The Florte was born out of Founder Angeline Pang’s entrepreneurial drive, and her passion for flowers (Photo by Daniel Ho, courtesy of Angeline Pang)
Angeline Pang has always had a fondness for flowers. Having been exposed to blooms since young, she credits her parents for her passion for floristry.
“Since I was very young, my parents used to buy flowers from the flower market… They even got landscapers to do up the garden. So I was exposed to greenery quite a bit,” she recalls.
While she had pursued further education in the banking and financial sector, she decided to start her own small business.
“At that time, it was very competitive. Everybody tried to climb up the corporate ladder. I thought, maybe I could just start from something small.”
The desire to strike out on her own was what motivated Angeline to take a leap of faith and venture into floristry. She initially attended local floristry courses, but later delved into courses in London and Korea to expand her repertoire of techniques.
“I decided to do something that I’m passionate about. I went to take up courses in Singapore, but realised that they only teach the basic and more traditional ways of styling. So I decided to go overseas,” she explains.
Her efforts came to fruition with her labour of love, a homegrown floral studio The Florte. Founded in 2017, The Florte offers floristry services for various occasions, from corporate gifts to floral arrangements for intimate affairs, such as weddings.
Challenges faced within the floristry sector
Creating these pretty blooms is a time sensitive and time consuming affair due to the delicate nature of flowers (Photo by Raymond Yee, courtesy of Angeline Pang)
But the floristry industry has faced its fair share of obstacles. Due to the delicate nature of flowers, creating and delivering floral arrangements is a time-sensitive affair. Arrangements cannot be created too far in advance of the delivery date in order to maintain the condition of the blooms.
For larger floral arrangements for events, the process of setting up can be even more challenging. “Thousands of flowers come in, we have to condition them and do QC (quality control),” she shares, adding that this process can take a day to complete.
She notes that staff retention is yet another challenge she faces, owing to the nature of the floristry sector. “We do have a few florists, but everyone comes and goes because it’s a very tough industry,” she reveals, adding that the job is not as glamorous as it appears to be.
“Everybody [thinks] you wear a nice dress and just do a few bouquets,” says Angeline. On the contrary, she likens a typical workday to a workout, especially when it comes to set-ups for events, where she and her staff have to shift arrangements.
Still, Angeline finds the process immensely rewarding. “Good feedback and compliments from customers are actually one of the biggest pushes that motivates me,” she shares.
Overcoming obstacles posed by COVID-19
With events such as weddings and solemnisations being impacted by the pandemic, The Florte’s business was also affected. “We actually confirmed a few weddings, but they got pushed back from 2020,” Angeline shares.
Due to the pandemic, the price of flowers also increased which led to the challenge of striking a balance between raising the prices of floral arrangements and mitigating the impact on their sales.
The impact of the pandemic on The Florte’s sales pushed Angeline to find ways to sustain her business
For her business to continue operating amid the disruptions, Angeline looked up on the safe management requirements for her sector, as well as government support schemes that her company could be eligible for.
She chanced upon GoBusiness where she successfully applied for the Productivity Solutions Grant. She shares that the platform made the application process much easier.
“All the information I need [is] more concentrated in one platform”, she says. “It saved me quite a bit of time from looking through multiple websites to find what I need.”
She also appreciates the resources on licences, grants, and the process of establishing a business on the platform, which she believes will be especially useful for start-ups.
For aspiring business owners, Angeline recommends conducting thorough research before diving into a new venture.
“Don’t jump into it without knowing what is ahead of you. I have seen many YOLO people who jump into it, and give up shortly after a few months [or] a year,” she reflects. “Starting a business in any sector will require sufficient knowledge and planning.”
If you are an aspiring entrepreneur looking to kickstart a new venture, check out the Start-up Guide to find out all you need to know about starting a business. Complete your business registration via a guided journey, and start receiving recommendations on the next steps all on GoBusiness.
This article is accurate as at 16 Feb 2022