Mother and daughter business partners launch flower shop
The mother and daughter team of Joyce and Jocelyn Lindsay dropped their professional careers about a year ago to form Lindsay’s Flowers.
The two always had reoccurring plans to run a business together – sometimes a coffee or donut shop, other times a bookstore. But it was the initial idea of investing in land that led to Lindsay’s Flowers – "total serendipity," said Joyce Lindsay. While looking at properties for sale, they found an owner of a flower shop who was selling the property and business. The Lindsays liked the idea of operating a flower shop, so instead of becoming real estate investors they became florist students with the idea of going into business for themselves.
They enrolled in a four-week course offered by the Floral Design Institute in Portland and began their business out of Jocelyn’s Camas home.
"If after four weeks we still like each other and the business, let’s see what we can do," said Joyce Lindsay.
With the house being overtaken by flowers, Lindsay’s Flowers moved to a 500-square-foot location in Camas in May.
"We feel really good about it now," said Lindsay. "We are at a point where we understand our business."
The Lindsay mother is a retired political fundraiser, and her daughter formerly worked in the high-tech industry. They both have been active gardeners and interested in flowers and wanted to do something they enjoyed and, so far, love it.
Their mother/daughter relationship has contributed to their successful business partnership, they said.
"We would not have done it if we did not think we could do it," said Lindsay.
Jocelyn Lindsay can’t believe they never run out of things to talk about, even during 5 a.m. drives into the flower market.
"We both have a business partner we know we can trust," she said. "Many don’t have that."
They expected to put more money into the business than they would get out of it for two years, but they are running ahead of plan by breaking about even.
They make at least one trip each week to the Portland Flower Market for the week’s inventory.
Lindsay’s Flowers offers free delivery within the Camas/Washougal area and typically adds charges beyond that. Its clients also include regular customers, mainly businesses in Vancouver and Portland, where they make weekly deliveries. The business has served customers throughout Clark County and as far south as Tigard, Ore.
They offer arrangements for all occasions and get a lot of requests for anniversaries and birthdays.
Membership in organizations such as Rotary and Clark County Chamber of Commerce have served as powerful marketing and networking tools for the business, they said.
"You don’t open a business and wait for customers to come to you," said Joyce Lindsay.
They have also sought advice from the local SCORE chapter. The Lindsays are focused on organic growth and building the business’ client base. With added business, Lindsay’s Flowers could bring on an employee within a year.