Retrenchment the catalyst for Beuron Bosman’s career
East London florist’s business is blooming
Four years ago, while planning her sister’s 21st birthday celebration and being retrenched shortly after, East London’s Beuron Bosman was inspired to enter the world of events.
With R600 as starting capital, that idea blossomed into what is today a successful business. Bosman, a local florist, is the owner of Sweet Bloom Floral Designs whose beautiful flower creations brighten up any room.
Bosman said her sister's 21st was the first party she had ever planned.
“It was quite a fancy affair. After seeing the fresh white flower wall from international celebrities Kim [Kardashian] and Kanye West’s wedding, I immediately became obsessed with flower walls, and the idea of specialising in wedding and event floral services.”
Bosman said she made no profit from her first official event as Sweet Bloom, which specialises in floral gifting and events.
“We purchased what we needed from what we invoiced the client. We made no profit from our first event, but the business surprisingly boomed within the first two months afterwards.
“As our business grew, we bought the inventory needed. In 2018, I applied for grant funding worth R50,000 through the National Youth Development Agency [NYDA], which was a success. The grant programme played a large part in the growth of Sweet Bloom and for that I will forever be grateful,” she said.
The main challenge the florist faced was not having any assistance in operating the business, and not being sufficiently equipped and trained to have employees.
Incorporating her own name was the initial aim in coming up with the name of the business.
“I wrote down a small list of potential names; Beuron sounds way too serious for a floral business, but I eventually came up with the name and it stuck!”
The Covid-19 pandemic affected many businesses economically and Sweet Bloom also took a knock. Three months into lockdown, Bosman was unable to pay staff salaries and cover operational expenses.
Thankfully, she said, NYDA offered one-off Covid-19 relief funding.
“While the weddings and industry season suffered, we shifted our focus to the floral gifting aspect of the business. It was important for us to remain agile and think of creative ways to sustain ourselves during the current status quo. We were, however, only able to operate from level 3.”
The floral gifting side of the business grew exponentially during the lockdown period, according to Bosman. They are now looking into having an online as well as a physical shop where they can interact with customers face-to-face.
Getting her clientele by word of mouth, Bosman also relies heavily on social media to reach her target market and potential customers. She has recently also ventured into a new avenue — funeral flowers.
“It has been a sombre couple of months for our customers. I don’t like final goodbyes, but I was reminded that my purpose is to serve despite how I feel.”
For the first time in four years of business, Sweet Bloom provided flower arrangements for five funerals within a space of three months.
With the business growing rapidly, Sweet Bloom was recently part of an exciting beauty collaboration with global artist Beyoncé Knowles and a national retail store.
“I collaborated with Beyonce’s make-up artist Sir John and Woolworths W-Beauty when they launched their Volume 3 make-up line. We got the opportunity to design and create a flower crown for the PR make-up drop to skin and beauty influencer Mathahle Stofile, of The Matte Project.”
Bosman said the brief was to use indigenous flowers to symbolise the SA woman.
Explaining the process she follows in choosing the perfect flowers for weddings and events, Bosman first checks the venue for the event.
“I can never just work off of a photo. I’m a very visual person, so I actually need to go to the space and see what it looks like. The colour is the next important piece to me that goes with the aesthetic of the space. Then, we decide on the shape we want. It’s kind of the reverse process that people think,” she said.
She concluded by sharing advice to those aspiring to start their own businesses.
“Be passionate about your business idea — passion is the driving force of a successful business. Make sure your idea is economically viable. Do thorough industry research and obtain professional assistance where required.
“I am a strong advocate for youth empowerment and entrepreneurship. I’d encourage youth who would like to establish their own business to find out more about funding and voucher programmes.”
To check out Sweet Bloom, visit @sweetbloom_za on Instagram, Sweet Bloom — Floral Designs on Facebook or WhatsApp 071-034-3393.
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