How to Make Your Business Blossom; Exclusive Interview with Julie Claire of Wild Lotus Floral Design for Winner Magazine | BNS News

Captivating clientele with her beautiful designs and versatile strategy, award-winning entrepreneur, Julie Claire, has certainly got the secrets on how to make a floral business blossom.  Covering every aspect of floral services from creating stunning bouquets to providing education in the Floral Arts, Julie has led her elegant and boho-chic boutique to earn a number of awards for superior floral design services in Barrie.  Julie's business, Wild Lotus Floral Design, has received recognition and awards from esteemed organizations such as Barrie Community VotesBarrie Chamber of Commerce Women in Business Awards, Barrie Advance Reader's Choice Awards, and Top Choice Award for multiple years.  With her creative and innovative approach to adapting in the Floral industry, Julie has even been invited for a recent Rogers TV appearance to educate audiences.  Read the full interview, below, to learn more about Julie's story of growth and to find out what we can expect next from Wild Lotus Floral Design:

Put out what you want to get back and your work will speak for itself.

 Julie Claire, Founder and Floral Artist at Wild Lotus Floral Design

Q & A With Julie Claire, Founder and Floral Artist at Wild Lotus Floral Design

What services does Wild Lotus Floral Design offer?

Wild Lotus Floral Design is a high-end boho-chic floral artistry studio and gift boutique, offering fresh and dried floral arrangements for all occasions and events. Delivery is available to Barrie and surrounding areas. Our gift boutique features local artists and vendors from Barrie and surrounding areas.


How did you come up with the idea to start Wild Lotus Floral Design, and what purpose did you intend to serve with the concept?

I have been in the floral industry as a designer and floral artist since 2005. In early 2020, when covid hit, the flower shop I worked at closed down and I lost my job. After a few months of soul-searching, I decided to go ahead and go after my dream of owning my own flower shop. I told myself that if I got approved for a business loan, then it's happening and I'm going all in. After months of hard work and a 37-page business plan, I got approved! After that, everything from then on just fell into place, like it was meant to be. 

I wanted to build my studio from the ground up. I have a different design style and I wanted to stand out and be set apart from other studios. I designed my studio and website to reflect that.  I also wanted to be strongly rooted within the community, giving back as much as I can.

A lotus has to grow through mud and muck to make it up to the surface and bloom into a beautiful flower. I named my shop after it because of the path I had to go through to make it here to this day, where I continue to bloom and grow.


Which milestones have marked meeting benchmarks towards the fulfillment of your personal goals/ the studio/boutique's vision and goals?

It was my goal to provide beautiful quality products and be known for it throughout the community. My vision was to spread love, kindness and smiles with my creative gifts.

In our first 3 years of business, we have won the Platinum Award in Barrie Community votes in 2021 and 2023, and Gold in 2022. Furthermore, I was also nominated for the Barrie Chamber of Commerce Women in Business awards in the Pay it Forward Category in 2022 and 2023.  I was also a finalist in the Barrie Chamber of Commerce Business Awards in the Pay it Forward Category in 2023.

We won Diamond in the Barrie Advance Reader's Choice Awards in 2021 and 2023, and we also won Top Choice Awards for Best Flower Shop in Barrie in 2023.

I recently was interviewed for a Rogers TV episode, called, "Educate, Inform, Challenge," to inspire, motivate and empower women.  

Which steps have you taken for the company to achieve the level of consumer trust that has been nationally recognized? 

We provide long lasting, quality products with high-end service. In doing so, we have a wonderful community that supports us and trusts us to deliver this. Our roses are imported directly from Ecuador, carefully chosen and sourced from 7 farms.  



What part of your education or other experiences do you feel was the most helpful in preparing you for success? 

I have always been success and goal driven. Problem-solving is my forte, and creative design comes naturally. I studied design, as well as psychology. I love to learn and love to perfect my craft. I am quite hard on myself at times and tend to take on more than I should. However, that has made me stronger and able to navigate through any problem that may arise, while continuing to offer a fantastic product. 


Which strategies have you found the most effective in growing your audience/ bringing awareness of your service to a larger consumer group? 

Social media is definitely important to establish a following and for getting your work out there. Networking is by far the most important thing you can do to not only grow your business, but make connections with other business owners; this is how you can refer business to each other and form great relationships. I also suggest joining your local chamber of commerce; they are very helpful and help businesses grow.

Collaborating with other businesses and cross-promoting is also essential. Businesses helping businesses can lift each other up for continued success. 


Which partnerships, if any, have been the most constructive in bringing your goals closer to becoming a reality?

Along the way, I have done many collaborations with other local businesses on styled photoshoots. We all promote each other and and work together on amazing projects that have lead us to be published in a few magazines. We've partnered with photographers, bridal salons, hair stylists, makeup artists, models, event venues, fashion designers, bakeries, jewellers and more to make our visions come to life, and we've gained a great following and amazing relationships.


We've also partnered with the Barrie Chamber of Commerce, which really strives to help businesses grow.

Are there any challenges that made it difficult to continue operation and that you managed to overcome? What was your approach to get past these?

We opened our doors in September 2020, in the midst of the pandemic. We went through 3 lock-downs, during which we could not allow anyone in the store. We offered delivery and curb-side pickup, not only for flowers but for gifts and home décor. We uploaded everything in the shop onto our website, and people could shop online and get it delivered to their door or to someone else's door as a gift! It was very successful. We also became the first florist/gift shop on Uber, DoorDash and Skip the Dishes.  

How do you balance work, passions/hobbies, and relationships?

It's important to have a work/life balance. Make sure you work hard, but also make sure you set some time aside, everyday, to decompress and de-stress. I tend to take on too much work, so I need to remind myself to take it easy now and then to not burn out. I always book a few weekends off to do things I love with the people I love, and take evenings to spend time with loved ones and enjoy life. Don't forget self-care! Go for walks, hikes, exercise, eat well, spend time in nature to recharge your battery! It's important to live in the moment and make the most of each day. Give it your all in work and in play!  



What are your future plans to build on your personal/ company achievements and fulfill your vision for success/ what developments can your audience or clientele look forward to expecting next?

I am currently working on floral workshops to teach the Art of Floral Design. We are also expanding our wedding décor to include a large floral arch that can be rented for weddings and events. We are also working on a flower bar, where you can design your own bouquets at bridal showers and events, etc. 


What advice would you like to give readers that hope to achieve success in your field?

Just some general advice in becoming an entrepreneur would be to never give up! Never stop dreaming! Believe that you can do anything. Be patient, be strong, be kind, and be grateful, always, even for the bad days and hard times. The bad days teach us and help us grow. Always lead with love and never change who you are. Believe in yourself! Love yourself! The best of everything in this life will come to you if you believe it!

To succeed in floral design, know your skills, trust them, and grow them. Stay on trend but also be different. Showcase your talents in ways not seen before. Always strive for beauty and perfection. Put out what you want to get back and your work will speak for itself.      


We thank Julie for sharing these insights and experiences with Winner Magazine's readers.  If you are looking for Florist and Gift Services in the Barrie Area, we would recommend reaching out to Julie at Wild Lotus Floral Design!

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