Today interview is with Antron Purnell owner of the Roses are Red Flower Boutique located on the South Side of Chicago.
How long has the Roses are Red Flower Boutique been in business?
Roses are Red Flower Boutique has been in business since 10/24/14 we became a S corporation.
What prompted you to go into the flower business?
I started working for a flower shop in my community when I was 14 years old. It started as helping out on the holidays. Once I graduated high school, I started working there full time. I took breaks to pursue other jobs and careers but I was always able to go back in between jobs.
Did you go straight into opening your own boutique or was there previous experience?
I did have experience before opening up my own flower shop. With me eventually learning the inner workings of the previous flower shop I worked for, I was able to take what I learned and establish my own business.
What are some of the challenges you face running a flower boutique?
Some of the challenges I have with running my own flower boutique was coming up with operating capital, finding resources to cut down high cost for products, advertising on a budget and most importantly finding good help.
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What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a business and open their own store in Chicago?
The advice I would give for anyone opening up a business is make sure you or your partner know their craft, practicing money management and customer service is very important. And don’t give up.
How often do people try to get free flowers from you? LOL
Lol, with me living in the same community that I own my shop in, everyday people look for free flowers. I do love to give single roses away to children who are looking to give to their parents.
What does being able to offer employment to those in your community mean to you?
Hiring people in my community is truly important to me. It gives me a way to give back. The people I hire, live in walking distance and depend on the salary I provide them. I want to be able to hire more people in my community.
What holidays bring in the most business? Besides Valentine’s day of course.
Outside of Valentines day, Mothers Day is my second biggest holiday for business. Outside holidays, prom and graduation season which begins in May and ends in June.
Besides flowers what else does the boutique offer? Do you take special request orders for item’s not in-store?
Besides selling flowers we offer balloons and plants. I try not to open myself up to too many products outside of flowers, but during the holidays I will add strawberries, chocolates, and bears.
What do customers love most from Roses are Red?
Being that you are already established, are there plans to expand the Roses are Red Boutique brand? If so, what can we expect to see next?
Growth is always the goal. I’ve been in business for four years. Now that I have a strong consistent system in place, I’m looking forward to opening other locations. Eventually, I want to ship my flowers nationally from my store to your home or office.