By Ann Gabriel | Negosentro
Southampton flowers which started as an online business, celebrates its 10th year this year. With this milestone, we got curious on how they came with it and be able to sustain it for long.
Ms. Just Marasigan, the owner, probably intended to do something out of passion, but what she may not have known was how much that passion would make a living. Here’s a quick interview with Southampton’s journey to decade…
Negosentro: “How did you get started in the flower business?”
Just: “I used to attend a lot of weddings. I’ve seen successful ones up to couples getting stressed because I can feel the tension of couples worrying about these things. From there, I saw the need to coordinate everything. I became a wedding coordinator for a year. We used to be Seranata but we have to change the name because it sounds local. We’re tapping international so we decided to rename it.”
Negosentro: “What is it about the flowers that appealed to you?”
Just: “It’s the positive side of flowers – the mood. I started with the flowers when there was a wedding in the family. I volunteered for free. I hired a florist and started helping out in the arrangement. I’m watching the florist do it so I’m learning. When I was working in Makati, I fully utilized my one hour lunch break by taking orders from clients. Then, people started to ask me if I’m doing weddings and I said yes – even if I haven’t really. I just grabbed the opportunity and believed in myself. I also took a class for a month just to learn the basics – how to prepare, treat and make them live longer.
Setting up the flower business honed my confidence in talking to clients especially when I ask them how much is their budget, what do they want, etc. Aside from online business, I put up a small flower shop across Citimotors in Las Piñas for a year.”
Negosentro: “What kind of flower services do you offer?”
Just: “We offer local and abroad. I have different suppliers and we cater to almost all events from birthdays, proposals, weddings and other special occasions where flowers are on its peak.”
Negosentro: Where do you get inspiration for your floral designs? How would you describe your style?
Just: I do research. I want my arrangements to be more of garden or nature. I also join the people when they deliver because I want to see my clients’ reaction firsthand. “Flowers are expressions of love and it’s a fulfillment of being part of that experience”
Negosentro: “What is the biggest challenge that you faced in the floral industry?”
Just: “We got robbed and I lost everything. I had to make “abono”. There was a florist who even got a portion from my pockets but it was an achievement for me when my people gained confidence from dealing with buyers and 2 of which are already going abroad. When you commit at a certain project, you’ll have sleepless nights especially if weddings.”
Negosentro: “What advice would you give to anyone who would want to start their own flower business?”
Just: “For any business, I amended that mantra “Jack of all trades, master of none”. Be the jack of trades and master what’s in front of you. You’ll never know until you do it. Do it and take it to heart.”
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Ms. Just Marasigan