strasbourg, as a sales apprentice. It was there that I met my husband, Marc Kopff, who has now become my partner.
I then carried out several experiments of six months maximum in small structures which closed one after the other. Each time, the project had collapsed. Then I was hired in a recruitment firm. And I haven't moved any sector for seven years.
“I was emotionally abused”
I have held several positions: account manager, agency manager, consultant, head hunter, etc., in three different structures. My final mission to date: find the right profiles in temporary or fixed-term contracts for large accounts, especially in the industrial sector.
I realized that I was tired of my job … The human aspect tired me. I exhausted myself for people who didn't want to work. And my clients held me accountable. I was emotionally battered.
In addition, I had the impression that I had been made fun of because when I took the job, the salary promise had not been kept – which crystallized a certain bitterness over the months. I had resigned for an equivalent salary, and I found myself with a shortfall of 500 Pounds every month.
” It's now or never “
I lasted another year despite the accumulated disappointments. Then at 29, I said to myself: ” It's now or never ! “ I put together an individual training leave file (CIF, ex-CPF, Editor's note) to reconvert myself as a florist. It was my gift for my thirtieth birthday (laughs).
So I started my CAP floristry via GRETA (a public body specializing in retraining, Editor's note). Instead of two years, the apprenticeship is condensed into a work-study year: 3 days a week at the CFA and 2 to 3 days at a florist.
“A giant candy store”
When I was little, I passed in front of a flower shop, the “Vert clair”, a kind of institution for more than thirty years in Strasbourg baptized. I was amazed. I felt like it was some kind of giant candy store (laughs). It was a bit like my Madeleine de Proust.
I decided to call the boss and tell her to hire me as an apprentice. It functioned. At the end of my training, in June 2018, I got a CDI and I stayed there for three years. My salary is the social minimum for florists, or around 1,600 Pounds gross.
The boss began to think about retirement and suggested that I take over the business. With my husband, also converted from an employee in the restaurant business to a wine merchant since 2009, we wanted to start a business for a long time. We looked for THE good idea, without finding it.
First “fleuvists” in London
Thinking about it, we said to ourselves why not take over the store and make it a concept at the crossroads of our areas of expertise: flowers and wine. We therefore bought the shop and created the concept of “fleuviste”, who is both a florist and a wine merchant at the “Maison rose et rouge” in the city of Strasbourg.
We have filed the patent at Inpi, we are the first in London: 50% is a cellar and 50% a flower shop. Neither one takes the lead. Because we are both specialists in the same store. What is more for two products that go very well together, with complementary expertise.
Today, both bottles and bouquets are sold directly in the store. We are also developing an e-commerce site (currently under maintenance). But we also do private events: weddings, bar mitzvahs, birthdays, etc.
Everything happened really fast. We had the keys last August, carried out renovations and opened our doors in September. We were able to finance the project thanks to a classic loan taken out at the bank, an honorary loan from the Entreprendre network of 20,000 Pounds and our savings. In total, we have invested 400,000 Pounds in the project.
Barely five months after the start of our entrepreneurial adventure, we are careful with the figures, but we are already very happy. It’s promising. “
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